2021 Hiking Trip Plan Windigo to RH - looking for feedback & suggestions

Questions about trails and campsites on the island.

Moderator: MikeT

glitch99
NewbieCake
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:18 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 1

Re: 2021 Hiking Trip Plan Windigo to RH - looking for feedback & suggestions

Post by glitch99 »

Spot on, torpified! I’ve read so many trip reports and blogs over the past few weeks that I lost track. Credit where credit is due! dcclark has definitely inspired me to find time for the mines, but also has me slightly terrified of boaters on the island. I like your thinking on RH. We can always make it a game-time decision on whether our need for a shower outweighs our aversion to anything even slightly touristy. A little canoodling or maybe even some putzing around (as my grampa used to say) might just be in order!
84 WC-FL-SB-SD-HL-DF-RH
User avatar
dcclark
Trailblazer
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:39 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 3
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Contact:

Re: 2021 Hiking Trip Plan Windigo to RH - looking for feedback & suggestions

Post by dcclark »

"Canoodling" is a uniquely Dr. Torpified term, at least on this board! (We have the same general profession, although I like the way Dr. T describes it: "13th to 25th grade teacher".)

I did write a blog post describing the glories of the Minong Mine, but many others have sung that song too. I highly recommend it. Set aside a few hours at least -- there's a lot more to see than just the main interpreted adit (horizontal opening). When you go there, also continue west on the Minong Ridge trail for a few hundred yards past the mine turnoff, until the trail takes a sharp uphill climb. Look for a volunteer trail going up the ridge to your right (north). That's Pine Mountain, and the view from the top is one of the most spectacular views I've seen on the island.

One last thing that nobody else has brought up... I really really encourage you to add a rest day in your plan. I know you said you have a flex day in case of seaplane delay (which is good!), but that does't give you any rest during the actual hiking.

The island can be rougher than you expect, even if you've done mega miles on the Jordan River Pathway. The constant up-and-down over ridges and rocks can make the miles feel much longer. If you discover that the hiking is harder than you expect, your current plan doesn't let you take a break and recuperate. Even a small injury can get magnified if you are forced to keep hiking on it for 10+ miles.

I'll freely admit that I'm a bit of a wimp and take "Hike your own hike" quite literally... some days I'll crank out 12 or 13 miles fully loaded, some days 4 miles on a light pack just seems like too much. But I try never to plan more than 8 miles a day on the island, plus a rest day, for a reason. One of the joys of Isle Royale is that you can adjust your pace and change your goals if you feel like it. Even if you handle the miles just fine, it's worth having the time to relax and enjoy your surroundings rather than having to go-go-go.

I also second what torpified said about enjoying the luxuries of Rock Harbor, and doing some dayhikes if you have the time.

So, my suggestion is: Add an extra planned day on the island, with no mileage. Decide on the fly when you actually want to take it, and if everything feels great and you eat up the miles, use it to lounge around at the endpoint and savor a slow transition back to civilization.

(Edit: One way to judge how you'll feel on Isle Royale: Have you ever hiked the Porcupine Mountains? They're somewhat easier than Isle Royale, but harder than Jordan River.)
kolo
Trailblazer
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:48 am
Isle Royale Visits: 11

Re: 2021 Hiking Trip Plan Windigo to RH - looking for feedback & suggestions

Post by kolo »

"Canoodling" is a uniquely Dr. Torpified term, at least on this board! (We have the same general profession, although I like the way Dr. T describes it: "13th to 25th grade teacher".)
I am slowly putting the pieces together. Does Dr. Torpified teach at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor? If so, I have a former high school student attending college there. It would sure be interesting to find out if my former student is a student of hers now!
Midwest Ed
IR Expert
Posts: 1244
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:25 am
Isle Royale Visits: 8
Location: Quad Cities, IL

