Partial Trip Log-June 12-June 19th 2009

Reports or links to reports on trips.

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troop402miamisburg
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Partial Trip Log-June 12-June 19th 2009

Post by troop402miamisburg » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:26 am

First off, Isle Royale is a beautiful place probably as remote as you can get east of the Mississippi. Looking forward to going back.

June 12-Left Ohio took the scenic route to Copper Harbor, Ohio through Indiana through Illinois through Wisconsin, then into the Upper Peninsula. I have to say I have a recommendation for Dinner on the way up. In Houghton stop at Joeys Seafood, we stopped on the way up and it was so good we stopped on the way back, you can’t go wrong. Copper Harbor is basically a two road town, people are friendly but everything at least to us was slow paced.

June 13-Got aboard the Queen and headed to Rock Harbor. Captain Don was great, plenty of scenery to lead us out of Copper Harbor and he really pointed out things as you passed them. Got into Rock Harbor, got an Adirondack (sp) then headed to the snack bar and got lunch. The other leader tried a pasty, a local delicacy; the rest of us had diverse offerings. After lunch went on a short little hike to Scovialle Point, the scouts and the other leader saw 2 moose and an otter, I of course saw nothing since I was taking the sweeper position. Gorgeous hike, gives you a feel for what you will encounter on the trails. The point itself was gorgeous. Came back to shelter to a siesta. Went down to the restaurant for dinner. The food was alright but not worth the money in our opinion. I had the eggplant, first time the cook ever cooked it, it was not very good at all, and they could not give us bread refills since they were running low. The fish was alright basically something you would get at Captain D's. All in all our recommendation is to stick to the snack bar. :)

June 14-Got aboard the Voyager, aka the "Tin Can" for the five hour ride to Wendigo. If you want a ride that has character then take this boat. The captain was definitely a sea dog, the cabin was loud with the roaring of engines, and the slight smell of cigarette smoke clung inside the cabin. One of the older gentlemen commented that it reminded him of a troop transport. Got to Wendigo, a long boat ride but nice, had no hearing but it was nice. Started toward Island Mine. The three scouts set a pace as if the devil was after them, going 2.5 to 3 miles per hour. Got to Island Mine. As people have stated, nothing really spectacular, bugs were bad; the water was good, had an odd brownish tint to it but besides that it was good. We originally were going to hike from Island Mine to South Desor, but after the blistering pace set today we decided to make tomorrow our long day and hike to Hatchet Lake, we misread the map and though it was only going to be 10 miles. :)

June 15
Got an early start and started the hike to Mt Desor, it was a grueling hike, there were two places that we stopped and thought we were at the top but it was incorrect finally made it to the top. Unfortunately on the way down to the junction with Lake Desor South, I heard a pop in my knee, painful. We got to Lake Desor South Junction and dropped packs and hiked down to have lunch at Group site 1. Nice gorgeous place to have lunch. Knee was very sore but was tolerable. Got our packs and started hiking up to Ishpeming Tower, halfway up knee was throbbing so bad, took some pain medicine but that didn't help to much. A little further up and I had to use a nice birch stick for a walking aid. By the time we got to the tower I was hurting bad. Told the scouts to go on ahead and get to the Hatchet Lake campground and then come back and meet us on the trail. Halfway down, I collapsed, the other leader splinted my leg and we carried on, still carrying my pack. About 2.0 miles out from the junction I told the other leader I could not carry my pack anymore, leave me here and get to the campsite and bring back the scouts to help you with me. Well apparently he ran into the scouts and two of them went on to the campground and the other came back with the leader to help me. The leader took my pack and we hiked slowly and painfully to where they had dropped their packs. At that time one of the scouts got back and carried the other leaders pack for him. And slowly made our way down to the junction where the final scout was and down into the fiery depths of hell we descended. (Going down into Hatchet is tough, I cannot imagine going back up). Hatchet is a beautiful lake, bugs were bad but the scenery was just gorgeous. Decision was made that I would press on to Todd Harbor with them tomorrow and if we could not get in touch with a ranger then they would leave me there and hike on and get help.

