Isle Royale: Day 1 – water

16 Jan

Sunset zen rocks at Lane Cove
Sunset zen rocks at Lane Cove

When you take a three-hour boat ride with an ex-Navy guy, you figure that he’s not going to lose his breakfast along the way. 


I could’ve gone either way. 

The Isle Royale Queen IV takes about three hours to make the trip from Copper Harbor, Michigan to Isle Royale National Park in the middle of Lake Superior. A little more or a little less is added depending upon the weather and waves.



 A fairly clear August morning pointed to a quicker three-hour crossing. However, from Gulf of Mexico fishing trips I had learned that the deck is shuffled each time. I have tried medicated patches and sipping water in calm seas, which produced sickness, then bagged the proactive approach for no medication on rough seas and, guess what – nothing. Not a bit of nausea. So go figure. 


So it was a relief that an hour into ripping a path through fresh water I was no worse for wear. Good, I thought. I’m saving the calories for four to five days on the island. Options: what you’ve packed in or whatever is available at Rock Harbor. Once we would have moved away from Rock Harbor, north to Lane Cove, it was just us, the moose and a few wolf packs.


Lane Cove on the island’s north end is about nine miles up and over the island’s natural spine, the Greenstone Ridge. We took a leisurely five hours to find the Lane Cove camp sites – deserted. We had our pick of eight empty pads to pitch our tent. No fire pit, well, there’s no one to fight fires. Backpackers are tied to their stoves.


A light and intermittent wind made the cove gloriously peaceful. The lack of noise accentuated the volume of what was there. Like the breaks and rests that make beautiful music, the gap was the good stuff.



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