Re: 2021 Hiking Trip Plan Windigo to RH - looking for feedback & suggestions

Post by Midwest Ed »

kolo wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:17 am
canoodling around Tobin Harbor . . . .
Ms. Torpified, are you sure canoodling is a word?! :) If my memory is correct, I thought I remembered that you are a Language Arts teacher! :wink:
LOL. You actually don't need a canoe (or any paddle craft) to canoodle...unless of course you happen to be in the middle of Tobin Harbor and wish to remain dry.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013
torpified
May actually live on IR
Posts: 395
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:06 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 4
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Contact:

Re: 2021 Hiking Trip Plan Windigo to RH - looking for feedback & suggestions

Post by torpified »

kolo wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:17 am
canoodling around Tobin Harbor . . . .
Ms. Torpified, are you sure canoodling is a word?! :) If my memory is correct, I thought I remembered that you are a Language Arts teacher! :wink:
I'm afraid that it's philosophy, the field where language goes to die. It's a long shot that I know your student, kolo -- but it's also a long shot that we'd meet, in person, twice, on IR, and we have! So PM me their name and I'll see if it rings a bell.

But this is hijacking glitch99's thread! I feel like not enough has been said in praise of the vintage pictures (in part because it's simply not possible to say enough in praise of those pictures). glitch99, do you have any particularly vivid memories of the trip? And has the intention to return been stewing for a quarter century, or did something kickstart it more recently??
kolo
Trailblazer
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:48 am
Isle Royale Visits: 11

Re: 2021 Hiking Trip Plan Windigo to RH - looking for feedback & suggestions

Post by kolo »

I'm afraid that it's philosophy, the field where language goes to die. It's a long shot that I know your student, kolo -- but it's also a long shot that we'd meet, in person, twice, on IR, and we have! So PM me their name and I'll see if it rings a bell.
Torpified, I sent you a PM.
backwoods doc
NewbieCake
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:38 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 2
Location: Fort Worth, TX

Re: 2021 Hiking Trip Plan Windigo to RH - looking for feedback & suggestions

Post by backwoods doc »

The president of my daughter's college was giving a talk on the benefits (and risks) of a liberal arts education. He recalled making that phone call, some 25 years ago, that every parent of an undergraduate dreads: "Mom, Dad -- I've decided to change my major to philosophy".
glitch99
NewbieCake
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:18 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 1

Re: 2021 Hiking Trip Plan Windigo to RH - looking for feedback & suggestions

Post by glitch99 »

dcclark - thanks much for the great advice. It's always a difficult balance for me between seeing as much as possible vs. taking the time to enjoy it. Quantity vs. quality, I guess. Great suggestion, though, to put a flex day on the island and then decide how to use it on the fly. I haven't done the Porky's yet, but it's on my to-do list. I definitely expect IR to be significantly more difficult than Jordan River - I provided that just for reference as to our current capabilities, not that I expect to maintain that sort of pace in the more difficult terrain. Point taken, though, and much appreciated! I truly enjoyed your mine exploration blog and look forward to reading about your other adventures.

torpified - I really don't mind having my thread hijacked - it's very entertaining to see the engaged and diverse community at work here! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the pictures - lucky for me that my dad chose to lug 5 pounds of 35mm camera gear across the island in addition to the ~70lb pack on his back. Several things stand out from that trip:
- Coming face-to-face with a moose while walking on one of the boardwalks near Feldtmann Lake. I was in the lead, the moose was standing in the swamp right next to the planks and we were STILL eye-to-eye! I just stopped and stammered "m-m-m-mooose!" What else could I do until it decided to move on?
- Lake Superior is shockingly cold! Bathing at Siskiwit Bay consisted of swimming as fast as we possibly could from one pier to the other. It was probably only 50 feet but felt like 50 miles!
- Our trip plan could have used a LOT more research. Using the NPS brochure to determine hiking distances was...ineffective. We had "measured" our route on the map and estimated it to be around 42 miles total. In actuality, it was 62 miles total and trying to go all the way from Feldtmann Lake to Island Mine in 1 day with nearly full packs was lunacy. We made it to RH in time to catch our ride home, but not without a grueling 15 mile death-march from Hatchet Lake to Daisy Farm near the end.
- That bag of Doritos from the Rock Harbor store was the best bag of Doritos I've ever had in my entire life! And, as many others have described, we had our longest encounter with a moose and her calf that wandered right into the busy campground area and seemed in no rush to leave our company!

