Outdoor scenes from Isle Royale

Published 8:34 am Friday, July 31, 2009

Brody O’Tool and Tim Engstrom spent five days — July 19-23 — on Isle Royale. They rode on the Wenonah of Grand Portage to get there. Isle Royale is in Michigan, though it is closer to Minnesota. If you enjoy outdoors photography, you will enjoy these scenic photos they took while on the island. There is a video of the Wenonah, too.

O’Tool is a 14-year-old from Fort Dodge, Iowa. He is Engstrom’s step-brother. Engstrom, 38, is the editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. They hiked about 28 miles over the course of five days, going places many people can’t reach without a backpack of the right equipment, a strong back and healthy legs. Backpacking is a sport where you compete against yourself and each trip provides hints for improvement. It is a sport more popular in places with vast areas of backcountry, such as northern Minnesota, much of Canada or the American West.

Isle Royale National Park provides some of the best backpacking in the Midwest, and because the glacier-scarred island has so many lakes, harbors, bays and channels, it is a popular place for kayakers, too. It is one of the hardest to reach national parks and it is the one with the longest average stay — four days. Yellowstone averages mere hours. Isle Royale National Park also has a long history of scientific research because the park has a strong emphasis on letting nature take its course. The greatest discovery from the island was the existence of acid rain, which came by hauling mud from the deep bottom of Lake Siskiwit and studying the chemicals.

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About Tim Engstrom

Tim Engstrom is the editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. He resides in Albert Lea with his wife, two sons and dog.

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