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HomeExcursions /  High Island Revisited

Back to High Island

     We had such a wonderful time on High Island that we decided to go back the next weekend.  We borrowed Ernie Martin's raft and set out on Saturday afternoon in a moderate sea, but when we passed the lee of Indian Point, the 5' swells were daunting and we decided to turn back --even though we could see Don Cole's plucky houseboat slowly making its way from Trout Island north, probably headed for Squaw.
     Sunday proved more hospitable, although there was a good chop. We arrived at the harbor at the north end of the east side of High by noon.  Another power boat was anchored at the more-protected south edge, but we chose north of the middle, which was calm enough. We set a stake in the beach in line with the bow and Mt. Pisgah to see how well our single anchor held, and started walking north. Our intention was to hike counter-clockwise to the west side, climb Lookout Mountain, and come back through the clearings.

     It was a beautiful, sunny day.  We stayed outside the gull fence in crossing the big spit, jumped down the small dune to the shore, and proceeded west on a wide, sandy beach, carrying a candy bar and a pop for each of us.  Within a half mile we encountered the only people we were to meet, five Beaver Islanders who had come across on two jet skis and were relaxing on the shore.
     The north shore is protected by a modest bluff, a feature also found on Beaver. In places it supports a fifty-foot-high dune, but a fifteen foot wave-eroded abrupt edge to the woods was more common. The farther west we went, the narrower the beach became, and soon we were jumping from rock to rock to get around a tumbled tree.  Finally the ribbon became too narrow for dry walking, so we decided to take to the woods until it widened again.  Used to Beaver and, to a lesser extent, Garden, we assumed we would find a trail, but we were wrong --because there are no deer on High.  Native Americans who lived here fifty and sixty years ago have since confirmed this: one of two would wander across the ice every decade, but they were consumed before they could breed.  Walking in the woods is easy on Garden because of the deer trails, but the north shore forest on High is thick with juniper, which proved scratchy and exhausting. After a half mile, which took almost an hour, we returned to the beach. Continued - Click Here ]

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