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Old 06-21-2013, 01:20 PM   #61
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Another great day!!
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:44 PM   #62
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Sounds like another good day, but too bad it was still so cold. Thank goodness for that Wal-Mart!
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:24 PM   #63
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I can see why you want to return to the National Lake Shore area again. Just beautiful, and it would have been wonderful to take a boat ride there. Looking forward to the ferry ride to the next park coming up. Your list of places to return to keeps getting longer!
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:43 PM   #64
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Beautiful scenery!! I love all the little stops along the way - I've been bookmarking and making notes - since at some point hubs and I will be in some of these places on our quest for all 58 National Parks.
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:01 AM   #65
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Another great day! Beautiful scenery!
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:46 PM   #66
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Glad you found the sweatshirts.

Better to leave a place wishing you would have had more time, instead of "why did we take time to stop here?

I love the fact that the kids each chip in to do their share of the cooking chores, and I like their choices as well.
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:54 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chezp View Post
Sounds like another great day.
It was!

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Originally Posted by KMB733 View Post
Another great day!!
It was!

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Sounds like another good day, but too bad it was still so cold. Thank goodness for that Wal-Mart!
I was definately glad we found sweat shirts before heading onto the island...

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Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
I can see why you want to return to the National Lake Shore area again. Just beautiful, and it would have been wonderful to take a boat ride there. Looking forward to the ferry ride to the next park coming up. Your list of places to return to keeps getting longer!
Yes, my list to re-visit is definately getting longer

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Beautiful scenery!! I love all the little stops along the way - I've been bookmarking and making notes - since at some point hubs and I will be in some of these places on our quest for all 58 National Parks.
I love your goal! After we finish the 50 states goal, that seriously may be my next travel goal- to make it to all the National Parks. We actually met a guy on Isle Royale with the same goal. He is up in the 40's for parks visited; he's getting close to finishing his goal- but said it'd still take him a few more trips....

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Another great day! Beautiful scenery!
It was beautiful scenery!

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Glad you found the sweatshirts.

Better to leave a place wishing you would have had more time, instead of "why did we take time to stop here?

I love the fact that the kids each chip in to do their share of the cooking chores, and I like their choices as well.
Definately better to leave wishing we'd had more time! The kids definately have chores in general; but cooking is something Wesley actually loves to do! If I'd let him, he'd cook every night- but if I did that we'd eat way too much fried foods plus he tends to leave a good mess in the kitchen.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:07 AM   #68
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Tues June 18- Wed June 19
Tuesday we were set to board the ferry at 8am and were told to arrive about 30 minutes early. I set the alarm for 5:30am because I wanted to allow ample time to pack and get ready since if we miss the ferry, it would be two days before it ran again

For breakfast, we cooked sausage, biscuits, and hash browns. We got packed up pretty quickly and drove to the dock which was technically in walking distance. I dropped the kids and the luggage in front of the ship and parked across the street. Around 7:30am they started loading luggage and about 7:45am, they started letting us board.
We were taking the Isle Royale Queen which is a three hour ferry ride from Copper Harbor to Isle Royale. There are two other ferries that run to the island, other than the ferries the only other way to the island is by seaplane.

The ferry had booth type seating and was comfortable. I hadn뭪 thought to plan things to do, so we were a bit antsy on the ride over. Lots of people brought books and cards, but we were unprepared. The boys had their Nintendo DS and took turns on that; otherwise we just chatted and looked out onto Lake Superior for the three hour drive

Once on the island, you have to go through an orientation about safety. They only have 8 wolves on the island and they are rarely sighted as they are scared of people- but they said if you encounter a wolf to make lots of noise to scare it off and you should never run from a wolf because that will set them into chase mode.

Despite the low wolf population, the moose population is booming. They have one thousand moose on the island and they DO stay near people. Since the wolves are afraid of humans and the moose know this, they like to stay near people as a way of staying away from the wolves. They said moose sightings were very common, but that moose can be dangerous. If you find yourself between a mom moose and her baby- get the heck out of dodge. And anytime you see a moose, if they move their ears- get behind a tree quickly. They weigh near a thousand pounds and they can really hurt you.

