2020 vision

Sunday, 25th August 2019; 12:29 pm

I have two plans for my next excursion, and I may do one or both of them in 2020. They’re A) hiking the west end of Isle Royale and B) scootering the west coast of Michigan.

My previous visits to Isle Royale either explored the east end of the island, or hiked down the middle of it. This leaves some of the more rugged and less-traveled trails on the west end – particularly the Feldtmann and Minong Ridge Trails – and that’s where I plan to go. For this trip, I’ll take the car up to Grand Portage, Minnesota, and take the ferry from there, as that gives the easiest access to the west part of the island. I need to get in better shape before taking this trip, however, mostly because the hip belt on my long-distance backpack requires access to my hips to carry the weight properly.

My very first big road trip went up the Lake Michigan shoreline, but then I kept going, around to Wisconsin. This time I’d only go as far as the Straits of Mackinac. What I’d add would be stops to visit a couple of the islands along the way. I’ve been to North Manitou twice, but not to the smaller South Manitou, so I’d spend a day and night there. And I’ve never been to Beaver Island, which is ironic, as it’s one of the most scooter-accessible islands in the Great Lakes. This trip would also be my first visit to Wilderness State Park, which I’ve always bypassed on the way to Mackinac.

In a sense, each of these trips is a conceptual spin-off from my aborted Lake Superior ride, which included a little of each idea, but they were swamped out by too much highway riding. Each venture would take about a week. It would be nice to do both in a single summer, but I’m not sure if I can manage that much time off in such a short period of time, which is why it might end up being two summers.

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