The Isle Royale Curse

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Ron E
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The Isle Royale Curse

Post by Ron E » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:54 am

Well, it’s winter and time to plan the next trip to IR. While I’ve been lurking on the forum for a few years now, I haven’t posted before but now I need your help. It has become clear to me that Isle Royale is cursed and I haven’t seen any discussion about this fact. The previous 3 years I’ve gone to IR in May with plans to wander around the island for 12 days and each time I’ve had to end the trip early when each time something happened to me on the 3rd day. Three years ago I didn’t know what happened to me (until 3 weeks after leaving the island I had a similar event which put me in the ER) but on the 3rd day of hiking I had had a pancreatitis attack due to a bad gallbladder that later was surgically removed. The second year at the end of the 3rd day my stomach became very upset and I camped in place for 2 days as I tried to get it to recover. I ate almost nothing as I couldn’t keep it down. Last year I tried to change my luck and decided to begin at Windigo. So I threw a couple pounds of Rolaids in my pocket and I set off munching one at the slightest (imagined?) sign of stomach trouble. Day1: boat to Windigo & great hike to Feldtmann Lake. Day 2: weather possibly even better. Almost too hot. Hiked to Siskiwit. Day 3: weather again promised to be great. Began hike towards Island Mine. Then, ca. 2 miles into the hike I stepped on something unseen in the trail and sprained my ankle. Didn’t seem bad at the time but got much worse the further I went. Since I had plenty of time and food, I rested it for 3 nights and 2 full days at Island Mine; however, it was not trustworthy even after this rest so I decided to return to Windigo & arrange for the boat to get me off early. (I have no idea what the crew of the Voyageur II thinks of this guy who every year shows up early at the wrong location begging them to haul his butt off the island.) By the time I got to Windigo not only was the ankle complaining but the opposite knee was beginning to hurt. Over the next week the knee got much worse and it’s taken 7 months, 1 cortisone shot, and some rehab to get it back into shape.
Now I know some of you may think that I’m cursed and not the island; however, I think additional evidence points to the island being cursed. 2 years ago, after my stomach recovered, I went on additional hikes somewhere else without incident. Last year, since the knee and ankle prevented backpacking, I went on a 5-day whitewater rafting trip where I made the guide do the work. Since he didn’t flip the raft and I didn’t fall off and drown, I think the curse is on IR.
So now that I’ve recovered I’m again making plans for a full summer of backpacking. I don’t care that no one seems to want to talk about the curse on the island but could you guys PLEEEAASE let me know the name of the witch doctor/voodoo queen you are using to remove the curse on the island before you go on all these great hikes I keep reading about. Still I’ve had a few good days: the first two last year and the first two the year before - including a night where I had Lane Cove all to myself.
Oh! Anybody want to go hiking?


jerry
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Re: The Isle Royale Curse

Post by jerry » Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:45 pm

I guess I've been blessed, as some say, or as I say, "I've been lucky" and have had pleasant trips. That includes one trip where I got to Daisy Farm, it started to rain and didn't stop for about 48 hours, plus another trip where I waited at Rock Harbor for two days in August for a ride on the Queen (10 to 15 foot waves kept her at Copper Harbor). A good book and or friendly folks have always been around to help make my trips a nice time. Give it another try.

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Ingo
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Re: The Isle Royale Curse

Post by Ingo » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:13 pm

My daughter feels a little curse too. On a 9 day canoe trip she sprained her ankle on the 1st portage (between Moskey and Richie) and we ended up hanging out a lot in shelters between Moskey and R.H. for the remaining 8 days. But still had a great trip.
On our next trip, backpacking with her now husband, he fell and broke broke his wrist on the Greenstone on the 2nd day. That required an early end with a boat ride from the rangers and an early trip back on the VII.
She's been on a couple other trips without injury or illness, so figures she's 50/50. But will still go back whenever she can! As will my son-in-law.


Midwest Ed
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Re: The Isle Royale Curse

Post by Midwest Ed » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:02 pm

Well Ron, you know what they say....

Fourth time's the charm?

If at all true you will at least make it through your fourth day. :oops: I suggest you go for it.

My first trip was epic (and was only 3 days as well). Almost everything went wrong. I've told the story a couple of times here but it was all due to lack of preparation on my part. At the time I viewed it as "I'm not going to let this place kick my ass.", so I prepared, returned and fell in love.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013


Topic author
Ron E
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Re: The Isle Royale Curse

Post by Ron E » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:35 pm

I'm picking out the date now. I have to decide on either May 17 or May 20 as the start. I really want the 17th but it's cutting it close. I give my last final exam on the 12th and need to get grades in so I can leave on the 15th to drive up. I plan for this to be my last semester teaching and for retirement this summer I planned to start with Isle Royale, then drive to Vancouver Island to return to the West Coast Trail, then visit relatives and in July probably do some trail maintenance on a Sierra Club trip. Haven't finalized July yet. August I have a 7-day trip in Yellowstone and a 10-day trip in Glacier.

Isle Royale ended 2 of my last 3 summers. (Yeah, I'm blaming a bad gallbladder on the island.) That's why I'm trying to find the Marie Laveau of MI or MN to help me out.

So far the only suggestions I've received came from the owners of the Mangy Moose. One said "Just camp in place for 3 days and then hike" while the other said "Just go to a spa."

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Tom
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Re: The Isle Royale Curse

Post by Tom » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:12 pm

Just checking, but for all of you that have had a bit of bad luck...

When you first arrive on the island, you are standing on the first dock your feet touch, extending you arms straight above your head, and shouting "Wendigo, Wendigo, Wendigo" while facing north, right?

I'm pretty sure that's outlined in the safety manual.

:P


Midwest Ed
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Re: The Isle Royale Curse

Post by Midwest Ed » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:59 pm

So THAT'S it. All this time I thought it required chanting in Ojibwe, "Minong be good to me" :lol: :roll:
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013


Tightlines01
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Re: The Isle Royale Curse

Post by Tightlines01 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:26 am

7 amazing trips in 7 straight years. My tradition.... playing the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald as I just come into Munising MI when I first see Gitche Gumue. Works every time!


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Ingo
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Re: The Isle Royale Curse

Post by Ingo » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:13 am

Typically I dance the norwegian shuffle. My daughter wouldn't join me, so I think that explains it.

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