They talked about some other animals on the island as well- fox, rabbit, squirrel

They also talked about Lake Superior and that the lake was running around 37 degrees and if you fall in- get out quick as hypothermia can set in in about 15 minutes

Next, we headed over to the Lodge to check in. We got keys for our cabin and had about a mile hike to the cabin (uphill). Thankfully they have folks who deliver your luggage to your cabin. They do not have any cars or roads on the islands. Everyone walks, although the staff does have a few golf carts to cart luggage and such
The cabins were very small, but very nice and clean with a beautiful panoramic view of Lake Superior.

The cabin also had a small kitchen. We had sandwiches before lunch and then headed out for some exploring.

We took a 1.8 mile walk (one way) to Suzy뭩 Cave. The walk itself was beautiful as it was mostly along the lake shore; however the Cave itself was less than impressive. We were told moose were often spotted on the Tobin Harbor portion of this trail; unfortunately we didn뭪 see any. We did, however, see tons of moose poop- so we know they were nearby.

For dinner, we had spaghetti and garlic bread. Every bite was eaten.

At 7:30pm they had an evening program that was very interesting talking about the wildlife in the park and how the island is used to conduct a lot of geology research due to that fact that it is so isolate and people only visit the island between May and September- the rest of the year- there are literally no people on the island.

He said the wolf population is in danger of becoming extinct on the island due to the close relation of all the wolves- basically they are so inbred they are no longer able to breed. Due to being on the island, they have no access to other wolf families

After the evening program, we went straight to bed. We were exhausted.

It was wonderful to see the sunrise over Lake Superior from the warmth of our cabin.
For breakfast, we had pancakes.

At 12:30- we did a ranger led walk around the harbor and hiked out to an old copper mine. The ranger talked about the different plant life on the island, many of them unique to the island- very interesting

For lunch, we had sandwiches again.

We had a coupon for a free half day canoe rental. Dillon, Madilyn, and Austin took the canoe to Scoville Point- which is five miles round trip.

Wesley, Winston, and I hiked it. We were told the hike was along the shore and we could basically all stay together- them in the canoe/us on the trail.
A ways in to the trail, Wesley spotted the canoe and took off ahead of us saying he seen the other kids. Well, Winston and I couldn뭪 keep up- so we just sat on the lake shore about mid-trail and kept trying to get a glimpse of the canoe with no luck.
We sat there for a long, long time. I had no watch, so I don뭪 know how long- but I뭗 guess an hour. I kept thinking Wesley would turn around and walk back past us or the canoe kids would turn around and paddle past us. But no one ever did.

I started getting worried that the kids had tipped the canoe or something. They were instructed that if they tipped, to immediately swim to shore and get out of the frigid waters and to just abandon the canoe.

So, we started walking back towards Tobin Harbor where they had gotten into canoe to start with. On the way to the Harbor, we had to walk by the cabin area, so we quickly stopped in the cabin and wrote a note that we would be down at Tobin Harbor in case they came looking for me at the cabin.

As we walked to the harbor, I was increasingly concerned about the kids Thankfully all of the kids were at the harbor and had literally just got there! Turns out Wesley had walked along the trail with them the entire time, just as we were supposed to do to start with. So, they were together the entire time. Apparently they passed by while we were stopped by the cabin to write the note, so apparently we close to them as we walked back the entire time

Wesley said Scoville Point was AMAZING and that we had really missed out not hiking all the way. The other three, had a BLAST in the canoe and were proud of themselves for canoeing all the way out the the edge of the island!

In addition the going out to Scoville point which was over 5 miles by both foot and canoe; we had wanted to canoe over to Hidden Lake which is supposed to be a good spot to find moose. It was only a one mile canoe ride and could not be hiked too. The dock attendant discouraged us, saying it뭗 be better to take a guided tour over there which we didn뭪 end up doing. The kids did so well in their canoe that I뭢 confident the other three of us could have managed in a second canoe. As I write this days later, I seriously regret not doing what I originally wanted to and taking two canoes over to Hidden Lake (in addition to Scoville point).
For dinner, we had miscellaneous left overs- sausage, bacon, and grilled cheese.

