Serenity Now

Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
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Trip End Dec 22, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Michigan
Friday, September 9, 2011

I could save you a lot of reading and just sum up 4 days of kayaking and hiking on Isle Royale in one word...incredible.   I will let the pictures do most of the talking.  September weather in this part of the world can go either way, but mother nature was in an unusually good mood for us. Clear blue skies, no humidity, temperatures in the low 70s in the day and 50s at night were a true gift.   The best part of all was no moquitos or flies.  If you've been to the north country you know what I am talking about.

Most of the island is boreal forest which is a fancy word for Christmas trees living in their natural habitat.   Yes, my southern friends, they actually don't spawn from some sort of immaculate conception within a chain link fence at Home Depot.   The air is naturally scented like a pine tree and not like one of those crappy pine tree shaped air fresheners hanging from the rearview mirror of every hooptie rolling on 26s in Atlanta.  

A three hour ferry ride over from Copper Harbor delivers a clientele definitely divided into two camps.   We had the groups of fit outdoors people (some the more country granola type) ready for days of hiking or kayaking and then the ubiquitous motorhome crowd making a daytrip.   It's an expensive daytrip and a long one, too at almost 7 hours roundtrip.   And if you can barely walk from your motorhome to the dock, what makes you think this is some sort of miracle healing cruise that will allow you to suddenly attempt some overland pilgrimage on the island for 5 hours before returning?  Yeah this is God's country up here for sure, not God's Waiting Room.  And I don't think he is reaching down and parting Lake Superior and suddenly transforming the barely mobile into power hikers.   Just throwing it out there so people think twice before spending over $100 roundtrip to see some pinetrees, a dock and a visitor center.

A ridgeline glowing yellow and red rising up from deep blue water was our first introduction to Isle Royale as the place slowly grew against the clear blue sky.  As a side note, Lake Superior is big enough that for a while no shoreline is visible from the boat.   Since pockets of hardwoods had already begun their autumn show, I decided then and there that somehow I was hiking up to the top of those hills

About an hour after arriving we were on our way in kayaks to set up camp on Caribou Island.   It's across a channel from Isle Royale and this ensured that we wouldn't have to fight for limited camping space with backpackers exploring the main 30 mile long island.

The water is clear, very few waves and the weather is perfect.  Sounds like it's going to be an amazing week up this way.

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