Isle Royale Travelog

Journal - Day 4

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Thursday, August 16, 2001

In the morning we tried to wait the rain out but when it hadn't stopped by 9, we decided to brave it. We we got our stuff together, and while Mark prepared breakfast (oatmeal & coffee & cocoa), I went and filtered some drinking water, then we hit the trail. We decided to go ahead on to Lane Cove; Derek (the Interpretive Ranger) told us the night before that Lane Cove might be a good place to see some moose, and one group staying at Daisy Farm the same night we did had just come from there and had seen a moose cow and her calf in the cove.
Filtering water
Filtering water before the hike
view on trail from Daisy Farm to Mt. Ojibway
A rainy, but breathtaking view on the trail from Daisy Farm to Mt. Ojibway.
The woods were beautiful, wet with rain, and our gear held up pretty well for the first half of the hike (6.7 miles total.) The climb to Mt. Ojibway wasn't too bad; there were some dips but the 400ft ascent was pretty well spread out over a number of miles. When we reached the top, there was one hiker there already, also heading to Lane Cove. We chatted with him, then he headed on. We stopped to rest and have a Power Bar each.
It was raining pretty hard by then, and my pants were soaking through. Unfortunately, my pants funneled the water right down to my (wool) socks which soaked the water right up and soon I was "slosh-slosh-sloshing" on the trail. We stopped so I could change socks but it did little good; the GoreTex seal of my boots was "broken" and the boots soon filled with water again. Nothing else to do but walk! As we passed through the swampy areas (beautiful, and almost prehistoric) we kept our eyes open for moose but saw none.
The climb to Mt. Franklin again, was quite steep. On the way we passed an AMAZING stand of birches -- eery and quiet in the mist. The top of Mt. Franklin, too, was breathtaking, even without a view (the fog was too thick.)
Birch trees in the mist Birch trees in the mist
The "view" from the top of Mt. Franklin View from top of Mt. Franklin
After Mt. Franklin we headed to Lane Cove. Here we began the descent, and was it ever! Steep, it zig-zagged back and forth down the hill. We'd get down to one level, walk a little, then find we had even further down to go. It's going to be a tough one tomorrow, but it was beautiful! We took pictures but there's no way they will capture the amazingness.
Misty forest Misty forest on the way to Lane Cove
A beaver dam along the trail to Lane Cove Beaver dam
Wet tent
"Wet house"
When we reached Lane Cove, at first we thought there was no room for us, but right off of Site 5 there was another tent pad, so we set up in the rain. We called this one "Wet House." We got the tent up, and took off our soaked-through clothes and climbed in our damp-but-warm sleeping bags. Mark made cocoa, then dinner (lasagna and spaghetti.) The rain eased for a little while and we put our stuff (clothes, jackets) out to dry but the rain kept coming back. We realized that we might be hiking in wet gear the next day, and we didn't relish that thought. The sleeping bags were nice and warm, though, so we would sleep well. Keeping in mind that we only had 6 miles or so to a warm shower gave us a little hope. We went to sleep, praying for sunshine!
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Isle Royale Travelog
Conceived and developed by Alexandra Van Doren and Carol Whittaker
Photographs by Alexandra Van Doren
Text by Carol Whittaker and Alexandra Van Doren