TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Reports or links to reports on trips.

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TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by Ingo » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:57 am

Here's a video trip report, about 19 min. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3QuwVxhAXk
At one point you can kinda see the moose hoofprint that was about a foot from my head one night--I could hear food digesting in its stomach :shock:

And the condensed 10 min version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjwwBjPvOME


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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by Midwest Ed » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:07 pm

Great video. Thanks for taking the time to bring me along with you. Is it me or is the bridge over the Big Siskiwit River leaning a tad to the left/east? Looked like it could use a little infrastructure TLC. How long did your Feldtman Lake CG visitor hang around? And just what is it with moose berries being gifted right along side tents during the night? The very same thing happened to me at the Lake Ritchie Canoe CG except they were placed directly in front of the vestibule making it near impossible to exit unscathed.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by Ingo » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:20 pm

And here's the wordy one from my trail journal:

Monday, May 29: Grand Portage to Windigo to Island Mine

Up at 5:45am. Final putzing, tape toes and put on body glide. Decide to fill water bladder and carry it full on the boat, rather than repacking at Windigo. Grab coffee and a packaged muffin and a roll at the store. Get to the dock and there's a bus load of kids from Park Falls, WI. Apparently an educational program they do on the island. Meet R & B from the forums. Meet Chris on the boat who's also planning the same route. Boat ride is smooth and foggy—may be the only trip I didn't go on deck once. Rain starts in Washington Harbor, and others talk of staying at Washington Creek CG instead of Island Mine.

My pack is first off the boat, so first to register. Decide to wimp out and stay at Washington Creek the first night. Head for the campground .3 miles away, and change my mind when I get there—decide it's not that cold and just drizzling. So put on my rain pants and go. Warm up along the way and stop twice to lose clothes. End up in shorts with gaiters, and t-shirt with rain jacket. Light rain on and off, but not too bad. Stop for lunch (cheese that's in the pack) and temp is 63. Muddy trail. Pant legs and rain pants are full of mud from taking them off over the boots. Later stop and add body glide to hot spots on balls of feet.

Left the visitors center about 10:00 and get to Island Mine before 2:30, 6.9 miles (1.5 mph). Set up tent and crash for a bit. Steady rain and 60 degs when I get there. Rain on and off the rest of afternoon and evening. Sun almost came out once. Made a fire with wet wood and 5 or 6 cotton balls and Vaseline. Eat around 6-6:30 and then rain comes back steady so hit the tent about 7:00. Maybe the first time in my life I haven't extinguished a fire myself. Bugs have been non-existence except for a weird ½ hr when a swarm of skeeters came through and then left. Rain slows, breeze picks up, down to 56 at 8:00. Was going to read, but fell asleep til 9:45. Took care of business and went back to bed.

Tuesday, May 30: Island Mine to Siskiwit Bay

Awake for good at 6:00am, but it's wet out there, so take my time getting up. 52 degs. Have my coffee and oatmeal and on the trail by 8:30. Full pants and gaiters, nylon shirt and jacket. Cool at first but warm up and lose the jacket at Siskiwit Bay. Some drizzle this morning, but no real rain. Wettest section of trail today. Feet stay dry though, thanks to my boots and gaiters. A couple places the mud and water were over the top of my boots, but the gaiters kept it out.

I read on the forums that you have to be blind to miss the old steam engine at Island Mine. Well I must be blind, or was just too trail focused--I missed it. But you can’t miss the slag piles and old well. The well is in remarkable condition. Didn’t explore off trail at all, being alone, and it was raining and wet.

Passed a couple of guys on the way down, and they warned me that the trail around the bay had flooded boardwalks in a couple places. One I navigated carefully as the boards were loose (thank you trekking poles!) The other one I crossed the stream on the beach, although not much of a beach there. Before Senter Pt the beach is large gravel and hard to walk, so I stuck to the trail as much as I could. After Senter Pt I mostly walk on the beach of packed sand and small pebbles, which was easier than the muddy trail. The last mile around Siskiwit Bay took an hour. Arrive at CG at 11:30, 4.3 miles in 3 hrs (1.5 mph). 55 degs.

