TR 8/31-9/4, 2020. RH > DF > LC > RH > Scoville.

Reports or links to reports on trips.

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DoctorGirlfriend
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TR 8/31-9/4, 2020. RH > DF > LC > RH > Scoville.

Post by DoctorGirlfriend »

Boyfriend and I are first timers on the Island. We aren’t expert backpackers, but we have been on a few trips, and even met and got together because of a backpacking trip! I’m 32, hes 38. Neither of us works out daily, but we do walk about 2 miles every single day Thanks to our large dogs, and often hike on weekends. We originally planned this trip for late May by boat but we’re lucky to reschedule.

Aug 31 Rock Harbour to Daisy farm
Took the seaplane from Houghton. We were on the 10 am flight, with another couple doing 5 nights mostly on greenstone, an environmental engineer coming for work, and a lone 50 year old man very excited to forage for chicken of the woods mushrooms. Sea plane folks were friendly and professional. Very smooth ride, landing felt better than a normal plane - thanks pilot Billy! It was raining lightly when we left and we all were instructed to get on our rain gear because it was raining on the island, but when we arrived it was dry.., although not for long.
At the ranger station we listened to Ranger Bridget tell us the permitting things, and some Covid 19 stuff like BYO TP, and warned us about beaver and hornet hazards near lane cove. My boyfriend bought a beanie. She said there were about 200 people on the island instead of the usual 900 this time of year.
We left rock harbor via the Tobin trail and took that 1.9 miles then crossed over to rock harbor trail at Suzy”s cave. The connector trail between the two trails is very short. Tobin harbor trail was easy going, protected from the wind, with not very much mud or brush. Even at the last day of August there were scattered trail side thimbleberries ripe for picking. On later reflection thimbleberries are one of the main plants on the island but this was the only place I still saw lots of ripe ones. Boyfriend was immediately attacked by mosquitos but we put 100% Deet on and it solves this right away. Once we got to rock harbor trail it was starting to drizzle and the rocks were the definition of slippery when wet leading to the loss of both of our dignity but no real injuries. We both use hiking shoes, maybe not the most traction but not bad either. At three mile it started truly raining and we had to spend a lot of time picking our way through mud pits on the way to Daisy Farm. We had debated stopping for lunch at 3 mile but the rain made us just push on. We only stopped for a small minute to look at the mine pits which were full of water. Due to our last backpacking trip (havasupai falls) where we had 11 miles in the rain the first day and I realized the friction between raincoat and backpack let me get wet, we brought ponchos to go over us and packs, and this helped a LOT. We arrived at DF mostly dry except feet.
Once at Daisy Farm we grabbed cabin 13 by water because a cabin seemed called for as it was now pouring. We arrived at about 3.45 pm after a straight hike from RH. The last of our seaplane group trudged in about 45 minutes later. Changed into dry pants and socks! Heaven! Ate lunch - shared a mountain house chicken rice and some lemon tea. We decided this trip to buy the mountain house 24 MRE tub (12 two portion packs - 3 lbs) and basically only eat that and a few snacks. This is only 900 cal per day from the MREs but we should be fine over 4 day trip. This means we only have to carry a small kettle and the stove, plus two spoons. Makes for light packs... mine was only 18 lbs!!!! weighed before the tent or water though. We settled in for a 4.45 late afternoon nap, usually needed by my boyfriend after a day of walking. Well deserved as we did 13.4 miles yesterday at pictured rocks.
Woke up at 6 pm... now sunny! Spend an hour sunning on the dock while letting boyfriend sleep more. Multiple people drying things on the dock, including one poor family with their sleeping bags. Even with the poncho I am paranoid and lined my entire main compartment of my pack with an 80 gallon yard waste bag, plus use small lightweight dry sacks for clothes and toiletries. An older couple is reading Steven king novels. It’s calm. Listening to the waves is relaxing. I do some yoga to stretch my shoulders and spinal twists, feels great.
When I wake boyfriend up he says “what for, it’s still raining” Lol at his sleep brain!
We share a beef stroganoff packet ( not as good as chicken fried rice), wander around looking at the namesake Daisies, and go back to enjoy sunset on the dock.

