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Lake Superior Coastal Trail Backpack Day 3
Wednesday, August 5
For the first time on our trip, I awoke to the sound of pitter-patter on the tent fly. Looking outside, the color was gray and flat and here and there, the delicate tracery of rain in the sky could be seen. It was very light and the sand was only superficially damp, but still - it was enough for us to get out our raingear.

It drizzled on and off while we packed up and made breakfast, and it wasn't yet clear what sort of day it was going to be. If the day ended up being primarily wet, we could certainly expect some extra difficulties on certain types of terrain.
Sprinkly Morning
Self-inflicted Wound
Sprinkly Morning
Fortunately, by the time we were packed up and ready to head off, the bands of showers seemed to have moved off across the lake, and sections of blue sky and even a shaft or two of sun were present.

We headed off south down the beach. Within a few hundred yards, the sand ended and the Coastal Trail began winding through the forest and along sections of coastal bedrock. The shape of the bedrock was a little different than what we had encountered thus far: here it was more rounded and dome-shaped, tending to form shelves of rock that gradually steepened into the water. Normally this would be an idle curiosity, but today the recent drizzle had left the rock damp. Aaaaand a bit slick....
Clearing Out
Heading Out, Third day
End of the Beach
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
That stuff is slippery, Pu
Across Wet Bedrock
Tiny Beach
Rare bit of debris
Little headlands of this extra-smoothed bedrock were interspersed with little sandy coves. We quickly became acquainted with how carefully one had to treat the sections of smooth damp bedrock. Without the benefit of the many little rugosities we found in the bedrock elsewhere on the coast, all you had keeping your foot planted was friction.

Pu had an unfortunate friction-exceeding mishap at one point, and he pitched forward over a four-foot down-step and fell flat on his face onto a solid plane of rock. He laid there motionless for longer than I felt comfortable with, but eventually he started moving and soon stood up. He hadn't lost consciousness; apparently he was busy feeling the inside of his mouth, for he was sure he had broken some teeth. He was smiling with joy as he stood up when he realized that his teeth were fine. He did, however, have quite a bloody lip.
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Post-faceplant consultation
Happy teeth are ok
Careful maneuvering
With Pu's mishap further heightening our sense of care at maneuvering over the damp, slope-y bedrock, we continued on. More little headlands with quaint forested paths, more little coves and smoothed bedrock. The rock was now drying out, however, and the grip on the rock became more sure with every passing minute. Also aiding us was a return to the more chunky, coarse, blocky rock we'd seen elsewhere. This kind of rock gave good purchase even if it was wet (so long as you chose your foot placements properly, of course).
Another local family
Comfortable forest stretch
Making southward progress
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Smooth Bedrock
Exercising Caution
Nearing Robertson Cove
About two and half kilometres and an hour and a half into the day's hike, we were nearing the next major geographical point along our journey: Robertson Cove. That meant we were nearing the completion of yet another section of predominantly rugged coastline, and we'd likely have some easy-beachy type walking soon. For the moment, though, we were still negotiating some long stretches of still-damp boulder fields, and the going was slow. The thought of some easy flat beachwalking was appealing.
courtesy JInnes
Damp boulder section
Robertson Cover's islet
Robertson Cove rest stop
We stopped at Robertson Cove for our morning snack. There's a fine campsite here and a neat little islet connected to the mainland by a bridge of fine sand. This would be a nice private and comfortable place to spend the night.

Other than a rather unpleasant-looking cut on his lip, Pu seemed no more the worse for wear, given his morning face-smacking episode. Hard to keep a cheerful guy like Pu down!
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Robertson Cove rest stop
Beach bridge
Post-fall damage
By 10 a.m. we were rolling again, tackling the last stretch of trail and rough coastline to our next major destination: Katherine Cove. I'd characterize a lot of the Coastal Trail between Robertson Cove and Katherine cove as bouldery... lots of boulder-hopping, and the occasional log-walk. Fortunately, this whole section is less than a kilometre long, and soon (after about an hour) we stepped onto the edge of a long, curving stretch of tan beach: Katherine Cove.
Awkward Shoreline
The Medusa Tree
The Medusa Tree
courtesy JInnes
Smooth Slabs
Nearing Katherine Cove
More clear water shots
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Various Algaes
Ghost "Flowers"
Katherine Cove
Our speed immediately picked up as we began our walk on the firm damp sand adjacent to the water's edge. Soon some picnic tables and glimpses of cars came into view; we had arrived at the Katherine Cove picnic area, which is immediately adjacent to the Trans-Canada highway. Fortunately, the picnic table was currently unoccupied, so we stopped for our second morning break. Many of our group took advantage of the picnic area's restrooms. I went up to the parking lot and watched as a hobobro-style converted cube truck road tripper guy attempted to help fix the tire of a family who were touring in a BMW M5. A very strange combination of things, that.
Katherine Cove Picnic Area
Group of Seven monument
Spirit of Algoma
courtesy JInnes
Enjoying Life
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