I'd say the desire to go back has always been simmering on the back burner, but life happens - school, work, kids, house, etc. have all conspired to keep me fully subscribed. As my youngest daughter is preparing to head off to college next year, my wife and I have started to explore new interests and rediscover past diversions which might help to keep us active and engaged as empty-nesters. We did a weekend hike together on the Manistee River Trail in September and she loved it, but 2 days in the wilderness is about her limit. Luckily I have a couple buddies at the same stage who are equally as interested and capable of tackling backcountry excursions as I am. I'm confident this is only the start, but I intend to make the most of every adventure since there's no way to know for sure when it will end!
84 WC-FL-SB-SD-HL-DF-RH
Midwest Ed
IR Expert
Posts: 1244
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 1:25 am
Isle Royale Visits: 8
Location: Quad Cities, IL

Re: 2021 Hiking Trip Plan Windigo to RH - looking for feedback & suggestions

Post by Midwest Ed »

torpified wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:00 amI feel like not enough has been said in praise of the vintage pictures (in part because it's simply not possible to say enough in praise of those pictures).
I'll try to help redirect. I've found the airplane used. Tail registration N774E is a 1961 Dornier Do 28 Skyservant (mfg in Germany). I found the actual plane still exists (at least as of 2010), sitting on display at the Wausau, WI airport. The registration was still active in 2017 although it's airworthiness appears in doubt. The current owner is listed as a resident of Shawano, WI but conflicting documents claim it has been deregistered and exported to The United Kingdom for spare parts. BTW, the nose artwork reads "Capt. Tom Wunderlich"
.
.
Dornier-Do-28-A-1-N774E-Floatplane.jpg
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013
kolo
Trailblazer
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:48 am
Isle Royale Visits: 11

Re: 2021 Hiking Trip Plan Windigo to RH - looking for feedback & suggestions

Post by kolo »

Glitch99, I apologize for hijacking your thread. Sometimes when I am teaching my high school students, I get sidetracked; sometimes it really is a teachable moment, but often it is not! I am glad you are finding your back to the Isle! I think you will be making more than just this one trip! The island provides a seemingly unlimited number of trips a person could plan.

Thank you for choosing to have kids and raising them to be good young adults! Parenting is the hardest job there is and I really respect people who try to do their best in raising their kids.
kolo
Trailblazer
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:48 am
Isle Royale Visits: 11

Re: 2021 Hiking Trip Plan Windigo to RH - looking for feedback & suggestions

Post by kolo »

The registration was still active in 2017 although it's airworthiness appears in doubt.
Ed, seeing that picture and reading your post reminded of why I went skydiving a while back! At the airport I flew out of, there was a plane with its nose planted into the ground and a sign that said "Learn to skydive, it could save your life." I wish I could find a picture of it.
glitch99
NewbieCake
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:18 pm
Isle Royale Visits: 1

Re: 2021 Hiking Trip Plan Windigo to RH - looking for feedback & suggestions

Post by glitch99 »

Ed - that's a great find! I think my dad took a few more pictures of the float planes in '84. I'll scan and post a few more next time I'm over there.
Kolo - no apologies needed. I'm the noob that came here looking for advice and I got plenty, so all of you veterans can chat about anything you'd like! Thank YOU for being a teacher! That's a calling, not just a job, and one for which I'd never have the patience. I suspect you're right that this won't be my only trip back to IR, but with so many great places to explore throughout the US, you never know.
84 WC-FL-SB-SD-HL-DF-RH
Post Reply