No one else at the campground, take shelter closest to the dock and with the best view. Wind is from the west around 10-15, but still very cold down by the dock. Hung up tent and tarp to dry. Still cloudy at 2:15, but lightening up. High of 60 when the sun came out a bit. Supper at 5:00 and back down to 53, so anticipate a colder night. Put on all my clothes and went and layed on the pebble rock beach. Quite cozy as the berm blocks the wind. Looks like I'll have the place to myself—only saw 2 people on the trail today. Yesterday I passed 5 or 6 parties on the Greenstone heading for Windigo--and one ranger carrying Marten traps. 46 degs at midnight.

Wednesday, May 31: Sisikiwit Bay to Feldtmann Lake

Awake at 5:00, up at 6:30. 48 degs, rained overnight. On the trail by 8:25, cloudy, windy, but no rain. My boots had not dried out from yesterday (although they stayed dry inside) and the water from the grass and brush soaked through shortly after leaving. Apparently the Gore-tex liners are done. Caught a glimpse of a moose along the way. 10:00 make the left turn to head up the ridge. At the fire tower 11:10. Windy 57 degs. Had one peek of the sun. Climb up fire tower, then hunker behind the wooden box at the bottom for lunch. Hang out about 40 min. Retape one foot--should have done both. Sun starts to come out as I leave the tower. Take off the jacket, but left the pant legs on because I didn’t want to mess with muddy gaiters and boots (but should have).

Beautiful views from the ridge before it drops--too tired to appreciate them as much as I should have. Pretty steep going down in spots, my knee twinged a few times. A couple of “don’t slip and fall here” spots. The last mile or 2 were mentally taxing. Looks like a nice flat trail on the map. Yeah, it’s flat, but rather rocky and the combination of footing and rubber legs made me curse at the trail a lot. Inside of thumbs were getting a little irritated from the trekking pole straps, but they saved me--used them a lot.

2:45 make Feldtmann Lake Campground, dead tired. 10.2 miles in 6:20 (1.6 mph). Chris is in site 2 (prime), site 1 looks nice but it’s a little breezy off the lake, so go down to #4 which looks slightly more protected in a blow. I stood around talking to Chris a bit with my pack on first and later wondered why. He had changed plans and come in the other direction. Thermometer reads 85 in the tent with the sun shining on it. Nap in the hot tent felt good. Didn’t see anyone on the trail today, so over 24 hrs by myself and only 2 other people in over 48 hrs. Two more sites fill up ~3:30 with folks coming the other way off the boat. Big bull moose by the creek. Walked down to Rainbow Cove with Chris after supper. Didn’t stay for the actual sunset, but beautiful nonetheless. 59 degs at 4:30, 47 at 9:15pm when I crawled in. Dead calm and clear.

Thursday, June 1: Feldtmann Lake layover

Comfortable enough with base layer and no liner. Slept pretty well! Moose was splashing in the lake shortly after I went to bed. Up at 4:30 to pee. Absolutely gorgeous with sun below horizon but shining on clouds, with fog on the lake. Couldn’t bring myself to get dressed and enjoy it more. 42 degs is the coldest I saw. Rain shower came in about an hour later and stayed cloudy and breezy through the morning.

Spent the morning putzing, wandering, and napping. Walked the loop around the campground once and legs were gone, heart beating--good idea to rest for a day. ~11:00 Moose walks the lake in front of site about 10 yds away. ~12:00 Bigger moose walks past in lake then comes up past my site. I was laying in my tent--moose everywhere, all the time. Chatted with Chris. More moose down there.

Go down to Rainbow Cove around 2:00. Legs a little better now. Lay on gravel beach, sunny and warm enough for shorts and t-shirt when laying down. Starts to cloud up--showers on the lake so head back. Another moose on the trail on the way back. Eat supper, talk to Chris and share some J.D. While I was gone a moose left tracks about 5 ft from my tent.

Bed around 9:00. About an hour later hear a moose very close, obviously eating and going nowhere. Lay quietly as it gets gradually closer. Have to pee terribly now, but can’t get up. Goes on for at least an hour. So close I can hear it’s stomach, sounds like it’s right above me. Afraid to breath. Eventually I make a small, inadvertent noise and it darts away--but I can still hear it, guess maybe 10 yds away in the bush. Get out and relieve myself by the door, then quickly back in (psych 101, why do you feel safer in a tent when you know you’re not). Saw a rabbit next to the tent explaining the scurrying I also heard in the middle of this. Can still hear the moose as it slowly moves away. Finally get a little sleep.

