Instead, as we sat atop our gear, loaded and ready to go home, we were excited for the change of pace and the return to routine of our lives at home. There really wasn't anything left on the island that we felt we needed to accomplish. We had seen everything we set out to see and hiked or paddled all things on our lists of sights unseen. So as we loaded the queen for our 4 hour ride across Superior, we felt complete.
We had succeeded in feeling more like a local and less like a tourists. We had branched out far off the normal path and knew the island much more intimately than 99% off all visitors will. We had time to encounter the wildlife without feeling intrusive. We hopefully had provided others with valuable information while still allowing them their own discovery and set of firsts.
So the joke, of course, is when will we return. I'd be lying if I said we hadn't planned out an exact itinerary. That's one challenge with coming to know a place in great detail- we certainly know how to make the most of the next great adventure. That just adds to the great dilemma of returning to a place you can have a richer experience in vs. forging out to a brand new experience. Getting to know a place with expertise has its own rewards of working the kinks out, but falling in love with the unknown is also great. For now, we'll have to hold that thought and let time determine where that itch to scratch will lead. For now, we're thankful to have survived it happy and healthy, and blessed to have gotten to appreciate what Isle Royale's remote beauty provided.