8/24/15 - 8/28/15 Trip Report

Reports or links to reports on trips.

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Stephen
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Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:33 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 2
Location: Where the Fox River meets the WI river

8/24/15 - 8/28/15 Trip Report

Post by Stephen » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:19 pm

First time backpacker first time to the Isle in my 60's and went solo. I had been practicing at Devils Lake State Park in WI which is not very far from me, hiking the bluffs with my pack at various weights a couple times a wk. I learned a lot from reading trip reports here so thought maybe mine might help someone else. I started out with my pack at 45 LBs and knew that I would not do this trip if I didn't get the weight down and eventually got it to 28LB on my scale at home without water. I got to Copper Harbor on 8/23 and stayed at the Brockoway Motel. Monday morning went down to the harbor and the boat over was cancelled due to high winds and waves around 12 foot. Told to report back at 11. I went back to the motel and at 11 the very nice lady there called the harbor and found out the trip was cancelled for Monday due to bad weather, so I stayed another night. It was very windy at Copper Harbor and temps in the 40's-50's. Tuesday it was a go, got on the boat and the waves hit the boat and I proceeded to vomit and basically be sick the entire trip over. I had to get some help getting off the boat. Listened to the ranger, progressively felt better but now hoarse from vomiting. I got my itinerary handed in, found a camp site at Rock Harbor, set up the tent and went to sleep. Eventually got up and ate something and back to bed. Wednesday got up and off to Lane Cove via the Tobin trail. Nice trail and finally got to the first plank bridge that my wife was worried about me crossing. No problems, met a few people and everyone was friendly and couldn't believe I was alone. Got to the Franklin trail and thought the hike was very similar to Devils Lake State Park. Made it to Lane Cove with no problems and the hike over was great. Met some people coming out as I was going in and mentioned to one girl that her pack looked pretty loaded, she said it was 60LB and it was no problem. Just as I got to site 2 a couple of kayakers pulled up and we shared this site. They were very nice and I figured I like the tent site and we all got along well. Not to many campers but I think all sites were taken. Kept rehydrating from my trip over and went to bed early. Thursday got up at dawn still dark and got out of Lane cove about 6:30 or so. The trail back to Mt. Franklin was winding up and down and kept checking my GPS because it seemed like it was taking longer to get back to Franklin Trail. Didn't see any one until I got to Mt. Franklin junction and talked to a couple of guys for a few minutes. It was amazing how friendly everyone was. I then headed toward Daisy Farm via the Greenstone trail. It was a sunny day and I could only imagine how difficult this would be on a hot day. This day the temps were in the 70's. I carried about 3.75 liters of water with me but that was over kill. Stopped at a overlook took a few pictures and met a couple of guys. Continued on to the tower and took my boots off and ate lunch, it was about 10:30 or so. Hung out there for over a hour debating if I was going to Daisy Farm or back to Lane Cove. I heard Daisy Farm is a busy place and I like the rustic areas best. Eventually decided Daisy Farm. I made the short trip to Daisy Farm and got a shelter. Took care of getting water and then met a couple of guys and they came over and talked and I gave them some homemade peanut butter powder to take back and they tried my Jif Almond Hazelnut powder I made. I aired out my boots and socks and then off to the shelter. About a hour later a lady stopped by with her college age son and asked if they could come in the shelter, I told them ok, so they eventually came in set up there sleeping gear. I told them that I was leaving early so just be aware of that. They were fine with that. Friday morning got up about 5 am and quietly as I could took my gear out of the shelter to the picnic table, ate breakfast, packed up and started on the Rock Harbor trail back to Rock Harbor. This trail had to be the worst ankle bending trail I had been on. I kept thinking, I was going to get off of it and get to the Franklin Trail at 3 mile but missed my turn and eventually made it back to Rock Harbor. I just passed the time there talking to people. The trip back to Copper Harbor was uneventful waves were 2-4 feet and I stayed outside on the back of the boat most of the time. It felt better in the fresh air. I was not sure of trail conditions, my capability and so this trip was not a distance trip but more for me to do something I have never done before. I plan on going back, but may try the plane ride in next time, not sure. I probably would go to Moskey next time or spend a couple of days at Lane Cove. I would definitely come back from Daisy Farm via the Greenstone Ridge. I was thinking I would like to hike out of Daisy Farm very early AM and catch a sunrise from the tower. Who knows, but I will make another attempt to get back next year. I enjoy taking my time and stopping as often as I want with no pressure to put on miles.

