2nd trip of year to ISRO NP

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jerry
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2nd trip of year to ISRO NP

Post by jerry » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:55 pm

August 9 (Monday) 2010

I left Dayton at 2 a.m. Arrived near Urbana, Ohio shortly after 3 a.m. Headed up north a little after 3:30 a.m. with some friends (husband/wife team) who are educators. This is their first trip to ISRO, my 7th. I’ve talked so much about the place they said let’s go, even though I did the Minong Ridge Trail in June of this year. We had a nice trip up through NW Ohio and through Michigan. We arrived in Copper Harbor before the sun went down. We decided to stay at the Lake Fanny Hooe campground. We got the tent up before we walked over to the Mariner to eat our last regular meal before ISRO. Man that Keweenaw Amber is great. The soup was good too. It was still warm (70s) when we went to bed (air mattress). I woke up in the middle of the night (I guess I was ready to go). I walked down to the boat dock and around town for about an hour. Never got back to sleeping.

August 10 (Tuesday) day 1

Since we had a canoe we got to the dock early. It was 68 and sunny when we departed at 8:03 for the island. The Lady was kind of laid back, in other words the waves were minimal. We sat with a woman (a teacher from a town near Lansing) and her teenagers. (More about them later.) I forgot to write down what the Captain said about the Lake temperature, but folks told me it was close to a record high. When we arrived at Rock Harbor at 11:25 it was partly cloudy and 75.

After the LNT lecture we moved our gear/canoe over near the east end of the harbor. We launched the canoe from there. Sharon was in the front of the canoe and John in the back with yours truly on top of our gear in the middle. I was going to hike out to Daisy Farm, but they said 180 pounds more wasn’t an issue. And besides that, I had never been in a little boat in this body of water before. We headed out at 12:40. The waves were there, but not more then a foot. We arrived at the Three Mile dock (it was still a mess) at 1:38. We were passing some of the folks (hikers) that we came out with on the Queen. We arrived at Daisy Farm at 3:10. We found a shelter just east of the dock. We decided to spend two days at this location.

A trip up to Mt. Ojibway was in order. We left at 4:16 and arrived at the tower at 5:21. This was my third time to visit the fire tower. It was warm and sunny up there this time. We had great views. (Last year I could hardly see the tower due to the storm before Labor Day.) We took the Greenstone over to the Daisy Farm Trail leaving at 5:41 and arriving at the trail junction at 6:24. As we were heading down the Daisy Farm Trail on one of the boardwalks we came across fresh moose tracks and saw a large beautiful hare. My friends were enjoying themselves. We got back to the shelter by 7:28. I filtered the water for our next day and talked to some folks down by the dock (filtering was my task, John/Sharon would prepare/cook the food). Many of us at Daisy Farm couldn’t believe how warm the harbor waters were.

August 11 (Wednesday) day 2

When I got up at 6:30 it was 69 and cloudy. We decided to canoe down to Moskey Basin. We left the shore just east of the dock at 9:06. Not far from the dock we encountered two otters that were playing around. They were less then ten feet from us. We arrived at the Moskey dock at 10:14; I was rowing in front this time. We beached the canoe south of the dock (it too was still damaged). After looking around a little, we decided to day hike over to Lake Richie. We came across several groups who were heading over to Moskey, some of them were going to go back for their canoes after getting their gear transported to the Moskey campground. It took us about 73 minutes to get to Lake Richie from the Moskey dock area. We met a couple from Chicago while we were taking a lunch break next to Lake Richie (they originally were from Poland).

I decided to hike back to Daisy Farm from Lake Richie. Sharon and John decided to hike north for about another 10 minutes and then return by canoe to Daisy Farm. It took me about an hour to get to the junction post pointing to Moskey Basin. There were 2 of what I call woolly worms near the post. It was 78 and cloudy at about 1:30. Back on the Rock Harbor trail I came across some folks from Beavercreek, Ohio and Bellbrook, Ohio. They noticed the baseball hat (Dayton Dragons) that I was wearing. I let them know they weren’t far from the Moskey campgrounds.

