Some trips never go quite as you plan. Trips that Joe and I do seem to possess this quality. I could tell you that our trip is going exactly as planned and maybe on some levels that would be true. We are, after all, going to all the places we want to visit. The big change is more one of time than location. For example, we will reach Copper Harbor and stay at the King Copper hotel just as we planned. We will just stay there a day later than we had first thought.
Joe picked me up in Ann Arbor around noon. Somewhat later than he had hoped but that is the way things were going. We began the journey of nearly 600 miles to Copper Harbor with plenty of supplies, good cheer, and a can-do attitude that said we could still get to Copper Harbor before, or at least not long after twilight at around 23:00 (eastern daylight time). We were doing pretty well too until we hit a Meijers to get the last bits of food and fuel (denatured alcohol in the form of HEET dry gas). That one stop sucked up over an hour. Ugh. It was becoming clear that going to Copper Harbor, still having to sort through all our stuff, get some sleep and be bright eyed and ready for the ferry ride on the Isle Royale Queen III at 07:15 the next morning was not a particularly enticing option. We decided our plans needed some modification and we hoped that we would be able to get away with the change. We hoped, and felt fairly sure, that we could change our hotel and ferry reservation without taking a monetary hit. When we tried to confirm the ferry reservation though we found the office had already closed. The people at the King Copper though were amicable and so we decided in mid-afternoon after eating fast food at a road side rest stop that had many gulls (ring billed) to change our plans.
It was about 20:00 when we pulled into the National Forest campground on Lake Michigan. This campground is near the town of Brevert. This campground is just off US 2 and has many campsites that have lakefront views. Our campsite was not one of these. But, we just had to climb up and over some barrier dunes and we could stand on the beach. Lake Michigan was virtually flat with just small ripples marring her surface. Very calm and no doubt cold. Deep blue with hints of turquoise nearer the shore that would become more pronounced as the sun set.
The campground wasn't terribly active. Even though it seemed like many of the sites were occupied the people using the sites were considerate. I did not notice anyone running loud generators even before "quiet hours" (I assume 10PM to 6 AM) began. That was a nice change from over car accessible campgrounds I have stayed at. We did meet one interesting fellow. Dale is involved with MUCC and that group could have common cause with the Michigan Loon Preservation Association which Joe is so involved with (as is Luanne).
We returned to our campsite to start setting up. It did not take long. We had already visited the top of the sand dunes from which we could see the lake below. The sun was still above the horizon and I did not think we would have a particularly interesting sunset since it wasn't very hazy and not at all cloudy.
I returned a bit later to the lakeshore and found the sun had all but set. There were still fading hints of pink, red, and orange though on the horizon and portions of Lake Michigan seemed to shimmer turquoise instead of the darker blue of the rest of the lake. There were a few other people on the beach. They did not stay long though. Instead of simply returning to my campsite via the trail along the backside of the sand dune I walked along the beach to where I knew the picnic area was. This is a nice beach of various colored sands with clumps of grass and bushes. Of course, past the sand dune the flora quickly changes to forest.
When I returned to the campsite Joe was finishing up his sorting of his food and gear. The sun had long since set and twilight was all but complete too. The temperature had been dropping but it was not cold. It was a nice evening.
Joe and I chatted some as we finished getting ready for bed. While we were getting ready for bed some animals were getting ready to try and create new life: fireflies were out and blinking their mating calls.
Sleep at this campground came fairly easily and was only interrupted now and then by cars and trucks roaring down US 2. I can't say I had the best sleep I have had but it was acceptable especially since it was my first night using my new Henry Shires' Virga Tarptent. The Virga worked great and I think it will continue to do well.
The nighttime temperature dipped down to just below 50°F. I slept comfortably warm. Joe said he had slept well too.