Day 2: Daisy farm to lane cove
Slept okay in the cabin. It was warm enough without the rain fly on. I woke up at 5.30 am and heard what sounds like a meditation bell ringing repeatedly, lasting more than 20 minutes. When I wake up again at 8.30 am it’s gone. A mystery.
For breakfast I have caffeinated gummy bears (I miss coffee already) and half of a packet of mountainhouse blueberry granola. Boyfriend eats a nutritional cookie and a fig bar as he hates blueberries. Actually all berries. He wouldn’t try a thimbleberry yesterday which is weird to me as I grew up with them in western Washington.
It’s sunny so I put on shorts, lots of bug spray and sunscreen. The highly inaccurate thermometer on my pack says it’s about 50 when we head out just after 10 am, but we are quickly stripping off our layers. Because we go over the ridge today boyfriend is going to pack extra water so I take the tent. Only the first bit is muddy, although still lots of slippery rocks, and the views get pretty good as we get near to mt obijway. It’s 65 degrees on the ridge.
The views from the tower are pretty incredible. You can’t get on the very top platform but you can go almost all the way up. We shared a pack of almonds and boyfriend lies down in the sun to stretch his back.
We agree to go slow so we can look for moose but all I see are small black and yellow snakes. However when we were deep in a thicket all of a sudden we heard a thunderous stomping, maybe a moose running away, but we can’t see it.
We stopped at 1240 at the mount franklin overlook (before the turn) for lunch. Boyfriend likes spaghetti meatballs the best of the flavors. Overlooking the lake boyfriend spots a very far away moose! We tell the family behind us - they are also excited. Boyfriend declares this has made the trip worth it.
We go down the switchbacks, around some washed out stuff the ranger warned us about, and successfully traverse the bridge inhabited by hornets without a hornet incident. Maybe less than half a mile from the end you can see the lake again. We arrive at 3.45 and had stopped for a total of about 45 minutes.
There are only 5 campsites. They are all lakeside. Site 5 has little steps down to the water.
We go exploring and find fresh moose poop but no moose. We try to track the moose through following moose tracks. This makes me think of ice cream. We also put our feet in the lake.
By the end of the evening like 5.30 all the campsites are doubled with two tents, surprising since there are supposedly only 200 people on the island. I imagine it gets very crowded not in coronavirus season. Later someone tells us they were the only camper at Lane a different night this same week.
Boyfriend wants to eat two dinners. This is fine unless we get stuck for 2 days (1 is a very real possibility it’s supposed to be windy) so we have both beef stew and beef stroganoff. When I fell the casualty was my spork so we are now sharing a spork even though I’m sure I could superglue it if needed.
Boyfriend falls asleep at 7.30 pm (did I mention he sleeps a lot?). I hunker down to read a detective book on my phone, although the ladies next to us invite me to play crazy eights. It starts raining right around 930 and I fall asleep.

Day 3 Lane cove to Rock Harbor
We wake up at 7.45. It’s sunny and breezy. I have more gummies and granola (on second try, will not recommend, delicious but not filling). I end up fixing my spork with duct tape because I don’t want to ask boyfriend to dig his out of his pack. My day 1 socks are now dry and so are my shoes! We pack up camp pretty quick and head out. We trade today, I take water and he takes tent.
I am moving at a snails pace. My knee hurts and needs to warm up. With lots of ponds and things, this seems like a good area for moose spotting. Unfortunately we miss a moose by 5 minutes or so , as told to us by the group ahead when we reach the ridge.
Coming down off the ridge, I have gained my sea legs and so when we reach the Tobin harbor turn off we decide to head for rock harbor instead of 3 mile which was the original plan. There are several reasons for this, one being that we didn’t feel 3 mile to be very exciting , but mostly with the projected wind tomorrow we want to maximize our chances of getting off the island on time. We hike Tobin harbor to suzys cave, then rock harbor. This part of the rock harbor trail is definitely easier than the part we did on day 1. Two beautiful red crested woodpeckers fly across the trail only feet in front of us. We arrive after 3 hours and 45 minutes of hiking with no long stops.
We grab a shelter and have lunch. I am starving (screw you granola!) and add a brownie. After lunch we put unpacked packs in the shelter and head to the ranger station. The weather report for tomorrow is gale force winds and 7-10 foot waves! but ranger Bridget says it doesn’t mean anything and to check back at 8.15 am tomorrow. We toddle around rock harbor reading various signs about the history. Out on the point there’s a cool commemoration of the conservation corps under FDR.
Nap time! Boyfriend climbs in his bag in the shelter and I go lay on a sunny dock to catch up on writing my trip report.
I wake him up for dinner at 6 pm and we talk about things to do differently next time: ditch my inflatable pillow, he would bring more food maybe, more tea bags, a pack of cards, I would do coffee even though it makes the morning slower. Overall though we feel we were prepared.
It rains off an on overnight. I wake up at some point very sweaty and strip off a layer/ have to turn my sleeping bag into a quilt.