June 16
Woke up early, I was given the lightest pack, helped a little bit going from a 45 lbs packs to a 35 lbs pack. Gorgeous hike around the lake. Halfway to Todd Harbor ran across a group of rangers doing an archeological dig and sampling. They were leaving from Todd Harbor at 3 and I would be boated out then. They were wonderful; they took most of the weight out of my pack and even offered to carry me. I declined as nice as that would have been for my knee someone probably would have gotten hurt. The hike from the Junction of the Hatchet Lake Trail and Minong Trail to Todd Harbor was again just gorgeous, and Todd Harbor absolutely gorgeous place to stay, after seeing it I was a little sad that I was not marooned there for a day. At three the rangers boated me out. They took me to see a washed up lifeboat from a shipwreck, which was a sight to see and then up around the east end of the island for some really beautiful scenery. Words cannot express how appreciative and grateful I was to the 6 rangers on the trail and the two manning the boat for their kindness and generosity to me, if I had the money I would have given them a million dollars each. They took me back to Rock Harbor and put me up next to the rangers’ station to recoup.

June 17-18
As soon as I can wring out some report from the scouts and leaders I will post there trip report for these 2 days. I meanwhile hung out at Rock Harbor recouping and meeting the wonderful people at the snack bar, the rangers were excellent. Meet some interesting people and even though I was ticked off that I couldn't do much, the people made the stay as enjoyable as possible.

June 19
Knee was still sore but tolerable so I figured I would take three mile hiking trail out for about an hour and meet the returning scouts and leader along the trail. Gorgeous scenery but the trail was rough. After 50 minutes I stopped and was resting and around the bend here they come. What take me 50 minutes to do they did in 15, needless to say I was sore and hurting. Was able to arrange for early leave on the Queen and left Isle Royale. I will come back their someday though, it is a gorgeous place.


Injuries:
-Sprained Knee, possible torn cartilage will know more after the MRI is done this week, infected blisters, my fault, blisters happened where I did not duct tape my feet and some massive bug bites.
-Injuries amongst the others a couple of big blisters but overall besides being tired and sore they came out unscathed, a little bug bitten but not bad.

Animals Seen:
-Moose
-Otter
-Loons
-Lots of other pretty birds
-Red Squirrels
-Rabbits
-Toads
-Snakes

Equipment Lost:
-Backpacking Oven-cooked dinner using the backpacking oven next to the ranger station, while I was eating inside the little hut, apparently an animal saw the shiny pans and cover and thought neat, I have to have that for my lair and walked off with it.

Best Campsite:
-Everyone agreed that it was Todd Harbor

Worst Camp Site:
-Everyone agreed it was Island Mine just mainly for the simple fact that it looked like any other camp site around Ohio

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ScoutDad
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Re: Partial Trip Log-June 12-June 19th 2009

Post by ScoutDad » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:11 pm

Thanks for the report!

Our troop (443 from Amelia, OH) hiked the Island in 2004. One group (mine) did 32 miles, the other did 50 to get the Fifty Miler patch.

The two leaders in the 50 mile group lost their toenails from trecking down the ridges...not worth the patch in my opinion! :?
My profession is to always find God in nature.
- Henry David Thoreau -

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Re: Partial Trip Log-June 12-June 19th 2009

Post by Tom » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:50 pm

Nice start! Can't wait to see the rest. Bummer on the knee. Isle Royale can be a brutal place. Fortunately, you were with a group, and it wasn't a super quiet season!
I met the leader of that Arch survey on my boat ride out. I'll be posting details just as soon as I get my TR up!
Tom

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Re: Partial Trip Log-June 12-June 19th 2009

Post by Backpacker534 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:14 pm

Thanks for the trip report. Sorry to hear about your knee problem. I ended up with a very sore knee when I hiked the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in Pennsylvania. It hurt quite bad for a couple days and then was sore for almost two months after I returned home. Although I didn't go to the doctor I don't think there was any torn cartilage but, I do sympathize with how miserable it becomes to push on. Hopefully you heal quickly. I'm looking froward to the T.R. from the rest of the scouts.


