Kari and Wally trip report

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philranger
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Kari and Wally trip report

Post by philranger » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:37 pm

I went to book this year’s Isle Royale trip only to find out the Voyageur II was full for the day I wanted to leave. I looked at the trip again, readjusted the days and called to book passage again on the Voyageur. This time, the date coming home was full. UGH! Instead of spending 5 nights and 6 days, I had to settle for 3 nights and 4 days. Oh well, a little Isle Royale is better than no Isle Royale. Next year, I’m booking early.

This was going to be my fourth trip and my daughter Kari’s second. I wanted to do the Feldtmann Ridge and Huginnin Cove loops, but we only had four days. I also thought the 8.5 miles to Feldtmann Lake for the first day would be hard and going to Island Mine would be better. So we did the loop clockwise. Either way, the loop is long. Not particularly difficult, but it does have some long stretches.

Our adventure began on Monday August 25th. We stayed at Rydens overnight. The Voyageur II left the dock right at 8 and we were on our way. Capt. Mike told me he got the Voyageur back yesterday. They had been using the Whenona to do the VII route. Because the Whenona is slower, it meant folks were getting to Rock Harbor around 6:30 p.m. The VII is now running at full speed and we got to Windigo a little after 10. After the LNT talk by Ranger Laura, we were on the trail by 11:15.

I had come down the Greenstone in 2005, so I was OK with doing the loop clockwise. Yes it was a lot of uphill, but we arrived at Island Mine around 3 p.m. There is a single camper in another site and we found out later she was a Park Ranger / Researcher named Leah. She is studying scat to determine if there are Pine Martens on the island.

The next day, we headed off to Siskiwit in hope of finding moose. I’ve seen moose several times during my visits, but Kari has not. When we arrive at the Bay, we are blessed with a view of this beautiful body of water. There are moose tracks on the beach and we scored one of the two shelters. I went swimming and man was it cold.

At dusk, we backtracked on the beach towards Island Mine looking for moose, but alas we are denied. The shelter front faces North, so I was able to keep a watch on the sky through the night for the Northern Lights, but they weren’t on.

The next day was a 10.2 - mile hike West to Feldtmann Lake. The trail was mostly level, but the vegetation was chest high. I was surprised to see this much foliage especially since it was the end of August. We got to the tower just before 11. It was weird to see a piece of metal on the ground and we wondered where it fell from.

The rest of the trail was a nice walk and the views from the bluffs overlooking Feldtmann Lake are breathtaking. This trail was loaded with Thimbleberries. Lush and tart. Not picked over like near Rock Harbor.

We arrived at Feldtmann Lake ahead of any hikers coming off the VII today. We got our tent up and discover we are sharing the area with a Canadian Goose. Kari names him “Moose the Goose”. There is only one other group in camp when we arrive. By the afternoon, we are joined by 2 other groups. We decided to forgo the Rainbow Cove walk because the sky is now overcast and we have to walk the 8.5 miles back to Windigo tomorrow morning.

I had talked to Capt. Mike earlier and asked him about the chances of coming home on Friday when the VII does a round trip from Grand Portage to Windigo and back. This would give us another night on the Isle. He said I would have to check with him on Thursday and he would let me know.

During the night, it started to rain. Light at first, but then pretty steady. I know the island needs rain, but the thought of hiking back to Windigo in the rain really sucked. It stopped around daybreak and Kari and I get everything packed up and we are out of camp by 7:15 heading back to Windigo. I knew the VII leaves Rock Harbor by 8 and it usually takes 4 to 5 hours for it to get to Windigo, but we still had to book. Carrying a wet tent didn’t make me happy either.

We arrive at the Pavilion just after noon and are greeted by all the passengers ready to go back on the VII and head home. Ranger Laura informed me the VII was booked for Friday so we would be leaving on today’s voyage. Kari and I have just enough time to freshen up and change into clean dry clothes. We didn’t even have enough time to visit the gift shop as the VII was pulling into the dock and we had to board.

