Friday, August 29, 2014

Isle be Back

There's never enough time to do everything when visiting great places. Unfortunately we probably won't make it back because there are so many more National Parks to visit on our list. I've made it to 20 parks not including monuments, forests and historical places.

But I would like to come back for this sweet little item. It was only $3500. Maybe I'll win the lottery.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Isle Sites


On Isle Royale there are 165 miles of trails. Here time is measured in footsteps.

We trailed about 15 miles. It's all doable paths, but slow going because of uneven surfaces, lots of rock and roots. Along the way we could pick thimbleberry and blueberries.

We also canoed and rented a motor boat to get to some of the sites.

Here are some of the views we saw along the way and the exquisite plants.
Rocky shores

Bearded Lichen

Bunch Berry

Tobin Harbor-great for night sky

Coral root

Pitcher Plant on Raspberry Island Bogs

Rock Harbor Light House

Edisen Fishery

Scoville Point
Lookout Louise, Canada on the horizon 15 miles away

More helpful signs

Only one more Isle post to come

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Isle Visitors

This national park has probably one of the lowest attendances of all, but the truth is the average stay is 4 days compared to 4 hours at places like the Grand Canyon. Plus Isle Royale has the greatest attendance per square mile of all parks.

Housekeeping Cabin #205

We stayed for four days and three nights at one of the cabins, I mentioned it's expensive to get there, why it's also expensive to stay there. These modest cottages have a kitchenette and run $240.00 a night. That's more than we paid for a hotel in NYC, but you gotta love this view from the room.

Cabin view of Tobin Harbor

Backpacker Orientation

Many arrivals chose to hike, kayak or canoe and camp their way across the 45 mile long island staying at campgrounds with shelters or set up a tent along the way. These shelters are located in some pretty special places.

Camp Ground Shelters
Shelters right on a Bay

Next- Isle Sights


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Isle Residents

-Continuing saga of Isle Royale

Loons in Tobin Harbor
As with all nature outings it's a delight to see the wild life. On our trip we got to see Loons, Red Squirrels, Snow Shoe Hare and or course Moose. There does remain about 7 wolves on the island but they usually go unseen by visitors.

Everyone wanted to see a Moose and we got a close up the first night, after an evening Naturalist Program. Only problem was we wanted to pass by.
Red Squirrel
Snow Shoe Hare

Hare stretching it's legs

Helpful hints
tomorrow Isle Visitors

Monday, August 25, 2014

from the Shores on Kitchi Gummi

Copper Harbor -Departure Dock
Our latest venture took us to the quiet wilderness of Michigans' National Park-Isle Royale.

This has probably been the most difficult and expensive journey yet taken in pursuit of awesome views and remaining natural places. But of course it was worth it.

Centered on the IR Queen IV

Choice of arrival is by boat or seaplane. We chose the 3.5 hour ride over Lake Superior from Copper Harbor (quaint town for another story). Fortunately the waters were relatively calm as I positioned myself front and center to avoid any motion sickness.

The Lake runs 1000 feet deep and summer temperatures (for two weeks) bring the water temperature to only 50 degrees.  Remember this fresh water lake swallows huge tankers like appetifs at a ladies day luncheon.

Does the Edmond Fitzgerald ring a bell.

Rocky Island
We made the crossing to arrive in Rock Harbor aptly named for the mass of the island is the result of a large lava flow exposed by  glaciers. This island is not one big island but an archipelago consisting of 1 main island and 450 more surrounding and amid inner lakes.

Designated as an International Biosphere Reserve for it remains isolated from the rest of the world, it is a scientists dream for research and observation.

The alternative method of travel as seen from our canoe.

More from the Shores tomorrow.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Everywhere a Sign

In order to get somewhere we look for signs. Road signs, turn left here signs, stop signs and only 3 more miles signs. Do this, don't do that?

We need them to get to places like Perrot State Park. Here's one I found on my way into the South Entrance along Sullivan Road in Trempealeau. What would you do?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Big Cat Found at Perrot

Headlines: Big Cat invades Perrot Park, Last seen in campground wondering around, campers put on alert. Trempealeau residents notified.

Fortunately this story has a happy ending as a local resident adopted the lost kitty. For a few weeks the stray cat was housed at the Headquarters and warmed the hearts of everyone that met her. She was found wandering in the campground and was easily caught since she had no fear of people. Obviously she was some ones cat and a very nice cat at that.

Signs were posted around town and but no one claimed her. Eventually she (Bella, her new name) found her new home with a local lady in Trempealeau keeping her other two cats company. Reports are they all are getting along.

This brings up the subject of pets in Perrot. Many campers and hikers bring along their dog or cat. That's the beauty of camping, we all know it's hard to leave this fellow member of the family at home when you go away for the weekend. Bu there's the responsibility of then keeping them on a leash, not leaving them unattended and picking up any deposits.

Unfortunately this doesn't always happen and there are prices to be paid when the rules are broken. It's usually the resident wildlife that suffers, from birds and squirrels being chased and hunted to snakes killed or turtles traumatized. Plus sometimes other hikers and runners are attacked and campers annoyed by barking dogs left in cars and campers. The other price is a big fat ticket.

P.S.Thanks to J. King for assistance with the photo. Bella enjoyed a morning walk on the park map in HQ and J. King brought the photo to life with a sky background. It's truly beautiful.

Friday, August 1, 2014


Last winters goal was to create outdoor art using bicycle parts. These items were readily found at my local dump, which I frequented for choice pieces. The township workers assured me 100% satisfaction since they had a liberal return policy. I gathered all fall so I would have the inspiration for a fence and a sundial.

I also seemed to have the habit of dumpster diving and collecting odd things over the years that will make good embellishments. Now I know why I just had to pick up that piece tossed to the curb. It was destiny.

Enjoy the results. I liked them so much I installed them in my own garden. Maybe someday they will make it to Midway. Can you recognized the pieces?

I would also like to thank my husband for his assistance in figuring out how to secure the pieces together. He comes in very handy on projects like this. We've now been married for 27 years today August 1. I couldn't do without him.