So after we went ourselves first in 2014, we returned in 2016 with our son (then 8), and again in 2019 to paddle the Five Fingers. But these trips never calmed his desires, they simply fanned the flames urging him on to eventually hike all the trails and have seen all the campsites first hand. Two years ago, I received a work-based grant that took me to Alaska chasing an adventure in the wild following pieces of literature and carving out an epic itinerary of my own. He then also attempted for a grant and was thrilled to receive it. For him, it was to study the ecological evidence of trophic cascade brought on by the wolf-moose relationship of the island and connect that evidence back to his daily work. And so 2 years ago, on a winter morning at work, he opened an email that told him he had been awarded the grant, and our focus immediately became coordinating the itinerary, bookings, resupplies, gear, and life-halting necessary to be gone on such a long adventure. We had done long trips before that required much planning, but this was next level. We even had to postpone our plans an entire year due to the 2021 crowds and inability to plan the month out as we envisioned.
Rock Harbor to Windigo via the Minong Trail
Rest days in Windigo + Huginnin Cove Trail Hike
The Feldtmann Loop to Malone Bay (water taxi to Rock Harbor)
Rest days in Rock Harbor +
Paddle Tobin Harbor, Raspberry Island
Hike Raspberry Island, Lookout Louise, Mt. Franklin, Stoll Trail & Scoville Point
Rock Harbor Trail from Chippewa back to Rock Harbor
Voyager II ferry to Windigo, paddle Beaver & Grace Islands + SS Americas shipwreck
Voyager II ferry back to Rock Harbor
Total Miles: 143 backpacking, 13 paddling
So with patience and long-long awaited arrival, as the months drew nearer our basement became a sea of supplies and temporary ground zero of gear. Bills had to be paid in advance, mail stopped, teenager accommodated, families calmed, work adjusted, resupplies mailed, kayak safety practiced, and fitness dialed in. So when we pulled into Copper Harbor on day zero of our adventure, it was founded in years of experience and months of preparation.
-Posts will be daily for the next 29 days, following our adventure.