TR:8/8-14/2014[W-FL-SB-SD-HL-MC-DF-RH]

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TexanTrekker
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TR:8/8-14/2014[W-FL-SB-SD-HL-MC-DF-RH]

Post by TexanTrekker » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:21 am

Group of seven [five Scouts (four are Philmont vets), two Scouters]. One adult was IR experienced from youth. Sixty-some miles in seven days, six nights.

8 AUG Started at FJ McClain SP in rain; woke to sunrise. Got to Houghton; stopped at the Hardees for a last breakfast; drove out to find drawbridge up and stuck. Sat and stewed. Finally dropped the bridge; got to airport 45 minutes before scheduled departured; grabbed stuff and ran in. Ended up cancelling our 1000 flight due to fog, had to wait until 1300. Rest of party had to wait until 1500. Got everyone LNT spun up once we reunited at Windigo. Found I had left my hiking poles in car; bad move as those were tent poles; luckily a Scout offered his as back up. Four hours plus to Feldtmann Lake CG. Kinda overgrown but we pushed it and got to CG by 9. Saw several sets of moose skeletons and antlers along trail. Pumped water; boiled dinner water; spilled a meal which meant pulling from extra rations hiked in by other adult. One twisted ankle on a Scout. Everyone tired, cranky and hungry. Bed by 2300. No bugs.

9 AUG Great sunrise over Feldtmann Lake. Went w/ other adult to get water from Rainbow Cove. Saw bald eagles flying over head. Went in L. Superior to refresh my feet. Numbed them really well. Return to camp to breakfast. Made good progress through the jungle [overgrown and tall veggie] to Siskiwit Bay CG. Had lunch at tower w/ four Scoutmasters on a Scout-free trek. Met one mother/daughter pair going to FL. No one else on trails. Great views. Made almost 5 miles in 3 hours with Scout w/ bad ankle. Had freeze-dried Wise foods w/ extra fd'ed meat to boost calories and protien. Saw three moose calves; heard the mother in the swamp. Religious, non-denominational service on the breakwaters, smelling the fish fry from a couple of non-registered fishing boats. Boys jumped in the water and jumped out almost as fast. Reunited w/ the Scoutmasters. Bed before dusk. No bugs. Both I and other adult leader heard what both believe was a wolf (not loon) during the night.

10 AUG Up at 7 to fresh baked biscuits & gravy [Backpacker's Pantry Outback Oven Ultralight], polenta and sausage & peanut porridge [Packit Gourmet]. Not universal acceptance by young palates of very tasty food... Carried full waters up to Island Mine. Carnelian Beach is beautiful. Left the SMs and headed out. Saw two wolf paw prints…but also saw several hundred parallel prints of adult, child and what was either a boater’s small dog or, hopefully, a fox later following the prints. Made it w/o meeting anyone until IM, then two groups. A Venture crew [18 y.o.+]. Their leader had a 70 lb pack! Were coming from WCove. Then a couple of hikers came by as well. All stopping by lunch time. Saw the locomotive, gears and spoil piles at the Mine. The lame Scouts is recovering, but still slowed to 1 ½ - 2 mph pace, rather than the 2 ½ -3 mph pace preferred by other scouts. He and his dad would hang together enjoy IR’s beauty and take many pictures. Redistributed some of the food. Made it to S. Desor in three groups. Rained twice in afternoon, so we were wettish at CG. Leech scare in water reduced swimming. The food continued to be good, if not enough for five teen age boys. Bed by 2030. Bugs were sort of annoying.

11 AUG. Clear morning; other adult tried fishing w/o luck. Two short hikes, w/ lunch in between, to Hatchet Lake. Boys surprised at their speed. One Scout dropped insole; two others went back the 4-5 mile rt to recover. Met woman and father on post-graduation hike [hers]. First camera battery gives out just as the boys went into swim; by the time I get back they’re out, and my son has a foot o'leeches. Luckily kosher salt removes them nicely. More fishing w/o luck. Great sunset. Three other groups here, and one was swimming in the deep/western area w/o leeches. No bugs.

