Questions about a planned June canoe trip

Questions about water transportation and fishing on the island.

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kolo
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Questions about a planned June canoe trip

Post by kolo » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:56 pm

I am planning a canoe trip towards the end of June and have a couple of questions for you veteran paddlers.
My trip will last 9-10 days.

I am coming from Grand Portage to Windigo/Rock Harbor on day one. I plan on paddling to Merritt Lane after getting my permit at Rock Harbor. I believe I will have enough time to paddle to Merritt Lane (~2hrs.) after arriving at Rock Harbor that afternoon, depending on the “mood” of Lake Superior of course. Does that sound reasonable?

I plan staying at Moskey Basin on the third night after paddling from Tookers Island. I would like to portage my canoe to Lake Richie, after hopefully claiming a shelter for the night, and leaving the canoe at Lake Richie that night. I want to break up the portage over two days. I have been to Isle Royale seven times and have met many good souls. I believe I am safe leaving the canoe for the night without anyone messing with it. Does that sound too optimistic?

Lastly, has anyone ever bushwhacked over to Blueberry Cove from the end of the Lake Whittlesey/Chippewa Harbor portage?
I wanted to do this trip last summer but was unable to. I really look forward to camping at the tent sites accessible only by paddlers, especially the Wood Lake site. I plan on finishing at Malone Bay and have left two days in the schedule, in case Siskiwit Lake is uncooperative!

Thank you for your input/insight!
Brent

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Ingo
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Re: Questions about a planned June canoe trip

Post by Ingo » Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:31 pm

kolo wrote:
Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:56 pm
I am coming from Grand Portage to Windigo/Rock Harbor on day one. I plan on paddling to Merritt Lane after getting my permit at Rock Harbor. I believe I will have enough time to paddle to Merritt Lane (~2hrs.) after arriving at Rock Harbor that afternoon, depending on the “mood” of Lake Superior of course. Does that sound reasonable?
Perfectly reasonable, given a cooperative mood from the Lady. Plenty of daylight that time of year. And you'll have the advantage of observing conditions in that area while riding in on the boat.
I plan staying at Moskey Basin on the third night after paddling from Tookers Island. I would like to portage my canoe to Lake Richie, after hopefully claiming a shelter for the night, and leaving the canoe at Lake Richie that night. I want to break up the portage over two days. I have been to Isle Royale seven times and have met many good souls. I believe I am safe leaving the canoe for the night without anyone messing with it. Does that sound too optimistic?
I don't see any problem. I would probably tape a note in a ziplock to it with your name and when you'll be back, just in case anyone wonders why it's there. I once met some guys who left a canoe to fish at Richie while they camped at Moskey and hiked back and forth. The only thing I would worry about is I have a Kevlar canoe that really should not be sat on--so I'd try to find the most inconvenient spot I could.
Lastly, has anyone ever bushwhacked over to Blueberry Cove from the end of the Lake Whittlesey/Chippewa Harbor portage?
No, but I've never heard or read anything to suggest that bushwacking in that area is anything but challenging. Which would fit my observations from the water and trail.
I plan on finishing at Malone Bay and have left two days in the schedule, in case Siskiwit Lake is uncooperative!
Good plan! Malone is fine place to spend an extra day, if you feel you need to get there early to beat some weather. As are any of the other campsites .


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kolo
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Re: Questions about a planned June canoe trip

Post by kolo » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:14 pm

Ingo, thank you very much for your response to my questions! I thought it was a workable plan but wanted some positive confirmation from the experienced people on this forum. I'll take your advice and leave a note on my canoe. I'm not looking forward to the long portage, but I am looking forward to the reward!

Two summers ago I completed the portage from Duncan Bay to Tobin Harbor. I was then able to carry the canoe up and over the Greenstone without a break at the top. I think I will need to break up the portage to Lake Richie though.

Have a great trip in May! I look forward to doing the Feldtmann loop again sometime.

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jrwiesz
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Re: Questions about a planned June canoe trip

Post by jrwiesz » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:23 pm

kolo,

One could also, take the canoe half-way to Richie in the evening, leave it in the woods just off the trail, go back to the basin for the evening camp.

In the morning pack up and hike to Richie and set camp, then hike back and finish portaging your canoe to the lake.

It has always been in my thought process, that, no one is going to mess with my/another persons' gear.

It is somewhat a code of the trail; in a wilderness setting, ones' life is dependent upon ones' gear.

I would second, as Ingo has indicated, there most likely will be no problem with leaving the canoe.

And I think the half-way at night, and the rest the following day, will help break-up the near 2 mile portage into two days.

YMMV.
Last edited by jrwiesz on Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"And standing on the the crest of the Greenstone Ridge, I suddenly had this desire to retreat north to where I just come, to stay in the backcountry, to spend another day in a place where the only deadline I had was to pitch the tent before dark."
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Re: Questions about a planned June canoe trip

Post by Midwest Ed » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:33 pm

All good advise. While I believe your canoe will be very safe, I would make sure you leave a note being clear who owns it (i.e. not owned by the Rock Harbor Lodge). It will go a long way towards keeping the very rare person from thinking he might go for a "joy cruise". Caching it half-way would almost certainly remove that possibility.

The approximately 2 mile portage is a long one but it is relatively flat with a published elevation change of 120 feet, plus there is not much up and down.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013


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kolo
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Re: Questions about a planned June canoe trip

Post by kolo » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:15 pm

jrwiesz and Midwest Ed, thank you for your input!

I will probably portage the canoe most of the way and then hide it in the trees, although I don't think most people would mess with it. I have also hiked and/or backpacked in Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming, but I believe the "code of the trail" is the strongest at Isle Royale! I have been on the trail to Lake Richie and remember it being a relatively mellow trail, but it has been some time ago.

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