TR 8/22-8/28, 2018 [RH-MB-HL-IM-FL-WC-RH]

Reports or links to reports on trips.

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Hobbes
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TR 8/22-8/28, 2018 [RH-MB-HL-IM-FL-WC-RH]

Post by Hobbes » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:31 pm

My first trip report from my first trip to IR! Many thanks to everyone who provided advice and tips. My daily reports are a little bit shorter since I used a small notebook, so I apologize for the lack of detail. Looking forward to coming back to the Isle in the future.

8/22 - Day 1 [RH-MB]
Up at 6:30 to take the ferry to RH from Copper Harbor. Got a chance to sit on the bow and enjoy the breeze. Made the 11-ish(?) mile trek to Moskey Basin in decent time (started 12:20, arrived before 5:00). Rocky trail, thankful for the friendly cairns to help guide in a few spots. Saw a small snake and two tiny toads not much larger than a quarter. Saw bright red- and blue-colored berries, and ate a couple of raspberries which were just phenomenal. The campsites are pretty full so I'm sharing with Ken and Jeff, some hammockers who do machining work in Ohio. I'm soaking my feet in the lake now, not as cold as I like it, but it'll do. Sounds like it's been really warm here. There's a blue-green algae bloom in Chickenbone Lake, so the water is toxic. Thankfully my itinerary isn't taking me there. Bugs aren't bad so far. The breeze whistling through the leaves sounds great. There's a lake snail bigger than my thumb in the rocks near my feet.
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8/23 - Day 2 [MB-HL]
Out of Moskey shortly after 8:00 with good jerky from Ken and Jeff. Pushed myself hard with these miles, I got a little freaked out the last 1-2 thinking I missed the junction (silly me). Saw a couple more snakes (1 dead), a small frog, and ate a few handfuls of raspberries. My site is in a raspberry patch, and it gets a good breeze so I'm drying my boots and socks. Stuck my feet in the lake and saw a tree crack and fall on the north shore - wow! Saw a gray bird with a silvery back diving down and swimming towards me (loon?). Hearing the "elk call" that my girlfriend and I heard in Banff, but since there aren't any elk here, it must be the bird. Feet needed the soak, as a couple of big days ahead, but progress and pace are good - I got here around 2:00. Filling up on water and nuts as best I can - I haven't felt the hunger I'm used to on trips like this. Clear hot day today, but breeze/shade by the lake makes it much cooler than up on the bank. Glad I made good time. I think some little fish nibbled on my sore feet as I soaked them in the lake - tickled a bit.

8/24 - Day 3 [HL-IM]
Today started great, up at 6:00 and a young bull moose spotted across the lake while I ate my oatmeal. Made good time and initial clear skies gave way to clouds, which kept me cool. It started to sprinkle but the sky was so light and the tree cover was so thick so I pressed on. Saw some crazy shelf mushrooms growing on tree trunks that looked like little brains, and saw a tiny field mouse in the shape of a gray ball. Boiling water here for purification since I have so much fuel - and the light rain has been persistent so there's a dampness to everything. Went to soak my feet downstream, not much water here, but the cold felt good and a tiny leech grabbed on to the bottom of my foot. Made good time again, about 6 hours, but this rain is really bumming me out. Nearly 15 miles tomorrow, longest yet by a good bit, so I'm already in bed (it's 6:30) - took a couple of tylenol, I'm sure I'll need more tomorrow. I've got one door of my fly up and I can see out into the woods (and stay ventilated) without getting wet. That's pretty nice!

