Trip Report 5/25/07 - 6/1/07

Reports or links to reports on trips.

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Caveman
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Trip Report 5/25/07 - 6/1/07

Post by Caveman » Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:20 pm

At the request of Ingo, herego:

This was our first (and hopefully not our last) trip to IR and Northern Michigan. We (Wife, hereinafter referred to as "Toes" & I) "discovered" the island while lounging in the den and reading an issue of Backpacker Magazine. Toes placed the article before me and said "Let's go!" I said "Sure" and she leaves for the computer room. In a few minutes, I am imformed that we have airline reservations to Houghton-Hancock airport and I need to clear my schedule.

Anyway, after approx. 6 weeks of preparation and anticipation, May 25 arrives and we travel to Atlanta, GA. Flew Northwest to Minn./St. Paul and then on to Houghton. There we summoned a taxi to the Super 8 where we spent the evening repacking due to carry-on/checked baggage requirements. Plus, we were limited to 50 lbs each for the seaplane trip.

May 26: Up early for taxi ride back to airport. There we meet our pilot, Jon Safstrom (he & his wife, Gretchen own and operate Royale Air Service). Very nice people. The flight takes about 30 minutes and shortly into the flight over Lake Superior, we can see the island from end to end. The view as we descended was breathtaking.

After unloading, we went to the office and stashed our clean clothes for the trip home. Before heading out, a stop at the store for fuel and fishing lures (plus sweatshirts for both of us - didn't realize it would be so cool). The store had just opened for the season and the workers were still stocking. The park ranger suggested that we go west on the Tobin Harbor trail and thankfully, we did. Not 30 minutes into the trail, we saw a wolf coming down the trail toward us. We didn't have time to get the camera on before it turned into the woods. We stood there spellbound for several minutes. Did that really happen?

Traveled on to the Suzy's Cave Trail and headed south toward the Rock Harbor Trail. Checked out Suzy's Cave and continued on the RH Trail past Three Mile and decided to utilize a shelter at Daisy Farm. It was quite cool and misty. Great place to stay looking out over the lake.

May 27: Continued west on the RH Trail to just shy of Moskey Basin and took the Lake Richie Trail and camped by the lake. Caught 5 Northern Pike, two of which fell victim to the filet knife. We had packed some oil, corn meal and fresh homegrown dill for this purpose. Fabulous with creamed potatoes and corn.

While at Lake Richie, we met Philipp Krupczynski, a graduate research student from Germany. He had been on the island for a month working for Rolf Peterson. His mission was to locate a collared wolf and sadly at this point, without success.

May 28: After sharing coffee with Philipp, we exchanged well wishes and set out for West Chickenbone. Camped by the lake again. No luck fishing. We met a couple from the University of Minnesota (Derrick & Stephanie) who were there on a project measuring trees. They visited with us for about three hours that evening.

May 29: After sharing coffee with the tree couple, we went back to the Greenstone Ridge Trail and headed back east. Beautiful vistas over the lakes and into Canada. We intended to push on to Lane Cove but it got rather warm and we decided to take the Daisy Farm Trail back to Daisy Farm where it was cooler. Just after dropping off the ridge into the Angleworm Lake basin, we spotted a cow moose, watched it for a few minutes and took pictures. Got back to Daisy Farm and cooler temps. Got another shelter, played cards and hung out with Ryan & Megan. They were celebrating their 2nd wedding anniversary and had hiked from Windigo headed to Rock Harbor for their boat ride home. Also, ran into Philipp again. He was excited as he had finally located his wolf after all that time. Shortly, he was picked up by a Park Service boat starting his trip back home to Germany. He as since emailed me a picture of a cow moose and calf that I will be glad to share. Also, Mrs. Rolf Peterson (sorry, I can't remember her first name) was there to see him off and she spent a great deal of time with us discussing the wolf/moose research project and other interesting features of the island. We felt very fortunate to have been there at that moment.

May 30: Ryan & Megan stopped by the shelter for good byes and after breakfast we headed to Three Mile. Short hike so we put up our hammocks, snoozed and read a book. Only one other couple in the whole camp.

May 31: Hiked back to Rock Harbor where the staff already had our stash in a cabin. After trail food for a while, we had some weird cravings. Stopped back at the store and got a loaf of bread, can of Spam, can of pork and beans and 2 Snickers bars. Did we eat like royalty or what?

Showered and took a canoe trip on Tobin Harbor. Caught and released a nice Coastal (or Coaster, I can't remember) Brook Trout.

We then decided to hike out to Scoville Point on the Stoll Trail. Don't overlook this 3-3 1/2 mile round trip. Very scenic.

Back to the cabin, and partook of the Merlot for Toes and Jim Beam for the Caveman. We had stashed it with our clothes. Slept like babies.

June 1: Seaplane is supposed to pick us up at 11 a.m. but fogged in. Oh well. Went back over to Rock Harbor and visited with the other hikers who were waiting on the boat.

Finally, the plane could land around 2 p.m. Problem was, our flight home left Houghton at 1:59 p.m. Fortunately, there was one more flight out for the day and we arrived back home around 2 a.m. Exhausted but all smiles.

Thanks for bearing with my lengthy report but as you can see, I am still excited after some 5 months or so.

Also, if any of you plan on flying in, let me know. I can share some pointers about food, fuel and other nuances of our post 9/11 world.

Happy trails:

Caveman

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Ingo
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Post by Ingo » Tue Oct 09, 2007 5:06 pm

Thanks Caveman! Sounds like a great trip. I got to talk to Candy Peterson on our last trip when she came over to Daisy Farm to give a talk. What a nice, and knowledgable, person. I also passed Rolf on the trail with a radio locator. Said "Hi', asked him if he was looking for wolves, "Yes", and he's on his way! He was working though.

Flying is a pain with backbacking equipment, isn't it. I flew up to Duluth once, but shipped most of my gear before hand, because you can't bring a stove on the plane, even in checked luggage (mine has an attached tank). I also had about 75 lbs, with some extra gear for others. I'm curious if you had any issues.

John I


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Caveman
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Post by Caveman » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:07 am

We likewise shipped our stoves, empty fuel bottles and matches. The TSA and most airlines will allow stoves and fuel bottles to be checked only if they are new or "absent a hint of fuel or vapor". We didn't want to risk a hint of fuel or vapor and be stoveless so we shipped them to the airport manager at Houghton. They were glad to hang onto them and on return we shipped them home from the UPS counter there in the airport.

Fuel purchase on the island was no problem. They had pressurized fuel cannisters in both screw on as well as puncture type. Also, had white gas.

Otherwise, we were able to check everything else (knife, multi-tool, etc.).

Happy Trails:

Caveman

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fonixmunkee
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Post by fonixmunkee » Thu Oct 11, 2007 6:48 am

Caveman: great TR, and terrific information about fuel. Thanks for sharing!


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Re: Trip Report 5/25/07 - 6/1/07

Post by kevatron » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:57 pm

I will be there in third week of may. I am told the windigo store will not open till 6/2/09. where can I get fuel (butane for jetboil)?

Thanks

Kevin

Note: Cross posted at http://www.isleroyaleforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=478 - Place answers there. -Tom

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Re: Trip Report 5/25/07 - 6/1/07

Post by Backpacker534 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:35 am

Caveman, thanks for sharing your trip. Somehow, I never become tired of reading trip reports. Maybe it's because they always seem to bring back at least one good memory from a previous backpacking excursion. Pretty amazing that you were able to see a wolf up close and in person. Very cool! :D

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