Today was my last near 8 mile day of the trip and it looked to be mostly level to downhill as I was headed for Daisy Farm campground which is on the Lake Superior shoreline. I got rolling a little earlier than previous days as this site didn’t really have any place to really get comfortable for any length of time – I was on the trail at about 7:40.
As usual, there was a short climb out of Chickenbone Lake that brought me back up to the Greenstone. The first leg of about a mile and a half that took me past East Chickenbone was lush and level so I covered that pretty quickly. Had a bit of a surprise that I began climbing again at this point – that’s why you carry a topo map dummy. It wasn’t that long however and led to two of the best vistas of the entire trip.
It was at the above view point that I ran into the only guy I had met on the trail yesterday. He and his two buddies had intended to stay at W Chickenbone last night but after getting there and finding no campsites to hang their hammocks had to go another 3 miles to McCargoe Cove to find suitable sites. They covered about 17 miles yesterday and had already caught up to me this morning – man I’m slow. Told them I was headed to Daisy Farm and they said “Oh, the Isle Royale Holiday Inn, you’ll love it!”
I had stopped for lunch around 11. While resting, a family from Sioux Falls that had been on the boat over from Grand Portage with me passed by. They were the first people from the boat that I’d seen since Monday and they were also headed to Daisy Farm. The second viewpoint above came around mid-day as I was still ascending when I saw a signpost at the top of the ridge. I had expected it to be the sign indicating the turn to Daisy Farm, but was a little disappointed when it said “Viewpoint” which I had never seen a sign for previously. Anyway, after this initial disappointment the view was definitely worth it. The sign for the last 2 miles to Daisy Farm was just another view minutes up the trail in any case. At which point it was finally all downhill.
From this point the trail did primarily head down and also traversed a couple of beaver ponds and one large meadow with what must have been the longest stretch of boardwalk that I had crossed. After coming out of this meadow there was a short rise around a hill. I heard some branches cracking up the hill through the trees and stopped. I spotted a young bull moose munching on some leaves. By the time I got my camera out, he seemed to have spotted me and turned to head away from me. I got a couple of shots off, but you have to use your imagination to “see” a moose.
I finally reached Daisy Farm campground at around 3 in the afternoon. This is a huge campground and I was a little lost at first so just decided to keep heading towards the lake and around to the opposite side to save some time in the morning. I reached the lake which was a wonderful view and then followed the trail along its edge. It was at this point that I discovered the reason this is considered the Holiday Inn. It’s one of the few campgrounds that has shelters available. These are three sided, single room shelters with the front side completely screened in. Heavenly – no need to pitch a tent just roll out the sleeping bag on the floor. Plus there was a picnic table out front – no more sitting on logs and cooking on a rock table. Lastly a beautiful pebble peach no more than about 75 feet from my front door. All I had to do tonight was relax. What a treat!
My favorite campground by far. Holiday Inn indeed!