The trail condition between Todd and Little Todd was a much easier hike than the day before. The trail climbed up and down a bit, but more gently and the footing was a soft dirt pad and much less rooty. The towering birch trees with their stark white papery bark and bright green foliage were a nice change of scenery. The ground cover had a scruffy unkempt look to it, which was accentuated by numerous muddy, low lying sections that were a scramble from log to log or high patch of grass to high patch of grass. One had to be careful to keep your feet dry and your pant legs clean.
We saw not one single hiker on the trail today headed either direction and no outstanding wildlife. An upturned root ball of a tree tricked us for a second in a marshy area and we craned our necks standing still to get a peek at the moose, only to end up laughing at our foolishness. Several squirrels sat out and let us get a good look at them while they itched and groomed, but no large animals were to be found.
The final mile into Little Todd was the highlight (or lowlight) of the hike. There were continual sections of marsh with log crossings and rock hops which made keeping your feet dry and absolute challenge. Only the knowledge that we were close to camp kept our minds right. My husband seemed to love the balancing act and has appropriately earned his name Tree Walker. He heroically carried my pack across the longest log as I shimmied my way along, thankful to have a long stick to help me balance.
Upon arrival into Little Todd, we found one site occupied by yet another pair of scientists out exploring Isle Royale for themselves. One was a birder who had chronicled over 350 species of birds in her home county in Michigan, and had over a thousand with her travels to Columbia, and Michipicoten, the other large island in Lake Superior. There she sat in the migratory path of the loon and saw over 900 loons pass through. Her expertise is learning the calls and identifying the birds by sound.
Little Todd beach jumped way up our list of favorites for its elaborate collection of tumbled rocks of all shapes and sizes. As the sun finally poked out and warmed the beach, we spent hours of the afternoon and evening sorting through and attempting to find agates and greenstone of all shapes and sizes. As the sun set in the west, the waves lapped the beach and the lazy days of summer and its relaxing easy pace finally felt like it was setting in and the school year may remain forever behind us.