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Re: Partial Trip Log-June 12-June 19th 2009

Post by johnhens » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:18 am

Too bad about the knee, glad you were able to get out w/o too much difficulty.

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Re: Partial Trip Log-June 12-June 19th 2009

Post by Backpacker534 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:57 am

I wanted to add one more comment about your situation and, basically it is a compliment to the rangers on the island. I have never had a bad experience with any of the rangers, or the trail crews or any of the other staff for that matter. They have always been very pleasant and knowledgeable and more than willing to help, as you discovered. Over the years I have heard a couple stories where the rangers assisted various backpackers who ran into unfortunate circumstances. As a matter of fact, my buddy and I were recipients of their gracious assistance on one of our trips several years ago. As we were leaving the North Desor campsite a steady rain began to fall. It then proceeded to rain all day as we made the long hike down the Minong Ridge to Washington Creek. We didn't have rain covers for our backpacks so, needless to say, every stitch of clothing we were wearing and, everything inside our backpacks was completely saturated, including our sleeping bags. After we arrived at Washington Creek we hung all our gear out to dry, however, with the lack of sunshine and the temperature falling, there was absolutely no way the gear was going to dry out. As we were sitting at the picnic table, wondering how we were going to manage the cold overnight temperatures, Ranger Valerie walked into our camp and realized our predicament. She told us that she was going to be giving a presentation on loons in a couple hours and that if we were willing to stop by the ranger station and listen to her speech that she would loan us two sleeping bags to use for the night. That kind of generosity was completely unnecessary on her part but was greatly appreciated and has never been forgotten.


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Re: Partial Trip Log-June 12-June 19th 2009

Post by johnhens » Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:14 am

I took a tumble a few years ago while doing a kayaking trip, nothing serious, but I could not paddle anymore.
Valerie and the Voyager Crew bent over backwards to help me get back to Rock Harbor. I haven't had any experiences needing help in other National Parks, but I would like to think they would be as attentive and helpful as the IR staff!!!


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Re: Partial Trip Log-June 12-June 19th 2009

Post by troop402miamisburg » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:22 pm

My only regret is that I didn't get a chance to write down their names. I would have loved to send them some food along with a note of thanks once again. My memory with names is bad, and I tried asking the next day, but just like the Lone Ranger and Tanto, everyone wondered who were those masked rangers!

As for the reminder of the trip report this is what I got from them, very concise:
TUESDAY, JUNE 16
• Woke up at 06:15 (52°/72% humidity)
• Breakfast (cereal) at 07:15
• Begin short hike to Todd Harbor at 08:15 (54°/73% humidity)
• Run into Rangers/scientists on trail gathering samples. They have a radio and arrange for Mr. Borden to be taken out of Todd Harbor with them at 15:00.
• Arrive Todd Harbor at 11:15 (70°/44% humidity)
• Lunch (pitas & pepperoni) at 12:00
• Mr. Borden leaves on Ranger boat at 15:15
• Hiked ~1 mile to Haytown Mine and waterfall/stream at 15:45 (57°/58% humidity)
• Dinner (rice & sausage soft tacos) at 18:00
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17
• Woke up at 06:30 (45°/75% humidity)
• Breakfast (oatmeal) at 07:30
• Begin hike to McCargoe Cove at 08:30
• Lunch on the trail (Cliff Bars & fruit) at 11:00 (70°/55% humidity)
• Arrive McCargoe Cove at 12:00
• Voyageur II arrives at McCargoe Cove at 13:30 and drops off two Canadian hikers
• First dinner (chili) at 14:50
• Second dinner (lasagna) at 19:00
THURSDAY, JUNE 18
• Woke up to look at stars (clear skies) from McCargoe Cove dock at 0:39
• Woke up to start the day at 06:30
• Breakfast (cereal) at 07:30 (52°/75% humidity)
• Begin hike to Daisy Farm at 08:30 (53°/73% humidity)
• Lunch on the trail (Cliff Bars & fruit) 11:00 (70°/52% humidity)
• Arrive Daisy Farm at 13:15
• Dinner (Ramen noodles & chicken) at 16:30 (55°/69% humidity)
• Storms move through overnight bringing significant lightning, thunder and rain
FRIDAY, JUNE 16
• Woke up at 07:00 to fog/mist and rain (51°/100% humidity)
• Breakfast (cereal) at 07:45
• Begin hike to Rock Harbor at 08:45
• Arrive Three Mile at 10:30 (51°/83% humidity). Rest, but don’t eat, and continue hike to Rock Harbor.
• Arrive Rock Harbor at 12:15
• Lunch (pepperoni pizza) at the Rock Harbor snack bar at 13:15
• Depart Rock Harbor, Isle Royale on the Isle Royale Queen IV for Copper Harbor, MI at 14:45
• Arrive Copper Harbor, MI on Isle Royale Queen IV at 18:15. Begin drive to Houghton, MI by 19:00.
• Dinner at Joey’s Seafood & Grill at 20:00
Begin drive across Michigan UP at 21:00. Will drive overnight making stops only for gas and restroom breaks.
SATURDAY, JUNE 16
• Passenger side windshield wiper breaks early in the morning (exact time unknown). Stopped at Mobile gas station. Fortunately, they had a replacement of the correct size

