The Outside World, In and Around Duluth

Isle Royale – Day 3

Monday, May 24.

Every morning, we would get up, boil some water for coffee, have a granola breakfast and hit the trail.

This day, we hiked from Island Mine to Lake Desor (where there’s actually a lake, unlike Island Mine, where there’s no Island):

Before we leave Island Mine campsite, allow me to share a picture of the outhouses that dot the island:

The Island Mine Privy

Isle Royale is a national park, and as such, they have to balance the ‘keep it wild’ idea with the ‘we can’t have people pooping all over the island’ idea. So, outhouses are required. And are also a nice place to read graffiti. Most of it is pretty bland or mildly obnoxious, but occasionally, there are some pretty profound etchings.

I mentioned that living things on the island tend to be a bit smaller than their mainland cousins. That may be, but here’s a nice big white pine that doesn’t abide that characterization:

Tom and the Big White Pine

This is one of the few big trees that hasn’t been affected by any of the island’s wildfires.

Here’s our group, taking a little side-trip sans packs, for an educational interlude:

The trails were all pretty dry, but the few wet sections we experienced had boardwalks that were in pretty good condition.

Isle Royale has over 30 species of orchids, although we only saw about half a dozen. Here’s one I don’t fully remember – I think this is the Early Coralroot Orchid:

Orchid

Here again, the camera… oy! I took five pictures of this orchid, hoping to get one that was good. This is one of the most in-focus flower pictures I got the whole week.

The day was warm, and we got in to Lake Desor in time for a quick swim, and then we made dinner by the shore. This campsite was probably the worst for mosquitoes, but that’s not saying much. Really, the bugs weren’t bad the whole trip.

Dinner was a combination of 14 Noodle-Roni packets. A Noodle-Roni melange, as it were. For dessert, we had Swedish raspberry-drop shortbread cookies.

Sunset Dinner

Like almost every night, I would have liked to have slept without the tent fly, but we never did. Many mornings were pretty dewy, so that’s probably for the best.

Next stop: Todd Harbor

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