Day 4 Scoville Point / Stuck
I wake up at 8 am to check in at the ranger station and find out all flights are cancelled for today! It’s very windy. The ranger says “yes lots of bold words on the report haha.”
We decide to head for scoville point sooner rather than later in case things change. We go as slow as possible, stopping to look at everything, hoping to take up a good part of the day. I get my first and only mosquito bite. I propose purchasing the mushroom book and mushroom foraging / grilling in the marina grills as an alternate activity but boyfriend does not want to die of poisoning.
The first part of the scoville trail (before the line that says wilderness) has lots of nice educational markers. I especially appreciate learning about the geology of the ridges that make this place so magical. Towards the end of the outgoing trail if you take the turn offs it will lead you on top of some spectacular tide pool filled rock formations. We spend a while exploring this area. Because it’s so windy lots of crashing waves. We can see a hawk or eagle trying to take off but being unable because of the wind. Now i feel glad we aren’t flying today. Back on the trail suddenly boyfriend says low “oh my” and about 10 feet in front of him is a huge eagle just sitting there! We watch it for about a minute before it hop/flies away from us. Amazing!
We head out to the point ( you have to turn right and go over some rocks). There is also a not maintained trail that will take you to some cabins and a comical “weather station.”
It’s now noon thirty (slowest 2 miles ever) and we turn and head back. The return trail is pretty similar to the rest of Tobin harbor trail. Going a more regular pace as there is less to explore we get back about 1.15 and have lunch.
On the way back we ran into another couple who say the 5 pm flight might be back on, stopping at the ranger station reveals we are now scheduled for 11 tomorrow.
At about 245 the ranger checks on us in our camp and makes sure we have enough food etc for our extra stay.
It’s raining so... Nap time!
I wake up at 430 to the sound of maybe the sea plane? I ask Boyfriend if he wants to go watch it take off but when we get down there at 4:45 no one is there so either it was already gone or cancelled and I imagined it.
We return and make dinner. After this we have one food pack and two nutrigrain bars left. Boyfriend decides to go all in on the promise of getting out tomorrow morning and makes the second pack.
I charge my phone and we listen to a podcast.

Day 5 off the island
It was colder last night after a rainy windy day yesterday. I am happy I brought long johns. It’s sunny and breezy but not super windy this morning. I ask the ranger and we are now leaving at 1 pm. We chill, pack up, eat our last granola bars and talk to the park ranger and other stranded travelers until our plane arrives just after 1 pm. It’s an uneventful flight back on a cold but lovely day. Not sure if I’m happier for a shower and a hamburger or sadder to be leaving this gorgeous place.

Pack list
Osprey kestrel 37 L pack, line with 80 gallon yard waste garbage bag. Lives on my pack: All in 1 Whistle/thermometer/magnifying glass/compass. Large rain poncho/tarp.
Sleeping system: Ancient Sierra designs 30 degree polyfill, Stuff compression sack for sleeping bag (huge otherwise), Inflatable pillow (I hate it), Thermarest airlite + it’s bag
Clothes: 15 gal lightweight drybag with my clothes. 1 lightweight rain jacket, 1 Patagonia little boys fleece, 1 longsleeve hooded running top, one underarmor tee shirt, 1 tank, 1 hanes comfort bra (like a sports bra but better), 5 pairs panties including 2 cotton, 1 running shorts with pockets, 1 adidas baselayer legging with no pockets, 1 Patagonia water resistant hiking pants, 1 beanie, 1 pair thermajane long johns top and bottom for camp/sleeping only, 2 pairs balega wool shortie socks, 1 pair thick wool socks also for camp/sleeping or emergencies. 1 REI backpackers towel, luxury item. Hiking shoes.
Toiletries in 5 gallon dry sack: tiny hairbrush (another luxury but I have learned on previous trips that I need it), childs toothbrush, 0.5 oz travel toothpaste, 2 flossers, 0.5 oz native brand natural deodorant (use liberally to avoid smells), hair ties, spork, sunscreen chapstick, 1.5 oz face lotion with SPF 30 used for all sunscreen purposes it just feels nicer, 1 oz 100% deet, 2.5% hydrocortisone plus antibiotic creme (from spain, not available OTC in USA, but worth it!), bottle of medications. Map. Headlamp (new batteries). Sunglasses.
Camp shoes- rubber slides that I can still wear socks inside
Toilet bag- gallon freezer ziplock with toilet paper, 1 oz hand sanitizer, 12 pack wipes, smaller plastic bag for used TP waste as needed. Orange toilet trowel.
Emergency Repair Kit in a zip lock: zip ties, extra long twist ties, superglue, hair ties, safety pins, large needle and dental floss, Small needle and double cotton, duct tape, patches for air matress x2, pack patches small and large, matches, Swiss Army knife.
Lifestraw built in straw water bottle.
8 oz fuel cannister
Food: 6 double serving MRE packets, 2 nutrigrain bars, 1 brownie, 1 pack almonds, 5 packs caffeinated gummy bears. One garbage bag for trash.
Cell phone, waterproof case, cord to carry it around my neck/wrist, carabiner.

