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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Isle Royale 2017



We all departed for Isle Royale on August 21st about 7:00a.m.  We stopped a few times on the way to Houghton Michigan.  Late lunch / dinner was at Roy's.  We stopped here a few years ago but they were all out of pastys.  We thought we would stop and give them another try. Fortunately they had a few flavors still available.  


Lori and Kevin at Roy's



For those of you that don't know what a Pasty is.....  It can be filled with anything.  I chose a Cranberry and Turkey one.


Stayed overnight at a hotel, so we were ready to go for the 8:00a.m. check in and 9:00a.m departure on the ferry

Gary making sure all our packs make it on the ferry.



The Ranger III  = Smooth sailing.  We will be to the island inn 6 hours



Julie, Tom, Gary, Myself, Ron, Lori and Kevin


Before you go to the Island, they do a Leave No Trace program.  Julie "volunteered" to help them.  They pass out cards with numbers and points to keep in mind while on the island.  Julie was #7.


Rock Harbor Light House


We got off the Ranger III for a few minutes while they were dropping off supplies at the park's home base on Mott Island.  This is where the offices are and some of the park personnel live here.  We always take a group photo near one of the many park signs.

Our first night we stayed at Rock Harbor Campground.  We had 2 campsites nearby each other.  We were just lucky to be close.  By the time we arrived these were the last two available.

I needed a new Isle Royale shirt


I saw this little River Otter near one of the boat docks at Rock Harbor

On our way to Daisy Farm Campground.  Photo was taken on the Tobin Harbor Trail

A lone Indian Pipe

I don't know what's with the lone Indian Pipes.  I just love the ferns in this photo

I really wanted to go to Mount Franklin, but I just didn't have it in me today.

We usually stay at individual sites 2 & 3

These Brown Eyed Susans were plentiful at Daisy Farm Campground

My set up at Daisy Farm Campground.  Notice my socks drying on my trekking poles.
Squirrels are plentiful at all the campgrounds

Rolf and Candy Peterson do a presentation a couple of evenings a week.  They paddle their canoe across the channel for the presentation.  They bring moose bones, and talk to everyone on how the Moose and Wolves on Isle Royale affect the Island and how they relate to one another.  Candy then passes out a song and we all sing in 3 round parts. 
This is the song we sang.


Sunrise looking West at Daisy Farm




Sunrise looking East at Daisy Farm

I brought a new camera on this trip.  Just trying out the new features.  Bubble.

Lori left us today.  We will see her again in a few days.

Leaving Daisy Farm, heading to McCargo Cove.  Lots of beaver damage

 A few new boardwalks this year

I seen this plant quite a few years ago and have been looking for it again ever since.  It is the pitcher plant.  Grows in boggy areas.

Flower from the picture plant

Boardwalks can be long


Can't remember what actually we were looking at, but it sure was beautifull !!


This was one big frog.  Did I ever tell you that I am not fond of frogs?

There were lots of new boardwalks being repaired and rebuilt.  We would see these piles quite often ready to go.

This is all that I had to keep track of.  All packed up. We stayed overnight at McCargo Cove overnight.



Sunrise leaving McCargo Cove


The fog was mesmerizing

Sunrise leaving McCargo Cove on the way to Chippewa Harbor

More Indian Pipes

Once we arrived at Chippewa Harbor, we washed some clothes in the lake and hung them out to dry.

A nice little family of Indian Pipes.  Best I have seen all trip!

View from our campsite, looking out to Chippewa Harbor

Our little island that we would walk to and jump of the other side, when the water was lower and the weather was warmer.

Lone seagull, near our campsite



I love taking sunrise photos,  So enjoy the next 6 photos.  All taken at Chippewa Harbor


Practicing with the bubble feature on my camera

Same sunrise



It's getting there


I'm not really sure which sunrise photo is better.

Met up with Lori yesterday.  We are staying an extra day here and Lori is moving on.  We will see her again in a few days.




I did some day hiking and exploring today on our 0 mile day.  This photo was taken at the schoolhouse.  Not really a schoolhouse but an old resort cabin.


Camp set up at Chippewa Harbor campsite.  Airing out the socks again.

Saw a wolf print today on the trail
One of the things we found a few years ago was a sunken boat.  On the way to the boat, we took a left at the big boulder with the red/orange mark.


Straight down the hill is the sunken boat.  Looks a little different than the last time.
Another day hike was to Lake Mason



View of Lake Mason from the trail



There were so many beautiful ferns

I met these guys a few times on the trail.  They were catching dragonflies for a study at Northland College.  They were going to take them back and check the Mercury levels.

