Jan 21-09

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2009: January: Jan 21-09
Isle Royale in white    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by E. Neil Harri
Rock Harbor    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by E. Neil Harri

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 06:53 am:

I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that the Isle Royale National Park, might be one of the only National Parks that you really can't visit in the winter. Even if the others are closed to traffic, you can still snowshoe or ski in, I would think. But being located out in the waters of Lake Superior, makes this park pretty much inaccessible. Unless of course you have an airplane and know how to fly it, like our resident pilot, E. Neil Harri. He's flying us right over Rock Harbor today, where you can see that the ice hasn't closed it up completely yet. Then Neil zooms in for a little closer look at the hotel units, marina and docks. Seems funny to see it when there's nobody around. I was hoping to maybe spot a wolf or a moose having a grand old time with no humans in sight, but no luck with that.

Neil tells me that his newest DVD, Isle Royale Winter - Shipwrecks, Lighthouses and Northwoods, is now available for ordering or purchasing locally. If you love Isle Royale in the summer, then this is a "must have" video for your collection. Check out Neil's webpage: NeilHarriPhotos.com for a number of other DVD's that are available, along with many other U.P. items.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 07:39 am:

Rustic Beauty!

By Gary C. Anderson (Denguy) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 08:28 am:

Just curious, is there anyone on Isle Royale during the winter? Park Service employees? Researchers?

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 08:40 am:

I have always wanted to go to Isle Royale, but i am scared to death of Lake Superior and I do know there are other ways to get there.

By Joy Brewer (Joy) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 09:01 am:

Great photos as always Neil! I have to admit that every time I see one of Neil's photos I get more and more home sick for home. Also, Mickill, I do not know if they still provide air service there, but when I lived in the Copper Country it was available then. It allows individuals who have that fear of being out in Lake Superior. Have a wonderful day everyone!

By Serena Sturm (Serena) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 09:10 am:

Awesome pics Neil!!

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 09:27 am:

There was no one out there when I took hese pictues. The researchers went out on Jan 12th. They stay at Windigo on West end.
There is air service to island from Houghton airport with a float plane. It is only a 20 minute flight.
You can see the lodges where you can stay in comfort if you do't want to camp.

By Kathyrn Laughlin (Kathyl) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 10:40 am:

Years ago I saw a PBS documentary on the Great lakes. For one of the Apostle Islands, there was an awkward period between open-water and freeze-up, but once the water froze there was traffic between the mainland and the island. In fact the islanders had their own version of car racing: out on an oval track on the ice. A bump from an opponent would not smash you into the wall but send you gliding out of the track like a curling stone.

I would guess Isle Royale is too far out for a safe, frozen path to develop. I know the Mackinac islanders usually have a safe ice path to St. Ignace.

By Uncle Chuck @ Little Betsy (Unclechuck) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 10:46 am:

50 years of going to the U.P. and never been to Isle Royale, I'll get there one day.

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 11:15 am:

Those are beautiful picture, Neil & Mary. Thank you!

I thought I had read in a historical account, that they used to cross over from Isle Royale to Copper Harbor on the ice to get mail & supplies, a long time ago? (I'm not sure how long ago, but I'm guessing back in the late 1800's.)

By Rowdy (Roudymi) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 11:17 am:

Is it possible to get the Radar Base cam picture to fill the screen?

By Alison P (Ricelakealison) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 12:07 pm:

Oh how I would like to be back on that dock, swinging my pack up onto back and headed off to explore more of the most beautiful place on earth!

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 12:49 pm:

I think they still have planes to Isle Royale- but I would have to fly over Lake Superior and I completely and totally freak out in small spaces. (the size of the plane) I think I would have to go to Canada and take the boat over from there. It does not look that far to cross from Canada. ;O)

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 01:01 pm:

Mickill...sounds like you need a plane that serves alcohol and lots of it.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 01:08 pm:

Or I need a couple of my 'chill pills' my dr. prescribed after my youngest brother died.

By Tom (Tom) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 02:42 pm:

Several years ago we took a trip to Isle Royale and stayed at the lodge. Was a great thing to do. If you went hiking and were to miss your lunch meal the kitchen staff would pack a lunch for you. Then after breakfast you picked it up and took off.The only bad part of the trip was returning. There was a pretty stiff wind and the waves where 10 -11 feet high. When the boat went down between the waves all you saw right next to you was a wall of water. Guess, what? I got sick as a dog!!! Four hours of that tossing around. That lake can be very mean.

