Day 22: Iron Mountain, MI

‘Twas a day full of boat rides and exploring one of the least visited national parks in this amazing country experiencing eye opening personal reflections; followed by a quick 184 miles for some much needed rest.

My precious gem (as I might have said before) is intrigued by the sky/clouds/weather systems this includes the butt crack of dawn sunrise. Because we were in such a gorgeous location he wanted to weak up bright and early to watch it .. so we did. I will admit it was worth it even after very little sleep. (GoPro Time-lapse video to come).

^ Thats us 🙂

The ferry we were taking over to Isle Royal National Park was literally 100 yards away from our room door so we had a couple hours to get ready.

The process for loading the Isle Royale Queen ferry was super simple, after almost 50 years in the business they really have it down to a science. They also work with the hotel/resort on the island and take care of your luggage for you if you’re staying there.

The ride over in Lake Superior was super smooth.

We were pretty unprepared for the three hour boat ride .. we didn’t bring anything to do with us soo ..

Haha you’re welcome.

This boat trip reminded me so much of the annual fishing trips I used to take with my family each summer and I felt a little sad. I have some of the best memories from those trips and am not sure why we ever stopped. But I sure as heck will be planning one for this summer.

Anyway, we made it to the island!

It is a very unique experience visiting this National Park. You are greeted by a ranger and given a brief orientation to the island and then are sent on your way to explore (or check into your accommodations if you’re staying there).

Since we were only there for a brief day trip we got right to it and picked a 5 mike hike we knew we could fit into our three hour window with a little time to explore.

As soon as we started we both knew we wanted to come back and wished we were able to stay longer.

I met a woman who had just backpacked the entire island with her husband for the last 5 days. She said they were approaching their 60s and they had always wanted to do it, so they did. She was raving about her experience and the wildlife .. and now it’s on my bucket list.

(that’s the couple in the pic below)

This island, this national park, is so unique and so beautiful I can’t even put it into words.

The “trails” and wilderness are practically untouched, the beauty you are surrounded with ever step you take is surreal.

Isle Royale is known for it’s moose population – currently 1,500 moose inhabit the island with a few other animals. We, nor the people we took the ferry with, were lucky enough to encounter any. But we will certainly be back to experience all this island has to offer.

Along the hike Chris and I barely spoke. I think he was so focused on finding a Bull Moose for me to see, but for me it was a pretty emotional hike; I’m not sure exactly why but there’s just something about this island. I did a lot of reflecting.

This quote could not be any more relatable
for me right now.

I’m learning a lot about myself on this trip and my life – The Who, What, Whys of people and things that matter. Being fully disconnected from the outside world on this island, the materialistic things we have done without this trip, people who have and haven’t reached out to us, or the things we have seen that have made us think of people and made us wish they were there in that moment “— would love this, we have to bring them here”, etc. it’s an eye opening experience to see the things we go blind to when we are so caught up in getting through the work week living the 9-5 life.

I’ll write more about my reflections in another post, I’ll get back on track here for now.

We made it back to the harbor to meet our ferry with time to spare – we stoped in the visitors center for our stamp, postcards, and a couple snacks for the trip back.

The trip back was just as smooth as the trip there. The water looked like glass, the sky and Lake Superior blended in the distance – all was calm and peaceful.

Another three hours just hanging out with my bestie – no cell service, no distractions, just pure ‘old school conversation’.

While it is the least visited, it has one of the highest revisitation rate of all national parks. We can say with 100% certainty we will be back and bringing others with us, so if you’re in for a camping/backpacking or cabin adventure – let’s plan it!

If you ever get the chance to or are looking for a place to go to make Isle Royale happen it is more than worth it.

We arrived backed to Copper Harbor and hit the road to Iron Mountain.

Gas Stop: Iron Mountain, MI – $2.89/gal

Cheers to things left behind and things I’m taking with me,

JBJ

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3 thoughts on “Day 22: Iron Mountain, MI

  1. That was not only beautiful in pictures but but your words touched my heart as well!! Family friends & events that stay with you are really all that matters. I too have wonderful memories of the beach with my mother & your people – cherish all of them!! Love you & GEM 💜❤️

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this Jillian. You are fortunate to be able to realize all this at this point if your life and marriage. I love you and your precious Gem. Maybe I might even go on that fishing trip! 💙

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maura that would be a first! 🤗 did you ever go on the fishing trips?? I have lots of photos from those trips. Looking at it from Jillian’s perspective is interesting. Imagine on the boat for 3 hours on beautiful Lake Superior. How peaceful. Well done newlyweds!!! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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