Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hammock Group Checks Out the Cheq

Porcupine Lake, Chequamegon NF
Porcupine Lake (photo by Kurt Papke)
trip report from Kurt Papke

On June 11-14, 2009 13 members of HammockForums gathered for 4 days of hiking, feasting, gear chat, and general revelry on the Chequamegon section of the North Country Trail.

We met on Thursday at the TH near Porcupine Lake. I hiked a little 5 mile out-and-back westbound on the trail, as I was there earlier than most and wanted to explore some of the trail that we were not going to hike as a group.

Night one we camped up on the knoll above the north end of Porcupine lake. This perhaps the most spectacular backcountry campsite I've ever been to. Its in a beautiful pine forest, great breeze, and the views of the lake are phenomenal. Best of all there were plenty of trees for an armada of hammock campers to hang from. We spent the evening getting to know each other, comparing hammock setups, and feasting on BBQ, fresh fruit compote, fresh fish we cooked in the fire, etc.

On Friday we did a pretty good hike, almost 13 miles, to the Marengo River site. The area around the shelter looked a little congested, so we set up camp in the site down by the river bridge. After everyone was set up, we all had our first night's dinner of dehydrated backpacking meals, then sat around the campfire talking until sundown.

Saturday was a more relaxed hike, about 10 miles with an earlier start time. We enjoyed the Swedish settlement, the radio tower, and the many nice overlooks on this section.

Just as we were rolling into camp mid-afternoon at Lake Three, our only rainfall began to drop from the sky with menacing thunder. Tarps were quickly set up over picnic tables, and we spent the rest of the evening eating, talking and imbibing a few brewskies that a group procured during their search for pizza.

Sunday morning was a set of sad farewells, as newly-made friends had to return to their respective "real lives".

This is a fabulous section of trail. The overlooks and vistas are beautiful, and there's lots of variety in the terrain with beaver dams, rivers and lakes. We were VERY lucky with bugs. We expected to be crawling with ticks, but only a few got picked off, and the mosquitoes and flies were not bad at all. I didn't even use repellent.

Shug made two videos from the footage from last weekend's backpacking trip through northern WI NCT. This one is funnier IMHO, I especially liked Stormcrow eating the slug.

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