Finally Unplugged from the World

Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
Trip End Dec 22, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Michigan
Saturday, September 10, 2011

First stop today was a short paddle across the inland waters to Daisy Farm camp.  Perfect weather, perfect temperatures and perfect water conditions made this day about, well, perfect.   We hiked 1.8 miles each way over a series of ridges to reach Mt. Ojibway which is 1,136 feet above sea level.   Ojibway is part of Greenstone Ridge which runs the length of the island.   Because the summit is away from the effects of the water, it has its own microclimate that allows trees other than conifers to grow.   This is the part of the island I saw from the ferry and wanted to explore.

The views across Lake Superior in all directions from the top were amazing as was mother nature's color show with all the leaves at their peak.

Isle Royale is just far enough from Ontario that black bears thankfully never made it over to the island.  This makes for a very stressfree time for anyone wanting to go deep into the wildnerness such as today.   In the early 1900s moose did, however, swim over from Canada and without predators they multiplied a little too much and ate up their food sources.  As luck would have it, a deep freeze in 1948-49 allowed some wolves to walk across the frozen lake from Ontario and ever since then the moose and wolves have had a symbiotic existence.

So what does this have to do with anything that might interest you?   Today I met Candy and Rolf Peterson who have been conducting a decades long study of the wolf and moose population on Isle Royale.  Indeed, they are great people, super friendly and live on the island I believe half the year.   We paddled up to their camp and got a great tour of their work.

Something Candy said has stuck with me since.   She said that people need to be part of nature so that we all can gain a better appreciation for it and how it needs to be cared for.  Candy also said that most people visit the outdoors but rush through it so fast they don't listen to it.  Instead all they hear are the complaints from their backs and feet.   We need to slow down and really take in what we are seeing, hearing, and smelling.   That is good advice for us all and something I am going to live by on this trip.

Wanting to keep true to Candy's words, I decided to sleep outdoors rather than inside the shelter.   I found a smooth rock formation about three feet from the water and fell asleep to my very own wave machine and full moon reflecting on the water.  No tent, no bears, no mosquitos, no nothing.  Just my sleeping bag on top of a sleeping mat.   Life doesn't get much better than this.

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