Tuesday, July 24, 2007

First Day on Isle Royale

Today we woke up in the Super 8 in Houghton, MI and packed up the car for the Ranger III, a 165 foot boat that takes passengers to Isle Royale twice a week. We still had one straggling box that had to be loaded on the boat that was filled with lemons, limes, oranges, and avocados--very important items for the health and well being of two food hound vegetarians. It turned out that 45 minutes before was still a little late for loading, thought not at the "Greg Blust chew-out" level which a friend Doug received for trying to have the personnel load his kayak 10 minutes before departure.

Foggy, crystal calm waters took us all the way to Mott Island (just off the Isle Royale mainland where the park headquarters is) and then to Rock Harbor. After unloading the boat we had to cart our 7 boxes and three backpacks a half mile to another boat in Tobin Harbor that would then take us another 20 minute boat ride to the northeast end of the island where our little cabin affectionately know as "The Dassler" waited for us. After reaching the nearest dock by The Dassler, it was another 1/4 mile uphill to carry all of our stuff into the cabin.

Luckily we had a lot of help from the friends and family of the life leasese who still stay in the cabins around Tobin Harbor in the summer. John Snell helped up load our stuff, and the Connelly family helped us cart our stuff in four different trips up to the cabin.

Chuck and Connie Boyle would look after us for the week. Chuck has been to the island for about 50 years and knows most of the people and places in Tobin Harbor.

After unpacking for a few hours we walked around Scoville Point, the tip of the island where our cabin was. It was so foggy we could barely see the lake. But, we did notice how low the water was from the year before. Down 18 inches someone told us...global warming?

I transcribed some loon calls for the flute and guitar piece we planned to write about the birds. I took my junker flute outside and played in the harbor and listened to a great echo against the rocks.

Foggy, foggy night! We were talking about how it was a good thing we had been there before because otherwise we would be totally disoriented, not to mention kind of bummed not to know what things looked like.

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