David and I (Patrick), spent a few days the week before Memorial Day to enjoy
the Apostle Islands. Devil's Island is my favorite and this time of year
is seldom visited. We were prepared for the worst and
brought along the heated tipi but instead of rain and sleet we had sun
and minimal wind.
We spent Sunday evening at one of the campgrounds in Washburn and awoke
to gray skies and drizzle. After the traditional pre-launch breakfast at
the Egg Toss and picking up the permit we headed to Little Sand Bay. We
were pleased to hear that we were the only registered kayakers so would
have the islands to ourselves. After Memorial Day things can get pretty
crowded. Ice-out was early this year. In fact, I managed to get out for
a weekend trip to Stockton and Oak Islands with a small
group of friends three weeks earlier.
By the time we launched the skies had cleared and with just a slight breeze
we headed for Devil's Island via Bear Island. After
a great lunch on Bear we arrived at Devil's. The wood we had left at the site
last November was where we'd left it. Kept the wood-cutting to a minimum so
we found plenty of time to stalk the great gray owls that seem to be thick
as flies on the island this year. The following day we circled the island,
played in the caves and, after some dillying and a bit of
dallying, we headed over to Oak Island. We arrived in the late afternoon but
managed to find time for a death march through every trail on the island. Trails
were nice and dry which beats reports of Sand Island being a mud-pit at the
The following morning we broke camp early as the forecast was calling for 20mph
winds by the early afternoon.
A nice peaceful paddle back to Little Sand saw us back in time to beat the
coming storms the accompanied us on the drive home. All in all, a great trip.