Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Day 22: The Hungry Hippie Hostel

June 21: I woke up, feeling something pressed into my back. I shifted a bit to figure out what it was and felt the thing move. It was alive! I quickly flipped over to figure out what was going on and a small squirrel jumped off me, ran up onto a bench and made these weird noises at me as if trying to tell me it was mad at me for disturbing his exploration of my campsite. Go away!

Today Blueberry and I had another relatively short and easy 10 mile day to complete. Our plan was to hike off the trail to the Hungry Hippie Hostel, but the official check-in time wasn't until 4:00 in the afternoon so we were in absolutely no rush. No rush at all....

Therefore, we lingered in camp until near 10:00. No rush at all....

Coming out from the Devils Track River, the trail climbed steeply for a short way then largely stayed flat running over rolling hills with an occasional overlook along the way. The highlight of the day was an open meadow overlooking a stunning Lake Superior with thousands of wildflowers in full bloom! Absolutely awesome!

Nor were the bugs very bad today. All-in-all, a very satisfying day. Blueberry had a head start on me out of camp, but I caught up with him at the Cliff Creek campsite which Blueberry had been excited to reach since the evening before when Adam and Amy told him that they found a plastic bag with a good-sized animal skull in it. They thought it was nasty and left it in place once they figured out what was in it, but it captured Blueberry's imagination. A skull! So many things he could do with a skull!

So he'd been looking forward to finding it ever since and hoped it would still be at the campsite when he arrived. When I arrived, I saw a lumpy plastic bag near the campfire.

"Is that your skull?" I asked.

"Yes," Blueberry replied, but he didn't seem happy about it.

"And how is it?" I continued. "Everything you hoped it would be."

"No," he told me. "It's smells awful and there's maggots all over it. I don't want to carry that."

I was a little surprised. Blueberry had standards for this sort of thing? Will wonders never cease?!

"If there was a campfire going, I'd throw it into the campfire to burn off all the maggots and rotting flesh. Then maybe I could do something with it."

We sat for a moment, listening to the wind through the trees, contemplating the problem.

Finally I spoke up again. "So are you just going to leave it here, then?"

"Yes," he replied, with a kind of pain in his voice.

"You poor thing. I know you'd been looking forward to this skull all day."

Blueberry continued on, without the skull, but I lingered back to eat a few snacks before continuing on myself.

I arrived at Cook County Road 14 and was a bit disappointed (although not surprised) to discover that it was a gravel road. The Hungry Hippie Hostel was located maybe a mile up the road--certainly not difficult to walk to, but gravel roads don't typically get much traffic and it seemed unlikely I'd be able to hitch a ride very quickly to the hostel. It would be faster just to walk. I didn't see Blueberry around and figured he had already started his march to the hostel.

I stepped onto the road when I heard a vehicle coming up the road behind me, so I turned around and stuck out my thumb. I wasn't optimistic, but it didn't hurt to try either! But the vehicle stopped and I piled in. This was awesome! I got a ride!

A few minutes later, I was dropped off at the hostel and met Jeremy (but also known as Bear from his A.T. days), the proprietor of the hostel. He confirmed that Blueberry had already arrived and was downstairs taking a shower. I got a quick tour of the facilities and took the assigned bunk upstairs and settled in.

Then I took a shower, changed into clean clothes (which arrived in the maildrop I picked up yesterday in Grand Marais) and caught up with Blueberry. Who, I found out, did have to walk up to the hostel. I felt a little special then. The Tortuga Magic beat out the Blueberry Magic this time around. That doesn't happen very often! =)

I also met Nula who was staying in the hostel as well and--much to my surprise--Blueberry said that she offered to let us borrow her car if we needed to make a trip into town or something. Really?! How did Blueberry pull that off?! It had to be that Blueberry Magic. But really, how does Blueberry get someone he's known for less than an hour to offer up the keys for her car for a joyride?

Later in the evening as more people arrived, we met more of the guests in the hostel and had a campfire in front where we made smores with the ingredients one of the other guests brought. It was a pleasant way to send the evening before everyone hit the sack!

Chipmunk on the trail!

This meadow with thousands of wildflowers overlooking Lake Superior was the highlight of the day!

I didn't feel very safe walking over this small bridge. For one, half it was had already broken. And two, it looked like the other half wasn't far behind. So I stayed on solid ground and walked around it instead.
Kimball Creek
I didn't think hitching a ride boded well when I saw this road, but I scored a ride mere seconds after arriving and taking this photo!
The Happy Hippie Hostel looks like it's built from an old, converted barn. (I actually don't know that it used to be a barn, though--just an obvious guess!) It's a wonderful place! Two thumbs up! =)
This is the view of Lake Superior from the front of the hostel by the fire ring.
I took this photo of the moon rising while gathered around the campfire. It's amazing (to me, at least) how much detail I could see through my 300mm lens! =) But I didn't have a tripod to keep the camera steady so the photo is a little blurry.
Guests of the Hungry Hippie Hostel gathered around the campfire making smores.
I took this photo just before calling it a night and going to sleep. The bright "sun" in the photo is actually a very over-exposed moon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great photos in this post! I really like the ones of the moon and night sky!

-Only Dreaming