Isle Royale – Rainy Day

Day 9

September 7

Isle Royale NP

It started raining around midnight on Tuesday morning, and kept it up for most of the day.  At one point, I thought that it was going to clear up, and decided to take a short hike to the south to get a view of Siskiwit Bay, and let my tent dry out a bit before packing it up.  After fifteen minutes or so, I did get a peep at the bay, with the sun glinting off of Lake Superior’s vast waters.  Unfortunately, that broader view also let me see that more dark clouds were coming in from the west, and when I turned around, I could see the mist making its way towards me from the north.  I hurried back, hoping to get my tent down before it rained again, but it was already drizzling when I got there.

I spent much of the day reading and writing, before finally losing my patience with the cold and boredom.  I packed up my wet gear and headed eastward along the ridge.  After a while, the maples gave way to a solid birch woods (something I’ve never seen before, so it was interesting at least for that), and then to a somewhat mixed woods as the trail lead down off the heights.  There were a few openings along the ridge, mostly barren rock except for the lichens, scrub aspen, and a whole host of invasive forbs.  I think that they might have afforded some views of Superior, or at least the inland lake where I was bound, if it hadn’t been so foggy.  I spent that night at South Lake Desor campground with several other parties who had gotten a little damp that day.  By the time I arrived, the rain had more or less stopped, and we all hung our things out, hoping for the wind to dry them overnight.

I was so excited at the possibility of seeing moose and wolves that I had forgotten about one of the hallmarks of northern evenings: the Common Loon.  As I sat on the shore of Lake Desor filtering my water, I saw a few of the birds swimming around, and they soon began their warbling calls.  It was a medium-sized lake, and I could hear them from all sides – it made a wet evening pretty enjoyable, after all.  I also spent the next three nights at campgrounds on inland lakes, and some nights the hooting of the loons almost made me think that I could hear wolves in the distance… almost.

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