For our annual summer vacation, we went back to where our friend Karin and I had spent a few days in June--Lake Superior Provincial Park in Ontario. Situated on the eastern shore of Lake Superior, it is a varied land of lakes, marshes, rivers, high hills and sheer cliffs. It lies in the area between the boreal forests of the north and the mixed coniferous/broadleaf forests of the south. Thanks to this tremendous mix of habitat, and its proximity to Lake Superior, this park is full of surprises, with constantly changing weather and landscapes. I was excited to share this place with Lisa and Lori, and so was Karin, who was coming along for the trip.
The weather on the drive up was pretty wicked. The winds picked up the farther north we drove, and we started getting some squally weather as we neared the UP. Sitting on the bridge to Canada, in line at customs, was unnerving as the wind blasted us, making the RV rock. The drive up Highway 17 took forever with a number of resurfacing projects closing a lane here and there. After nine hours we finally arrived at the campground.
We were disappointed to see that the campsite we wanted--the one Karin and I had camped at in June--was already occupied, but we were surprised to see only three other campsites being used. We looked carefully at the sites, trying to find one that would fit our RV, the trailer with kayaks, and Karin's car and tent. The pickings were pretty slim, but on the second time around the loop we drove towards the boat launch. There we found the best site of them all, amazingly unoccupied, one of only two sites in the campground with a clear view of the water from the site. Lori and I left Lisa there with the trailer and rushed to the park office to stake our claim. Once we got ourselves situated, the sun had nearly set, and I took this picture from the campsite:
It doesn't get much better than this.
Karin arrived late, having made several detours looking for fuel for her stove. Too late to set up her tent, we had dinner in the RV and then crawled into our various beds and bunks. The night was chilly and a few showers fell. By morning the skies had cleared, and mist from the lake hung over the water and in the valleys.
Not wanting to make a lot of noise so early in the morning, I left my kayak on the trailer and went for a walk along the shore instead. The moon, still full, shone on the calm surface of the lake.
Mists rose from the warm waters into the cool morning air and glowed in the sun.
Later that morning we went for a walk around the campground. Early signs of fall were everywhere.
Lori spotted this on a tree near the road. We looked it up in Joe Walewski's field guide Lichens of the North Woods and determined it is lungwort. It grows in "rich, unpolluted and often very old forests." It says it is a favorite food of moose, but this was out of reach of even the tallest animals.
Later, Lisa, Karin and Lori soaked up some sun on the beach.
Another view from our campsite.
As the day wound down, the afternoon sun lit the opposite shore. The reflections on the water were irresistible. Monet, anyone?
Next: Lake Superior and the Sand River