Isle Royale 2009

So, we made it back from Isle Royale in one piece. I think that everyone had fun. It was a little windier and wavier than we hoped, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying our time.

We ended up doing a little more hiking than expected, but the weather wasn’t too bad and the island was pretty quiet meaning open shelters everywhere we went.

Anyway, I’ll try to post a better trip report tomorrow.

For now here are some pics from the trip.



So… let’s see… On Monday my father and brother Zack drove up from the lower peninsula. They arrived in the later afternoon and after I finished work we started unpacking all of their stuff and repacking everything into dry bags for our trip. I had wanted to try and pre-pack the kayaks just to make sure that everything fit before we left, however we ran out of time and I just took a good look at everything and decided we’d be ok. We put all our crap in the car and went to bed.

Tuesday we were scheduled to leave on the queen at 8am. We were up a little before 6am and started driving. When we arrived in Copper Harbor we were unloading our equipment when we realized that my dad had left a drybag containing his fleece and rain jacket back at the house. Little did Mari know, but soon she would receive a call asking if she would be willing to go for a little drive. When…now. Do I have time to change out of my PJ’s… no. A big thanks goes out to her for getting there just in the nick of time.

The ride over on the Queen was pretty interesting. We had waves in the 5-7 foot range and we weren’t 5 minutes out of the harbor before people started moving outside to boot. The three of us didn’t show any signs of illness and we arrived in the harbor to winds in the 15-20 mph ranges and waves that were 2-4 feet. Fortunately, they were all headed he same direction we were. We launched from the harbor, made the turn north, and more or less let the wind push us along. Eventually, we reached Scoville Point. At this time there were some pretty thick clouds rolling in and we decided that it was probably prudent to take a moment to put on the paddling/rain jackets. Just after Zack finished zipping his jacket up it started to rain.

At this point we around Scoville Point and headed for Merritt Lane. Lucky for us the rain doesn’t last too long and before we know it we are in the protection of Merritt, the sun starts to peak back out, and we now have almost no wave action, just a healthy tailwind and a pretty strong current pushing us along. When we reached the Merritt Lane campsite we decided to call it a night. We unpacked our boats and hung up our equipment in the shelter so it could dry out. Dinner was served shortly thereafter and soon after that heads hit the wadded up fleeces that served as our pillows.

For the rest of our trip things were pretty good. It was a little windy and that kept us from making it around Blake Point. However, we did have a good time exploring all of the little islands on the southeast side of Isle Royale. We did some hiking (lookout louise, suzy’s cave) and relaxed and tried to enjoy the little bit of time we had away from regular life.

Overall, I think everything went really well. I didn’t end up pushing anyone too hard, while at the same time everyone got to test their limits a little bit. I had a lot of fun and hopefully this will be the start of a new tradition.

It would be great to get the rest of my brothers out on a trip like this.

Maybe next time.


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