By MMO (Yooperinflorida) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 04:53 pm:

Back when I was in my teens I took a similar trip to Isle Royale. 4 hours of solid rock and roll ... managed to keep my breakfast down but it was a struggle. UGH !

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 05:42 pm:

I went out to the island with Capt Don on the last trip of the season once. It was a 3 day trip on Sept 15th in the early 1970's.There were probably 20 passengers.
He left us off at Daisy farm for while he sailed to the North side for a camp out with his wife.
I hiked with a partner to Moskey basin where it rained and near snowed for 3 days. It was in the mid 30's at night.
Don lost a life boat in high winds on North shore. Miserable but memorable too.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 08:58 pm:

I wouldn't mind visiting Isle Royale sometime.

By Daveofmohawk (Daveofmohawk) on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 09:08 pm:

Neil: When was the Rock Harbor picture taken? I'm surprised that there is no ice at all in R.H. considering that the temperatures have been well below normal since the beginning of Nov. Nov. was 7.5 degrees below normal, Dec. 4.5 below and 4.5 below so far for the first half of Jan. Those temps are a lot for an average. The only thing that I can attribute the lack of ice to is the fact that there has been a lot of windy weather and that keeps it broken up so heavy ice doesn't have a chance to form.

By Sandy G (Artessss) on Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 12:15 am:

From so much danger talk about getting to Isle Royale I'd prefer to read about it in a good book with some great pictures. Not a history book or geography book, but maybe half-fiction and half non-fiction..?? Anyone up for it? Has one been done? Everyone seems to have great stories of living there seems it would sure be a good one.

I always enjoy your company your great pictures...Thank you!

By Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell) on Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 10:13 am:

Not much in the way of pictures but Nevada Barr has based two books in Isle Royale, A Superior Death and Winter Study.

By Lisa R. (Sisugirl) on Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 12:44 pm:

Mickill Mouse: "I have always wanted to go to Isle Royale, but i am scared to death of Lake Superior and I do know there are other ways to get there."

Isn't it sad how fear keeps us from doing the things we relly want in life? I decided long ago I wasn't going to let any irrational fear stop me. To this day, I can't say I have any real phobias. (Except for the "healthy" fears that keep me alive.)

By s.murawski (Bailey) on Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 02:23 pm:

There is a Winter Study being conducted right now on Isle Royale. John Vucetich and Rolf Peterson are professors from Mich Tech along with pilot Don Glaser. They are doing the Winter 2009 study of Wolf and Moose. You can go under www.isleroyalewolf.org and read day to day inserts about their research.

By Kathyrn Laughlin (Kathyl) on Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 03:19 pm:

LisaR, I see you're living up to your name of Sisugirl. I don't share Mickill Mouse's fears---and there are ways to minimize risk, whether on the Great Lakes or in the air---but I have some only semi-rational avoidances of my own, like not going downtown after dark and not buying stuff on-line.

My history includes lots of time in and around the water from a young age with a mom and grandpa who loved the water but also respected it (e.g., don't set out in a small craft if there are supposed to be 4 ft waves). And my father was a private pilot who would take me up in the plane with him, also from a young age; I learned that he and his pilot buddies were pretty careful (their saying is "There are bold pilots and there are old pilots, but no old, bold pilots"). Sisugirl, I think your attitude is great and helps keep a person young, and I try to keep that attitude myself. But recognize other folks have other history.

By Tim Holland (Tholland) on Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 07:23 pm:

I am a private pilot and have flown with professional aerobatic pilots who took me through loops and rolls, hammerheads, etc... and I never got sick. However, four footers for four hours going to Isle Royale brings me to my knees. I never tire of visiting Isle Royale, but I always am anxious about the ride to and from on the big lake because you can't cry uncle and say "Please stop, I don't like this anymore" like you can with a aerobatic plane ride.

By Sandy G (Artessss) on Friday, January 23, 2009 - 01:31 am:

Rjewell and Baily:

Thank you both for the research on Isle Royale. I will certainly look into all you gave me. I find there is so much we don't know about our surroundings even. I retired to TX and so much is new here to me. Thanks again for helping satisfy my curiosity!


By Lisa R. (Sisugirl) on Friday, January 23, 2009 - 04:04 pm:

Kathryn: "But recognize other folks have other history."

Of course I recognize that! :) I just think it's sad. Kindest regards! LR

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