July 7-9, 2018
We headed out of copper country and wound our way down and around the beautiful Porcupine Mountains, then out along scenic County Road 513 to settle in for a few days at Black River Harbor campground in Ottawa National Forest. We snagged the one campsite with a clear view of the lake and immediately hid in the motor home while the mosquitoes beat against the windows trying to get our blood. We would dash to the car, slapping ourselves silly all the way, then have a little mosquito massacre to kill off the dozen or so that got in the car with us despite our speedy entry. This happened EVERY TIME we opened a door.
But even tiny winged monsters can’t stop us when we have places to explore and what gorgeous places these were. The Black River tumbles and splashes down five separate waterfalls with the North Country Scenic Trail following along in the forest beside it. To hike from the trail head to the beach would be about 6 miles. Due to the evil mosquitoes we took it in smaller chunks using different parking access points to see several of the falls and hiking between those that were a bit closer together. This kept the blood loss to a minimum… at least for John and I. Chloe is a mosquito magnet. For every bite I got, she suffered at least 10. But we were glad we braved the little beasts to see the river.
As we hiked between the falls and followed the meandering river, we enjoyed spotting cool fungus that was growing in all that moisture. Some of them were really neat.
The campground itself is primitive with vault toilets and pressurized water but we are self contained and had no problem. There is a beautiful day use area with boat docks (with overnight plug ins for the boats), picnic areas, a beautiful suspension bridge over the river and a nice swimming beach… with rocks. Chloe was on a new rock mission; itty bitty matching rocks to make into earrings. We spent many hours wandering the beach and sifting little rocks to find sets. I don’t know if she’ll ever get the earrings made but the memories of the hunt should stay with her for a long while. And there was a nice breeze off the lake… which the mosquitoes couldn’t fly in. So very nice.
We crossed the cool suspension bridge built by the CCC to reach the beach. It has a nice little bounce to it as you walk across… especially if you do it deliberately and watch the other people on the bridge grab the railing… not that I would do such a thing (riiight).
On our way back from the beach we spotted an unfamiliar critter calmly munching on plants just a few feet away from us. A fellow beach goer told us it is a very common 13 striped gopher. COOL. He sat still for a photo-op and showed off his very beautiful diamond and stripe pattern.