Isle Royale, May 1999

Day 5

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Our last day on the island began with a bright, sun-filled sky at 8:30; it looked like we would have nice weather for our last day. The sky was bright blue and a gentle breeze was rolling through our campsite from off of Lake Superior. We decided ahead of time to eat a lite breakfast so our chances of becoming sea-sick were not as great as during the trip to Rock Harbor on Monday. We ate a pop tart, granola bar and hot chocolate on the rocks near the water. The sunlight reflecting off the calm waters was quite a spectacular sight. After breakfast we finished loading our backpacks and headed down the Rock Harbor Trail until we reached Suzy's Cave. Suzy's Cave lies only a few yards north off the Rock Harbor Trail. The 'cave' was not really what I had expected. It extends in only about 20 feet or so from the opening at which point it turns to the west and travels up a small incline as the tunnel narrows. The tunnel continues through to an opening on the other side of the cave. It appeared as though the opening would have been large enough to crawl through as long as I wasn't wearing a backpack. We explored the cave for only a couple minutes before deciding to continue on.

There is a short, two-tenths of a mile trail which intersects Rock Harbor Trail at Suzy's Cave and heads north to the Tobin Harbor Trail. I remember reading about this trail in a book prior to the trip and it was described as an easy, scenic hike. Our short 1.8 mile hike down this trail was great. The trail was fairly level and wound its way through a forest of tall pine trees. As we hiked along we had a continuous view of Tobin Harbor, just a few yards off the trail to the north. It was like looking at a picture on a postcard. The water in Tobin Harbor was calm and the trees on the opposite shore reflected off the surface causing the harbor to look like a giant mirror. A short time later we arrived at the Rock Harbor visitor and information center. The Isle Royale Queen had already arrived and was being prepared for the return trip to Copper Harbor. We took off our backpacks, looked at some of the books and posters in the visitor center and talked to a couple people whom we had seen during the week. A short time later the ship's crew began to load everyone's gear into the cargo hold. After the gear was loaded we were allowed to board and we took a window seat at the rear of the boat.

The trip back to Copper Harbor was much more enjoyable as the waves were only one to two feet and the sky was clear and bright. We arrived back in Copper Harbor around 7:15 pm, grabbed our backpacks when they were unloaded, and walked back to the car. We had decided to make one last stop before heading home. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have spent a lot of time in the U.P. of Michigan, especially in the Copper Harbor and Eagle Harbor areas. Jeff told me we should make it a point to visit Brockway Mountain Drive before we left Copper Harbor. He and Hope had been there before and said the view was amazing -- we weren't disappointed! Brockway Mountain Drive brought us to the top of Brockway Mountain and past several awesome scenic overlooks. The first overlook gave us a breath-taking view of Copper Harbor, Lake Fanny Hooe, and Lake Superior. We took a couple pictures and then continued up the mountain which was accompanied by a couple very steep inclines and descents. A sign at the west bluff indicated we were 700+ feet above the surface of Lake Superior. It was still clear and sunny and we could literally see for miles. We stopped at a couple more overlooks, took a few more pictures, and then headed west on highway 26 into Eagle Harbor. We stopped for pizza at a nice family restaurant in town before beginning the long drive home. The sun was just setting as we drove west out of Eagle Harbor. We got one last chance to see the beauty this area has to offer as the sky turned different shades of red, pink, and orange over the vast, seemingly endless, waters of Lake Superior.

Miles covered today: 3.1
Total trip miles: 33.1

This page last updated on 02-25-2016 @ 11:21 AM