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June 25-30 plan

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:37 am
by Lane
I guess this is where I ask about this. We HAVE to take a float plane - it's on her bucket list or whatever. We'll be arriving Rock Harbor around 5PM June 25 weather permitting - plane is for 4PM from UP. Here is the plan: Arrive RH plane dock, hike and stay at 3 mile night 1. Day 2 hike to Lake Richie (11 mi) - camp. Day 3 hike to W Chickenbone (4 mi) - camp. Day 4 hike to Lane Cove (13 mi) - my namesake so I have to spend a night there. Day 5 hike back to Rock Harbor (7 mi) - camp. Day 6, June 30, meet plane for 9AM flight back to America. That's 5 nights, a ten miler on the first (2nd) day, a 13 miler on the 4th day and a casual 7 miles on day 5. Plan to fish at Richie and Chickenbone, and take an excursion around Chickenbone vicinity. We are very experienced in rough terrain but have never done a 'true' backpacking trip. Did several rough trails in Acadia, Did the Narrows in Zion with side trip. North Rim hike down and back day hike. Did Bright Angel trail out to flats in Grand Canyon down and back in one day in AUGUST - yes it was 115 degrees down there. I guess kayaking across Fontana Lake and back country camping in GSMNP for a few nights last June counts - but we didn't have to hump our stuff every day. Although we did 12 mile day hikes from base to chase fish.

This looks pretty simple on paper. I imagine, weather dependent, W Chicken to Lane Cove could be a chore. Since I have yet to see the topography of the island I am just guessing Greenstone from WC to LC and especially Greenstone to LC and back will be steep. (???) So 13 miles could seem like 20? It is not beyond our capability to hike for 8+ hours in a day, but I'd rather not. I figure WC to LC should be a casual 8 hours. If it takes ten, okay. But 8 seems to be a high estimate - maybe. Like I said, I don't know the terrain.

I've heard mixed answers on water availability. Will I be able to water up along this route? I have no desire to drink Lake Superior water. And I do not want to put LS water through my filter then use it inland.

Questions: Does my plan look sound? Is there poison ivy on the island? Ticks? And any other advice? I'll get a map since the NPS map seems to be useless. Any advice on maps? I'll only carry a compass.
Thanks, Lane

Re: June 25-30 plan

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:45 am
by Chorizo
West Chickenbone to Lane Cove sounds like your toughest day but is pretty doable for most folks. I don't know you but Id be surprised if it took you 8 hrs or more. The trail out of lane Cove back to the Greenstone is the toughest shorter stretch you will see out there. It's not super hard but more so than other areas.

Get the standard NG/Trails Illustrated map. Not a bad idea to have a compass but if you follow the map and pay attention at trail intersections then you likely won't use it. I don't know about poison ivy, I think there is but I have never seen it. That there are no ticks that like humans on the island is my understanding, and my experience.

Lastly, why on earth would you NOT want to filter and drink Lake Superior water? It is some of the greatest water you will ever drink. Carefully scooped you can filter Superior water all week without having to clean out your filter. There's just very little particulate in it to be filtered. I would absolutely recommended drinking water from Superior over any other source on the island or almost any other place in the midwest for that matter. That certainly includes the treated stuff from the spigots at Windigo and Rock Harbor. The water from the inland lakes is fine (save for any late summer blue algae restrictions at Lake Ritchie) but they do tend to clog the filter sooner than Superior.

Re: June 25-30 plan

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:46 am
by Ingo
Sounds like you're in shape to do it. Be aware you're going in what could be prime mosquito and/or black fly season, so bring headnets and bug dope. The inland lakes (Richie and Chickenbone) can be particularly bad, so you may want to reconsider lake side campgrounds instead (Moskey/McCargoe). Dependent a lot on the season and weather.

No water sources from WC to LC.
Am curious about your aversion to Lake Superior water. I'd much rather source from it vs an inland lake or stream. Could be a challenge if you're set on this--e.g. you may be hiking back to a beaver pond at Lane Cove.
Yes, the climb out of Lane Cove is steep with some switchbacks. Slippery when wet. A few hundred feet vertical.

Get the Nat'l Geographic Trails Illustrated map--it's the standard.
No ticks (well lots of moose ticks, but they don't bother humans).
No poison ivy (some have reported, but questionable, if there's any there it's extremely rare).

Have a great trip!

Re: June 25-30 plan

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:35 am
by Lane
Thanks - sounds good. Okay, I'll drink Superior water. I don't have an aversion to it, but it got your attention. The suggestion of the bays instead of the lakes area due to bugs is on my radar. So Chickenbone is the last water source to Lane's Cove. And if we go out to McCargoe it's only a couple more miles I think. Just remember to fill up before I leave.
I know 8 hours is a stretch for 13 miles, just thought I would toss it out there for comment. We do 15 in six on most day hikes - with stops etc.
It looks like going from McCargoe Cove to Lane Cove I have the option of going north around Chickenbone. Does it matter mileage wise either way?

Re: June 25-30 plan

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:29 pm
by thesneakymonkey
Superior is some of the cleanest nicest water to filter and drink. Seriously. You won’t find better. Drink it up!!

Re: June 25-30 plan

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:01 am
by torpified
it sounds to me like you've got this!

Which way around Chickenbone: the mileages on the Nat Geo map make it look like McC to Your Cove is 2.6 miles SHORTER if you take the east chickebone (northern) route. I've gone both ways in the last 13 months, and might prefer that route on aesthetic grounds as well.

Another warning about mid-june: it is never, ever dark. If you'r enot skilled at sleeping in broad daylight, bring eye shades or a buff not soaked in deet.

Re: June 25-30 plan

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:03 pm
by Lane
Made it. Could not have asked for better weather... except the last - second to last night. Got in RH early to make sure we had a shelter and to be at the plane dock by 830 next morn. Thunder and lightning storm from hell that night. Was "stuck" on island an extra day. Spent all day at dock waiting for an opening to take off - never happened. Got out early Sunday as soon as there was a break in the fog and then raced a storm into Hancock - we beat it. 5 days is not enough time there.