Potential Statistics for a “Summary Slide”:
Miles Hiked: 54
Number of Campsites Visited: 7
Number of Adirondacks used: 4
Liters of Water Filtered: 45
Pounds of Food Carried: 40
Pounds of Water Carried: 20
Number of Falls: 3
Total Mosquito Bites: ??
Number of Blisters: ??
Yards of Duct Tape Used: 15
Average Hiking Speed: 2.25 to 2.5 mph
Meals at Joey’s Seafood: 2 (fish & chips and calamari tacos recommended)
Consecutive Hours without Cell/Text Access: 165
Cost of a Shower at Rock Harbor (per 5 minutes): $6 ($8.50 w/soap & towel)
Windshield Wipers Replaced: 1

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Re: Partial Trip Log-June 12-June 19th 2009

Post by Backpacker534 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:35 pm

John, I think you're right in saying that rangers in other parks would probably be just as attentive and helpful as they are at I.R. If you think about it, the rangers do this for a living because they love nature and being in the outdoors. As you well know, most of the people you come across on the trail are friendly and outgoing and I think the rangers are built from the same fabric, actually, probably even more so. Let's face it, they sure aren't making a fortune in their paychecks and driving Porches in their off-time, they do their jobs because they love it. And I have to believe that part of the love of the job is interacting with people and receiving satisfaction from being able to help others in need. Lord knows, it would be easy to become discouraged and disgruntled especially with some of the things they have to deal with such as, the ignorant public (in bigger parks like Yellowstone, etc.), shrinking budgets, doing more with less and the aggravations of all the politics that you know goes on within in NPS. They all deserve some praise for a job well done. :!:


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Re: Partial Trip Log-June 12-June 19th 2009

Post by Mikeczy1 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:42 am

I just stumbled on this website while looking for some background information on the island. Glad you posted your trip report. It was fun to read the experiences of someone else who was there during the same time period, 6/13 through 6/19. Some points we had in common:

1. Arrived at Copper Harbor on the Queen on 6/13.
2. Had dinner at the Copper Harbor Lodge restaurant on 6/13 during the rainstorm. You should have tried the chicken. My buddy and I liked the food.
3. Took the Voyager on 6/14 to Windigo
4. Camped at one of the individual Island Mine campsites on 6/14. I remember seeing an organized group that seemed split between the group and individual sites. That must have been your group.
5. Hiked the Greenstone to back to Copper Harbor over the next 5 days.
6. Left on 6/13 aboard the Queen , back to Rock Harbor.

Don’t know about you, but we weren’t expecting the 85 degree F temperatures.

We also did this same trip 20 years ago. Not much had changed.

Cant wait to read the rest of your report.

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