8/25 - Day 4 [IM-FL]
A hard start to the day as the light rain had persisted and I was still damp. Pushed through to Siskiwit for water, by which point no rain but thick fog. As soon as I left, a young bull moose and I stopped each other in our tracks, and then he wandered off. Toughest stretch of trail yet, thick brush had me soaked and my boots were waterlogged. As I got up towards the Feldtmann tower I thought I might just press on to Washington Creek if I was soaked and miserable. Got in such a zone and zoomed through a few miles, but as I came to the lake I realized I should probably stop. My site is perfect. The sun emerged and it was joyful. Setting up my tent, a moose walked right by my beach. Put gear in the sun to dry, admired more moose, maybe the same one, and took a good dip in the lake and rubbed my skin with a smooth stone. Bugs pretty low - haven't used repellent yet the whole trip. Now in bed at a more realistic hour (8:30) watching the lake and the clouds roll back in. I think I'm the only one camping here! PS: Leeches in the lake - one latched pretty good and I bled a lot!
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8/26 - Day 5 [FL-WC]
Slept in until 8 and got on the trail around 9:15, pushing hard to get to Windigo just under 3 hours later. At Washington Creek, snagged my first shelter! Saw a big bull moose in the water, and now a cow and calf have been making their way up and down the creek for awhile. To think I didn't see moose for the first couple of days! They walked right by my tent late last night, so close I felt like I could smell them. They sort of smell like damp socks and lake, though, so maybe it was just me. I went to have a look in the store and saw the couple I saw on my way to Hatchet, freshly showered, having pizza and a beer. I looked around the store and resisted the urge to buy anything, which I think the clerk didn't take very kindly to. Not enough sun or wind to get truly dry, but I ate a Mountain House meal for lunch and I think I'll try to polish off the other before early bed - then I'll eat good in RH. Feeling pretty tired and my feet are rather angry with me so I hope to get some good rest before tomorrow.
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8/27 - Day 6 [WC to RH via ferry]
Up at 8:00 today and went down to the dock super early - made oatmeal and saw the couple I saw near Ishpeming. Spent $18.50 on two packs of jerky and used my $1 out of $1.50 change on 3 hard boiled eggs - one of the best dollars I've spent. I are them with mustard and pepper. Got on the Voyageur II and talked with Lauren from Austin who was a self-proclaimed hippie and had a lot of good ideas about life and perspective. She's spent over 100 nights on IR! Puts my trek to shame. Made it to RH and had to settle for a tent site, but it's out of the way and I ate a giant raspberry. Went to the America dock, then soaked my feet and now I'm sitting in the Greenstone Grill. Got a Keewenaw Pickaxe Ale, waiting on a Superior Pizza. Rain in the forecast, but it doesn't matter much to me since I'm out in the afternoon tomorrow. Hoping to hike to Scoville Point to truly complete the East-West. Finished the whole pizza, second beer on the house, and free ice cream because I answered the riddle correctly: "What do you say when a restaurant worker asks your birthday?"

"Today!"

8/28 - Day 7 [RH to Copper Harbor]
Didn't write anything today. Had a great trip!

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thesneakymonkey
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Re: TR 8/22-8/28, 2018 [RH-MB-HL-IM-FL-WC-RH]

Post by thesneakymonkey » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:31 am

Nice report! Cool moose encounters with free beer and ice cream! Awesome.


torpified
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Re: TR 8/22-8/28, 2018 [RH-MB-HL-IM-FL-WC-RH]

Post by torpified » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:11 am

Thanks for the report, and congratulations on the wide variety of animals encountered! Am I correct you were bitten more often by leeches than by mosquitos??


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Hobbes
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Re: TR 8/22-8/28, 2018 [RH-MB-HL-IM-FL-WC-RH]

Post by Hobbes » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:13 am

torpified wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:11 am
Thanks for the report, and congratulations on the wide variety of animals encountered! Am I correct you were bitten more often by leeches than by mosquitos??
I’d say that’s correct! I got two or three leeches, but I can’t remember more than one or two mosquitoes.

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dcclark
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Re: TR 8/22-8/28, 2018 [RH-MB-HL-IM-FL-WC-RH]

Post by dcclark » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:40 pm

Sounds like a great trip. I'm curious what the "elk call" was! Loon calls are extremely distinctive and nothing like an elk, so you were probably hearing something else.

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Tom
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Re: TR 8/22-8/28, 2018 [RH-MB-HL-IM-FL-WC-RH]

Post by Tom » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:28 pm

Feldtman #2. My favorite site on the island, and looks like a nice bull, too!

I'm guessing the raspberries you ate very well may have been a variation from the same genus, commonly referred to as "thimbleberries." They are very prevalent on the island, making mid to late August a perfect time to visit.

Thanks for the TR!


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Re: TR 8/22-8/28, 2018 [RH-MB-HL-IM-FL-WC-RH]

Post by johnhens » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:49 am

Perhaps the "elk call" was a moose. Also, fox make an eery call.

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