I also did a day hike to the top of the ridge.  This is a view of the Chippewa Harbor

Another view from the ridge

View of Lake Superior and Chippewa Harbor



Not sure of the name of this plant, but it sure is pretty

Daisies were plentiful

Thimble berries are at their peak

Some of the landscaping at our campsite

This is what the outside of one of the shelters look like.  I prefer to stay in my tent, except when it rains.




So far no rain today, just misty

My friend Kathy gave me this stone with the birth date and death date of her cousin.  She loved the travel, so I took it to my favorite places. Michele Lynn Nuckles was her name. Her favorite color was green.  She suffered a traumatic injury a few years ago rendering her paralyzed from the neck down.



It started out windy with a bit of a misty.  Tom and Ron both wore their kilts.

Took a break here a few times.  I marked it with the white birch sticks.

Yippee! Another long plank, over water in the rain

We arrived at Moskey Basin soaking wet and lucky to get a shelter.  In hopes everything will dry.  (It didn't)

There were 4 of us in the shelter.  Shelters generally are for 6pp.  My bag is the orange one.

It is still raining.  Took this photo through the screen of the shelter


Sometimes the trail is hard to find.  Often we will find cairns (piles of rocks).  The cairns mark which way the trail goes.  We left Moskey Basin

We found a few playful foxes

He was begging for a photo


There were two of them running around

They heard Ron coming back to check on us

On our way to 3 mile campground


There are many mine pits on the island that were remnants of the multiple copper mines that were here.

Rock walking

and more rock walking.

A very tricky part of the trail.  That is Lake Superior on the right

We met up with Lori, Kevin and Gary here.  The four of us decided to hike an additional 3 miles to Rock Harbor.  A shower, laundry, food we didn't have to cook and a cold beer were calling VERY loudly.

Some boardwalks you can hardly see.

Tobin Harbor
We finally made it.

That Pick Axe Blonde Ale from Keweenaw Brewing Company was the BEST! Smooth !!


I purchased this pack of National Park Postcards for Kayla




And now the part where the moose arrived.  There were 2 bull moose.  They hung around for a good part of the morning.










This one was content laying down and watching everyone with cameras. He finally moved after about 3 hours.  I came back for more photos








Is it Halloween yet? 

foggy morning, good thing we weren't leaving today.

The float plane wasn't flying either


And he's up





I don't really think you can have too many moose photos.

Even with all the Thimble berries, Raspberries are my favorite

This is the Queen IV

Lone seagull on the America Dock


Now this is our boat. The Ranger III.  Bringing passengers and supplies today and it will go back to Houghton with us on it tomorrow.

The Ranger III



Bunch berries are Isle Royale's ground cover

I took a leisurely 4 mile walk to Scovill Point.  Many plaques along the way describing the island and what can be found here.






Now these are FRESH Blueberries!!


What a serene place for a rest


These wildflowers rimmed many parts of the trail

The view never stopped

The commemorative plaque marks the end of the Stoll Trail

The view looking North from Scovill Point is this Artist in Residence Cabin.  So picturesque.

Scovill Point




What's left of the Smithwick Mine



Lori and I went to a program with the Lead Ranger on Modern conveniences coming to Isle Royale.  After the presentation we walked to the Tobin Harbor seaplane dock to see the sunset.  From this photo from Rock Harbor, we thought we missed it.

Near sunset at Rock Harbor.  Notice the moon


Great way to finish off a trip. One of the best photos that I have ever took



Still playing with the bubble


This is the real sunset.  I still like the first one with the rays.

Lighthouse marking the Keweenaw, almost at Houghton

Kevin and Lori

Tom and Julie

Ron chatting with a fellow carpenter.  We met him at Daisy Farm. He was volunteering repairing some shelter roofs.


The lift bridge in Houghton

Going up


These 3 panels are on the inside of the ship



Can anyone make out the author's name.  I would like to find out more about him.  I did some googleing but came up empty.  The Ranger III was put into service in 1958.
What a great trip.  This trip was my 12th.  Had a great time, hiked about 44.5 miles.  Longest day was 14.5 miles and shortest was 0. Food was great especially at the Rock Harbor Cafe starting with a Blonde Ale and finishing with warm Blueberry Cobbler with Moose tracks ice cream on top.


I will leave you with this:  7 colors make a rainbow, 7 days make a week, 7 chords make music, 7 continents make a world, and 7 letters make the word FRIENDS!  You can never have too many!