On the Rock Harbor Trail I came across a few more folks heading out to Moskey. I woke up a garter snake on the trail. It was on a warm rocky surface. It kept trying to go up hill and then it would slide down the rocky trail. I just decided to walk/jump over it, that way it could go back to sleep. I took some short breaks talking to the westbound hikers. I arrived back at our shelter at Daisy Farm at 3:20. Including breaks, it took 1:45 from the junction to Moskey campgrounds. It was cloudy and 76 when I got back. We had a light rain a few minutes later that lasted for only a short period of time. Sharon and John came across three eagles when canoeing back from Moskey on the north shore of the basin. I felt they were getting to like Isle Royale. By 5 p.m. the temperature dropped to 71.

Candy Peterson and her husband Rolf gave a presentation at 8 p.m. near the dock. This was the second time I’ve attended one of their presentations and I’m always learning something. They brought some examples to show us such as an infected jaw of a moose. Skulls and bones of the wolf, fox and other moose were displayed in the sand near the dock. There was a large crowd (at least 30 people) including a baby at this event. Lots of good questions and answers. They invited folks to visit across the harbor at their place (you need a boat to get there and we had one).

The evening continued to be interesting. After it got dark, some younger backpackers started walking around the campgrounds looking for and shouting their friend’s name. This went on for some time. Rangers and some volunteers got involved. Boats were going along the shore looking for the missing guy. After awhile I fell asleep.

August 12 (Thursday) day 3

The temperature was 64 with partly cloudy skies at 6:30 a.m. John and a few other volunteers were getting ready to look for the missing hiker again. Guess who walked into the campgrounds shortly after sun up? He and his friends were in trouble with the rangers. Something from the outside world was used by him/them yesterday, hhmmm. I’m sorry to say, these young college aged hikers got in trouble. This is the first time in seven trips that something like this has occurred during my visit when I was present.

We decided to see if a shelter was available over on Caribou Island. We started for Caribou at 8:45 and arrived about 25 minutes later. There was a family in the shelter near the dock, but the other one was available for our use. Dropped some of our gear in it and went back to Daisy Farm for the remaining stuff. We returned at 11:12, it was sunny and 73. We had a light lunch and decided to visit the Pederson’s place. It took about 32 minutes to canoe over to their place arriving at 1:06 p.m. Some of you folks have seen their place across the harbor from Daisy Farm. It had warmed up to 76.5 degrees. These folks were busy getting ready for a visit from their volunteers (who were coming in from their backcountry search for moose bones/skulls). They still took time to visit with us. Rolf showed us around the yard where they keep all the moose, etc. bones/skulls. The hour with them went quickly. I never thought I would be able to go to their place, but thanks to John/Sharon and their canoe I enjoyed another visit with the folks who make ISRO so special.

We took the canoe over to the lighthouse that is near the Pederson’s place. The Edisen Fishery was locked up so we took the trail to the Rock Harbor Lighthouse. The exhibit in the lighthouse is worth visiting and the climb to the top of it wasn’t difficult. The Sandy brought a large group of visitors from the Rock Harbor Lodge. After a 20-minute canoe trip back to Caribou Island we arrived at 3:42. John and Sharon prepared another pleasant meal for us. I was being spoiled by these two. We found some interesting places (and equipment) on this island on its west and south sides. It was clear and 73 at 9:40 p.m.

Checked for shooting stars overnight. It was too cloudy to see anything. Between 5 and 6 a.m. we had light rain.

