the all-seeingeye Isle Royale National Park, 1974


Taken with my father, grandfather, uncle, and younger sister.

Flying into Tobin Harbor. (The narrow strip of water upper left) Mott Island is directly underneath the plane, and the broad expanse of water in the center of the picture is Rock Harbor.

A water taxi service is available from Rock Harbor Lodge to points along the south side of the island. Reservations are a good idea.

Christina Austin, Tex Austin, Richard Austin, Dale Austin

Dale Austin, Richard Austin, Christina Austin, and Dennis Austin-Lake Ritchie

West Chickenbone Lake

(from my journals) It had rained every day of the trip, for at least an hour. One of our standard provisions was instant oatmeal. My sister and I mixed it up with the minimum water to form oatmeal balls, which at least had the virtue of reducing the volume of the stuff you had to eat. One morning at breakfast it was raining. Some of us were huddled under one tarp, and some under the other, trying to get breakfast finished. I saw Denny looking down into what must have been his fiftieth bowl of oatmeal that trip. Without ever looking up, his arm straightened out to the side, out from under the tarp, and very slowly turned the oatmeal bowl over. I think that said everything.

I've never been to Isle Royale without seeing at least a few moose-usually very close up.

Flying in and out of the island has its advantages-notably you get to put in a full first day hiking. The downside is that fog can leave you stranded for days at a time. Two of the three times I've flown, there has been some kind of delay because of low visibility.

This trip, the delay was only a few hours before flying resumed. Since the 1980's, air service has shifted from regular, more or less hourly round trips, to charter service, and the seating capacity reduced from 9 to 5 persons.