(Map at bottom of post)
The sky over Huginnin Cove looked stormy when we got up at 7:30 am. We decided to skip breakfast since the hike back to Windigo was only about 4.5 miles along West Huginnin Cove Trail. We packed up quickly under the threatening sky and left at 8:30. We were sad to have to leave this wonderful place and would have loved to stay another day, but the weather continued to be consistent in its unpredictability, and we felt that heading back toward Windigo to be prepared in the event of more flight issues was the smarter thing to do. Anyone visiting the west end of Isle Royale should definitely visit Huginnin Cove; it's worth the short trip.
|Stormy morning sky above Huginnin Cove|
|Cow moose with 2 calves|
Someone at Windigo said that wolves were heard the night before by people camping at Washington Creek, which was exciting news. A fox trotted by us as we headed back down the path to the campground.
|Inside Shelter #9 at Washington Creek|
Around 6:00 pm, we took a walk to Washington Harbor. Earlier in the day at Windigo, we had seen a few park rangers looking like they were responding to something urgent. We now learned that a sailboat that was out in the harbor had started to sink – the Coast Guard at Rock Harbor was alerted, and the rangers we had seen at Windigo were heading out to help pump water from the boat and begin rescuing those on board. We would learn more details the following day from one of the stranded boaters. Peril on the high seas (lake)!
|What is this fox doing?|
It had been chilly all day, but the temperature dropped significantly as the sun went down. We went to bed at 8pm because it was too cold to do anything outside of a sleeping bag. Unfortunately, the weather forecast we had looked at earlier did not predict the temperature dropping to the mid-30s in the middle of the night. If we had known about this, we would have put our tent up inside the shelter to benefit from the retention of body heat. Instead, we hunkered down into our sleeping bags on the shelter floor, anticipating a chilly night in the 40s.
As we laid in our sleeping bags after dusk, the ever-elusive night-swimming moose returned to Washington Creek, splashing around in the dark just beyond our shelter. We wanted to see it, but neither of us wanted to get out of our sleeping bags and venture back into the cold to spy on it, so we attempted to get some sleep on our last night on Isle Royale. Maybe in the morning...