Our first day of the honeymoon was going smoothly so far when we first checked into the Visitor Center at the Porcupine Mountains all geared up for an afternoon hike on the Overlook Trail. A brief overview of the guidebook chapter on the trail made it seem like it was something we could easily accomplish. Easy access to the parking lot with a looped trail of only 2.7 miles with moderate changes in elevation sounded like the perfect way to get our feet wet with hiking in the Porkies. We started out picture happy full of energy as we made our way into the woods.
As we ventured on our short hike, we started to notice the ruggedness of the trail.
It was virtually unmarked with only the rare occurrence of a spray painted blue dot on the trees.
The trail itself didn’t look like an official trail and seemed to go off in opposing directions with road blocks along the way making us uneasy about where we were headed.
While beautiful beyond belief, there were times when we would look all around and not be able to see the next blue dot anywhere.
(If you look closely in the below picture, Ashley is headed to the next blue dot on the left).
It started to get darker and it sounded like distant thunder was approaching. We started to panic and realized just how unprepared we truly were for this hike. We had no map, phone, or snacks and had no idea if we were even still on the trail.
It was also much more challenging than we had anticipated and wished we had brought our hiking poles and more water.
We couldn’t remember what time we had started and didn’t have our Garmin GPS watches on to know our distance. We hadn’t seen a single hiker since we started. There would be no ranger coming through to check if hikers were out when the park office hours closed and the deeper we got into the woods, the greater the possibility of a bear or its cubs crossing our path. Note: This is when we started making howling sounds to keep the bears away.
We considered the pros and cons of retracing our steps or continuing with the hopes of reaching the end of the loop but pressed on when we saw two signs of civilization: a trail sign and a “scenic overlook.”
When the Overlook Trail reconnected with Government Peak, we couldn’t have been happier. It took us 2 1/2 hours to complete what was actually a 4 mile trail and we were wiped out. It was a rude awakening to what “moderate” was defined as in Porcupine Mtn terms. The trail was pure, uncivilized, and beautiful which is why true hikers come to the Porcupine Mountains but we had been naïve in our hiking abilities and would need to better prepare ourselves for our next hike.
We were thankful for our good hiking shoes, rain gear, and our endurance from running. It was a fun hike despite our growing anxiety. The first day on our honeymoon came to a close after checking into our cottage at Superior Shores on the shore of Lake Superior and enjoying a good dinner before calling it a night.