August 13 (Friday) (oh my) day 4

At 8 a.m. it was cloudy and 71. So far this is the warmest weather I experienced day after day at Isle Royale. We packed up the canoe and headed east for Tookers Island, leaving at 9:03. Never thought of staying on these islands until my friends came up here. The Lake was active so periodically when there was an opening between the many islands we hit some waves (1-2 footers). As we went by Mott Island (Park Headquarters) we spotted a possible place to go ashore, if we had a chance later in the day to return for a hike. 3-mile was an option if there wasn’t a shelter available at Tookers. It took us (John/Sharon) 1:48 to canoe from Caribou to Tookers. We got lucky again; the shelter near the dock was taken. We put our stuff in the other shelter and explored this island. It’s not as big as Caribou. The waves were up from the previous day.

After a nice lunch it was decided to head east to Raspberry Island (which is across from the Rock Harbor Lodge). We headed out at 3:00. The opening to the harbor that the Queen uses was full of waves (some as much as three feet) between Tookers Island and our destination. Thank God, John and Sharon are good with a canoe (I was nervous coming and going on this trip). Once we got close to the Raspberry Island dock the waves subsided. It took us 45 minutes to get there due to a head wind. We hiked the entire island and enjoyed the waves along the south shoreline. It was a beautiful afternoon. Not a raspberry was found, since the miners burned off the vegetation so many years ago.

We headed back at 5:38. Since we had a tail wind it only took us 36 minutes to get back (those 3 foot waves still were there). At 6:45 it was cloudy and 74. After sun down it was cloudy and 69. We had rain overnight. The waves hitting the south shore of the island from Lake Superior woke me up frequently. The guys (on a fishing vacation) in the other shelter had told us a storm (with gale force winds) was coming our way. I was hoping to get back to Rock Harbor before it hit.

August 14 (Saturday) day 5

We woke up to clear conditions. It was 66 at 7:30. We left Tookers Island at 8:08. There were one and sometimes up to two foot waves. Not as bad as I thought we would experience. We got to the shoreline east of the Visitor Center at about 8:40 a.m. We were able to get shelter #2 at the campground. Since we were scheduled to go back on the Queen on Sunday, a hike over the hill to see the seaplane come and go was in order. Talked to some of the folks there and they were worried about the storm that was coming our way. The seaplane was booked solid. At 11:30 it was 73 and windy. It was time to have lunch and some beer. My evening meal was only going to be a piece of pizza, I guess I hadn’t noticed that I was eating smaller portions so far this trip and lunch would really filled me up.

When I’m out here backpacking I tend to forget to eat and I keep a diary of what I eat each day. Sometimes before going to sleep, I have to make sure I consumed what I had scheduled myself to eat. There are too many distractions, such as wildlife, the hike, packing, unpacking, the great scenery, etc. I get mellow and just forget sometimes. This place for me might be comparable to a religious retreat for someone else.

The shelter next to us (#1) was occupied by the family (mother/teacher and her teenagers) from near Lansing, they came out with us on the Queen. Most of the shelters were filling up. It was 75 and windy at 7:30. We all (shelters 1 & 2) decided to hear the 8 p.m. presentation on the Ojibwe (spelling used by the Park Service employee), covering how they mined copper and fished the waters around this unique island.

August 15 (Sunday) day 6

Our last scheduled day at Isle Royale. At 6:30 a.m. it was clear and 64 with windy conditions. On our way over to the grill to have breakfast (toast and OJ for me) the visitor center posted the weather conditions. The waves on the Lake were to be 6 to 9 feet. We along with the family from shelter #1 decided to hike the Stoll Trail. A nice sunny and windy hike all the way out. It took about 2 hours to get to the point, since there were several signs and markers to read along the way. The teenagers and I hiked back in 55 minutes. Bought them a soft drink and yours truly had a cold brew to have with my grilled cheese.

