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Lake Maria

Continued ] We found the remains of a handful of old cabins as we headed north toward the central clearing, where the wreck of the mill's boiler was sitting.  The scrub growth crackled like broken glass under our feet.  Sand cherries were everywhere.  We picked up a well-worn trail running west, which we followed.  At the back of this field, past a camp left hurriedly fifteen years ago and not yet properly broken, we came across the two frame houses built by the DNR less than 40 years ago, when they maintained a presence here.  They have since been used by researchers studying the gulls, and by hunters and hikers needing to get out of the elements.  This time there was a note taped to the window of one: "If you enter these cabins, be advised they have been infested by disease-carrying mice.  Put a bandanna over your nose, and try not to breath the dust.  If you get sick, seek medical help.".

Lake Maria

     We entered the woods briefly, and then emerged in the first of three large fields. This had been cleared as a vegetable farm by the Israelites, and then cleared again to serve as a landing field; the wind sock pole was leaning, but still standing.  We came across an occasional piece of farm equipment in a mat of wildflowers.
     The woods surrounding the second field was surprisingly verdant. It was close to being a wetland in places, and showed past beaver activity.  Cedar saplings grew in the rich, dark soil, and the day's heat became more manifest. Possibly-edible red berries towered over our head.
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A view from the top of the world - Beaver Island in the distance




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