Shared carry with my boyfriend: MSR ultralight camp stove, paracord, sea to summit kettle kit with lid and 2 cups, larger gravity filtration bag, syringe for water filtration, lantern (we shared this but personally I think it’s not needed, he doesn’t like headlamps). REI 2 person backpacker tent with footprint & rain fly.
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dcclark
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Re: TR 8/31-9/4, 2020. RH > DF > LC > RH > Scoville.

Post by dcclark »

Lovely trip report. Thank you! I can almost feel that bite of fall that the UP gets in late August. What follows are my random notes made as I read your report:

I laughed (ruefully) at the Rock Harbor trail being the "definition of slippery when wet". So much dignity I've lost on that trail.

The bell you heard is on a channel marker/buoy in the channel leading out of Rock Harbor. To me, that bell is the sound of Daisy Farm. Very calming.

Thimbleberries: I have sampled Salmonberries in Oregon, and Thimbleberries the UP, and they seem to have diverged a bit. The UP ones seem juicier and a bit more tasty to me. Oregon berries are less pleasant. I'm told that Thimbleberry jam is uncommon out west, which I can understand based on the differences. I'm curious if you have had the same experience.

I would get sick of that much Mountain House so fast! I can handle freeze dried for dinner, but not for 3 meals a day.

While not a coffee drinker, I agree that the slow ritual of waking up and making a caffeinated beverage while camping is well worth it. I go with tea, and lots of it.
torpified
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Re: TR 8/31-9/4, 2020. RH > DF > LC > RH > Scoville.

Post by torpified »

thanks so much for this report! I laughed out loud when you described stalking the Lane Cove moose (I pictured you in full-on Jim Bridger mode, buckskin fringe and all) --- and thinking of ice cream.

I also marvel at the mountain house tub victualling strategy. Would you do it again?
DoctorGirlfriend
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Re: TR 8/31-9/4, 2020. RH > DF > LC > RH > Scoville.

Post by DoctorGirlfriend »

We talked about this a lot and decided we would do it again with the following amendments
1 - no granola / provide alternative breakfast ... would pick something high protein, I think boyfriend added protein gummies to his breakfast cookie? Maybe something like this or powdered protein shake?
2 - 3 mountain house per day , bringing total meals to 4 meals
3 - make sure there is also 1 alternative snack available daily ... nuts, brownie, etc
This means you’d be carrying 1.5 pouches, 1 breakfast, and one snack per day. Pretty light!
We aren’t the biggest fan of the beef stew flavor, so while the tub was cheap we might pick our packets instead next time. Our local REI was super low stock on all this and the tub was the perfect number of meals for a short trip, but would change up variation more with a longer trip.
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Re: TR 8/31-9/4, 2020. RH > DF > LC > RH > Scoville.

Post by Ingo »

DoctorGirlfriend wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:09 am We talked about this a lot and decided we would do it again with the following amendments
1 - no granola / provide alternative breakfast ... would pick something high protein, I think boyfriend added protein gummies to his breakfast cookie? Maybe something like this or powdered protein shake?
2 - 3 mountain house per day , bringing total meals to 4 meals
3 - make sure there is also 1 alternative snack available daily ... nuts, brownie, etc
This means you’d be carrying 1.5 pouches, 1 breakfast, and one snack per day. Pretty light!
We aren’t the biggest fan of the beef stew flavor, so while the tub was cheap we might pick our packets instead next time. Our local REI was super low stock on all this and the tub was the perfect number of meals for a short trip, but would change up variation more with a longer trip.
I've found the Mt House Pro-paks to be about right for a 1 person dinner. They're a little smaller than the regularly packaged Mt Houses (quantity as well as packaging). It seems that in-store choice/variety is less every year, so I usually have to order ahead of time to get my favorites (and keep a stash in the closet).
Enjoyed your report, thanks!
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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