When we got back to the Visitor Center we found out we were not going back to the U.P. The Queen turned back and returned to Copper Harbor, due to the waves and heavy winds. I was able to call my wife from the Lodge letting her know we weren’t leaving today and probably not tomorrow. My wife said she thought John and Sharon would be upset with me for what was happening to us. Turns out John/Sharon told me they were enjoying the total experience of being here and the unusual event (being stuck on ISRO). The forecast was for worsening conditions. I got in some reading. Plus a lot of us got to talking about this trip, etc. with the folks from shelter #1, some folks that were in tents and others from the Lodge. The folks that had to stay a few extra days in the Lodge got stuck with those high rents that they pay for the extra days. We actually stayed three consecutive days in shelter #2 due to the gale force (storm) winds. The ice cream and Popsicles from the store became a nice treat for us/me. At 9 p.m. it was cloudy and 64.4 degrees. (The V2 from Minnesota was stuck at Rock Harbor due to the storm.)

August 16 (Monday) day 7

At sun up the temperature was 57.7, it was clear and windy (still). The Visitor Center forecast for the Lake was 7 to 10 foot waves, and later it was to be 8-11 foot waves. The V2 did not leave the dock and the Queen cancelled again. The folks from shelter #1 joined us again for a hike out to Suzi Cave. We came across some rain on the Tobin Harbor Trail, but by the time we got to the cave the sun was coming out again. It was a nice sunny (yet windy) hike back on the Rock Harbor Trail.

It was 69 and clear at 2 p.m. Due to folks coming into Rock Harbor from campgrounds like Moskey, Daisy Farm and or Lane Cove the campground was packed. A ranger came by the shelter asked if we could take folks in to ease the crowding. We invited the folks from shelter #1 to join us. Six in a shelter isn’t too bad. Their shelter was taken immediately. The mother wasn’t feeling 100%, so a ranger checked her conditions and spoke with a doctor. They felt she needed to get back to Houghton for medical treatment as soon as possible. It was cooling off (62.8 at 7:40) and still windy.

August 17 (Tuesday) day 8

It was clear, windy and 52.9 when the V2 left at 6 a.m. Got in an early shower before hopefully heading out to Copper Harbor. The Visitor Center said the Lake would have 7-10 foot waves early and 4-7 foot waves later in the day. The announcement was that the Queen would leave when they thought the waves had subsided enough. We decided to pack all our gear just in case the Queen would make it. Lots of rumors were being passed around. At 1 p.m. it was clear, the winds did not seem as bad and it was 65.8, and we still were waiting for news about the Queen. Then the good news for those of us who needed to return to home, the Queen had not turned around. It would arrive sometime after 5. The folks that were supposed to have left on Sunday (us) were to have their gear, canoes, and kayaks, on the dock so loading could start as soon as the Queen had unloaded. Once the Sunday group was onboard, Monday’s passengers would be allowed on the boat.

The Queen arrived at the dock at 5:45 p.m. The arriving passengers looked like they had a rough trip. Our Captain of 40 years service said that the two-day cancellation has never happened before. After getting on the Sunday and Monday passengers he had a lottery for about five more seats from the Tuesday group. He announced to the Tuesday group that there would probably be two trips on Wednesday. As we left the dock a crewmember told the Captain he was staying at Rock Harbor. We left the dock for good at 6:39 p.m. The waves averaged 4-7 feet with a few at 8-9 feet on the way back to Copper Harbor. The boat arrived safely at 10:20 p.m. The Captain said the gale force winds had been blowing for 70 straight hours at that point in time. There were a few sick folks, not sure how so many others and I weren’t among them. We had all our gear by 10:40. The shelter #2 team (6 of us now) was lucky to get a room in the motel next to the dock (King Copper). We ate at the Mariner after 11 (the sandwich and the Keweenaw Amber draft tasted great).

August 18 (Wednesday)

We all had a nice breakfast at the Tamarack. The mother of the teenagers still didn’t feel good, so yours truly drove them to Houghton to find her a doctor. John and Sharon followed us. She had an inter ear infection. So I drove them home (near Lansing). John and Sharon drove the three of us from there to Urbana (their home arriving at 4:30 a.m. Thursday). I got home in Dayton at 5:45. We all enjoyed our trip.

