Isle Royale - Day 16
A quick, clam paddle took us into main Lake Superior which the day before had 1-2 foot waves and gentle rollers. Feeling the lake lift and carry a boat underneath you is an unnerving sensation to say the least, especially for a couple of Hoosiers. Even on our short paddle, you could feel the cold wind coming off the 38 degree lake, and there is zero room for error. We hit the dock after about 10 minutes of paddling. Raspberry Island is a small island that looks relatively flat from Rock Harbor, but once stepping foot on Raspberry, we could see that it had a very interesting shoreline with beaches, rocky outcroppings, and amazing overlooks. The vantage point of the island allowed you to see so many iconic Rock Harbor spots from a totally new perspective.
We then portages the boats over into Tobin Harbor and made our way all the way to the end of Tobin into big Lake Superior past Smith Island until we could see Stoll Point poking out into the lake. The cold air and deep blues changed upon entering the open lake and the swells of water lifted our boats gently. We looked through Red Rock Point into Merrit Lane where we had paddled 3 years before. We didn’t leisure long before heading back to Tobin.Along the way we saw bald eagles perched in pines, loons fishing and diving, ducks mates cruising the shores, and schools of fish 20 inches long.
The Lookout Louise trail was just recently cleared for reopening and we were fortunate to get to hike it. It was like hiking through Middle Earth. The understory had been burned out and all that remained was the rock and boulder chunks of the island, reminding hikers that Isle Royale is mostly rock. It made the hike take on a completely new feel and experience.
After paddling all of Tobin, we put the kayaks back and celebrated with a dinner of fresh salad from the Greenstone Grill.
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