The ride back turned into a pretty choppy ride as the winds were really blowing. Capt Mike did a great job of getting us back in about two hours despite the waves. We paid the parking fee and headed home, stopping in Superior for the night.

Some weird things I saw on this trip. One was the tandem bicycle lashed to the VII where the canoes usually go and I also saw a guy getting on the VII as we were getting off on Monday carrying a banjo. I’m glad he wasn’t camping next to us.

Kari has yet to see a moose on Isle Royale. I told her the moose must go on strike when they hear about her visiting. I suggested maybe they could tie a cowbell on each one so we can easily spot them in the woods. She made some sarcastic remark about the wolves associating the bell with dinner. I’m just happy she still wants to hang out with me. She even drove part of the way up and back. We are talking about coming back next year and attempting the Minong. I really felt rushed on this trip and didn’t get to really enjoy some solid down time. Maybe next year.
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.

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Tom
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Re: Kari and Wally trip report

Post by Tom » Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:48 pm

Thanks for the report! It's a bummer Kari hasn't been able to see a moose; I'd especially think the chances are good on the Feldtman loop. Seems they're always around there. Oh well, next year just plan your trip for early June when the cows have calved, and then just hang out at Rock Harbor or Windigo... Seems the moose have caught on it's a safer place to raise a small child; around all those people where the wolves don't like to visit as much.

Yum... Thimbleberries....


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Re: Kari and Wally trip report

Post by johnhens » Mon Sep 01, 2008 5:41 pm

Too bad about not be able to spend more time. Too bad about Kari not seeing any moose, there is always next year!! :)

Glad you got to do the Feldtmann Loop, beautiful hike.
How were the bugs and berries?

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Re: Kari and Wally trip report

Post by philranger » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:51 pm

I'll book earlier next year! Thimbleberries everywhere once you got off the Greenstone. There were also mosquitos, something I really never had to deal with on previous trips.
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.

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Re: Kari and Wally trip report

Post by fonixmunkee » Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:00 am

Thanks for the TR. Your TR (especially with the vegetation between Siskiwit and Feldtmann Lake) have some very reminiscent images.

Sorry your daughter didn't get to see a moose, but something tells me she probably had just as wonderful of a time anyway :)

I can't imagine where the tandem bike was coming from/going to, but my guess would be Rock Harbor...?

Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Kari and Wally trip report

Post by Ingo » Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:35 pm

There was a bicycle on the boat on one of my trips. The guy was biking across the country and taking a "short cut" across Superior. And he wanted to see I.R. He was just overnighting at R.H. and leaving the next day on another boat. Since there's no wheeled vehicles allowed, they immediately took it and locked it up overnight in R.H. I remember that he had to pre-arrange with the NPS, and that it was a bit of a hassle (or he thought so anyway).

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Re: Kari and Wally trip report

Post by Keweenaw » Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:39 pm

The tandem was relatives of some friends. They were doing a loop from Duluth: Duluth - Grand Portage - Copper Harbor MI via Voyager/Queen - Duluth.

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Re: Kari and Wally trip report

Post by Kevinl » Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:33 am

Awesome trip report. Thanks for sharing. I think that loop is one of the best on the island, but I haven't seen everything on the island either.

Ingo, we might have been on the same boat, because I met a guy carrying a bike across too, doing a cross country trip. I told him taking the boat was cheating. Don't know if he liked my wise-acre sense of humor after that. I've also seen people carrying collapsible guitars, and was glad that I wasn't next to them too.

I think every trip report should have a required section: "Weird things I saw on this trip." Although we'd probably just be writing about each other. Or you guys would all write about me.

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Re: Kari and Wally trip report

Post by philranger » Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:31 pm

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.

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Re: Kari and Wally trip report

Post by fonixmunkee » Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:04 pm

"C'mon up chicken" is the best caption for a picture in a while. Thanks :)
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Re: Kari and Wally trip report

Post by MIKE A » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:35 am

Nice report great pics to.
Me and my daughter will be doing this route in 2009.
On all her trips so far 2 she has not seen any moose.
Funny how that works .
On my previous 7 trips before that I have seen lots.

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