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M Honeymoon at Isle Royale (Trip Report)

by Travis Leanna

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Article Summary:

It was a year in the making. 365 days to be exact. On August 5, 2010 I proposed to my girlfriend, Gretchen, and we were married on August 5, 2011.

If some of you will remember, that proposal took place on top of Boulder Peak in Glacier National Park, which was well documented in a previous trip report. It was one of those days that you couldn’t order up to be more perfect. Sapphire blue skies, golden sunshine, views that outlasted infinity, and a gentle breeze that brought nothing but pure mountain joy to the moment.

Since the proposal, backpacking, along with many other things, took a backseat to planning the wedding and getting a new life in order. But what about the honeymoon? Where to go? We had contemplated Europe. Ah, the exhilaration of taking a nine-hour plane ride over the Atlantic and stepping onto foreign soil was quite tempting...and expensive.

What about a backpacking honeymoon? Well, yes, but we wanted something a bit more ‘exotic’ to us. Gretchen loved kayaking on the small lakes and streams in our beloved Wisconsin Northwoods, and I had been eyeing the Alpacka packraft fleet for some time. The decision was made. We would get two Alpacka rafts and plan a packrafting trip for our honeymoon. Was it cheaper than a week in Europe? Well, after all was said and done, maybe not, but we’ll have the packrafts for a very, very long time, and the memories that accompanied our trip will be ours forever.

I don’t quite remember exactly how the decision was made to packraft Isle Royale National Park, but I do know that BackpackingLight was a factor. I corresponded with BPL members including David Chenault, Roman Dial, and Sam Haraldson about packrafting and about Isle Royale. I’d like to thank them and the BPL community for all their invaluable help.


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