Asking for plan “B” advice

Questions about how to get to the island and where to stay near points of departure.

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Jbone6797
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Asking for plan “B” advice

Post by Jbone6797 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:40 pm

First of all, thank you to everybody who posts on this forum. My wife, three kids and I are planning our first trip to The Island in early August and this forum has been a wealth of information!
Our “A” plan is to take the ferry from Copper Harbor to Rock harbor, then catch the Voyager the next day to Chippewa Harbor. From there we will camp across The Island via Lake Richie, West Chickenbone and McCargo cove. Then we will take the Voyager once again back to Rock Harbor and the Queen back to Copper Harbor the next day. Figured we could do short hikes carrying all our gear to the next campsite and then fish or take day hikes without carrying so much weight.
Where I need the advice is what if the ferry to the island is delayed a day due to weather? Does that pretty much blow our itinerary out of the water? Will I be able to get any kind of refund for the two Voyager reservations? If we are a day late, I don’t want to push the family to make McCargo for the Voyager ride back to Rock Harbor. Any suggestions or advice is appreciated and thank you in advance!

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Ingo
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Re: Asking for plan “B” advice

Post by Ingo » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:06 pm

Your plan seems to be well thought out and it's obvious you understand the boat schedules :). That time of year the odds of weather delays for the boats is low, but yes, in the worst case that the Queen stays in port and the Voyageur runs as planned, then you would have to change plans and probably lose some money. What I would suggest is using the Water Taxi service from the Rock Harbor Lodge http://www.rockharborlodge.com/water-taxi. Those boats carry up to 6 passengers and you schedule your trip with them. If the weather affects them, they make up the trips as the weather allows, but you would be right there. It may cost a little more, but it doesn't look like too much of a difference.

The other option is to do the drive to Grand Portage and just use the Voyageur, reversing your trip to McCargoe to Chippewa. You would miss the overnights at R.H., but you could add a night or two in Windigo--no restaurant, but there's pizza and showers. And it's a nice drive up the North Shore of Minnesota!

Hope that helps.
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF

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Base654
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Re: Asking for plan “B” advice

Post by Base654 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:46 pm

Plan C: remember you can change your plans. I have always wanted to your plan A( I just haven't got around to it), but have never been disappointed with any campgrounds or routes. I plan my plan C by getting back to the dock for departure.

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Re: Asking for plan “B” advice

Post by dcclark » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:47 pm

If the timing works out, you could add in a rest day or two, which can also act as flex days in case of a delay. McCargoe in particular is a fantastic place to spend an extra day -- tons of good dayhikes from there. But, since the Voyageur takes two days to circle the island, that plan might require adding two full days to your trip.

BTW, your plan is almost exactly what my wife and I did last year (you could read about it here, or don't if you want to avoid "spoilers" :)).

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Re: Asking for plan “B” advice

Post by thesneakymonkey » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:21 am

Jbone! Sounds like a unique fun trip for you and your family. How about adding in a zero day where you just chill at camp? This will give you an extra day to play with if schedules dont mesh. Or as suggested above the water taxi's could be of use to you.

There were a lot of fish jumping in the water when we were at McCargoe cove last summer, and at west chicken bone we witnessed fishermen catching lots of walleye. Hopefully you have a little luck fishing with the family!


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Re: Asking for plan “B” advice

Post by Jbone6797 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:28 am

Thanks for all the suggestions!
Ingo, I did look at the water taxi option, it’s only another $50 for the two trips. My questions with that are do they run every day, and will they get us to our destination if we are a day behind?
Dcclark, my wife came across your blog from your last trip and that’s where I got the idea from! It seemed like a very relaxing trip with maximum Isle Royale exposure!
We are also planning on reserving a room at the lodge for our last night on The Island, I’m sure showers, burgers and beer will be in tall order!
I’ll look over the ferry schedules again and see about adding in an extra day for unexpected circumstances. I’ll use any excuse I can for an extra day in God’s country!

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Re: Asking for plan “B” advice

Post by Ingo » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:24 am

Jbone6797 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:28 am
Ingo, I did look at the water taxi option, it’s only another $50 for the two trips. My questions with that are do they run every day, and will they get us to our destination if we are a day behind?
Yes they run every day. You do need a reservation, which you'll make for a specific day and time. If the Queen is delayed, they will know it and will work with you to accommodate you--they will likely be behind schedule also--but may also have cancellations due to the weather. You may also have the option to say start at Moskey Basin if the lake is too rough to get to Chippewa Harbor, or you need to shorten the hiking part of your trip. Odds are everything will go as planned, but if not you go with the options you have--things have a way of working out on the island. I've had a couple of messed up itineraries, but never a bad trip.
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF


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Jbone6797
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Re: Asking for plan “B” advice

Post by Jbone6797 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:58 am

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and info. I like the idea of having a “buffer day” so I’m thinking we will plan on taking the Queen to Rock Harbor a day earlier, and reserve a ride on the water taxi to Chippewa Harbor the next day. That way if we are delayed a day, we can still take the taxi to Moskey basin and take the short hike to Lake Richie if we want, which will put us back on schedule and give us an extra day at McCargo, or we can stay the night at Moskey. Decisions decisions! Either way we’ll catch the Voyager at McCargo back to Rock Harbor. I know it’s 8 months away but we are already pretty excited to be planning such an awesome adventure!


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Re: Asking for plan “B” advice

Post by carsey » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:50 pm

We took Queen over last year in August to Rock Harbor and water taxi was grounded due to increasing waves. We had water taxi reserved to go to Chippewa Harbor. Luckily we had a zero day scheduled in our itinerary so we just camped at rock harbor and then went to Chippewa Harbor via water taxi about noon the next day. Hiked back via Lake Richie, Moskey Basin, Daisy Farm, Three Mile to Rock Harbor.

2016 we took water taxi to Mc Cargo Cove, longer ride and expensive but then doable hike back to Rock Harbor.

Just a note that we did these hikes with our kids who are now 12 & 8 years old, trying to keep distances manageable.

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