After two trips on that portage, we got into Cherry Lake. We entered the lake off in a mini-bay on its northeastern edge. See how the lake kinda looks like sunglasses (come on, look hard). We thought it did. We were coming in on the frame of the sunglasses. There were plenty of mosquitoes ready to gnaw, so we got off into the water quickly. As we got into the main portion of Cherry Lake, some impressive cliifs appeared on the right. There was also the sound of a waterfall. However, the guide did say that there was an awesome campsite at the narrows of Cherry Lake. Thankfully, this early in the day the campsite was not snagged and we headed in.
Here are some pictures from that campsite. After setting up camp, Shawn decided to head into the tent for a nap. Tracy and I went swimming. Cherry Lake is spring-fed, so yep it was pretty darn cold. A rocky drop-off near the shore made you need some sort of footwear to walk. Unfortunately, when I tried to swim across the narrows, my sandal started to fall off and I was stuck trying to snag it in the middle of the lake, 'cause I sure wasn't going to be without sandals for the rest of the trip.
After swimming for a while, we started playing a little pine cone baseball with our emergency third paddle. Of course, we had been playing for quite some time before we noticed the cones were making quite a lot of pock marks in the cheap Dunham's paddle. Thankfully we didn't end up needing it. Although we did use it (read on to find out when)! After that, Shawn got up and noticed an abundance of blueberries around. We just happened to have pancake mix and blueberry pancakes sounded pretty darn good. We picked blueberries for about an hour until we snagged about 1 'Super 8 of Ely' plastic cup full of 'em. After that, Tracy went fishing for a while, catching a few. Brian tried to toss one back in the water, but it slid out of his hand and fell straight down - into a tiny crack in the rock where there was water! He probably got back into the lake and now is undergoing therapy for his traumatic experience. Wonder what fish therapy is like?
There was a great picture that Brian took of Tracy holding a fish in front of his bass fishing t-shirt, but the folks at the Escanaba Wal-Mart didn't give me the picture. It's on the negatives, so I know it's there. Whenever I get it developed, it'll be up here on this page. But don't hold your breath, it's 9 months after our trip and the page is just now getting up! But, you can blame a lot of that delay on my computer at home. It likes to restart a lot for no reason. It's a wonder it hasn't tried to fly out of my bedroom window yet!
We had a ton of time to explore and relax before the campfire could be ignited because of the restrictions. So, we decided to hop in the canoe and check out the cliffs.
We saw a small landing on the north side of the lake where it looked like it might be possible to climb up the cliffs. So, of course we went to check it out. It turned out to be a portage to Lunar Lake. We hiked up the portage first. Man, that would have been a tough carry. The trail first went through a bog, and then it turned and went up a really narrow, steep trail. This trail dropped off to the right at least 20 feet into a rocky, wooded area where it sounded like rapids. Part of the trail had even caved into this drop-off, adding to the fun. When you got to Lunar Lake, you noticed that there was a beaver dam holding the lake level up. The surface of the lake is actually above the end of the trail. You would have had to jump in the canoe above you to get in. Thankfully the beaver dam didn't break, 'cause that would have been an awful lot of water coming down after us. There definitely was a lot of evidence that beavers lived in the area, as many trees were chewed and we saw a few swimming in the lake, one right by our campsite.
When we returned, we decided to head over toward the sound of the waterfall. There was some pretty high terrain in between, but we tried it. It was kinda tricky maneuvering because there was a lot of trees in the way and it was also very steep! However, we made it to the top and took some more pictures. It was a pretty cool view, as the day was actually sunny. After coming down off the high part, we got to the waterfall. It wasn't huge, but it was pretty cool. That's where the water from Lunar Lake goes! There were several downed trees in the area, so crossing the creek wasn't a problem. After enough exploring, we headed back to camp.
When we returned to camp, we started our campfire. We were looking forward to the blueberry pancakes! First, though, we had some more ramen noodles. After cleaning out the dishes from the ramen noodles, we then cooked the blueberry pancakes. Next time, we're going to need some sort of cooking spray, 'cause they stuck to the pans pretty good. We practically had to use a chisel to get some of them out! We also noticed that we were two thirds of the way through our water supply and only halfway through our trip.
So we devised a plan to start boiling water and then put it back into our water jugs. We definitely needed to boil the water for at least 10 minutes to kill any nasty microorganisms lurking there. We usually boiled them about 20 minutes just to make sure. Don't feel like getting sick out here. We only had small pans to boil the water in, so it took a while to get a significant amount of water. Also, we had to let the water cool before pouring it into the jugs, because that's all we would need, have the jug melt and lose all the water we had! An unfortunate side effect of this was the water tasted like smoke. But I'd rather have smoky water than be thristy.
We were in a pretty sheltered area, so there wasn't much wind. Right after sunset, the mosquitoes came out in hordes. We put on buckets of bug spray, but they always seemed to find a tasty morsel of skin that hadn't been coated yet. The whine of mosquitoes in our ears was driving us insane! We stayed up pretty late this night and the mosquitoes settled down after dusk was over. There were plenty of cool animal noises coming from across the lake, especially birds. One had the nicest sounding songs I've ever heard from a bird. Today was a fun day. Nice and short with only one portage and a cool campsite.
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