The only way to reach the isolated Isle Royale is by sea plane or boat. Multiple boats leave different harbors in Michigan and Minnesota but the biggest and most preferred boat is the Ranger III. The boat ride took 5 hours which were thankfully smooth and easy going. As we started to see the island you could immediately smell the trees. With nothing but the chilly wind provided by Lake Superior and the picturesque landscape ahead of us it seemed as if we stepped into another world.
Isle Royale is the “big island” so to speak with many small surrounding islands and coves. The primary residential island is Mott where I will be staying for the majority of the summer. Mott island definitely exceeded all of my expectations. My room and living area on the island honestly look better than my freshman year dorm room! One thing that is common here at Mott is a sense of community, many workers are on their second or third season but no one treats you as a newbie. They encourage you to pull up a chair and chat, they introduce themselves again if they’re pretty sure you don’t remember their names(guilty) and they’re ready to answer any questions about the island you may have.
I am definitely looking forward to discovering all that the island has to offer while also making a change with wildlife research.