Hiking across Isle Royale part 2

September 2-  

The next morning we started the day with some strong  hot coffee,  hikers breakfast bars, and Carnation Instant breakfast.  Our campsite was on the edge of Lake Superior. What a gorgeous view.  Zach and Michelle both  filtered water to drink later on the trail. 

While they’re filtering water I’m doing my BIG and LOUD exercises.  I’m hoping that these exercises will help me on the trail.

Zachary and Michelle decide that my forty pounds backpack is weighing me down.  Zack takes my tent and Michelle takes some of my food and my tent poles.  

We decide to hike the 4.2 miles to Daisy Farm and once we get there decide whether to go on to the next Campground. After a good night’s sleep I’m feeling energetic and wonder if yesterday’s exhaustion was a one time thing. 

We decided that if I get tired I would not try to push through. Rather,  we would go slow and  take regular breaks.  Sadly, I  am exhausted after a very slow two mile hike.  

There are a number of abandoned Copper mines on the island. The one off this trail is from 1870 and were holes dynamitted down into the rock bed. At one time the deepest shaft was ninety-six feet deep.  Split rail fences help us find the mine shafts without falling into them. 

A number of hikers pass us on their way to Daisy Farm.  Since campsites are limited, Zach goes ahead to get us a campsite.  

There are a series of boardwalks setup across wet swamps and marsh lands. You might have a picture in your mind of some kind of sidewalk made out of boards. On Isle Royale a board walk is a board, that is two-inches thick and twelve-inches wide, that has been nailed to a log. If it passes over a deep ravines there will be two boards instead of one. Zack was walking over one of these and heard a moose snort. He looked to his right, a huge moose was glaring at him and it snorted even louder. Moose are the most dangerous animal in North America.  They need lots of personal space and this one was telling Zach,  “YOU’RE IN MY SPACE JERK!!” Zach got out of there just as fast as he could. 

I was feeling very disappointed in myself.  It seems like I needed a break every  fifty feet. We have been talking about hiking Isle Royale for over twenty years and I  felt like I was ruining it for everyone.  

Michelle and I continued down the trail as quickly as I could. It seems like I took  five breaks in the two and a half miles we had left after Zach went on ahead. On one of the breaks we ate lunch which consisted of peanut butter and jelly on a burrito shell, dried apples and water.  For quick snacks I had small LIKE bars.

I was sitting on log, and Michelle was in the woods taking care of business, a couple and a man from Corunna, Michigan, named Taylor walked by. Taylor told Zach that when he saw me  sitting there  he thought I was pooping.

Another time I was sitting on the ground, I  must have looked pretty bad because a man passing by looked right at me and asked Michelle, “Does he  need help?”

We finally got to the boardwalks.  Because of my BIG AND LOUD THERAPY I found the narrow boardwalks to be some of the easiest walking.  If you have ever seen some drunk guy pulled over for drunk driving trying to walk the straight line but failing miserably, that’s the way I walked without any alcohol in my system before the therapy sessions. Thanks to Audrey I was walking across those boards like I did it every day. 

We were almost to Daisy Farm when we met Zach coming back to find us. He was asking everyone who came into camp,  “Did you pass an old guy with a gray beard and a tall slender woman?” Everyone said,  “Yeah,  way back on the trail.” He was concerned that something must be really wrong with me if we were stuck a couple of miles back. By the time he came looking for us we’d already crossed all but one of the boardwalks. 

We walked into camp and were happy Zach had gone on ahead.  Every Shelter and campsite was taken. In fact it was so full that Zach had invited Taylor from Corunna to pitch his tent on our site.

After our Tents were put up we walked down to the dock. Another guy and I were fishing.  He caught a really nice trout and I caught a branch and a bit of seaweed. Zach decided to go for a swim. He swam around a bit  and climbed up the ladder on the end of the dock. I was tempted to join Zach, in the water. Lake Superior never gets above 50 degrees Fahrenheit and it was way too cold for me

We returned to tent site #4 and made a hot bag full of spaghetti and meat sauce for dinner.  It wasn’t fresh fish but it was delicious. 

Because of my fatigue we would stay at Daisy Farm for the next two days.  In my next blog I will give you a guided tour of the Camp.

Please continue to pray for us and we will be praying for you. 

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