We arrived in Grand Marais and snagged a campsite at the county park marina. The weather here was crazy, we had sun, howling winds, and a lot of rain!
Our original plan was to work Thursday and take a sea plane to Isle Royale National Park Friday morning for a day of hiking.
Unfortunately, the weather had other plans and our flight was cancelled Friday and pushed to a Saturday morning flight.
Fortunately, there was a great coffee shop in Grand Marais called Java Moose. So, we hunkered down and did some trip planning for the next few months with some steamy cups of coffee.
After doing a bit of planning we drove up the street to the YMCA. At the Y we and spent the afternoon swimming, working out and sitting in the sauna. Our kinda day!
The night ended with a quick burger down the street and heading back to the van.
Saturday we woke up and drove out to the airport. At the airport we met our pilot Thomas who would take us out to Isle Royale National Park via Isle Royale Sea Planes.
Our First Seaplane
The flight out was about thirty minutes and very beautiful. The fall leaves were in full swing and it was amazing to see from the air.
Joe and I were both surprised with how smooth the water landing was. Literally before we knew it we were up at the visitor center getting hiking recommendations from the Rangers.
Isle Royale National Park has a special place in my heart because my Mom actually worked there in the 70’s. So, although we only had a few hours, I was excited to see as much as we could!
4 Hours to See The Park
We decided to start on the Huginnin loop trail, which was a fun 9 ish mile run that went through the woods, over a bunch of cool boardwalks, and eventually ran along the lakeshore for some time.
The lakeshore was very peaceful and we didn’t see a single person (or moose) on this portion of the run.
The weather also cooperated and it was a nice high 50 degree sunny day.
Shortly after leaving the lakeshore we heard a huge crash and I thought for sure a moose was charging us! However, it was just a full size tree snapping in half! I ran to take cover, and Joe turned around to assess the situation. That got our heart rates up!
Sadly, although the island is full of moose we didn’t see a single one the whole day.
After completing Huginnin loop we still had some time before we had to be back at the sea plane dock. So we decided to run out on the Feldtmann Lake trail for a few miles.
The trail was mostly wooded, but after a few miles it opened up and we had sweeping views of the surrounding harbors.
At this point we were starting to feel pretty cold and hungry (and ready for some real food, not running snacks).
Nearing our departure time we turned around and ran the last few miles to the sea plane dock.
Our day ended the at just under 14 miles. All in all we only spent about 4 hours on the Isle Royale National Park island, but the solitude and scenery was worth it.
Someday we will head back when we can camp overnight and hopefully see moose and howl with the wolves!
The next two weeks are set to be packed with visits with family and friends as we continue through the Midwest and work our way towards Maine!