Friday, June 2: Feldtmann Lake to Washington Creek

Up at 5:30, sun is already over the lake. Take care of business then turn around and a moose is chomping away on the other side of my site. Take a video and it leaves after a few mins. Hoof prints from last night are less than a foot from tent, where my head was. Now I’m just pissed off by moose--I should have been able to enjoy listening to the loons and lapping waves last night! Eat, pack up, and hit the trail by 7:15. Warmer night, 50 degs when I got up.

Shortly after leaving I get a gnat or skeeter stuck in my throat and have a gagging fit on the trail. Finally swallowed him. Nice walk in the woods today, only 1 or 2 boot sucking mudholes over the toes. Probably my favorite section of trail, after the ridge views. Take off legs and shirt after a couple hours--feels good. Put on some bug dope, but not terrible. Climb up to Grace Overlook is slow by now, although not that steep. 11:30, Drop pack at top and have some jerky and cheese while enjoying the view. Cheese is starting to get dots of mold, but eat it anyways. Legs and hips are aching on the verge of serious hurt, so decide here that I won’t do the Huginnin Loop. Knew I could, but figured I didn’t need to discover where that edge was for me--although tired, I was enjoying it so far.

1:00 Make the dock, 8.8 miles in 5:45 (1.5 mph). I’ve been pretty consistent all trip. Chat with a couple people by the dock, with my pack on again--why do I keep doing this! Run into R & B and they say the store is open and there may be hope of a shower tonight. Head to the campground and take shelter 1. Unpack and NAP! Ranger comes by to check permit just as I dozed off--OK, the brief rest felt good anyways. R & B bring me a Snickers and Pepsi from the store. Moose goes by in creek and up past campsite after they leave--they didn’t see one all week.

Go say Hi to R & B after supper and play some Gin Rummy. They’re in the last shelter on the other end. I’m annoyed because the trails around the campground are muddy and I have to put my boots on to go anywhere, instead of my Crocs.

Saturday, June 3: Washington Creek layover

Bedtime at sundown, around 9:00, and initially up near sunrise at 5:00 for nature’s calling has been pretty consistent all week. 50 degrees. Sunny in the morning, so hang tent and ground cloth to dry. Clean mud off gaiters. Just hang out today. Walk 1 mile nature trail around Windigo. Talked with Ranger Val a bit. Had a double caramel ice cream bar and root beer for lunch. Told everyone my moose story. Loons are crazy cool in the morning.

Lots of ducks, geese, and a swan on the creek. One moose today. Not sure I care if I ever see another one. Some rain showers move through in the afternoon. Take a generous sponge bath in the shelter and put on clean t-shirt and underwear. Had bought some deodorant yesterday, so feeling sort of fresh. Store said showers would not be up and running today. Heard some thunder that night, but they stayed south of us--just some wind and little more rain.

Sunday, June 4: Windigo to Duluth

Up early at 6:00. Beautiful and clear. 45 degs. Then some clouds came in. Took my time eating and getting packed up, cleaning more mud off gear best I could. Down to dock around 8:30, hang out at Visitors Center and the store. Their coffee is somewhat better than my VIA. Buy a bag of 6 bagels and eat 2. Can’t give the others away so pack them home. Ranger Val gives a talk in the pavillon by the dock at 11:30. Boat leaves at 1:00, lake is foggy but pretty calm, 1 footers at most.

And then back to reality ....


Other notes, things to remember:

No blisters! Taped big toes and balls, used Body Glide on the rest of foot. Cloth tape on feet was great for blister protection, didn’t know it was there, but didn’t stay on well the one day my feet got wet. Need to look at alternative.
Gaiters, don't leave home without them (at least this time of year).
Trekking poles, saved me, although annoying to carry where there's thicker brush along the trail.
Clothes were good: t-shirt, Smartwool base layer, nylon shirt, fleece, rain jacket. Would want puffy down jacket for the 30s.
Didn’t use gloves a lot, but glad I had them a few times.
Sleeping: 35 deg bag and silk liner adequate to 50 or so. Bag & midweight layers (w/o liner) adequate in 40s. Liner socks great for sleeping--hiking socks too much.
Pad: If any colder, would want wide (25”) pad for warmth. Stuffed the liner under my butt when not using it--seemed to help on the edge of the pad.
Bring some tart hard candy.
Bring a couple lens cleaning wipes for glasses. Didn’t have anything clean to use.
Bring a Lightload Towel in cookpot to wipe out and dry. Also to keep gas from rattling.
Add zip-ties for equipment repair (thanks R for the suggestion).
Seam tape on rain pants starting to come off. Try Frogg Toggs?