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philranger
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Location: Madison, WI

Re: 8/24/15 - 8/28/15 Trip Report

Post by philranger » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:53 am

Stephen - Welcome to the Forum. I agree with you regarding the ride over on the Queen. I've been to IR 8 times and 7 of the trips were from the Minnesota side. My daughter and I were there in August and covered a lot of the same ground you traveled over. (See Kari and Wally report).

Lane Cove was beautiful and we spent two nights there. The first night we shared a campsite with two teachers from Michigan because all the sites were full. The second night, there was only us and 3 other campers. If you were at site #2, I'm the one who created the rock garden and did some erosion control to hide the mesh fabric that was exposed going down to the water.

Glad you had a nice trip and want to come back. You should consider bringing a friend. I've exposed 4 other people to IR and have met many excellent people who all share their love of this National Park.
Isle Royale Trips: 2005 - RH to Windigo via Greenstone. 2006 - McCargoe Cove to Chippewa Harbor. 2007 - RH to Daisy Farm and back. 2008 - Feltmann loop. 2009 - McCargoe Cove to Chippewa Harbor. 2013 - Minong Ridge. 2014 - Windigo + Huginnin Cove. 2015 - RH water taxi to Hidden Lake to LC to DF to MB.


Topic author
Stephen
NewbieCake
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:33 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 2
Location: Where the Fox River meets the WI river

Re: 8/24/15 - 8/28/15 Trip Report

Post by Stephen » Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:41 am

Greetings, I would like to bring a friend along, but most of the people I know have no interest or are very leery of doing this. I don't mind the solo thing anyway. I was thinking though, if I take the plane and go after labor day, can I still get some white gas for stove fuel at the island? I checked with the plane and they do not allow any combustible fuel on board. At first I was thinking they would allow the solid fuel blocks, but no they don't. I will have to pick up some kind of fuel on the island.


philcourt
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Re: 8/24/15 - 8/28/15 Trip Report

Post by philcourt » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:02 pm

How did you go from 45lbs. to 28? Where did you get your savings?


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Topic author
Stephen
NewbieCake
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:33 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 2
Location: Where the Fox River meets the WI river

Re: 8/24/15 - 8/28/15 Trip Report

Post by Stephen » Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:43 pm

To get my pack weight down, I made lists of what I was packing, weighed everything. I decided what I absolutely needed, such as tent, sleeping bag stove, etc. Then everything else was put up for adjustment. I initially was going to take extra clothes, creams, baby wipes, soaps, Nalgene bottles, etc. Instead I got small dropper bottles and put a 1/8 ounce of soap or whatever. Instead of a bottle of aleve got a small flip top bottle and took 8. Food was adjusted for weight consideration, I didn't cook only boiled water, which was fine for me. One thing I was not giving up was my hardshell Gore-Tex mentor OR jacket, Montbell Precip rain pants and OR gaiters, I met a guy who had the Frogg Toggs and his pocket was all ripped out after zipping it a few times. Instead of my tent foot print I made one from Tyvek. Considering my pack weighs 5LB (osprey Aether) I was at a 5 LB disadvantage, but the pack was comfortable and very good. Instead of a flashlight I took key chain light and button cell bike light, I have a ton of great bright flashlights but they are heavier than a button cell keychain light. It was important to me to have good rain gear because I knew my hardshell with my combination of clothes would keep me warm if the temps dropped. Instead of a pack cover I got a Home Depot contractor bag to put in my pack to keep things dry and the animals out. A friend who recently did the PCT told me to use a single wall tent, but with the condensation near water I went with a two layer tent, it was heavier but I would not worry about sitting out a storm in this tent, he also was helpful with other suggestions. So it was a combination of things and going over the list and making adjustments, packing weighing, removing, repeat many times to get it for my goal of 30Lb. Knowing what I know now if I was to go stupid light I think I could get to 25lb but then it would be quite a bit more uncomfortable and inconvenient for me and that makes the trip miserable for me. I think there is a sweet spot for everyone, mine is 30LB because at that weight I can hike without problems and can avoid having problems. I figured with a goal of 30 and then add 2 liters of water and I am at 34.


philcourt
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:14 pm

Re: 8/24/15 - 8/28/15 Trip Report

Post by philcourt » Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:50 pm

Thanks for your reply! Very helpful. I've been to the island twice in the last 3 years and want to get my weight down to right around 30. I am 61 and want to save weight. Thanks for your help.


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