Sunset in the Coconino National Forest, looking northeast toward Sedona, AZ, 4/17/15

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Isle Royale National Park (MI), July 25

400 year old Little Spirit Cedar Tree
in the middle of the frame
Isle Royale National Park is the least visited national park in the contiguous 48 states.  But, it has the highest return rate of any national park.  It's a beautiful island archipelago in northwest Lake Superior.  Although it's closest to Minnesota's mainland, it resides within Michigan's boundaries.  I chose to sail aboard the MV Wenonah for a day trip from Grand Portage on the most northeastern tip of Minnesota.

Water sparkled
like diamonds
We cruised past a very old "Little Spirit Cedar Tree" perched on the shoreline, believed to give protection to ships on the water.  The lake sparkled like diamonds.  We were shown a shipwreck of the 1920's steamship "America" just below the water.  And on the return trip, sailed past the Rock of Ages Lighthouse. 

Rock of Ages Lighthouse
We landed at Windigo on Isle Royale, where I had time to explore the little museum and go on a ranger-led nature hike.  I can see why people want to return ... I do!  It's a beautiful island wilderness with both moose and wolves.  No poisonous snakes, spiders or plants.  And, you can fish in the island's lakes without a license.

Wenonah docked at Windigo
For this day trip, most of the time is spent on the water.  While on the hike and then on the return trip, I visited with Ron and Donna, a charming retired couple from Maine (who winter in Florida).  They were camping their way cross-country to visit national parks as well.  Their journey was taking them east to west, however.  I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with them, both at Isle Royale and later running into them again at Voyageurs National Park.   They gave me some great tips about sites to see on the east coast.
Isle Royale wilderness begins here.

originally posted 9/8/10

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