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Main | What will your grandchildren see and experience? »

An analog week ahead


Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior can be a scary place...

  • Wolves
  • Moose
  • Leeches
  • Unpredictable weather

and perhaps most frightening of all

  • No cell phone service

Starting Saturday, 5 outdoor club members and I will be hiking Isle Royale from its northeastern most point to its most southeastern point. The beginning and end points of this 45 mile hike have a few amenities - ranger stations, a lodge, potable drinking water, and stores. But for the majority of the hike across the spine of this large island on the Greenstone Trail, one must to carry what one will need - period.

My pack without water will weigh about 32 pounds. Ultra-light back packers will scoff at such a load. But for those of us who wish to enjoy time in the campsites and sleep snugly and don't need to cover more than a dozen miles in a day and want hot coffee in the mornings, the camp chair and the cushy sleeping pad and the gas stove are worth the few extra pounds.

One thing I will not be carrying will be my cell phone. Instead I will have a digtial camera with an extra battery, a real-live compass/thermometer, a wrist watch, and a paper map of the park.

What I have not yet decided on is whether to bring a print book or my Kindle as leisure reading material. The print book is light and keeps the analog spirit of the trip. But what will I do if I finish the book before the hike is over? What if the battery of my headlamp dies? Can I read the smallish print of a paperback with my cheaters? On the other hand, my Kindle may also run out its battery life. Might it get wet and short out?

The horror of not having something to read is greater by far than that of no Internet by far. 

Wish us good weather. And long battery life.

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Reader Comments (3)

Sounds like a wonderful trip! My hubby and I were supposed to go there and Voyageurs NP this past summer but due to a family emergency, we had to cancel. I hope we go next year. Whenever we go camping where I know we won’t have electricity (which is most national parks we go to), I always take a paperback book and then bring a blank journal. If I finish my book, I can always write my own story either about the trip or anything else I want to write.

September 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPat

Hi Pat,
Well, I hope you get to Isle Royale and Voyageurs in the future. Both are pretty remote.
I don't know the last time that I have not had a book at hand that I am reading. I guess I am addicted and don't want to suffer withdrawl on this trip.
Wish me well. Long range forecast only shows a chance of rain for 2 of the 6 days we will be on the island. 

September 11, 2019 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

Isle Royale is on my bucket list. I sure do hope you'll share a few photos once you've returned from the trip!

September 15, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Townsley

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