|Our cheap solar panels from Harbor Freight. They actually work pretty well despite the site not getting much direct sunlight.|
|Trail to the lighthouse. It's also part of the North Country Trail so in addition to the lighthouse foamers we see backpackers staggering along realizing too late they packed way more heavy stuff than they should have.|
On the positive side, we had only one incident where some guys paid for a site but failed to put anything substantial on it so someone else assumed it was empty. That led to some unpleasantness but no actual fist fights -- we were told that toward the end of August there had been a similar incident but in that case punches were thrown and law enforcement became involved. The campground rules clearly state that if you pay for a site, you must put something on it: a tent, a trailer, a screen tent over the picnic table, a tarp over a clothesline, something substantial enough to indicate the site is taken. If you don't, you're likely to discover that no one pays any attention to that little tag on the post other than the camp host who gets to go around copying the information (camper's name, vehicle license number, and planned departure date) on to a spreadsheet. And if you complain about someone taking your site, you'll get treated to "Did you read the rules? Did you leave something on the site that clearly indicated the site was occupied? Do you see where it says 'No Refunds' in multiple places on the form?" Then, if you're foolish enough to push the issue, you'll get to see the host key the radio and utter the ominous phrase "Any Ranger. . . Hurricane. We have a situation." Which is a strong clue that you should just suck it up and walk away before your disappointment about losing your camp site turns into dismay over the fine you incur if you decide to argue with the LEO.
|Tower at the Au Sable Light Station. It was built in 1874. It is known as a Poe tower because Orlando Poe was the engineering secretary for the Lighthouse Service at the time of its design.|
The one amusing aspect about the lighthouse foamers is their obsession with parking as close to the lighthouse as they can get. It is at a minimum a 1.5 (as in one-and-a-half) mile walk one way. That's from the gate close to the host's site. If you park in the day use lot like you're supposed to, you've added maybe another tenth of a mile to the hike, two tenths if you think about the round trip total.
|Hurricane River. Supposedly there are fish in it. I've sent the S.O. out a couple times with instructions to catch a steelhead or a brook trout. So far no luck on his part.|
There are some folks with small motorhomes (lots of Class Bs) and travel trailers, too, but so far only two actual Class A motorhomes have tried squeezing onto a site at Hurricane. Whatever they're using, though, the campers are universally clean. Very little litter, almost no trash left in fire rings, almost nothing forgotten on the camp sites, although we have acquired several lengths of parachute cord and a tiki torch in the past 3 weeks. And none of the cutesy stuff that we'd see at the state parks where we volunteered. Some of it is no doubt due to the no electricity (hard to do inflatable Halloween decorations when there is no power), but I think more of it is a different mind set, at least in September. People come to relax, unwind, get away from stuff, not to party. I'm told things do get rowdier in the summer -- more younger campers, more beer flowing, and a generally more chaotic atmosphere.
Time to head back to the Park and more adventures in people watching. I'll do a post with more photos when we're home for good next week.