Saturday, October 29, 2016

The progression of Fall on Isle Royale...

October, 2016:  The island is getting wilder and wilder.  I moved to Mott in early October and began the process of closing things up.  In mid October, I patrolled across the island on foot...a three day adventure in, what seemed like, my own personal National Park!  I spent the first night at East Chickenbone and the second night at South Lake Desor, taking the Greenstone across the spine of the island to Windigo. 

On the 20th of October, I helped throw the lines of the Ranger III, the last one of the year.  It was now down to just me and one other ranger.  We made sure everything was secure on the East end of the island and began systematically checking each campground on our way to the North Shore.  We spent a night at Amygdaloid on the way to Windigo on the West end.  After setting up life in Windigo, we patrolled throughout the West end until late October.  I made it out on hikes to Huginnin Cove, up the Minong, to the Feldtmann Tower and up to Grace Creek Overlook. 

Here are some of the highlights...
Daisy Farm Trail

Wolf tracks on the Daisy Farm Trail

Campsite at East Chickenbone

The Greenstone Ridge near Mt. Siskiwit

Hatchet Lake

Campsite at South Lake Desor

South Lake Desor

The Ranger III at Windigo on it's second to last run of 2016
Bull moose near Ojibway Tower

Feldtmann Tower

On patrol at the Feldtmann Tower

The "Goshawk" at Duncan Bay...nearing the end of the season!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall begins on the Island...

September, 2016:  The sure sign that the season is changing is in the wildlife, particularly in the moose.  Suddenly, we have been spotting a lot more moose in the area, and they are getting unpredictable!  The rut has begun.  There have been a bull, cow and calf all hanging out in Rock Harbor.  They have been hanging around our house for days, sometimes RIGHT outside the door!  I've started looking both ways before I open the door to go outside, because more than once, I've been startled by them right outside the door. 

Susanna and Jasper worked their way back to town in the middle of the month, while I stayed on to help close down Rock Harbor.  At the end of the month, I returned to the mainland briefly for a visit and then returned to the island to close everything out throughout October. 

Here are some of the highlights from the month...
Moose peering in our front window!
Jasper lounging at Malone Bay

Our campsite at Malone Bay

Our little naturalist!
Backcountry campsite at Lake Benson

Lake Benson near sunset

Kayak trip on the North Shore...before the gales hit!
Taking Susanna's new kayak out for a test run!

Sunset from the north shore

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The heat of August along Lake Superior

August, 2016:  August continued where July left off with hot temps, glorious swimming days and many wonderful days on the waters of Lake Superior.  By the middle of month, the winds had begun to pick up, a sure sign of late summer.  As the blueberries began to fade, the thimbleberries took their place.  Our fridge and freezer is full of thimbleberry jam!  Add that to fresh, homemade bread...yum!! 

We got out on a number of backcountry trips, with campsites at Moskey Basin, Threemile and Lake Richie, as well as a fun little camping outing right here at Rock Harbor campground.  Our trip to Lake Richie involved a boat trip to Moskey and a 2 mile backpacking trail out to Richie.  Jasper had a blast and carried his own backpack much of the way!  Once out at the lake, we played in the water for a long time (then pulled the leaches off from between our toes...), and spent some wonderful time canoeing around the lake.  At sunset, we glided along the glass-calm waters past islands and calling loons. 

The island continues to be very busy as we approached and went through the centennial.  Still many medicals and search and rescues out there.  For work, I got out scuba diving in several places, and spent lots of time on boat, trail, kayak and canoe patrol.  Sometimes, I forget I'm actually working! 

At the end of the month, we enjoyed a wonderful visit from my mom and dad.  Jasper was SO excited to have Grandma and Grandpa come for a visit!  He proudly showed them all of his favorite places in Rock Harbor.  We got out boating a lot, did some hiking and watched a huge bull moose swimming from island to island in Tobin Harbor. 
A happy kid in front of our home on Isle Royale

Canoeing time!

Pure joy!

Jasper ready to canoe near Lake Richie

Beaver outside of our campsite at Moskey Basin

Sunrise at Moskey Basin

Early morning light at Lake Richie

My favorite little boy!

Heading out on a hike with Grandma and Grandpa

Boating with the family

Exploring around Rock Harbor with Grandma and Grandpa

A happy visit with Grandma and Grandpa!

At the America Dock

A big bull moose crossing Tobin Harbor

Almost ready for the rut...

Monday, September 5, 2016

Deep summer on a wilderness island

July, 2016:  Temps began to heat up as July rolled along.  By the middle of the month, we were swimming nearly every day and Lake Superior waters were creeping up in to the middle and even upper 60's!  We started snorkeling in Tobin Harbor and even snorkeled around two of the nearby islands. 

The island became busier and busier with many medicals and some pretty major search and rescues.  One involved two patients, long litter carries, overnight and a helicopter hoist (in the dark).   

We got out on backcountry trips to Merritt Lane, Moskey Basin and Daisy Farm.  By the middle of the month, the blueberries had just started to get ripe!  Our freezer is full of a bountiful harvest!  We had some wonderful visits from friends:  Rori in mid July and Rama along with his daughter Lakshana in late July. 

Pink Ladyslipper

Jasper peers into our tent at Merritt Lane

Out at Blake Point - the far NE tip on the island (and a rather crazy xc trek to get there!)


Canoeing out near Merritt Lane

Red fox

The top predator/prey on Isle Royale...moose and wolves

Fun time in the water at Daisy Farm!


Sleeping Giant viewed from Lane Cove on the North Shore

Our campsite at Moskey Basin