Isle Royale, May 2003

Day 5



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We didn't have enough time to hike any of the trails around Washington Creek before the boat arrived at Windigo so we took our time getting ready and packing our gear. We ate a light breakfast and then walked up to the ranger station. We met another hiker at the boat dock and spoke with him for a while. When the ranger station opened for the day we spent some time looking at the various books and displays and talking with the rangers. I noticed a large amount of timbers and planks stacked up just past the dock and asked what it was for. The ranger said it was mostly for replacing the Windigo dock, which was in obvious need of repair. The rest of the lumber was for repairing and replacing various bridges and walkways around the island. Apparently the wood had been treated with something more environmentally friendly than the timbers used in the past so there was no need to remove the walkways or bridges. The ranger said there are people who are hired only for repairing walkways, bridges and clearing trails. She said the trail workers stay in the field for several days at a time and get a short break before returning to the hard work of trail repair. She said some of the stacks of wood are airlifted and then dropped at a central location, but from there the long, very heavy wood has to be carried by the trail workers to the locations they are needed. There is obviously a lot of sweat and hard work that goes into maintaining the trails and bridges that we probably take for granted while hiking at Isle Royale...many thanks to all you trail workers!

The weather forecast for today called for temps in the 60's with waves two feet or less on Lake Superior. The boat arrived a little late but I enjoyed just sitting on the dock in the sun and cool breeze. We boarded the boat and enjoyed an almost waveless trip back to Grand Portage. On the way home we stopped to sleep for a few hours in Munising, MI. When we pulled into the parking lot of the Grand Island ferry we noticed the northern lights dancing across the sky over the island. I dug out my camera and took a few pictures to add to the scrapbook of another great backpacking trip.


Miles covered today: .3
Total trip miles: 32.0



This page last updated on 02-25-2016 @ 11:24 AM