Day one~A sunny day on the Ranger 3. We had the good fortune of traveling with Ranger Rob from Daisy Farm and he was very informative about Island info. Once we got there, we weighed our packs, (34 #s with 2 liters of water) and went up the Tobin Trail to 3 mile. Arrived around 5 and found the entire place packed to the gills. We ended up camping with others at a group campsite for the night and enjoying the company there. Lots of good laughs!
Two~ On to Moskey basin. Good hike, a little more up and downs, getting us ready for the trips over the ridge. Loved Moskey and it ends up my favorite place of all. Had a shelter that night and enjoyed swimming in the lake. As a matter of fact, I swam every night I was there. I love swimming after hiking all day and the lake was warm. The loons were very active there and the Loon Researcher was there doing some spotting. By 4 am, we didn't think their calls were all that cool anymore however. LOL If I had to do it over, I would spend 2 nights there and do some day hiking.
three~ Over the ridge to McCargo for me. Two in our party opted for the W. Chickenbone as per the original plan, but I felt that the planned 11.8 mile day to Todd Harbor via Hatchet Lake was too much for me, so we split up for the night. I saw a moose about half the way there. Very cool! We stayed in a shelter at McCargoe, It was very nice there but I didn't realize there could be leeches in L. Superior. Yuk!!!! I managed not to get any myself, but saw them on others. I always use my crocks in the water so that might have helped. The ranger showed up to help an injured women who had fallen on the trail. He stopped by to look at our itinary, which we didn't have of course as the others kept it. We had some explaining to do but Ranger Nick was understanding. In the future, I would tell others to have separate itinarys even if they plan to stay together just for cases like this.
four~Hiked to Todd Harbor to meet up with others. I loved the rocky part of the the Minong trail. What great views. It is only 6.9 to Todd from McCargoe so we arrived by noon. As it was, the place was packed already but we managed to get a site with two tent pads and the others arrived around 2:30 to join us. Great swimming here. We enjoyed Mark and his four kids, Luke, Robin, Sophie and Maria....What a great family they were. A great sunset and then a thunderstorm to go to sleep with.
five~back to McCargoe....and stayed in another shelter. It was swarming with boy scouts this night....I am starting to get tired.
six~Hiked to Daisy Farm. I liked it there! The beach area was great and so was the swimming. I lounged on the beach and read for quite a while and felt like I was on a different type of vacation. (just dreaming) I also enjoyed the wolf/moose talk with the Petersons as well. It was a nice diversion. We stayed at shelter 11 and it had a nice view of the sunrise.
seven~Hiked to Lane Cove. Beautiful on the ridge in this section. Once I was going down into Lane cove however, I became VERY tired. I think I am overdoing it at this point, and in the future, I would think a down day would be in order about now. I am not in that great of shape myself so this might be overdoing it. Lane cove was nice but not THAT nice. LOL....i could have gone without it. I am now spoiled by having picnic tables. I don't really care about shelters so much as the table. At any rate, the water was great and the sunset as well....it IS really pretty there! I was dreading the climb out however and blisters, and all....were starting to add up!
eight~up and out....not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. We hiked the Greenstone to Lookout Louise. It was ok, but the miles and miles of thimbleberry thickets were annoying...Glad we did it however. The water taxi picked us up at the dock at Hidden lake around 3:00. Once we reached Rock Harbor, we scurried for a tent site and found the last one. Shew....once we settled in, we went to the cafe and drank some great COLD beer and ate a burger. Heaven....! There was a program that night for the dedication of a new rec. building for the staff. It was in honor of the ranger who died while rescuing another swimmer. Bittersweet event. Went to bed early....as usual....with the plan to eat at the cafe before boarding the boat home in the morning.
nine~Got up early, packed up and headed for the cafe by 7:00. Breakfast was....interesting. It wouldn't hurt them to do a little training of the staff there. (and on the boat) with basic waitressing skills. LOL and the food was cold but hey, I didn't have to cook it or clean it up in any way so.....all is good. The ride back was entertaining. The Loon Resercher gave a great talk with photos that was very informative, and the Ranger Paul and Emma played us some GREAT music. That Emma can play a mean fiddle! What a treat!
So, here we are, back to Houghton. Great weather, bugs were very reasonable....only had a bad bout between Todd and McCargoe....
My advice for the future?
Don't go during the busy time if you can avoid it. I look forward to returning in September some day.
Do get separate itinarys on the boat if traveling with a group as it gives you more flexability.
Take a break day!
Homemade food was far better than any freezedried.
Be open minded. I loved all the info. and advice I got, but i found out for myself what I liked and didn't like...in the way of trails and campsites. It's all realative I guess and fun to find out for yourself.
Enjoy the people as much as the wildlife. It made for a great trip!
I can't find spell check so excuse the mistakes....! I hope everyone has as great an experience as we old folks did! Karen
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We camped at West Chickenbone and met the couple that opted for the original plan. I talked to the gentleman for a while. when I found out what he had in mind, I was impressed. That's quite a hike. We were going to Hatchet lake the next day too but stopping for the night and going on to Windigo via Lake Desor.