aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Isle Royale, Part Two

By the shores of Gitchee Gumee

We had a beautiful crossing from Copper Harbor to Isle Royale on the ferry. The water was smooth as glass. It takes about 3 hours 20 minutes to make the trip. Lake Superior is a freshwater inland sea. The surface temperature in the middle of the lake was 37 degrees. The wind generated by the Isle Royale Queen IV made it a very brisk experience to stand on deck, so we spent most of the voyage in the cabin. The cool temperatures were certainly a nice contrast to the oppressive heat we'd been experiencing back home in Indiana.

We were told to watch out for the Isle Royale Rock Harlequin, a flower that blooms nowhere else in the world and only for a short time in the summer. We were also told to listen for the Winter Wren, a shy little bird that has a very long mating call, sometimes lasting 10 or 12 seconds. We were told that there were, by last count, something less than 300 moose on the island, and only 14 wolves. Loons were less abundant than they had been, too. We saw the Rock Harlequin, heard the Winter Wren, and saw and heard some loons, but the moose and the wolves ignored us and didn't show up for their pictures to be taken. The mosquitoes, on the other hand, were happy to show up, though in less numbers than I feared. We never did have to break out the head nets.

After lunch at Rock Harbor Lodge, we stumped off down the coast for a seven mile hike. It was a tough hike, particularly for starting so late in the day. People hadn't gotten used to their packs yet, there were lots of rocks, etc. Still, there was lots of daylight. Isle Royale is on Eastern Daylight time and it was approaching Midsummer, so it didn't get dark until about 10:30 p.m. We went to bed while it was still light every night.

We found no poison ivy on the Island (good news). And the woods were filled at times with a piney, resinous fragrance, something like a cedar chest. It felt great to be back for my third trek on the Isle.

Pirates of Lake Superior Pirates of Lake Superior
Avast, there!
Approaching the dock Approaching the dock
Rock Harbor Lodge, IRNP
Off on the trail Off on the trail
Entering the Wild
Adjusting straps Adjusting straps
Jeffrey, Dave, Kaila, Ben
Down the coast Down the coast
Rock Harbor on the left
Isle Royal Rock Harlequin Isle Royale Rock Harlequin
something special
Ah, grub Ah, grub
Chowing down at Daisy Farm campsite


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