I am safe in Isle Royale and oh my gosh am I loving life on the island! This place is magical in every sense of the word. Yes, the chilly mornings and nights are taking this Florida girl some getting used to, but bracing the cold is no feat compared to the reward of living in a national park.
The first day I arrived to Rock Harbor was a big one: my nerves wouldn’t let me sleep well the night before (even after traveling all day long), I woke up early in Michigan to eat breakfast and make it to the ferry in time, and I rocked my stomach inside out on the five and a half hours it took me to cross Lake Superior from Houghton to Isle Royale. That being said, everyone has been extremely welcoming and kind. I have only had a few days of work and I can already tell that it’s going to be a great season.
Today marks my fifth day on the island as well as five hikes endured. While I wasn’t able to venture off into the wilderness on my first night, I made up for it by enjoying two separate hikes on my second day and at least one every day since. Every path has been beautiful and the people who have joined my adventures wonderful to know. From bushwhacking to secluded lake-side beaches, climbing atop caves, kayaking to smaller islands, and just about everything in between… I can confidently say that my inner wannabe park ranger has never been so thrilled.
One of the many things that I’m not yet accustomed to is the song of the loons. The first time I heard them parading their vocals was during sunset on my second night here. I was paddling back through Tobin Harbor from Hidden Lake and Lookout Louise, where I saw my first Isle Royale moose and beavers, as the sky changed from dusky blue to cotton candy pastels. The water was still and there were no sounds other than our kayaks gliding through the glass, but then it happened. Sounding almost like an elk bugle the loons began their show. I was with three other friends and we all sat motionless as we listened to the cabaret.
It’s impossible not to see God in the wonders of this place. I never grew up in a place without city lights and sirens, nor have I ever been to a place so isolated that the quickest transportation is an hour-long seaplane ride. Rabbits often greet me on my morning walks, bats dart over the marina at night, and you never know when you’ll approach a moose on a trail. To me, climbing up to the tallest pile of rocks that overlook Lake Superior on one side and Isle Royale on the other is one of the greatest feelings of peace. We have a God who makes such a perfect pictures, but also makes me and you. What an honor.