TR: 6/2-6/9 2017[DF-MCC-WCH-MB-DF-3M-RH]

Reports or links to reports on trips.

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Tortuga
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TR: 6/2-6/9 2017[DF-MCC-WCH-MB-DF-3M-RH]

Post by Tortuga » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:56 pm

Final Itinerary:
6/2: Rock Harbor-Daisy Farm (via Tobin Harbor and Greenstone)
6/3: Daisy to McCargoe (via Greenstone/East Chicken Bone)
6/4: McCargoe to W Chicken Bone
6/5: W Chicken Bone to Moskey Basin (water break @ Lake Ritchie)
6/6: Moskey to Daisy
6/7: Daisy to 3 Mile
6/8: 3 Mile to Rock Habor (via Rock Harbor Trail)

Weather: Absolutely amazing weather. Slight rain on 6/3 and again on 6/9 for about 30 minutes. Otherwise sunny and gorgeous, every single day. Shoreline temps were in 50’s during the day with 70’s on the ridgelines. Night temps were a little chilly but not unbearable. I can’t believe how lucky I was and heard much the same at camps and on the return boat.

Wildlife: I personally saw just one moose, on the climb up to the Greenstone from Daisy Farm on 6/3. I startled it and it ran off toward Lake Ojibway. Every other hiker I talked to saw multiple moose, and they all saw some in the Lake Ojibway area. A group of hikers reported seeing as many as 10-12 moose at once when they went down to the lake. This is also the area where I found fresh wolf scat and tracks. Feldtmann Lake was also another popular moose spot according to fellow hikers.

I saw lots of snakes, toads, sandhill cranes, had a visit from a pair of loons at 3 mile dock, and a very unhappy beaver at McCargoe Cove (which apparently visits daily to slap its tail, according to hikers who stayed on at least two other nights than I did). I saved a baby painted turtle from being harassed by some baby Canada geese.

Bugs: The bugs are out. They were worse in some places than others. Chickenbone and Ritchie were pretty rife with midges and mosquitos, although the breeze did keep them at bay during the afternoon at W Chickenbone #6. As expected the wet areas of the trail had lots of mosquitos, and with so much more beaver activity there are a lot of wet areas. Bees were present at most campsites; both bumble-type bees and hornet-looking things. They weren’t out en mass but they are there.

Trail Conditions: Generally good. The Greenstone west of Daisy to East Chicken Bone was pretty bad. Lots of deadfall/blowdowns and it looks like the trail crews hadn’t been through yet. There is also one incredibly mucky spot where someone has created a "side trail" to nowhere as you are going West. Best advice is to walk through the muck and do NOT follow this side trail. You'll have to come back anyway. It was probably the worst-shape trail I encountered. Hikers from Grand Portage reported snow and ice still along some of the north shore.

Rangers are warning guests planning to camp at Lane Cove that the boardwalk crossing the beaver pond is submerged, and are suggesting either 1) removing boots to cross floating/submerged boards, or 2) walk the beaver dam. There doesn't seem to be a plan to deal with this otherwise.

Campsite Conditions: Generally good. Several camps have pit toilets in desperate need of repair. Several pits across the campgrounds I stayed in were roped off due to being “full,” and new pits were being worked on in Rock Harbor. The fullest camp conditions I saw were at Moskey (the rush of people from Rock Harbor after getting off the Queen), and at Rock Harbor, which had all the shelters claimed by noon the day before I left. Most camps had open sites most nights, including shelters. I had no neighbors at 3 Mile shelter #5.

According to one of the rangers at Daisy, when they arrived at the island this Spring, a beaver had built a dam at Daisy that was submerging the bridge over Benson Creek and turning the creek into a beaver pond. This was putting a number of shelters and trails through the campground at risk. The park service destroyed that dam and reports that the beaver hasn’t been seen in a couple weeks. The ranger said working speculation is the wolves may have gotten him, though my suspicion is maybe the beaver in question was trapped and relocated to another part of the island.

I have an iMovie montage of my trip and will try to add it here tomorrow. Needless to say I cannot wait to get back and hope to do the Feldtmann Loop or Minong after Labor Day.


Topic author
Tortuga
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Re: TR: 6/2-6/9 2017[DF-MCC-WCH-MB-DF-3M-RH]

Post by Tortuga » Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:19 pm

https://youtu.be/bpMibC6muWY

My ill-used YouTube account. Too bad some of the quality gets lost in translation, but the gist is there!


The_Guy
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Re: TR: 6/2-6/9 2017[DF-MCC-WCH-MB-DF-3M-RH]

Post by The_Guy » Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:29 am

Thanks for the report and letting us know about Lane Cove, I'm still debating on giving it a try, but the prospect of wet feet before I climb up that hill on my way out is feeling less and less appealing.


Topic author
Tortuga
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Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:11 pm
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Re: TR: 6/2-6/9 2017[DF-MCC-WCH-MB-DF-3M-RH]

Post by Tortuga » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:24 pm

The_Guy wrote:
Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:29 am
Thanks for the report and letting us know about Lane Cove, I'm still debating on giving it a try, but the prospect of wet feet before I climb up that hill on my way out is feeling less and less appealing.
Apparently it's not the entire boardwalk, but about 20 feet that's supposed to be "ankle deep." If you have camp shoes it should be a passable crossing, especially if there hasn't been rain in the past day or so. It really is a nice campground.


torpified
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Re: TR: 6/2-6/9 2017[DF-MCC-WCH-MB-DF-3M-RH]

Post by torpified » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:40 pm

Having myself nearly been pitched into Benson Creek by the de-stabilized boardwalk, I can see why they relocated (or contrived to have one of the island's two remaining wolves consume) my frenemy, the Daisy Farm beaver. Still: so much for my plan to place a sign next to the Benson Creek boardwalk bragging "best boardwalk by a dam site."

Thanks for the report!

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