Our Isle Royale Adventure: Day 2

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One nice thing about the Grand Portage RV and Campground was its location right on Superior.  The sound of waves pounding the shore is wonderful to sleep by.  The otters playing in the marina the next morning were a treat, too, even though we only had a few minutes to watch.  The big lake was close enough again last night to hear those waves as we slept in the Lake Feldtmann campground.

So many different bird calls this morning, it was quite a chorus to wake up too.  At times I wish I could remember the names that go with the different calls, but even without that knowledge it’s still sweet music to the ears. I did recognize the clear rat-tat-tat of a Pilleated Woodpecker as I walked to the privy.

My Lake Feldtmann breakfast nook

Later, as I made tea, I watched a female Common Goldeneye feed on aquatic life where yesterday we tossed our lures in hopes of a Pike or Perch.
Morning breakfast by the inland lake brought another treat … a second Goldeneye bringing her chicks out for a swim.  She would know better than anyone there’s little chance of a Pike rising to the surface for a feeding in our corner of the west end of Lake Feldtmann.

The boys slept in until 8:30 when I roused them, or at least asked if they wanted to get up.

Looking at the east end of Lake Feldtmann from the Feldtmann Ridge trail

After a leisurely time of eating and packing up we hit the trail around 9:50.  The hike to the fire tower on Feldtmann Ridge was first rate!  Views of Lake Feldtmann were followed after a steep ascent with some beautiful vistas.  The flora also changed regularly as we entered open rocky spots, then wooded areas with changing trees, and flowering meadows in between.  At one point, Joey said “it makes your neck hurt trying to take it all in.”  I agreed that you could walk 100 feet, stop, and observe again for hours at a time to appreciate it all.

I read Proverbs 8 today.  It really emphasizes Wisdom as something supernatural that was with God in the beginning, helping with creation.  Earlier, Proverbs had said God created the earth in His wisdom and understanding, but in chapter 8 it’s almost as if Wisdom was embodied in creation.  If my understanding is correct, Isle Royale is a great place to come and study God’s Wisdom.

The rest of the climb to the tower was an easy one and even with all our looking around we made good time in a little under 3 hours.  We looked from the tower, then came down and ate out of the wind.  Things were cut a little short by a rain shower.  Yesterday I had a good chat with the wolf/moose researchers.  Today we met up at the tower with a couple who came across on the ferry with us.  He puts up radars to study bird and bat migrations in advance of putting up more and bigger wind turbines.  She’s done the Appalachian Trail.  I forgot the great people you meet while backpacking a place like Isle Royale!

A Moose Track: Bigger Than Joey’s Not-So-Small-Hand

The afternoon was a bit drearier with periodic rain showers and only some sun.  We hiked a bit steadier but still saw some great moose and wolf tracks.  Before the tower we saw very fresh wolf scat and wondered if we were only an hour behind the duo that live on the west side of the island.  None of the wolf tracks after the tower were as fresh, but the moose tracks were.  Occasionally we’d scramble up an incline that looked like moose had used, but we never saw the animal itself.  The couple did say they saw a moose feeding in Lake Feldtmann way off in the distance.  Next time we need to bring along a pair of binoculars.

I keep seeing more new species of flowers in bloom all the time.  I’ve lost count of the number of different species, and have given up trying to photograph all the new ones, although I still try to get most.  The flowers have been quite a treat, as have been the blooming shrubs and trees!

The last mile or two it rained harder.  Plus the grass and bushes were wet, so the bottoms of our pants got wet through the rain pants, and my pack was wet through my cover.  But fortunately we scored a shelter tonight and it’s now crowded with our stuff drying.  We’re huddled in our sleeping bags writing, reading, and Joey’s even cooking in his.  I think it’ll be cards tonight 🙂

Early in that last stretch we scared up 3 Sandhill Cranes.  We found out at the end of our hike that the cranes are relatively newly returned to the island after years of absence.  Boy did they make a racket when they jumped up from their hiding spot behind a bush.  Two flew off one direction and the third another.  Later the solo crane circled around and again squawked as it flew over us one more time.  A nice pick me up for the afternoon.

The weather ended up clearing so down to the dock to treat water after our delicious dinner of Ramen, rice, dried mixed veggies, and dried ground beef seasoned with beef bouillon.  While down there we got to watch the Osprey dive and catch a fish!  It put the boys in the mood for fishing.  A good reason to get a fishing license for Lake Superior (none is needed for the inland lakes) … Eric pulled in a whopper 30-36″ Lake Trout!

Eric put up a tarp to cover the bottom portion of the screened side of the shelter and we settled in for a solid night of sleeping.

Our Isle Royale Adventure: Day 3 ->

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