National Geographic : 1931 Dec
WINTER SKY ROADS TO ISLE ROYAL Johnson's place is a cozy log house of three rooms and a loft, perched almost at the water's edge, near the entrance to Chippewa Harbor, protected from the lashing of Lake Superior gales / by the lofty ridges of that steep-walled bay. Like the homes of all Isle Royal fisher folk, it stands with its feet literally braced on the rocky shore and its back against cliff and ridge, and the un broken forest of spruce, fir, and birch / comes down to the very door. Moose came to the woodpile behind the cabin almost nightly during the eleven days we stayed there. They even followed the snowshoe-beaten path we made from the cabin to the fish house, some twenty rods dis tant along the shore, stepping in our snow- THIS N( shoe tracks for the sake of easier walking. It was written bti and lost one of their We cut our firewood perior in a frail, open 1 on the ridge above the cabin, dragging the logs down the slope, and a pair of moose fed each night on the buds of the birch tops where we did our cutting. One day they even bedded down in the snow on the slope of the ridge less than a hundred yards above our door, and lay there until we disturbed them by climb ing the hill after wood. Gray, or Canada, jays, the "moose bird," "camp robber," or "whiskey jack" of the north country, were our constant neigh bors-modest, unassuming little chaps,that waited quietly but eagerly in the spruce trees behind the house for the offerings of food we put out for them. They came to us even on days when Isle Royal was in the grip of savage winds, when dry, hard-driven snow blew across Chippewa Harbor in a white smother. On such days they darted down to our feeding z- '/ 4.7 , . l^' (..< ~~ Photograph from Ben East )TE RECORDS A NEAR TRAGEDY party of trappers who, having come to Isle Royal number, braved the stormy waters of Lake Su boat to obtain help (see text below). station from the shelter of the spruce trees, clung for a few seconds, and retreated hastily to the cover of the forest with what ever scraps of food they could carry off. THE SEARCH FOR A LOST TRAPPER It was to the Holger Johnson cabin that four Grand Marais trappers had come ear lier in the winter, and it was from here that three of them carried on a fruit less search for the fourth after he wan dered away from the camp into the island wilderness. We found the record of the search in two terse notes, one pinned to the wall of the cabin (see illustration above), the other written on the end of a cracker box and left on the table. Notice: To let you know we are leaving to-morrow, the 17th. Iver [referring to Iver 769 f-<. * Ii^( *''--"