2015 3 soul sister tour again

Reports or links to reports on trips.

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zims
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2015 3 soul sister tour again

Post by zims » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:26 am

Tuesday June 2, we depart central Wisconsin for the north. There are three of us this year. We have planned for cold and wet. We arrive at Grand Marais around dinner time and a general concensus leads us to Hughies Tacos. Awesome choice I may add, with their homeade taco shells!! We enjoy dinner in front of the fire place and then head back in the car up to Grand Portage. We arrive at the hotel just before it starts to rain. The desk receptionist is very nice to us and gets us up to our room right away with a roll away right behind us no extra charge. Since the hotel is still under construction, we didnt bother to ask if the pool was usuable, and its not. So if your heading that way and want to soak, ask first. I suppose you could sit in it, but theres no water. We all spent our "card"money, it was nice to get the extra since we have been there before. Too bad it didnt help us win any money lol. Back at the rooms, we decided to do the dreaded and get it over with, the going over, repacking, re thinking. As its raining outside it is a gentle reminder to always plan for rain and cold, so I was glad we went thru everything. By the way, here you will not get uscellular cell service. Just a FYI
Wed June 3 In the morning we loaded up and headed to the boat dock by 6:30. Here we met a family taking a rather large but lightweight canoe oout with their 3 kids. Not a very full boat today. The ride across the water was smooth and cool. I was glad I had on my rain pants and extra fleece with a winter hat and gloves. It is such a warm welcoming feeling when you approach the island, no matter how many times it is. Like clock work the rangers are waving us in with smiles. So good to see them again.
As we stand on the dock, it is kinda crazy to hear people complain about not being able to have campfires inmost places, (research first I say) so we grab our packs and head up to register.
It is time to weigh in and hope we have accomplished the goal of lighter this year. Nope. same as always. 32#. Even with a brand new golite pack. Everyones is about the same. We are wearing many layers though. I have under armor then tactical pants, 3 layers of shirts and fleece with a northface. What can I say I get cold.
We all have decided to stay in Washington creek tonight and are we glad we did. It rained and got pretty cold. But to our amazement we were serenaded all night by the mating toads and peeper frogs on the creek. We were ablr to get them recorded and also heard a lone wolf twice wednesday night off towards Hugginin Cove.
When we arrived at the shelters, like everyone will post, there is a loon on her nest right across from one of the shelters. Rangers say she is used to humans and it is ok to watch her. From a sitting bench inbetween shelters we watched as she sat on her nest and would leave sparringly to dive in and feed I guess. There were no moose sightings here this time, and not much evidence either. First night was spent without a tent in the shelter. Cold and chilly but we slept and woke refreshed to the birds singing.
Thursday June 4 Still at Washington Creek, enjoyed breakfast burritos and hot chocolate. Plan wa sto head to Hugginin Cove today and stay but the weather is sketchy. Loved that the store was open, and a fresh apple tasted so good. We all hiked the nature trail together and explored the new cabins behind the store. Pretty nice. I would consider staying in them. Simple, private, and would keep you warmer if the weather turned on you. Today we enjoyed learning about the flowers on the island, lookingthrough their displays and learning about the toads we were hearing. its pretty amazing when you realize you dont have to bust out miles or bad weather to really enjoy yourself. Sometimes it can be a stay and play visit. Tonight we all enjoyed a delish dinner right out of the bag, and decided in the morning we would head to the cove. During the night the toads were crazy loud, and then we heard this really absurd loud banging. It was heard again in the morning, and the ranger came around asking if we heard it. He had no clue either what it coud be. We were told there is a one eyed moose, old feller hanging around Windigo area and he sometimes becomes a nuisance, but we never saw him.
Friday June 5 The sun is shining, it is promised to be a warm sunny day. packs on, and shoes tied we are out the door. deciding to go clockwise on the trail, still no mooose, 1 big toad onthe trail, 1 weasel looking critter, and lots of annoying biting mosquitos. Everytime we pass a water source, it is flowing generously, soothing to the ear. It was pretty cool to crest the trail and look out to see we had climbed the little maountian across from Washington Creek, and could see the ranger station across the bay. The trail is smooth and pleasant to walk. When we arrive at the cove, noone else was there. We had our pick of sites, and even though we chose #1 because it was nice and sunny at 1 in the afternoon, big mistake around 5. We should have picked something on the other side of the cove, out of the direct wind.
Set up camp, filtered some water with the platypus system, (love this) hung out wet damp stuff from hiiking and them ventured out to the rocks. WOW. The sun had warmed up all the rocks, and even though there was a cool wind, their warmth was pleasant to lay upon. May I add this was the perfect place to do some relaxing yoga? With the anticipation of a cold night coming, we cut short our moment of paradise to get supper in and make sure we were ready to hit the hay in the tent after the sunset. The shoreline was tiny pebble rock to sit upon. The sun had also warmed this. As we watched in awe of the sun setting and all the colors in the sky changing the rocks remained warm. Earlier another group had arrived and were also working on supper and the sunset. All the storied about the Hugginin Cove sunsets were true. Beautiful and breath taking.
Once we all crawled into the tent it was actually cozy. I again brought my LED backpacking lights that everyone made fun of, but the battery lasts forever in these and its enough light to function in the tent before bed. I know during the night I heard sounds outside the tent, but I tell you, when its dark out there its dark. I wasnt moving! This cold night was the best sleeping weather and the most rested for all of us.
Saturday June 6, Morning is here, which brings oatmeal, and hot chocolate and the re-packing. After enjoying some hot liquid on the rocks one last time, it was time to take down camp. We chose to continue the loop back to Windigo clockwise and headed out. One thing I have searched for the last few years when I have visited is to see the Calypso Orchid. Well low and behold coming around the corner as we walekd through the rock section right there on the side of the trail in a mud hole were 2 beautiful blooming orchids. WOOP WOOP. Trip is complete.
I have to say I love this trail. It is so peaceful, easy walking and lots to look at. Still no moose but it is a very tranquil trail. We passed the old mine and house, and tracks. can't believe after all these years its still standing like it is. We walk on and arrive back at the washington creek. This time we take shelter 13. Wonderful view and we can see the loon in the distance. This afternoon is spent walking around Windigo, reading and relaxing. There was an attack squirrel that jumped on our screen front and went nuts trying to get in. Then a fox came by and tried to pull one of the girls socks down from the clothesline we hung. Revisiting the store again, to day hi, I came out with 2 hard boiled eggs, and apple and a can of pringles and a gatorade. Good Combo I say!! One of the girls had brought a card game we purchased at sawtooth outfitters and we playe dthis for a little while then realized how tired we all were. There were no toads this night till later. It actually sprinkled again and was wet out in the morning.
Sunday JUne 7 Today we board the boat home. It has been a great visit. Like I said earlier, sometimes its not about the miles you pound out, but its about how you spend your time and what you get out of it. I was very glad to see the ranger do a talk on the hotels and inns, I learned a little more. Boarding the boat we all grabbed our historical ride home sets, seperate, like we want this time to reflect alone. But thats ok. Still no moose this time and thats ok. Im just hoping the movement continues toward the implementation of new wolves for the sake of the whole eco system. More happened here and there but sometimes its best not told, for tomarrow more will have adventures on trails with miles to go.


