Hike, Bike and Ice (part 2)

Any morning that you can wake up with the sound of the waves less than 50 yards from your front door, you know is going to be a good day! The waves also so relaxing that we didn’t wake up as early as we originally planned!  Hitting the trail at 7am can’t happen if you don’t wake up until 7:30!

The fog over the lake left an almost eerie look to the morning and brought with it some chilly air.  This was not going to be the morning for the shorts out on the trail today!  We grabbed a quick breakfast in the room (hard boiled eggs and refrigerator oatmeal!) and headed out on the 20 minute drive to the trail head.

I didn’t have a chance to get a photo of the parking lot of the trail but there were a few cars already here… which we figured were probably people that were out camping on the trails somewhere.  A few minutes later we were on our way!  The fog out on the lake was floating into the woods so it gave the trail a very calming, serene feeling.

Start of the trail
A few miles in on the trail, we came across Chapel Falls.  This is a high cascading falls that you can either see right from the top or from across the ravine.  When we got to the overlook to the falls from the other side of the ravine, it was so foggy you could hardly see the falls – but you still could hear it!
Chapel Falls

A short while later we made it to Chapel Rock.  We actually didn’t even realize we were there until we were literally right next to it because the fog was still so thick!  In the below picture, the beach is actually just beyond the tree but you can’t even see it below!  From here, our original plan was to head down toward the beach and head south, but yesterday when Darrin was looking at the map, he asked if we wanted to add a few miles to our adventure and head up to Spray Falls.

Chapel Rock

We hiked up towards Spray Falls, knowing that we had about a mile and a half to travel.  With the current pace we were hiking we guessed on how long we would have to hike to get there.  With the dense fog still around us, it was difficult to tell where we were and how for we had traveled.  After a while, we knew that we were getting close, however with the rain that fell the night before, the trail was starting to get really muddy and, although my shoes were already wet, I decided that I didn’t need to get them covered in mud to. We opted to turn back around and head back to Chapel Rock/Beach.  We figured that we were probably only a short distance from the falls.  I guess we will have to come back another time to find Spray Falls!

Lunch stop @ Chapel Beach

Once we got back to Chapel Rock, we actually saw the first other people of the day on the trail!  We left the parking lot nearly 3 hours ago and did not see a single person on the trail, up until now!  The dense fog obviously kept more people at home early in the morning. We stopped and chatted with them for a while and then headed down to the beach to find a spot to have lunch.   

The beach was deserted except for us, a seagull and one gentleman walking along the shoreline.  We found a big log to stretch out on, have lunch and relax for a while,  With the fog and cold breeze, we didn’t stay down on the beach for too long.  It was time to get back on the trail and keep moving!  Darrin was on a mission to get back to the motel in time for the Packers pre-season game.

The lake is out there somewhere!!
The fog still was just as thick as this morning, even though it seemed to be trying to roll back out.  We kept watching it roll out, only to have it roll back in a few minutes later.  When we got to Grand Portal Point, we came across a group that had actually camped on the bluff the night before.  They commented on their fabulous view that morning – a large white wall of fog!  
Mosquito Beach

We kept moving and before long we made it to Mosquito Beach where it was time to stop for a snack break.  While we were sitting on the shoreline, I noticed a bald eagle flying nearby, which landed right on the top of one of the nearby trees.  It was then that we noticed a second one soaring around the same tree.  We watched them for a while, until they took off, heading south and getting lost in the treeline.

Mouth of Mosquito River

 Next stop, the mouth of the Mosquito River. We had fun looking at all of the “rock men” stacked up on the bigger rocks!  Someone obviously was having fun building these little piles all over the mouth of the river! By this time, I lost track of how many miles we actually walked but I knew that we were on the last leg of our adventure – and we were both starting to get tired!  Knowing that we were at less than 5 miles to go, we kept us moving!

Mosquito Falls

After nearly a full day of hiking we finally made it to the final stop on our adventure – Mosquito Falls!  We had a mile to go, we were tired and getting hungry so we didn’t waste much time at the falls.  We made it back to the car, scraped some mud off our shoes, exchanged those wet shoes for flip flops and headed back to town!

This was a awesome day, but time to go back and put our feet up for a but while we contemplate dinner!

Dinner at Mudoon’s Pasty Shop

We finished out this day with dinner from Muldoon’s Pasties.  Last night was the best fish in town, tonight, the best pasties in the Upper Peninsula!  The rest of the evening was spend relaxing at the motel, chatting with the group of scuba divers that were staying right near us and watching football.

Total mileage for today = 16.5
trip total so far = 27.5

Tomorrow – final day of vacation, heading to the UP state fair!

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