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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by JerryB » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:59 pm

Thanks for the report. I take the same route, in reverse and including Hugginin, on June 24. I have never worn gators, but may need to dust them off. By the way, the locomotive is BEHIND the slag hills, so you just barely missed it.

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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by Ingo » Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:12 pm

JerryB wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:59 pm
Thanks for the report. I take the same route, in reverse and including Hugginin, on June 24. I have never worn gators, but may need to dust them off.
Hopefully it will have dried out some by then.
By the way, the locomotive is BEHIND the slag hills, so you just barely missed it.
I was hoping no one would tell me I was THAT close :roll: . Next time I'll know to drop the pack and climb around a little :D .


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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by torpified » Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:49 pm

Thanks for the report! I felt for you when you couldn't leave the tent due to moose. (When a moose is close enough to hear its stomach rumble, can you also smell it?)

Trekking pole raw spots: for me, gloves like these -- https://www.rei.com/product/117105/outd ... sun-gloves -- help avert them. The downside is that it really feels like a bit much to have and use *hiking gloves* . . . .

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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by Ingo » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:31 pm

torpified wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:49 pm
When a moose is close enough to hear its stomach rumble, can you also smell it?)
Can't say I did, but really wasn't thinking about it. I was kinda hyper-noise sensitive!
Trekking pole raw spots: for me, gloves like these -- https://www.rei.com/product/117105/outd ... sun-gloves -- help avert them. The downside is that it really feels like a bit much to have and use *hiking gloves* . . . .
Hmmm, that's an idea. I did find that Body Glide helped, although didn't last terribly long. If I had been out longer I thought about trying to put moleskin on the straps. Or taping my hands. Not sure how either would hold up though, since I didn't get to that point.


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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by kolo » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:09 pm

Nice report Ingo! Thanks for sharing. I must be blind too, I have been on that trail a couple of times and have never seen the locomotive that everyone talks about.


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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by The_Guy » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:57 pm

I'll keep an eye out for it in July. Great report, my son loved the video.


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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by zims » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:21 pm

Nice report "wink wink"
saw a moose on shore leaving boat...lol finally. Was way back in the woods, caught it out of the corner of my eye. Like they say, some people live through others adventures, so that said thanks for the card games and photo sharing. Nice to laugh once in a while.


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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by JackieK » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:26 pm

I really enjoyed your video and trip report. I am planning on doing this same trip in August with my 15 year old grandson. I have a one person tent and he has a hammock. Do all the campsites you stayed at have trees for hanging the hammock?

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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by Ingo » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:15 pm

JackieK wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:26 pm
I really enjoyed your video and trip report. I am planning on doing this same trip in August with my 15 year old grandson. I have a one person tent and he has a hammock. Do all the campsites you stayed at have trees for hanging the hammock?
Jackie, In general I'd say yes, but I really wasn't paying attention to where you might hang a hammock. You may want to post the specific question under Trails & Campsites--I know others have here have used hammocks. Do pay particular attention to the health of the trees, however. Last year there were a couple of serious injuries, and a night of evacuations, when a tree fell on a hammock with 2 girls in it at Hatchet Lake.

It was a great trip and I'm sure you will enjoy it, too!

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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by Ingo » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:18 pm

zims wrote:
Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:21 pm
Nice report "wink wink"
saw a moose on shore leaving boat...lol finally. Was way back in the woods, caught it out of the corner of my eye. Like they say, some people live through others adventures, so that said thanks for the card games and photo sharing. Nice to laugh once in a while.
Always great meeting folks who share the love of I.R! And play a mean game of cards ...


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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by johnhens » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:03 pm

How was the tent?

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Re: TR: 5/29-6/4/2017 [Feldtmann Loop Clockwise]

Post by Ingo » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:32 pm

johnhens wrote:
Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:03 pm
How was the tent?
Like it. Will write a separate review when I get the chance.

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