Tightlines01
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Re: 2015 3 soul sister tour again

Post by Tightlines01 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:01 am

Thanks for the trip reports. I agree about the miles. Not always my biggest motivator and have started planning in a zero day each trip.

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Tom
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Re: 2015 3 soul sister tour again

Post by Tom » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:29 am

Thanks for the TR, zims! I'll agree with you that when you find yourself with a layover/rest day at Windigo, you suddenly find all these other things and resources you may have never known existed, because you just didn't take the time to stick around.

Interesting note on the loon. That should give a bunch of people a great chance to see a bird closer than they may have ever had a chance before.

Tom


tree rattt
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Re: 2015 3 soul sister tour again

Post by tree rattt » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:31 pm

Hey Zimms glad to hear you had another good trip.Looks like we missed ya,we were in Windigo on the 6th .......more on that later :)


Topic author
zims
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Re: 2015 3 soul sister tour again

Post by zims » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:41 pm

Hi Tree ratt, so sorry we missed you guys. We are trying to get back to the island in sept.


johnhens
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Re: 2015 3 soul sister tour again

Post by johnhens » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:09 am

Nice that you saw the orchids. IR has a good selection of orchids including my favorite Calypso orchid. It is not about the miles and good for you. I would have liked to have seen the loon on the nest.

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