The ranger at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park visitors center recommended 2 other short walks. The first would have been to the highest point in the Porkies, Summit Peak, and then a drive to the Western edge of the park, to see the waterfalls by the Presque Isle River.
Unfortunately, despite being snake-bitten by Upper Peninsula wilderness before, I talked Etta into what I thought would be an easy 2 mile hike on the Overlook Trail. Mid July is black fly season by Lake Superior, and those monsters were out in force in the woods.
The Overlook Trail has a huge incline and decline in elevation, yet no overlooks. I was in full on survival mode for the first two miles: after that the despair kicked in. Were we going to live? Would we ever get out of the woods? Where was the overlook?
The name of the trail only reminded me that I had overlooked the advice of the park rangers. Etta was right at home: she’s a little Indian girl. She found edible ferns, picked branches from a Golden birch for tea, and best of all, tolerated my misery. I should have stuck to the car hiking.
The best part was taking a dip in freezing cold Lake Superior after the hike. It was one of the most refreshing moments of the summer, and totally worth the hour and a half drive up from the Northwoods of Wisconsin.