Isle Royale: Day 3 – wind

21 Jan

Exit McCargoe Cove – dry – full – plenty of fresh water – heading south through Isle Royale National Park.

Swamp boardwalk on Isle Royale

Swamp boardwalk on Isle Royale

Not one other person on the trail. Light footfalls on the long swamp boardwalks. Heavy moose tracks in the mud below. Legs slice through knee-high rough.

Keeping the quiet turns up the volume to the absolute blankness. In fact, it’s so quiet that you begin to imagine aircraft or automobile noise. Your mind looks for a familiar tape-loop – there must be something there.


Breathing. The stretch of dri-weave clothing, socks turning in boots, the backpack’s shoulder straps sliding.


Stopping. Hold breath. Heartbeat . . . and wind. The treeline bends.


I grew up on the west side of Detroit. Each night we could hear Telegraph Road drag races, the rail line at the Detroit Diesel Allison plant, an overhead flight path to Detroit Metro Airport, an occasional gunshot.


I find the absence of sound unnatural . . . but unforgettably beautiful.


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