Saturday, September 13, 2003

Hiawatha blog.

Back to posting items from the past on weekends.

On the morning of Sept. 1, 1989, I drove into the Hiawatha National Forest, guided by an excellent, colorful map I picked up just outside the forest for $1. I plotted a course to Pete's Lake, a campsite right in the middle of the forest, half way between lakes Michigan and Superior. The road up that way, H-13, was smooth, practically empty, thickly wooded on either side.

Pete's Lake was sparsely populated, too. I went to a vacant walk-in campsite (7A): a patch of ground, fire-ring and table right on the lake. At night, the stars reflected off this little lake. In the mornings I woke to see whispers of fog playing across the water.

I pitched my small blue tent, and then took a walk following an out-of-season cross-country ski trail, marked with blue diamonds tacked on the trees. Later, I lost the thread of that trail, there among the pines and bushes and grassy fields. Got a little worried; the sun was inching lower, and for a time I didn't seem to make any headway. But about an hour before sunset I found H-13, and followed that back to the campground.

That night my feet hurt, I was mosquito meat, but I still stayed up to look at the stars in their glory. It was darker here, I think, than in Idaho. All the summer stars were still around -- Vega, Deneb, Altair -- I got a fix on Arcturus, and I even saw all the stars of Ursa Minor.


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