12 AUG Early up at 0300, and cannot return to sleep. Make b'fast burritos and got early start to Todd Harbor. Taking the Minong to McCargoe for the views. Some thunder and rain, but that didn't slow us down. By the time we get to TH, it's beautiful again and we dry out some. Other adult goes in swimming and stays in for 5 minutes! Nice to see split cut wood for the fires. Scouts continue on fast pace at cost of soaking in beautiful surroundings. Other adult and son with camera take a more leisurely 1 ½ mph pace Great vistas in a clear day and a beautiful beaver lodge, swamp and felled trees…speaking of trees, some trees on vistas need cutting down a la Dan Snyder [look it up on internet, is a joke]. Stopped at Minong mine. McCargoe was welcome stopping spot. I finally swam in the balmy 66 degree water. Met another troop from Shelby Township, MI and a boating/fishing family. Both nice. Other adult and son went to W.Chickenbone to fish but no luck but returned to McCargoe and caught 2 pike approximately 20-26 inces. Some thunder at 2030 so we prepped the site. Ankle problem resulted in a dollar coin sized blister I fixed. Re-planned food to allow for a blitz march from Daisy to Rock. No bugs at group campsite, numerous mosquitoes at the dock but the dragon flies were out by the hundreds taking care of the nasty pests.

13 AUG to Daisy via East Chickenbone, what's with the hills? This is a flat island! Old men need a break. Some boyos, too. Lotsa folks on the trail going against us. Family of three, more Scouts, single women, pair of brother/fisher men looking for Angleworm Lake [found a bull moose instead so no fish for them]; and then passed by 6 twenty-somethings from MC the previous night. Also encountered a young woman hiker headed to MC from Daisy Farm—she caught all of the scouts’ attention. Went dry as the water was scarce. Daisy Farm was so different; big, flat, peopled. Nice dock; swam again [except for my leech son] and first encounter with small number of biting black flies. Happy hour on the dock w/ virgin Margaritas, pringle tostitos, bean dip, queso and pico de gallo. Then huge dinner w/ almost a bag per person to lighten the loads. Got up at 2330 to watch meteors & a great lightening storm for about 40 minutes as it headed from NE of IR (Edward Island) toward tip of Keeweenaw Peninsula/Copper Harbor and Muinsing/Grand Marais beyond. Lotsa folks down on the dock w/ us. Amused by the ADA compliant outhouse by group sites. No bugs except for me laying tent on top of termite/ant nest.

14 AUG Death March - while flat, the DF/RH route is bumpy, but at least not overgrown like the SW corner of Isle. Snowshoe hare and chipmunks [aka mini-bears of Philmont]. Left at 0700, made RH by 1100 for the 1300 flight. Got most folks showered; had a Root Beer Float; shopped for geegaw and patches. Flight out was smooth and nice. Those on second flight had hour long informative IR discussion with a former park ranger’s daughter who was named after one of IR’s many lakes.

Overall: boys were jaded by Philmont - shorter hikes but at 7000+ ft with stations in betwixt. But they had great time together and will have a different experience to remember. Learned that food is heavy even if freeze dried; need to pack out the garbage better; this food tasted better but was less in quantity. Great berry (raspberries, blueberries and thimbleberries) supplies along most trail. Need to up food per day. No bug problems. One blister [massive]. Great pictures. Fishing was eh, but everyone tried it.

Thanks,
Last edited by TexanTrekker on Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

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IncaRoads
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Re: TR:8/8-14/2014[W-FL-SB-SD-HL-MC-DF-RH]

Post by IncaRoads » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:09 am

Great trip report! Thanks for taking the time to let us know how your trip went. Regarding the poor fishing, did you know that Lake Desor and Hatchet Lake do not have fish?

Edited to add: During my first visit to Hatchet Lake in 1976, I fished for hours and hours. Only later did I learn from a Ranger that the lake was void of fish. I then replied that it never hurts to practice.

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Re: TR:8/8-14/2014[W-FL-SB-SD-HL-MC-DF-RH]

Post by TexanTrekker » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:30 am

As the great philosopher Homer noted, 'DOH!'

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Re: TR:8/8-14/2014[W-FL-SB-SD-HL-MC-DF-RH]

Post by Tom » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:26 pm

IncaRoads wrote: ...you know that Lake Desor and Hatchet Lake do not have fish?
I'll throw a technical caveat that I think there is a species of minnow or two in the lake. I can recall another TR indicating they saw them (as I once thought I did several years ago at Desor North) and then when I was at South Desor this year, we watched a pair of nesting loons with their young, and the adults were diving... Which got us thinking, there must be something they are finding to eat...

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