Long report for short trip

Reports or links to reports on trips.

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Ingo
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Long report for short trip

Post by Ingo » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:47 am

I tend to document my trips in some detail, mostly for my own reference later. The short summary of the short trip, however, is:
"Great trip to Windigo and Huginnin Cove!"

Pics are here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... 1e6&type=1

This was a last minute trip, added on to a previously planned trip to N. Wis. from N.C. It was kind of a test for me, being my first real backpacking trip, first solo trip, being middle aged and out of shape, and starting to get arthritic. But mostly it was just to get back to the island, chill out, and hopefully get some good pics. Borrowed some gear that was lighter than what I usually take paddling (tent, stove, sleeping pad) and trekking poles. Only new gear was a Platypus with a hose. Also did mostly freeze dried foods for the first time. Got the total weight “down” to 45 lbs including food, 2 liters of water, and almost 5 lbs of camera equipment (Nikon D7000 w/ 18-200 zoom and case). But I wasn't going to leave the "good" camera behind, since I got it earlier this year so I could take "good" pictures.

Thurs, 7/28: Had spent the week at Dad's cabin in N. Wis. with him and 4 brothers. Jon from Royale Air called to change my pickup time in Windigo from 3pm to 11am on Mon. Could have gone with 5pm, but I needed to get some miles on after getting back to the mainland. Got everything packed in the truck save for a change of clothes, cot, and sleeping bag.

Fri, 7/29: On the road by 6:15 (5:15 CDT) to catch the seaplane for a 10:00 flight (need to be there by 9:30). Quick stop in Watersmeet after 35 miles for the first available coffee. Ahhhh! Gorgeous drive up the U.P. with lots of mist rising off the wetlands in the morning sun. At one point drove 20+ miles on US 2 without seeing another vehicle. Stop at McDonalds in Houghton, and get to the airport a little before 9. 120 miles from cabin to CMX.

There's no one in the airport when I get there, but the 2 other seaplane passengers show up not too long after me. About 9:30 we hear "Final boarding call for Royale Air Service to Windigo" over the loudspeaker. At this point I had seen only 1 other person in the airport, through an open doorway. The pilot Dave walks out and says something about the smart aleck on the PA as I was having a good laugh. We casually walk out to the plane on the tarmac, load up, put on inflatable lifejackets, and take off. Weather was clear so it was great flight with nice views. I enjoyed the front seat.

We arrive at Windigo about 10:15. The other two passengers were visiting a park service employee, so I was by myself for the orientation, done at the visitor's center. It goes so much quicker that way. Pretty sure I scored 100% on the "test". Got settled into shelter 1 at the campground. The 10 shelters are all great sites overlooking Washington Creek, but only tent site 2 is very desirable, also on the creek. The other tent sites are right next to the trails leading into the campground.

Hiked back to the store for gas, and got water at the dock—found out later there IS a spigot at the campground. Had lunch, then headed down the Feldtmann trail for a couple miles and back. Read some Grisham and took some evening pics along the creek. Apparently missed the moose.

Sat, 7/30: Ate, packed up, and left about 9:15 for Huginnin Cove, taking the eastern loop (clockwise). Got to Huginnin about 12:15. Not very impressive progress for 4 miles, but about what I expected. It was pretty warm and I sweat a lot anyways, so I stopped about every 1/2 hr or so to cool off and hydrate. A nice walk through the woods with some ups and downs. There was a bit of newer downfall on the trail but nothing too bad to get around. There was only one other party at Huginnin and I was able to get site 1, which is choice. There was weather moving in from the west, so I got set up, ate lunch, and hit the tent as it started to rain. Read for about 5 min, then fell asleep.

The ground was barely wet when I got up, so the storms just skirted us over the lake and it cleared up nicely. Took lots of pics, hung out, and visited with folks. The campground eventually filled up with 7 parties in the 5 sites. I shared my site with four "kids" from Wis. (out of college anyway). They had done 14 miles on the Minong that day, but didn't appear to be too worse for wear.

Sun, 7/31: Got on the trail about 10:15. Before I left, I asked the kids if they wanted me to take a picture of them. Then the one girl said she wanted a guy shot, and insisted that I join the boys so she had a picture of the one guy who snored louder than any of them—I had warned them!

