The less traveled Island Mine Trail gave me flashbacks to the Te Araroa.
hike blog

IRNP, Day 4 Siskiwit Bay to South Lake Desor, 9.8 miles

A beaver does not, as legend would have it, know which direction the tree will fall when he cuts it, but counts on alacrity to make up for lack of engineering expertise.

Ann Zwinger
The less traveled Island Mine Trail gave me flashbacks to the Te Araroa.
The less traveled Island Mine Trail gave me flashbacks to the Te Araroa.

It’s drizzling and my clothes are damp from dew even protected inside the shelter. The good news is that in spite of the gloom, I can see the ridge I’ll walk ahead, double humps of tall trees. 

Jamie walks past and tells me there’s a 30% chance of thunderstorms. Christian packed the weather radio from his boat. They bring so much gear, no wonder they decide to take the day off and stay here. 

Not me! Thunderstorms aren’t going to stop forward progress as I almost immediately meet sloppy, black mud. I have the rain pants on again for the bushwhacking nightmare I’ve been warned about. Not many walk the Feldtmann Loop to begin with, and this year, the trail has seen fewer hikers and even less maintenance.

hike blog

IRNP Day 1, Windigo to Hugginin Cove, 5.1 miles

Getting the "Leave no Trace" lecture Covid-style.
Getting the “Leave no Trace” lecture Covid-style.

Delay is never denial.

Lailah Gifty Akita

We’re up at the crack of dawn since last night’s party got a bit out of control and now we need to clean and pack before leaving Karen’s beautiful home right at the edge of the water.

Karen is a follower and a friend I have yet to meet who so generously gave me the run of her empty house on rocks above Lake Superior. She’s one bad ass gal, climbing Colorado 14ers into her 70’s. Karen is my heroine.

This vacation of hiking, kayaking, cooking and lazying around was desperately needed. But now it’s time to say goodbye as we busily vacuum, wash dishes and organize a week’s worth of garbage and recycling. Richard is grumpy without coffee. Sorry, smackles, it’s already packed.

The airport isn’t far, just up the hill where we pass our favorite field laid out like a table cloth, billowing out to the massive lake below. Round hay bales sit at odd angles like watchmen of the seemingly endless horizon. 

This time though, after a week of glorious weather, we pass it under soupy skies, our height revealing just how dense the fog is sitting low on still water. 

And just as you’d expect, the news isn’t good at the tiny Cook County Airport where one masked gentleman informs me the planes were grounded for two days. Just as the words leave his mouth, Isle Royale Seaplanes phones me to confirm what we expected – weather delay, though she cheerily promises to call each hour with any “developments.”