When you've been dragged out of your tent for an early morning hike, this is probably the last thing you want to see:
But we were on our way to view the Agawa Rock Pictographs, similar in style to cave paintings but out in the open air instead. They're estimated to be anywhere between 150 and 400 years old and have survived all that time at the mercy of the elements.
Whether or not we would survive at their hands is a different matter.
Very luckily for us, the lake was calm and placid as we climbed down and began to make our way across the sharply sloping ledge. The rock surface was slippery and as we shuffled across, we clung to the crevices in the rock face where we could, desperate not to tumble into the water.
The pictographs represent Mishibijiw, an underwater panther and water spirit who could calm or disturb the waters of Lake Superior using his tail. You can see how they have begun to fade and it's unknown how many pictographs have slowly evaporated from the rock over the years.
Evidently Mishibijiw was in a good mood that day for the lake simply lapped gently at the lip of the rock, allowing us to enjoy the peace and quiet of this sacred place.
As we inched further and further along, the foot ledges became more and more tenuous. At one point, the rock leaned out towards us and rose sharply and smoothly upwards, meaning that you had to grab onto a ledge further along and cross your fingers for the best as you pulled yourself forward. I had to get someone to hold my hand for that one.
I mean, falling is a real and legitimate danger here!
We climbed back up from the lakeside to the van, ready for another day of travelling the periphery of Lake Superior.
Our next campsite was the brilliantly named Batman's Campground and Cottages, nestled on the edge of the lake. We set up camp as quickly as we could, eyeing up the campsite's beaches and the lure of taking a dip in the lake.
For the first time since leaving the mountains, we had a true summer evening together, grilling burgers on the BBQ and slipping into our swimming gear for a quick swim in the sunset.
We watched the sun go down before forcing ourselves to run full pelt into the cold, cold, cold water. Whilst the air had been slightly balmy, the water quickly put an end to any dreams of summer and we shrieked and cursed ourselves as we began to doggy paddle out to the platform, sucking in great, shuddering breaths. We pulled ourselves up and dared ourselves to dive back into the water as the light began to fade before deciding that no, enough really was enough and it was time to hunt out the shower block!
By the time we had managed to warm up again (i.e., by spending about an hour under a steaming hot shower) everybody else had gone to bed so we stayed awake for a little longer, chatting in hushed voices and watching the stars.
Ready for another day on the lake the next day.