That night there was another interesting night program. This night, the ranger was talking about the history of the island and it becoming a national park. The island started out popular due to copper mining and fisheries. Well when all that was booming, several people bought land and built homes on the island. Later when the island became a national park, the residents were given two choices: sell their land and the government bulldozed those homes or have a 뱇ife time pass. The lifetime pass meant in exchange for up keeping their homes that are on the island they could keep the homes up and stay in them during the months the park is open each year. Due to the Depression, many families chose to sell. But many accepted the lifetime passes as well. One the lifetime passes, the families could write down the names of who all they wanted the pass extended to. Unfortunately many families only wrote down the adult names and once they died, their homes became gov뭪 property. Many families did have the sense to write down their minor children뭩 name and some of those families continued to use the homes for years. As for current use; I believe only two families still have active 뱇ife time passes; I found this all extremely interesting!!
The next morning, Austin and I got up before sunrise to go 뱈oose hunting. I was desperate to see a moose before leaving the island! I was told early mornings were a good time to spot them. Dillon had originally said he뭗 go with us, but backed out at the last minute. I took a small blanket for us to cover up with as it뭩 so cold out there, but we ended up needing it to sit on as it had rained a little overnight. We hiked out about a half mile onto the Tobin Harbor trail, and sat on a log close to the water and didn뭪 make a peep. The only thing difficult was the mosquitos were out something terrible and it was hard to be still and not spot them.

The whole trip, we뭗 been seeing tons of moose poop. The rain had 뱈uddied up the poop. Well we spotted a few 밼resh piles, so we know they were out and about close by- but we never could spot oneL. We finally retreated back to the cabin disappointed.

Check out was at 10:30am, but the ferry wouldn뭪 be picking us up until 2:45pm. We walked around the harbor a bit and the little boys really enjoyed playing on some rocks just off the shore but overall we didn뭪 venture far. We ate lunch in the islands restaurants which were really, really delish and surprisingly affordable- not cheap, just affordableJ.

Preparing to leave Isle Royale, I really felt we뭗 explored the island well enough with the trails and the canoe, the only thing haunting me was not having seen any moose- for that reason alone I want to go back and take a canoe to Hidden Lake at sunrise!!

At around 2pm we headed over to load up on the ferry. The ferry was fuller leaving the island than it had been arriving, but there was still ample seating. On the ride back, I dozed a little bit here and there. I had also picked up some playing cards in the islands gift shop and we played cards for a bit as well. Once back to the mainland- we were quickly off to our next destination: Minnesota.

Here is the video for this leg of the trip:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1KE5k_a3pc
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:29 AM   #69
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Another beautiful spot. The history is very interesting. Those few people who have been able to keep their property in the family are very lucky (and smart!). Sorry you didn't spot any moose. They were probably hiding in the bushes watching you!
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:30 AM   #70
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What a fascinating update. I learnt so much about the local wildlife from everything you wrote. My goodness, I'm so glad you were all reunited that day - that must've been terrifying, thinking something had happened.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:41 AM   #71
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Glad the canoe trip turned out well. This turned out to be another great place to visit.

I'm with you - still looking for moose in the wild. They are "everywhere" but I never find them!
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:19 PM   #72
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Sounds like a great couple of days in spite of no moose sightings!
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:29 PM   #73
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Sounds like 2 great days! Sorry you didn't spot any moose, that would have been something to see!
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:30 PM   #74
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What a great time at Isle Royale!
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:17 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
Another beautiful spot. The history is very interesting. Those few people who have been able to keep their property in the family are very lucky (and smart!). Sorry you didn't spot any moose. They were probably hiding in the bushes watching you!
The island really does have an interesting history! I know the moose were hiding in the bushes watching me! There was atleast once that I am positive I heard one; I was told they make a grunting sound and I clearly heard loud grunting but couldn't spot it....

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Originally Posted by chezp View Post
What a fascinating update. I learnt so much about the local wildlife from everything you wrote. My goodness, I'm so glad you were all reunited that day - that must've been terrifying, thinking something had happened.
The wildlife relationship there is very fascinating! Sitting on that bench, I really wasn't too worried as I kept thinking they'd turn around and come back; but when that didn't happen after a long time- walking back to the harbor, I truly started thinking about horrible things that could have happened

Quote:
Originally Posted by shazza View Post
Glad the canoe trip turned out well. This turned out to be another great place to visit.

I'm with you - still looking for moose in the wild. They are "everywhere" but I never find them!
It really did end up being a great place to visit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam22 View Post
Sounds like a great couple of days in spite of no moose sightings!
Definately a great few days despite not seeing any moose!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KMB733 View Post
Sounds like 2 great days! Sorry you didn't spot any moose, that would have been something to see!
Yes, seeing moose would have been the highlight of the entire trip for me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colexis Mom View Post
What a great time at Isle Royale!
It was a great time; thanks for following along!
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