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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Isle Royale August 2016

This year we left town on August 23rd and returned home on Sept. 2nd with a hotel stay at the beginning and the end to cut down on the long driving time.  There was 9 people all together.  We had basically 2 different hiking itineraries.  Once we arrived on the island, we divided.  My group consisted of 5pp. Ron, Cindy, Barb, Lori and myself.  Enjoy the trip!

Lori, Kevin,Terry, Joe, Gary, Cindy Ron and Barb

This year we took the Voyager over to the island.  About 2 hours.  This is the captain, giving us instructions.

Gary, Ron and Lori enjoying the breeze on the way over.

Barb, Cindy, Ron, Lori and Kevin enjoying each others company.

Finally there.  Windigo dock. in the Washington Harbor

We all have to file our hiking itineraries.  This took quite a while.

First stop is Island Mine - 5.8 miles

Found this little caterpillar on the trail.  I wonder what it will be.

Lots of colorful berries

Some type of tree fungus

We were too late for the Jack in the Pulpit flower.  Look at the base, the seed pod is bright green.
First campsite. Lori, Barb, Cindy and mine.

My tent space

Island Mine campground Day 1 -We stayed at group #2

Part of the trail on day 2 on the way to South Desor Campground

Lori and I on the highest point on the Island. Mount Desor 1394 feet

I met this Grandmother (Linda) and Grandson (Jason) today.  We talked for quite a while.  They have been hiking on the Island for about 6 years, among other places.  A few years ago.... I met a grandmother and grandson on the island at the Daisy Farm campground.  I talked for a while with them back then and Linda told me that Jason was responsible for filtering all the water while they were there.  I can remember that Jason was chasing grasshoppers and butterflies. I truly believe it was these two. She was an inspiration for me back then, and she still is. 

South Lake Desor Campground - Day 2, we stayed at Group #1

I had a great dinner. Salami and cheese bagel with a little mustard.  Bottle of water on the side.

My tent

View of Lake Desor from our campsite

Sunset at South Desor

Sunset from South Desor

Sunset from South Desor

Some fungus along the trail day 3

First stop today Ishpeming Point

I can't say enough how much I enjoy the views on the ridges.  Cindy looks like she enjoys them also.

Love those trees!

Almost there - Hatchet Lake Campground - view from the trail

Hatchet Lake Campground day 3, we stayed at group 3

Ron and Cindy left us a sign to let us know what site to go to. #3
Looks like Barb is enjoying the camp furniture.  My tent pad had a chair on it, so I moved it to Barb's space before she arrived.

My tent set up at Hatchet Lake campground

Every night, Ron was the storyteller. 

Looking up to the sky from my tent

Sunrise from Hatchet Lake

All the campgrounds have privies.  Some campgrounds have more than 1.

Leaving in the morning, I saw this pair of moose antlers.  They were very heavy!

Lori tried one on - too heavy

We saw Mergansers and an occasional Loon
Indian Pipe - I just love finding these.

There seemed to be lots of fungus on the island this year.
The foliage is so unique here on the island

Solomon's Seal berries

Thimble berries were plentiful this year.

View on the way to Todd Harbor

Todd Harbor Campground Day 4 & 5, Group #1

View from Todd Harbor

Some berries on the trail

Cindy and I went out for lunch at the Haytown Mine and Watefall.  We brought our lunches

What's left of the Haytown Mine shaft

A section of the waterfall - only waterfall on the island

End of the waterfall going into Lake Superior

Sitting at the waterfall looking out at the Lake.  Look closely in the distance..... check out the orange spot.  That is Lori, checking out the scenery.

One of 2 harmless snakes at Todd Harbor

Snake #2

The "Penthouse"  My tent is on the hill

This little Snowshoe Hare made many appearances while we were here.  We often left thimble berries on the rock.  Look, there is one on the rock now.

Found this fishing lure on the sitting rocks at Todd Harbor

View from Todd Harbor looking West

View from Todd Harbor

Found this pair of antlers on a day hike with Cindy and Ron

View of Otter Lake

They aren't my favorite.  They really freak me out.  Frogs

Another Snowshoe hare

Sunset at Todd Harbor

Sunset at Todd Harbor

Sunset at Todd Harbor

Sunset at Todd Harbor

A stream on the way to Little Todd Campground

Made it to the Junction, now let the hike begin

This walkway is in very bad disrepair.  The Minong Trail is the most rugged trail on the island.  The trails are not well marked, and there are numerous trail hazards, such as downed trees, beaver dams, and extra long plank trails among other things. 

I think they need a bridge here.  Soon this log will be decomposed beyond use.

When you see a sign post, it means your almost there.

Little Todd Harbor Day #6, Campsite number 1

Our tents

Rock on the beach

View of the shoreline from Little Todd Harbor Campsite

Cool looking rock along the beach.  Love the swirls.

Cool rocks on the beach

We all shared this dessert.  Key Lime Coconut Cheesecake.  4 spoons, 4 sections.  excellent!!

These White birch sections are all over.  Pretty neat that the water from the lake washes out the insides.

Sunset at Little Todd Harbor

Sunset at Little Todd Harbor

Everyone was enjoying the Sunset at Little Todd Harbor

Sunrise at Little Todd Harbor

Still love the trees!!  Reminds me of Where's Waldo!

Touch me nots are blooming

Yes, this is the trail on the way to North Desor

Lori and I on the Ridge

Ferns were plentiful, all sizes

There are many types of lichen on Isle Royale

This is the closest we got to a moose.

No we didn't have to go up and over.
I was taking a break and saw this blue jay nearby

I met Christie and Phil from Metro Detroit

North Lake Desor Campground Day 7 Site # 3


View of Lake Desor from our campsite

View from Lake Desor from the shore.  These rocks were great for drying clothes.

Sunrise from North Lake Desor

Next stop Windigo

View of Canada from the Ridge

Moss covered tree

A little color on the trail

Today we crossed about 5 beaver dams.  This was the worst of the worst.  Never wish to do this again.

Lovely flowers on the ridge

Didn't see many of these - straw flowers

This was the mother of all plank boardwalks.  When we arrived at Windigo we found out this boardwalk was just finished and is 500 feet long. 

After seeing this, now I know why we saw so many beaver dams.

More little mushrooms.  Check out the color!

Doll's eyes were everywhere

Last great view on the Minong Ridge

1.8 to go...

Washington Harbor Campground Day #8, site #9

All packed up and ready to go

Ron, Me, Cindy and Lori

Tom from Evanston.  He also was an inspiration on this trip.  He was 58 when he hiked all of the Appalachian Trail. (I plan to do it when I'm 60).  He is currently 75 (I think I have this correct). I also invited him to come to Walker's Club some Thursday.  I really hopes he comes for a visit.

You can take a plane from Copper Harbor to the Island in 20 minutes one way.  Maybe next year.  We did it once, maybe its time for a flight again.

Those are some nice looking packs, not to mention the chairs.

The end is here until next year.
I will leave you with this: I've seen better days, but I've also seen worse.  I don't have everything that I want, but I do have all I need.  I woke up with some aches and pains, but I woke up.  My life may not be perfect but I'm blessed.