It was warm again, but I was starting to hit my stride a little bit more and stopped less. The first mile or so is along the lake with nice views of the lake and Canadian shore. Did the 5 miles back in 3 hrs. A couple of the downfall were a bit trickier on the western loop and I was on my knees crawling under one at one point. But I had the camera strapped to the back of the pack and was being very cautious about not hitting it on anything. And I don't crouch all that well. Can't figure out why most people recommend doing the loop in the other direction (counter-clockwise) as it seems pretty arbitrary to me. Another nice walk in the woods after leaving the shoreline.

Got shelter 1 again at Washington Creek again and was pretty lazy, napping and reading in the afternoon. I had planned to catch up quickly with eddy_line from the forums when the Voyageur II stopped, but missed it. Had one good blister that had just started bothering me for the last mile or so. My knee had held up fine—the combination of the knee brace and trekking poles made all the difference in the world. Went down to the dock area for sunset pics after supper. Recognized a boat at the dock that had given us lake trout at Belle Isle in '09 (the Can-Am out of Barkers Island in Superior).

Mon, 8/1: A relaxed morning and got down to the dock plenty early for an 11:00 pickup. A ranger said the plane was running late on the first flight, and it was about 11:15 when it came in. Not bad though. Jon was the pilot today. Another great flight back and got some nice pics from the plane. Hit the road shortly after noon after paying parking ($5/day) and minor repacking of the truck. Made St. Ignace (about 270 miles) between 6 and 6:30. Stopped several times along the way for food, gas, and pics. Man I hate getting in the truck and driving immediately after getting off the island. But another beautiful drive across the U.P. nonetheless.

Tues, 8/2: 900 miles in 14 hrs to my daughter's place in Asheville, NC. The coffee I had out the rest stop machine at 2:30 in 90+ degree weather may have been the best of my life!

Weds, 8/3: Last 200 miles and home by 11:00 am.


Lacking: 0.5 oz of DEET ran out for the last night/am. Sunscreen did OK as emergency anti-chafe cream. Moleskin was old and didn't stick, had to tape on. Forgot to bring the flask (.5 liter platy). Bandanna would have been nice just for wiping off. Lighter for melting rope ends—matches were fine for the stove. Cover for Platypus hose end.

Didn't use: Rain gear; pack cover; change of pants and shirt; tarp—didn't rain to speak of, so don't know that I'd leave any behind—maybe the tarp. Cards—guess I thought I may play solitaire?

Worked well: Knee brace, trekking poles, and prophylactic ibuprofen saved my knee—other parts ached worse. New Platypus w/ hose—it hung nicely on the back of the old pack, and also OK from the sling camera bag when day hiking. Cheap "Trail Scout" Thermarest--was surprisingly comfortable and worked well with the chair.

Do differently: The sling camera bag hung nice and secure at the top/back of the pack, but I'll seriously look at a chest pack if I decide to do more backpacking with it--better weight distribution and able to take pics on the trail. Wide brimmed canvas hat was hot on the trail—need something more breathable.

Food: MH Stroganoff, MH Breakfast Skillet, and Enertia Switchback Shells were all good suppers. Justins PB & Honey packets are great. Vacuum packing the sandwich thins worked well and last >1 wk, although slightly chewy and need to fold in half. Didn't think the Starbucks VIA coffee was up to the reviews, but still best option for weight and simplicity--letting it sit a few minutes before drinking helps. Liked the Camelback Elixer tabs (lemon-lime) for adding electrolytes—2 tabs in 70 oz was perfect tasting, 1 tab was actually OK (they say 1 per 28 oz).
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, 13: RH-PI, 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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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by eddy_line » Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:04 am

Good to hear that your trip went well, Ingo. Sorry we couldn't connect at Windigo Sunday morning. I think that we delayed the Voyageur II slightly as it was, listening for a boat horn "toot" that never occurred.

Our 3 man "Daisy Chain Gang" also enjoyed a successful paddle and portage through the inland lakes. Parts of the portages were a bit more challenging than we expected, we had more weight than necessary, and we quickly learned that we would spend more time portaging than paddling, but that's all part of the learning curve on a first visit to IR. I'll post a trip report as soon as I get some free time.

