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Posted: 6/11/2009 5:12:23 PM EST
I just got back today from 6 days on Isle Royale, 5 of which were backpacking. I saw 5 moose total, but no wolves. Although a couple I hiked with one day had a cow moose run accross the trail in front of them and 30 seconds later 2 wolves ran by a few yards away after it!

I thought it was kind of funny that living in NW WI I drove through MN to get to MI. I hiked 45 miles total. The Minong Ridge trail kicked my ass, but it was awesome!

I'll let the pics and captions do the talking;

A fox in the parking lot (in Grand Portage MN) where I took the ferry to the Island.


Entering the harbor these 2 moose were swimming around in 36 degree water.


Entering Washington harbor


The sign at Windigo (on the west end of the island).


Some trail...


A creek crossing


Fog in Little Todd cove


The Minong Ridge Trail


Another shot of the Minong


Some awesome outhouse graffiti


One of 2 moose that I saw while hiking into a campsite. The other one walked off, this one turned towards me and just stared at me.


Pie Island in Canada in the background. Sometimes on parts of the Greenstone trail you could look one way and see Michigan, and look behind you and see Canada. Pretty cool.


Fog wall out on Lake Superior while riding back to Grand Portage this afternoon.


And finally one of badass arfkomer inferno715










Link Posted: 6/11/2009 5:33:04 PM EST
Cool pics....I've always wanted to go on a trip up there. Are the bugs bad this time of year?
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 5:35:09 PM EST
Why the reference to the Windigo? Were there sightings or something?
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 5:42:31 PM EST
Originally Posted By Thom101:
Why the reference to the Windigo? Were there sightings or something?


The copper mines were called the Wendigo mines..somehow they changed the name around. I don't really know the details. The natives were on the island 3-4k years ago though.
Link Posted: 6/11/2009 5:44:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By beagler76:
Cool pics....I've always wanted to go on a trip up there. Are the bugs bad this time of year?


They were not bad at all, but we've had a somewhat late spring again this year. Not as cold as last year, but still cool. I only used bug spray one day I think, and that was after it had rained. There was a good breeze or more the rest of the time.

No ticks either.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 12:54:54 PM EST
1. That is absolutely beautiful country! Thanks for sharing.

2. What are cairns?

3. I believe your avatar is an oldschool picture of McUzi. Is that you? If so, you've come a long, long way!
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 1:00:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By inferno715:
I thought it was kind of funny that living in NW WI I drove through MN to get to MI.


Dude....wat?
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 1:01:08 PM EST
Originally Posted By chips:
1. That is absolutely beautiful country! Thanks for sharing.

2. What are cairns?

3. I believe your avatar is an oldschool picture of McUzi. Is that you? If so, you've come a long, long way!



little rock piles that act as trail markers / blazes
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 1:03:00 PM EST
What an awesome right up and pics, Im so damn jealous. I have been wanting to go up there for the last couple years
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 1:04:05 PM EST
Great pics. Thanks for posting them. I have not got out there yet, but I'm planning on a week long solo at some point in time, hopefully soon. It's on my list and now I live close enough to the ferry to have no excuses any more.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 1:23:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By Kalahnikid:
Originally Posted By inferno715:
I thought it was kind of funny that living in NW WI I drove through MN to get to MI.


Dude....wat?


Look at a map.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 1:30:55 PM EST
Awesome. One day I want to get up there.

Least visited National Park in the system from what I've read.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 1:48:40 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 1:49:30 PM EST by mongo001]
I grew up in Chassell, MI about 7 miles from Houghton, MI, where the Ranger takes off. I've been on almost every version of the Ranger, but never rode it to Isle Royale. Have to do that some day soon.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 1:56:44 PM EST
Did you do any fishing?

What was your carry piece?

There was an article about this place in my sons Boy Scout magazine this month. Looks like a fun place.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 1:57:42 PM EST
nice!
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 2:03:32 PM EST
Threads like these make me miss living in WV. Kansas is about as bland (from an outdoor perspective, among others) as lettuce. Definitely some nice pics.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 11:49:53 AM EST
I didn't carry any gun. Too much weight..and no use for it imo.

Least visisted park, but most return visitors.

Avatar is McUzi..but I have lost a lot of weight..was 215-220 and now I'm down to 170. There's no way I could have done this trip in the shape I was in before..at least not the Minong Ridge trail.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:32:22 PM EST
My aunt worked at the Houghton office years ago. Got a free ride whenever I wanted to go. Cool place. Had some moose stop on the trail I was heading back on one year. Figured I'd trip my buddy if I had to run to give the moose someone to kick.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 1:46:37 PM EST
Good for you. I was there last August - the mosquitoes were insane!! I left from Copper Harbor in upstate MI.

We camped at Moskie Basin the night after the wolf pack from the middle of the island killed a moose there. The eastern pack (who "owns" that territory) spent all night trying to drive them away and were running through the camp sight and howling all night long. We got to see a lot of wolves but they paid absolutely no notice to us.

Isle Royale is one of the (if not THE) least visited parks in the system but I saw more people on the trails there in a day than I see during a week in the Adirondaks and, because it's a National Park, there are a shit load of rules and regulations. Fires were completely banned when I was there.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:13:00 PM EST
It's always ranked number 1 or 2 for solitude and ranks high for true wilderness experience.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:14:57 PM EST
Sad to admit, but, I have not been back to the island in over 15 years. Where did the time go?

Regarding carrying up there, IMHO, unless you know of a threat to be worried about, don't bother. The wolves don't go anywhere near your campsite and I when your going 50 miles from end to end, a 48oz revolver and extra speedloader of ammo is better used for carrying extra GORP/trailmix or water.

One of the more memorable sites on the isle is that there is and island on the largest lake on that island. Which is on the largest lake in the world.

The legends and stories surrounding the lighthouse are also worth doing the tourist stuff.

The only thing that sucks is the 4hour boat ride. If the water is very rough, alot of folks are going to be puking on board.

Glad you enjoyed your trip. Go more often if possible.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 8:48:56 PM EST
4 hour boat ride? From MI? It's only 2 from Grand Portage MN.

As far as seeing people on the trails, I think only 2 out of the 5 I ran into more than one other person. The west end in less traveled, especially the Minong Ridge trail. Both nights on that I had the campsites all to myself.

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 2:26:53 PM EST
Originally Posted By inferno715:
4 hour boat ride? From MI? It's only 2 from Grand Portage MN.

As far as seeing people on the trails, I think only 2 out of the 5 I ran into more than one other person. The west end in less traveled, especially the Minong Ridge trail. Both nights on that I had the campsites all to myself.



I remember it taking over 2 hours to reach Windigo Bay from Grand Portage the day we left and nearly 2 hours to get to the east side of the island at Rock Harbor. We backpacked from one end to the other. If the water is really choppy, it can take nearly 3 hours to get across.

Things may have changes in the last 15 years, but, its a LONG ride after being on a boat for 4 hours.

And the island we saw was Ryan Island on Siskiwit Lake. (didn't venture out to it, but, not far off from shore)

Link Posted: 6/15/2009 8:56:27 PM EST
Okay, that makes sense if you went to Rock Harbor.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 6:14:02 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/16/2009 6:15:30 AM EST by Cypselus]
I went there in 1997. We took the ferry from Copper Harbor - four hours and cold, even in August. I love that place. I love the whole northern Great Lakes area, really. We only saw one moose, though, and no wolves, sadly. The foxes were very bold and mosquitoes, as always in a Michigan August, were thick.
Link Posted: 6/16/2009 6:18:38 AM EST
awesome!
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