REMEMBRANCE OF ISLE ROYALE
Author: Mark Kapusciarz
Has anyone ever wondered what it is like being away from civilization?
During the summer of 1994, one of my friends Stan, his brother John, and I
set out to get away from the ordinary lifestyles that we have so far
experienced. In the beginning of summer Stan invited me on a camping trip.
My first reactions were ecstatic. I was in a desperate need of a vacation,
and I figured camping would be a unique experience. Since I never went
before I perceived it to be a great time just to sit back, relax, have a few
beers, and enjoy the great out doors.
When Stan invited me to come along on the camping trip, I anticipated the
trip to a campground at a national forest somewhere up north. Stan and John
have been rigid, dedicated campers. Where I, on the other hand, was a novice
to the wilderness lifestyle. About two weeks before our excursion, Stan
tells me about this island in the middle of Lake Superior. He was so
excited, that he was ready to jump out of his pants. The island was called
Isle Royale National Park. I thus anticipated that this island was the
setting of our camping excursion. I really did not care of the locality
because I assumed Isle Royale to be just like any other campground, on the
outskirts of town between forests and by the wilderness. I myself was
exhilarated about the journey. Stan and I have taken a few trips together
and I find myself to have a dazzling experience after an expedition with
Stan. Story Index
The following week, Stan stops by my house and drags me out of bed inorder
to help him buy some necessities for the trip. When we arrived at
Sportmart, I find myself following Stan to the camping aisle. Stan stops in
front of the dry food section. I was a little disturbed because I thought
we would be ingesting normal food like hot dogs and burgers. However, I
thought wrong. Stan tells me that we will be taking dry food packages
because they are lighter to carry. Suddenly, I anticipated this trip to be
different than I expected. Meanwhile, Stan fills the shopping cart with
food and pays for the items we purchased. On our way back home, Stan fills
me in on the details.
Stan and John decided that we will hike half of the trails on the island
which will give us something to do for the several days we will be there.
He further tells me that there is no type of civilization on the island.
That is, there are NO STORES. I was immediately distressed about the entire
situation. I found myself having second thoughts about the adventure to the
island. However, Stan told me that it would be a unique experience and
somehow conned me into joining him.
The following week, Stan, John, and unfortunately myself packed our camping
gear and we found ourselves on our way to Grand Portage, Minnesota where we
would board a ferry to Isle Royale. I was a bit disappointed because my
back pack was about 50 pounds after I attached my sleeping bag and tent.
The biggest discontentment of it all was we only had room for one bottle of
vodka which had to last us seven days on the isolated island. While we were
driving, I kept telling myself this adventure will not be that bad. On our
journey from Chicago to Grand Portage we saw many fascinating sights that
were very eye-catching. Already, I was feeling better about the whole idea
of camping. Story Index
The following morning we arrived in Grand Portage for our ferry, The
Voyageur. It was an older ship that reminded me of the ship on "Gilligan's
Island" (the television show). Before we boarded the ship, John decided to
rent a canoe so that we can paddle across the smaller lakes within the
island. Shortly afterwards we boarded The Voyageur. It was a dreary
Saturday morning accompanied by a thick fog.
Shortly thereafter we were on our way with an additional thirty hikers. The
island is 45 miles long and 8.5 miles wide. Thus the chance of seeing
people on the island was rare. There are no people who live on the island,
only animals are present. The Vayageur took 90 minutes to arrive to the
closest city on the island. There were three stops The Voyageur made on the
island. We got off at Malone Bay. Once I stepped off of the ferry I began to worry [E] after Stan told me that the ferry only
comes around two days a week. I suddenly began to think what would
happen if I became sick or lost. There would be no one to contact and I
would be left on the island with no one to know of my whereabouts. Than I
began to wonder, what if we are caught in a thunderstorm and the ferry
cannot cross the waters because the waves are too high? What if we run out
of food? What if we die? I became a nervous
wreck and suddenly began kicking myself for going with Stan and John.