Thanks again to you and everyone on the forum for all of the valuable advice.

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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by fonixmunkee » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:50 pm

I drove up to Grand Portage this week and visited briefly with Capt Don, Capt Mike, and First Mate Ron. It felt weird not getting right on the boat, and I got a little sad. I broke away from the three vowing to come and do a weekend--at the least!--this fall, as I've never seen IR in the fall. My goal is to do the exact same hike, as I will probably be by myself. So your trip report is very helpful.

It's also very entertaining, Snore-ee McSnore-rson. ;)

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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by Ingo » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:09 am

eddy_line wrote:... we quickly learned that we would spend more time portaging than paddling...
Yeah, I wish those inland lakes were just a bit bigger :), not quite enough rest from portaging.
fonixmunkee wrote:... I broke away from the three vowing to come and do a weekend...
As Nike would say "Just Do It!"
fonixmunkee wrote:It's also very entertaining, Snore-ee McSnore-rson.
As Colbert might say "I've never heard myself snore, therefore I don't snore, at least to myself." :mrgreen:
(but I always bring earplugs for anyone camping with me)
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, 13: RH-PI, 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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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by Tom » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:57 pm

found out later there IS a spigot at the campground..
Ah yes, but only one. The darn campground map shows two, but they must have removed one a while back. I can never remember it. I'm also going to agree with you on the Via coffee packets. I used to bring the simple Taster's Choice instant packets or Folgers before Via, and then last year brought Via. Honestly, perhaps because I'm no epicurean, I almost prefer the other stuff..

Like Fonix, I'm finding summer quickly waning and I haven't made it up to the Isle yet. I might try to sneak in a simple weekend trip and just loop up to Hugginin, so glad to hear everything is looking pretty good up in those parts.

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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by moss13 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:52 pm

Nice report Ingo. Glad you had a great trip! Great pictures too of course.


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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by johnhens » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:30 am

Mr. Ingo,
Glad you got up there and had what seems like a nice trip. Will you hike more in the future or return to your roots?
Nice pictures, the shots from the plane were cool!

John


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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by jerry » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:30 am

At the Washington Creek campground, there used to be a spigot on your right just as you arrived at the site (coming from the visitor center). It was there in '01, but it was gone when I looked for it in '06.

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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by Ingo » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:02 am

johnhens wrote:Mr. Ingo,
Will you hike more in the future or return to your roots?
Nice pictures, the shots from the plane were cool!
Mr. Hens,
Will probably do some more backpacking, although I'm not sure about consecutive 8-10 miles days. But will never lose my paddling roots :). Already planning the next I.R. trip, hopefully paddling with my wife.

The plane IS cool. I was lucky to get 2 clear days with good visibility. Now I want a private flight just to fly over the island for pics! Hanging out the door? :mrgreen:
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, 13: RH-PI, 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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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by johnhens » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:55 am

[quote="Ingo
The plane IS cool. I was lucky to get 2 clear days with good visibility. Now I want a private flight just to fly over the island for pics! Hanging out the door? :mrgreen:[/quote]
I would be happy to sit behind you to hold on to you lest you do a freefall sans chute (though my understanding is FAA requires all occupants to have a chute if the plane is operating w/o a door).
Anyways, you could get some cool pics and it would be fun!!! :lol:

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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by Backpacker534 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:11 am

Thanks for sharing your report, Ingo. I really enjoyed the photos. I would love to take the plane over to the island some day. If the photos look that nice, then the views must be 100 times more impressive.

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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by Ingo » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:16 am

Put a bunch more pics, trip log, gear list, and menu up on my website here:

http://moskeybasin.com/Isle_Royale/Isle ... _Main.html
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, 13: RH-PI, 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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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by Midwest Ed » Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:31 pm

Beautiful new photos and a great website you have there.

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

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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by Tampico » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:06 pm

By the way, your "little friend" was Storeria occipitomaculata.

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Re: Long report for short trip

Post by Ingo » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:04 pm

Tampico wrote:By the way, your "little friend" was Storeria occipitomaculata.
Thanks! I wonder if the gray color is typical of I.R. or a local adaptation to living in the rocks?
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, 13: RH-PI, 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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