Isle Royale Plans

The date has been decided and the campground at Grand Portage, MN is first come first serve. Hopefully that means I don’t end up sleeping in a vehicle and can pitch my tent. There were two public options to get the Isle Royale, either a seaplane or ferry. As a resident of Minneapolis, I debated on leaving from the Minnesota side or the Michigan side. It is closer to leave from the Minnesota side but cheaper from Michigan with roughly an hour drive difference. I opted for a MN ferry as I like boats and it was cheaper. Not to mention it is a shorter amount of time on a boat. Which leads one to wonder why it is considered Michigan vs Minnesota. Any who, I hope I don’t get seasick like I did on the 14 day Caribbean Cruise I just took a couple weeks ago!

In Minnesota and many places in the midwest, decisions depend not only on the weather but also bugs, especially mosquitos. When debating on when to travel to Isle Royale many things had to be considered. Would the decision be based on bugs, popularity, or the weather? To me it boiled down to timing. The thing is, I live in the land of 10,000 lakes and the limited amount of good weather time in the summer is considered sacred. The amount of outdoor adventure around here is truly limited and one must make the most of it. Consequently, making a decision on when to take 5 days to explore Isle Royale needed to take into account my plans for the summer and my fair weather friends summer plans.

On the one side, late July-August would be ideal for warm temperatures on the island. This is the prime time for any outdoor/cabin adventure in Minnesota. Meaning, my friends will want to spend cabin/lake time during the latter part of the summer. Also, people know and plan travel to Isle Royale during late summer as a result the more desirable temperatures. Nevertheless, one of the reasons to go to one of the least visited national parks, to me, is the remote, untouched nature feeling. The unfortunate downside of going that time of year is the mosquitoes. The flip side of traveling earlier is it is colder, especially considering the lake effect of the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, Lake Superior. The perk is you miss the crowds as well as the bugs. When weighing many options, I think the colder weather and less bugs is the best choice for me. I am hopeful for a warmer time and no bugs.

Wish me luck!

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