TR: 6/18 RH-3Mi-LC-3Mi-RH

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Grandpa
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TR: 6/18 RH-3Mi-LC-3Mi-RH

Post by Grandpa » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:50 pm

I got my latest IRNP fix with a scaled-down solo tour of the east end. Since it was earlier in the season than usual with cool (40 deg) temps in the forecast, I packed some warmer layers and my warmest (15 deg) sleeping bag.

June 4 - I like the new speed limits. They got me into Houghton from lower MI an hour earlier. So I was able to check into the visitor center before they closed. All systems go. I bought the new map even though I already have more maps of IRNP than I need. Can't have too many, right?

June 5 - Sunshine & calm seas for the Ranger III ride. I second Torpified's comment about the exploding Bunchberry presentation by the professor from Williams College in Massachusetts. Incredible. The excellent researchers' presentations are one of the things I love about IRNP. And one of the reasons I like the Ranger III.

I had a leisurely walk to 3 Mi campground. There were plenty of shelters available so with rain in the forecast, I elected to keep my tent in the bag. Some kind soul had put new shingles on the roof since my last visit when it leaked badly. It was a sunny spring evening for a pleasant walk after dinner. A beaver swam around the dock with five people relaxing there. Smiling glances were all that needed to be said.

June 6 - Decision time. My permit said I should go to Lane Cove but the weather service said there was only 40% chance of no rain. There were still some doubts about parts of the LC trail being under water from beaver activity. And there are probably shelters available at Daisy. What would you do? Actually, what would you advise a 70-yr old friend or relative to do?

A ship in harbor is safe but that's not what ships are for. Off to LC.

Another kind soul had put a log bench where the LC trail intersects the Greenstone so I took a break there. The scenic but steep 400 ft drop at the start of the LC trail is a favorite of some and not so much for others. I tend to side with the first group. At the bottom of the ridge, I saw the new bridge. It kept my feet dry all the way to LC campground. Thanks to the trail crews, no detours over beaver dams were required. And the showers scattered elsewhere so the rest of me stayed dry too! A well-favored passage.

The two groups in LC were heading out, leaving the entire campground to me and the loons. It was another level of quiet compared to the power-boat highway in front of 3Mi campground. I put up my rain tarp just in case, but by dinner time there wasn't a cloud. At 3 am, I briefly awoke to a splendid star show.

June 7 - What goes down must come up. There's one spot where an opening in the canopy gives a full view of the climb ahead. Beautiful, but imposing. Let's take it slow.

As I started up, I heard the unmistakable sound of hooves clomping in the water. 100 ft below, I could see a Clydesdale with big ears heading away to my right. A smaller one trailed behind. Then she stopped and looked directly at me. I was thinking "What a cool sighting" when she climbed the steep ridge like it wasn't there and stood on the trail 30 ft away. I hadn't moved and when I said "Hello, Mrs Moose", she cocked her head like a dog with a quizzical, goofy look. A minute later, she walked away down the trail & called to her yearling with a series of low bellows.

Not long after, I was back at the log bench on the Greenstone. Sunny, cool and all downhill from here! Cue the "Gates of Kiev" (

On the way down to 3 Mi, I met a professor from the University of Tennessee and his 3 students. They were determining the age of trees on IRNP. Very friendly and eager to discuss their work.

2 moose, 3 beavers, frogs & a huge toad, many loons, Gray Jay "camp robber", Snowshoe Hares still with white feet, Bald Eagle, Sandhill Cranes and many, many wildflowers. (Maybe I should sign up for that botany class?)

June 8 - I awoke to yet another cool, clear "bluebird" day. Perfect hiking weather for a leisurely walk back down Tobin Harbor to Rock Harbor.

I had booked a room at the lodge and when I arrived at 10:15am, they had the room ready. It's great to shower before lunch and then relax on the deck. On the mainland, it would be nice, but on IRNP it's decadent.

A real cheeseburger with real fries for dinner.

June 9 - Another calm, sunny passage on the Ranger III. As Torpified mentioned, Rolf Peterson gave an excellent update on the wolf-moose situation. Did I mention that it's one of the reasons I like the Ranger III?

I made it home by Midnight with my IRNP glow intact.

Gear that I Didn't Use (But would still pack just in case):
Bug Dope, Head net (Cool enough that there were no bugs)
Rain Gear
Rain Tarp
Gloves (Not THAT cold)

Gear failures - Sawyer Mini water bag sprung a pinhole leak. I could hold my thumb over the leak to get by.
First visit 1982. Last visit June, 2018. Isle Royale is my favorite National Park!


torpified
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Re: TR: 6/18 RH-3Mi-LC-3Mi-RH

Post by torpified » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:04 pm

Hooray, Grandpa---you know your ships! I'm wondering if our paths crossed. Could you have been the other person scouring the chart of Lake Superior in the snack bar after the wolf-moose talk, trying to find Caribou Island?

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Grandpa
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Location: Southern Michigan

Re: TR: 6/18 RH-3Mi-LC-3Mi-RH

Post by Grandpa » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:39 am

Yes, that geographically challenged person was me. Maybe we should wear nametags!
First visit 1982. Last visit June, 2018. Isle Royale is my favorite National Park!


torpified
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Re: TR: 6/18 RH-3Mi-LC-3Mi-RH

Post by torpified » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:44 pm

Grandpa wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:39 am
Yes, that geographically challenged person was me. Maybe we should wear nametags!
in my book, no one who knows where the Superior charts are is geographically challenged!

I know of other online outdoors communities that adopt conventions enabling their members to identify one another in the backwoods. For instance, the dreaded Ladies of the John Muir Trail are all supposed to sport turquoise bandanas. Have the IR Forums ever done this? (I'm not advocating for it --- I abjure the turquoise bandana, due to introversion -- but I'm curious.)

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