​Isle Royale National Park – Day 3

Day 3 began the same as the previous, rolled out of the tent, made some breakfast and broke camp.  As I was wrapping up, I noticed this spider sitting on some peeling bark:

My camp neighbors, a father and son from Michigan, were the last ones in the campground as I left at about 8:20 (CT). Heading out of the campground is about a 0.3 mile climb.  A good portion of which is through thimbleberry patches like the one shown in the panoramic image in the gallery below.  There were a variety of other berries but I have no idea what kind they are.
Back up on the Greenstone Ridge I had before me my longest day planned on the trail, just over 8 miles to Hatchet Lake.  Roughly midway was Ishpeming Point, the second highest point on the island.  From Lake Desor it seemed like it was mostly uphill to Ishpeming and primarily still below the forest canopy so it was pleasantly cool.

Around 11:30, after 3 hours on the trail, I was more than ready for a break when I stumbled up to the top of the hill into a little clearing which is Ishpeming Point.  There is an observation “tower” built here, but it’s reserved for Park Ranger use and inaccessible which was a little disappointing as I’d had visions of getting a great photo from the top.  Oh well.

Observation Tower at Ishpeming Point

Observation Tower at Ishpeming Point

Being roughly the halfway point between Lake Desor and Hatchet Lake makes this a popular lunch spot.  There were three guys from northern Ohio already having lunch when I arrived.  The first people I had seen since leaving the campground.  They had flown into Rock Harbor from Houghton, MI and were doing the opposite route from mine.  They mentioned that they had also climbed from Hatchet Lake so I should have a mostly downhill remainder of the day (turned out sort of true) and that the last 0.3 mile from the Greenstone down to the lake was particularly steep (definitely true).  My neighbors from last night followed into the lunch spot shortly after me – they were obviously moving faster than me as they had still been having breakfast when I left…

I got the pack back on around 12:30 and started the second half of the day towards Hatchet Lake.  I passed one couple going the opposite direction about midway between Ishpeming and Hatchet Lake.  Passed them in an overgrown portion of the trail so I startled them a bit when I said “howdy” and they hadn’t seen me yet.

I arrived at the campground around 3:45 and think I got the last free site.  Also, by far the nicest site I’ve had so far.  It was a split level plus had a nice “dining” area with a nice big flat rock for cooking and some well supported logs for seating.  The route down to the lakeside (seen in the page header if you’re on the stand-alone page for this entry) was a nice rock staircase as opposed to the cliff at Lake Desor.  It also had a flat area that you could actually get into the water if you chose to.

Campsite at Hatchet Lake - the best so far.

Campsite at Hatchet Lake – the best so far.

My evening has become pretty routine; drop the pack, rest, setup the tent, rest, filter some water, rest, make dinner, crash.  I’m halfway to Rock Harbor, at least by days, mileage-wise I’m still slightly short of midway.  Regardless, it’s the point of no return and I’m having a great time!


Day 3 map

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