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sheepdog
2012-09-03, 15:03
Even though I am more than 200 miles north of the Ohio border, I still have to drive seven hours to get to Copper Harbor for my 4 hour boat ride to Isle Royal. The Isle Royal Queen IV took off at 0800 and the trip across was uneventful. The boat is 100' long and looks capable of taking rough water. It seats about 60 and has room for boats, kayaks, and canoe's on top. It was unusually hot (90's) and I arrived in Rock Harbor at about noon. After the obligatory NPS lecture and itinerary filing I took off west towards Daisy Farm Campground. The trail parallels the south coast and runs the length of Rock Harbor. It is rocky, full of roots and requires that you watch were you place your feet. About 1.5 miles down the trail is Suzy's cave; not real big but definitely worth a look. After another 1.5 miles is three mile campground. It has several shelters and campsites. So far the trees have been spruce and cedar. The forest growth is very thick. I've seen lots of garter snakes, snowshoe hare and loons are everywhere. The loon calls fill the day. I eat lunch on the dock at 3 mile and then take off for Daisy Farm. The forest and trail remains the same as the first 3 miles. The coast is pretty but I start to think the forest as a little bleak. There is wolf poop and fox poop at regular intervals along the trail. They don't follow the rules of being 200' off the trail. The temps have been in the low 90's and I don't like hot weather. I was hoping for low 70's.
Daisy Farm is a big campground with lots of activity. There is supposed to be a fox working the crowd and the ranger says not to feed him. The shelters are all full which is fine with me and I find a good site to put my hammock. All the coastal campgrounds have picnic tables at each site. There are also big docks on the harbor. It is pretty comfortable camping. I take my bucket to the dock and get some swimming girls to fill it up for me in the deeper water. All water should be filtered as they supposedly have tape worms. It's warm and I sleep without my quilt all night.
I leave camp at 0830 and start walking to West Chickenbone Lake. I pass several lakes and try my hand at fishing. I get one hit on my first cast and see a good sized pike turn sideways. He fights for about 30 seconds and then gets away. I never have another bite. I walk over three good sized ridges including Greenstone ridge on my way to WCL. I pass several lakes. The trees change and I see white pines, poplar, mt. ash and lots of big birch. I cross a couple creeks and wetlands and there are these giant looking hosta type plants and several different kinds of ferns. The diversity of vegetation is cool. It's about 10 miles to the campground and I am in no hurry. I see lots of red squirrels, snow shoe hares, one grouse, black garter snakes, small toads, caterpillars, and several hawks. There is lots of moose, fox and wolf sign. I arrive at about 5. It is hot, in the high 80's and I am carrying all these warm clothes that I will never need. The interior camp grounds have no shelters and no picnic tables. I am still happy in my hammock. The loons song is everywhere and I love that sound.
I get up at 0430 to the sound of loons. I start getting breakfast ready and light the stove and boil coffee. I want to get an early start as I will spend a lot of my (10 miles) day on the Greenstone Ridge. It is open to the sun and the heat is killing me and sapping my energy (hey I'm a yankee). It never got cold last night and I used my quilt for a pillow. I filter water, drink one liter plus my coffee right away and add two more liters to my pack. I hit the trail at 0630 and immediately get stung on the arm by a bald faced hornet. It's still dark!! The morning walk was excellent and I made it to Mt. Ojibway and its fire tower. The cabin at the top is locked but I sit just below it and can see Canada and most of the island. I am in the shade and there is the finest breeze blowing off lake superior. I spend an hour up there with my boots off. There is no one around. I start to here other hikers so I get saddled up and head out. DOWN THE WRONG TRAIL. It takes me about a half mile to figure that out. So I turn around and walk back up the mountain. Did I mention it's hot with no shade?? I was circled by a buzzard for a while and I tried to look more lively. Buzzards know stuff. I walk the next three miles to Mt. Franklin and the sun and heat are killing me. Mt. Franklin has a great view and I again take my boots off and enjoy it. There are a gazillion yellow jackets around but I just let them crawl on me and they don't sting me. I have about a half cup of water left and have not been drinking as much as I would like. I am thinking that I could walk on to Rock harbor instead of going to three mile campground. It's three miles farther but they have hot showers, beer and hamburgers. Rock harbor it is. My hiking starts to slow to a crawl and I start to cramp up due to no water. I find a bay and filter two liters of water. I drink one immediately and I pour the left over water in my bucket over my head. I feel a lot better and hike into rock harbor. With my unplanned detour and going to Rock Harbor it is a 15 mile day.
I buy a shower, beer, and miss out on the burger. I do get a quart of chocolate milk though. I slept in a shelter that night. They are clean and rodent free. The next day the boat leaves at 1435. I spend my morning day hiking and just loafing. The ride back was smooth. I did see a wolf on the road about 40 miles west of Marquette. It was just before dark and really big. I will try to add pictures.

SGT Rock
2012-09-03, 15:10
no pictures?

sheepdog
2012-09-03, 15:10
no pictures?

I'm not very good at posting pictures here. I am working on it.

Tin Man
2012-09-03, 15:25
no pictures?

what's up with that? no one reads anymore . . .

SGT Rock
2012-09-03, 15:33
I do read, but only to about the third word, then I look for pictures.

Cuffs
2012-09-03, 15:52
Copper harbor. I saw my first black bear there when I was 8.

Tin Man
2012-09-03, 15:54
I do read, but only to about the third word, then I look for pictures.

exactly


wasn't trying to single you out Rock, or anyone else for that matter

SGT Rock
2012-09-03, 16:15
I didn't feel singled out.

Skidsteer
2012-09-03, 16:42
Great report Sheepdog.

Nearly Normal
2012-09-03, 17:26
Great report Sheepdog.

:dito:

Sounds like you had a good trip!

mudhead
2012-09-03, 19:49
No swimming? Wuss.

sheepdog
2012-09-03, 20:46
Is there an easy way to reduce pixels in a picture?

sheepdog
2012-09-03, 21:07
Lets see if this works

sheepdog
2012-09-03, 21:11
these pictures are from the fire tower on Mt. Ojibway.

sheepdog
2012-09-03, 21:14
another tower pic.moose tracks. , my campsite at west chicken bone lake, the hosta type plant that grew in the wetlands and me by a lake

sheepdog
2012-09-03, 21:17
a wolf track (the white part of my hiking stick is 4"), Thimble berries, a shelter at 3 mile campsite, the dock at 3 mile camp ground.

sheepdog
2012-09-03, 21:19
The coast line on Rock Harbor, Pics from inside and outside Suzie cave.

sheepdog
2012-09-03, 21:38
inside a shelter at Rock Harbor, Caterpillar, Red Squirrel, The Isle Royal Queen IV, Copper Harbor light house.

sheepdog
2012-09-03, 21:42
circling buzzard, poplar grove, and a couple repeats. guess I'm done. Hope y'all enjoyed it.

Nearly Normal
2012-09-03, 21:55
Big woods and big water.....you suck.

Superman
2012-09-03, 21:57
Eggzakly

Cuffs
2012-09-03, 22:11
Pure suckage. (and Pure Michigan )

Roots
2012-09-03, 22:24
You have now earned the suckitude award! :)

Big Mac
2012-09-03, 23:05
Excellent suckage Sheepdog.

rcli4
2012-09-03, 23:57
make me home sick...

JERMM
2012-09-04, 08:53
welcome to the "you suck" club

john pickett
2012-09-04, 10:19
Enjoyed that. Thanks for posting.