Monday, June 02, 2008

Isle Royale

Backpacking trips to remote islands in the middle of inland freshwater seas: categorically recommended. Here are some pics of our trip - I tried adding a captions enough to them so one would get a bit of the "story" of the trip from viewing them. I'm trying to do that with the full set of pics that were taken, but that's taking quite a while; there are heaps o' them! Here's a very cool map of the island, and I've mapped out the path we took here in yellow (click on it to see it a tad bigger):A few pointable points:
  • ongoing discussion about pronunciation. Tom tried to tell is us that it's actually pronounced "Isle Royal", not "Isle Roy-Al". I'd heard it pronounced both ways in the Fox Valley area (and they must be experts here), but the locals did seem to go more along the path of the first pronunciation. I tried to stand my feeble ground by saying that the locals actually seemed to say "Isle Roll" which would be the same shortened either way, but I think he had me on that one. But really, what's the blinkin' "e" doing there at the end of "Royal"?!
  • Prior to the trip, Javier had much to say about the class of human that wanders about creation in hiking boots, socks, and zip-off pants. 'Nuff said.
  • Moose. Apparently there are gobs of them charging about the island. But they are shy of folks, so this was the best glance we got of 'em (you could see it in outline, but only as it moved). If you can find it in this picture, I'd love to know where it is and will give you 7 points on the spot! It was noisy though, so pretty awesome to hear it come crashing through the woods. We saw tons of moose and wolf scat on the trails we walked, so it was cool to see evidence of the creatures about. (Uh, not quite cool enough for me to keep all of the pictures Tom took of the wolf scat in various stages of... returning to the soil).
  • the Naming of Things: So, first there was Bomber Hanks island - an island which Javier and Tom were the first to brave the cold water to circumnavigate (though others came after, they were just too late). Then there was Nettekoven Knob - which (from the evidence to the right) was not enjoyed by Nettekovens alone - and yet was so named. But in spite of me madly trying to claim spots for my very own, nothing stuck. Ray and Becky were more forbearing about the whole thing, and didn't try to inflict their names or personhoods (what's the plural of "personhood"??) on the beautiful spots we encountered. I have much to learn.
  • Reflections: We went at a fairly leisurely pace on this trip - between 6-8 miles per day. It was nice in that it meant we generally had time while walking and at the end of the day to lose ourselves in our own thoughts. And to stop at charming spots like the still pool below a beaver dam to paddle our feet in the water and gaze at our own "reflections"!
I could tell many other stories of ups and downs of the trip - the divot Tom took out of the roof of his mouth, the hardhearted locking-out in the freezing cold of one member of our party, a detailed saga of the wildflowers I saw but couldn't identify, the fights we had when Ray and Becky refused to help with doing the dishes, the sunset on Night 2 of the trip, our hurried trip to Scoville Point on the last day (very worth it!), or the miserable 3-hour return ferry trip - but I then what will we have to talk about when I see you next?!


  1. Very well-written, Angela! I love it :) Very clever way of ending it to.

  2. Looks like you had a wonderful time. The pic's are so good & really enjoyed them. Thanks. Auntie L.

  3. uncool, publishing my shame like that. you had better hope I never get a shot of you wearing socks with sandals. the distribution of said picture will be mercilous.