I’m already thinking about finishing up about 4 miles on the Greenstone (east of E. Chickenbone). Then I’ll have completed the Greenstone. I’m also thinking about finishing up the Indian Portage Trail (east of the Greenstone). And doing the Huginnin Cove loop Trail. Maybe I can do all that in 2011, hopefully. The old man completed another great visit. Hope to see some of you next summer. I might have to go solo again.
Last edited by jerry on Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.


johnhens
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Re: 2nd trip of year to ISRO NP

Post by johnhens » Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:04 pm

Nice Tr jerry!!
Glad you got experience IR from the Water. Did you take on any water paddling to Raspberry Island?
Interesting experience with the "lost Hiker".


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jerry
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Re: 2nd trip of year to ISRO NP

Post by jerry » Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:54 pm

We took on only a little water. I sat in the middle of the canoe and as low as possible to weigh it down. With our gear back at Tookers naturally the canoe rode higher then it had getting from Caribou to Tookers. My behind was wet arriving at both Raspberry and Tookers islands.

The "lost hiker" and his friends were treated like something from one of those police shows. They were separated, questioned and their personal gear/stuff was searched by the Rangers.


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Re: 2nd trip of year to ISRO NP

Post by Midwest Ed » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:06 pm

Wonderful trip Jerry. There are so so many places worse than IR where a person can get stuck for a day or two.

My most memorable trip was the one I did by canoe. It was more focused on inland lakes though. But I certainly enjoyed the "mileage" you guys got from the Rock Harbor to Moskey Basin region of the Big Lake (plus no portages :D ). I never trusted my canoeing skills enough to venture into really open water. If you do go again by canoe or boat and might be in exposed areas, I'd suggest a hand held VHF marine radio. Coverage can be spotty but it just might help avoid seriously dramatic weather and seas.

~Ed
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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Re: 2nd trip of year to ISRO NP

Post by Backpacker534 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:08 am

Thanks for posting your TR, Jerry, it was enjoyable reading. It sounds like you had a memorable trip. I remember being "stranded" at Chippewa Harbor a couple years ago. After several hours of not seeing the boat, we realized we would not be leaving that day. We made several hikes to the top of the bluff behind the campsites and looked out toward Superior. From our vantage point it didn't appear that the weather/waves were all that bad, but when we finally got picked up the following morning, we learned differently. It was something we still talk about to this day.


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Re: 2nd trip of year to ISRO NP

Post by jerry » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:21 pm

backpacker534,

Both my trips this year were great! We were as you read above kept updated at the Visitor Center. That had to be frustrating waiting for the V2 and not knowing why it would come 24 hours late. I think you gave input for my Minong trip (June '10). Thanks again!

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Re: 2nd trip of year to ISRO NP

Post by Backpacker534 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:07 am

Jerry,

It was kind of frustrating. Not from the fact that we were "stranded", but from the point that we did not know why. Since we didn't have any contact with anyone, we at first wondered if we somehow missed the boat, but we quickly ruled that out because we had never left the area anywhere close to the time of pickup. Then we began to wonder if maybe somehow the scheduling had been mixed up by either us or the trans. company when reservations were made. Then we were thinking, how long do we wait here, especially when the weather/waves didn't appear to be that bad when viewed from the bluff behind the campsites. If they were not going to be picking us up we would have to hike all the way out to another location to contact a ranger and make plans from there...what to do?!? Finally, after consulting our reservation paperwork we realized we had booked it properly because of the printed receipt. The paperwork had a number to the office so we climbed back to the top of the bluff and waited for, what seemed like forever, until my cell phone finally caught a signal and I made contact with their office. Unfortunately, the office number I made contact with was not the one where the boat sailed from and they had no idea why the boat was not there. Argh! Back down to the shelter to wait out the day and see what they next day brought. When they arrived, bright and early the following morning, we learned that they had not sailed because the waves were too large.

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