I woke up at 0-dark-30 on Saturday morning and checked my phone for the weather report (like I always do). Sunny and warm aaaallll the live-long day… Until about 7:00 PM, then a few raindrops… The Twinz of Terror thought differently. They wanted to pack rain gear and they shamed me into carrying an umbrella in my backpack for our whole hike that day. Guess what? The sky looked like this all morning and all through our hike on the Clark Lake Trail.
We were supposed to hike a section of the North Country Trail but we did not because of the Government Shutdown. Don’t even ask… Fortunately, there are many trails in the Tahq area and most of the Clark Lake Trail is a state trail.
I have hiked and skied parts of the Clark Lake trail before. This is the first time I have *ever* encountered the actual Clark Lake! Years and years and years ago, I went hiking with my dad and his sister Radical Betty and her husband Duke and Lewie Read and I fergit who else. It was June and it was wet and the moe-skee-toes were fierce. We started out from the upper falls and we fully intended to get to the Clark Lake Loop but we somehow took a wrong turn and I don’t exactly remember what happened but we ended up bagging and heading back to the upper falls, where were parked (alas, there was no brewery there then but there were probably some cans of beer in the car…). I *do* remember that I was walking behind (aka trying to keep up with) my old coot and there were about a gazillion moe-skee-toes hanging about his sweater.
I finally got to see Clark Lake on Saturday and then, after a bit of cat-herding and a very loooonnnngggg wait, we ate a late lunch at the brewery. And then we walked with a gazillion tourists down to the upper falls. Here’s your obligatory (and crappy) falls photooo…
I was kind of shutting down by that point. Got up early, hiked, brewery, yada yada. It wasn’t just that. I sat on a bench at the bottom of the stairs to the upper falls wondering where the Twinz of Terror were. I remembered how difficult it was to get anywhere near Tahq even when I was a kid. You could take M28 and then head up 123 but it felt long even though it was the “short” way. I remember a trip with my extended family when I was something like five or six. We drove the shore route. We had *lunch* (aka peanut butter sandwiches) at the mouth of the Tahquamenon River, near where we camped this weekend. It probably took two hours to get there from the moominbeach on the old gravel shore road. It felt like about five to me. It takes about an hour now on the Curley Lewis scenic by-way. Last Friday afternoon, the GG actually asked me if I wanted to take the Curley Lewis up. YES YES YES YES. It was so cool to follow the Frog Hopper and Lyme Lounge on a leisurely drive up the Curley Lewis.
So I was sitting on that bench and the upper falls was totally filled with people that day. Beautiful people from all over the world. Foreign languages all around me. I love that all of those folks are visiting our own beautiful yooperland but I felt kind of like I wanted to tell them about when *I* used to go there as a kid and it wasn’t all that easy to get there. I wanted to show them pictures of my family at Tahq back then. But I was tired and probably most of those folks didn’t care so I sat and picked away at the NYT xword and waited for the Twinz of Terror to catch up with me. Wondering where they were… Turned out that one of them was taking a short nap on a bench…
I don’t have the right words to say what I want to say so I will put in a plug for the iPhone. One thing that the iPhone can do, whether or not it can find a signal anywhere, is take pictures. And so now, when I am hiking or skiing, I take a photo of the trail map and we can refer to it later.