Thursday, September 23, 2010

Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm hunting wabbits: Hunting Season in Michigan

With hunting season in upon us in Michigan, we need to take more precaution when trip planning and hiking.

Here is a link to the Michigan 2010 Hunting and Trapping Digest.
It lists the 2010-2011 hunting seasons:

Michigan DNR Service Centers: Contact Information
(Phone numbers listed below map)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's Not a Walk in the Park... Or Is It? Isle Royale Trip Report 2010

Yes, we made it back... and our trip to Isle Royale was great! :) We had great weather for the most part however it did get rainy and windy at the end of our trip. Isle Royale is definitely worth a visit. There are plenty of beautiful views, trails, campsites, and nature. I have to say the sound of the loons is quite amazing. Unfortunately we did not get to hear wolves howling or see any moose.

I used all the information in my previous Isle Royale Trip Planning blog and it all worked out great. We did not have any issues. We even read pages from the Jim DuFresne book about the history and what we would be hiking the next day and put the waterproof map through the rain test and it passed!

Minong Ridge
 Our Itinerary:
Day 1: Copper Harbor to Rock Harbor via Queen, hike to Three Mile Day
2: Hike to Daisy Farm
Day 3: Take Voyageur to Windigo, camp at Washington Creek
Day 4: Hike to North Desor
Day 5: Hike to Little Todd
Day 6: Hike to Todd Harbor
Day 7: Hike to Chickenbone East
Day 8: Hike to Daisy Farm (originally headed to Lane Cove)
Day 9: Hike to Rock Harbor, Queen to Copper Harbor

Relaxing at Todd Harbor
 If you are coming into Rock Harbor you may want to stop in at Lane Cove on night one. This campsite is harder to get to, but you will avoid some of the crowd at Three Mile or Daisy Farm. We meant to hit Lane Cove on the way back, but the 70mph winds and rain sent us hiking for a shelter. The itinerary above is great if you are coming from Michigan, have some time to relax and ease into hiking (and lighten your load by eating your food!), then hit it really hard and experience what Isle Royale has to offer. The Minong trail is beautiful. Very technical in areas but well worth the work. Past cultures called it Minong meaning "a good place".

We debated on taking hiking poles, then decided we would each take one pole. I can't tell you how many times we said we were happy for bringing them. The terrain was rocky and technical with a lot of ups and downs. It was nice to have the hiking pole and it was never in the way or cumbersome to carry.

Blue-Bead Lily
Berries: There are many different berry plants. We went in Aug/Sept and only saw a few thimbleberries and rose hips which are both packed with Vitamin C.

When I was in Windigo I saw a bulletin board complete with pictures and information about the berries on Isle Royale. It was helpful because I was wondering what was edible for the first few days I was on the island. Thanks to an email response from a NPS Park Ranger and the Windigo staff I have the following list:

Edible Probably Shouldn't Eat Not Edible
Rose Hips - Prickly Rose  Rose Twisted Stalk Wild Sarsaparilla
Lowbush Blueberry
Canada Mayflower Blue-Bead Lily
Thimbleberry  American Mountain Ash White Baneberry
Raspberry Red Elderberry Red Baneberry

Wildlife: Here is a link to the study of The Wolves and Moose on Isle Royale:

We were surprised there weren't more animals on the island. We did see a red fox, snowshoe hare, and Red Squirrel, but the island is also populated with bats, america martin, mink, river otter, weasel, beaver, deer mouse, and muskrat. We also felt like we didn't hear many song birds, but here is a link to a list of birds on the island:



Campsites: Shows type and numbers of campsites at each location:

Surprisingly Isle Royale was not as desolate as we had expected. Most of the campsites have tent and shelter sites. Most all of the sites if not all of the sites have pit toilets and some sites have picnic tables. Keep in mind you can only have fires at campsites with a fire ring. On page 6 of the park newspaper there is a listing of what is available at the campsites:


Dehydrated Food: Our food worked out really well. We packed the perfect amount of food, were satisfied, and had no cravings! We found if you are not in a hurry your food will turn out the best. To rehydrate, boil the amount of water needed to rehydrate your meal.  Take the pot off the stove and add your food. We usually rehydrated our food for 30-45 mins before eating it. Wrapping a towel around the pot kept it nice and toasty and helped the process.

For each day we used a gallon size food saver bag and put our breakfast, lunch/trail snacks, dinner, dessert with a paper towel with all the contents written on it and then vacuumed sealed the bags. This worked out really great. It makes all the food compact and hard like a rock. Surprisingly we even took crackers and they were in great shape when we were ready to eat them, even though they were riding around in the bottom of our packs with all of our stuff on top! Each night we opened the next day's bag and divided up the food, so we each had our own snacks. This seemed to work our really well.

Other Pictures: