Backpacking posts, page 6 of 8.

Lessons Learned from Isle Royale

Planning for the Isle Royale solo adventure stretched out months before I stepped onto the Queen at Copper Harbor. There were itineraries to sync up, pieces of gear to purchase, calories to count, and more than a few tests of physical readiness. Even after all this preparation the island would teach…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted October 13, 2015
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Isle Royale, Day 9: Thunderstorms over Rock Harbor

Dim light over the trail

Several thunderstorms had passed over Moskey Basin during the night. These were the real thing: bright flashes of lightning ruining the darkness, bursts of thunder rolling over forested hills and water, and heavy rain dumping down on the shelters roof above me. Yet now everything was quiet. For the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted October 6, 2015
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Isle Royale, Day 8: 24 Miles to Moskey Basin

Cool morning light over Lake Siskiwit

Soft pinks and purples swirled above the chilled fog on Lake Siskiwit. Shivering through my sweaty shirt I continued to pump water from the swampy inlet on the western shoreline. It was early, still thirty minutes before the sunrise, and I had made darn good time this morning. Close to four miles…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 30, 2015
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Isle Royale, Day 7: A Long Way to Malone Bay

Brave fox at Siskiwit Bay

The fox stared at me with alert eyes. It was a beautiful creature, sleek red fur and a fluffy tail too large for its body, and seemed complacent about my presence. I tried to take a few photos and grimaced as I noticed the rising sun washing out most of the details. If I tried to get closer it would…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 28, 2015
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Isle Royale, Day 6: Sunrise from Feldtmann Ridge

A bright moon hanging high above the night forest

Bright moonlight shone down over Feldtmann Lake and reflected off its glassy surface. I stood here for only a minute, packed and ready to move, before quietly making my way down the path. To return to the main trail I had to walk past every other campsite and I didn't want to wake anyone else up.…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 23, 2015
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Isle Royale, Day 5: Hard Start on Feldtmann

Dim morning light over the cove

Leaving Huginnin Cove was tough. It really is a beautiful location and my little camp on the east side was perfect. Also, the cove felt like the end of the Minong (even though it's technically a dedicated loop) and is pleasantly isolated. The thought of taking an entire day off to rest from…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 21, 2015
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Isle Royale, Day 4: Magnificence of the Minong

The first climb up the ridge

Dull grey skies over the trail junction reflected my stormy mood this morning. The trail from Little Todd Harbor had been a dark, slippery mess and both my boots and pants were already thoroughly soaked from heavy dew. Also, just as I crested the last rise to the junction, I realized that I had left…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 18, 2015
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Isle Royale, Day 3: Easy Times at the Todds

Making breakfast at the dock

With groggy eyes and stiff legs I slowly made my way down to the dock at Todd Harbor and set up for breakfast. There was water to pump, oatmeal to make, and coffee to brew. The rest of my gear was already packed - I wasted little time once I woke up and saw that I had slept in an hour past the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 15, 2015
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Isle Royale, Day 2: Cold Morning on the Greenstone

Cloudy morning over Lane Cove

Darkness surrounded me on the trail leading out of Lane Cove. I paused on a long boardwalk and let the sounds wash over me, the insect noises and curious rustles, my headlamp unveiling a section of path that was too intense and too dark all at the same time. With a deep sigh I pushed onwards. There…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 13, 2015
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Isle Royale, Day 1: The Rush to Lane Cove

At the bow of the Isle Royale Queen IV

Hunter's Point and Porter's Island sat across the harbor under the morning sun. I stood at the dock in Copper Harbor and felt a wave of nostalgia as the Isle Royale Queen IV was loaded up. Less than a year ago I had explored those trails and watched the sunrise from that point and so much has…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 11, 2015
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