Once I fastened my backpack on, and the three of us began carrying the canoe
I found this trip to be a nightmare with no end in sight. Here I find
myself in solitude and isolation with no
contact to anything going on in the world. [E] If
therewas a war, I had no idea. The only concern I had was to survive this nightmare.
The first two days were not that bad. We hiked, ate, paddled across some
lakes, and we slept. A large number of moose live on the island. Their
appearance was quite hideous. Furthermore, one of the rangers told us that
these animals will attack if they feel threatened. This was enough for me,
I could not take the dangers that existed on
this island. [E]
The following morning, Wednesday, I awake to a moose who is right outside
our quarters. John had no fear [E]of the animal, however Stan and I found
ourselves to be this moose's breakfast. I
was pale white and ready to
faint. Stan on the other hand was not as
timorous. Fortunately, the moose walked
away from our tent and left us alone. This
did not reduce the fear I have been feeling for the trip. I abruptly packed my back pack and sternly
told John and Stan that I have had enough
atrocities for three days and I am going home with or without them.
They tried to reduce my hostility but they
had no luck. They were afraid something
would happen to me [E] so they came
along with me. Stan told me there was a ferry
coming tomorrow morning at McCargoe Cove, but our boarding passes were
not until Sunday. I insisted we get there. Story Index
Thus, the journey of traveling three days in one began. That is, we planned
to average approximately nine miles per day before I decided to go home
early. Now, the plan is to travel twenty-seven miles within a day hoping
the captain will have enough room to take us back to civilization.
Otherwise, we are left one the island for an additional three days. I was
determined to do whatever I had to just to get back to the real food,
showers, and the other marvelous necessities we have been given. The
journey seemed endless with no destination in sight. My heart began to
weaken as I just thought about what will I do if I cannot go home tomorrow.
Stan and John were as determined as I was. They did not want to hear me
whimper and moan about the miserable time that I was having anymore.
The day came to an end as the sun set and the rain began to fall. A horrid
downpour made us stop in our tracks with eight miles left to implement
before we got to McCargoe Cove. I shed a tear as I thought that we would
not be able to go home until Sunday. Stan cogently said that if we got this
far then were going to make it the remaining eight miles at sunrise as long
as the rains died down.
When sunrise came, we packed our things and went back on our way. A few
ours went by when we realized we only had one more lake to cross and about a
half a mile to hike. Stan, John, and I were elated. After looking at the
ferry schedule, we estimated that we have three hours to get to the pick up
point. My worries were over, I thought.
We boarded the canoe and began paddling. All three of us began to reminisce
about our experiences which we found amusing. Suddenly, the clouds rolled
in and strong wind began to give us difficulty. The water became choppy and
our canoe was about to tip over along with our gear. We all began to panic
as the waves pushed us up toward the other side of the island. We became
bothersome because our hiking trail was still far away. Suddenly, our canoe
tipped with our gear inside. We pulled the canoe and our backpacks off of
the choppy waters and attempted to look for a trail in the thick forest.
After time slipped away we had no luck. Our only option was to try paddle
through the choppy waters. Frustration was present in all of us. Cogently
we pushed through the seas and with the help of the Man Upstairs, we made it
to our last trail. Shortly thereafter we made it to McCargoe Cove just
minutes before The Voyageur came into the harbor. Story Index
I was so enthused that I was ready to swim to the boat from the shore.
However, when the ferry came to shore we approached it as if today was our
scheduled day to leave (even though it was not until Sunday). The captain
DENIED us access to board the ship because he said he was already at maximum
capacity. I made up a story and told the captain that I have asthma and
that I ran out of my medication. He seemed to be sympathetic but said that
he could only take two of us after I begged for him to help us. I even
tried to bribe the captain but he still said it would be too dangerous. So
guess what happened, Stan, John, and I ended up staying at that one part of
the island until Sunday. I felt that I was being punished for going on this
trip. Many demented thoughts crossed my mind. For example, I thought about
canoeing to Grand Portage. Another thought I had was to try to make an
S.O.S fire out of the forest. Stan and John retained me from doing anything
crazy and I just restlessly waited for the ferry on Sunday.
I cannot remember the last time I cried since this trip. However, I am
happy I went on this trip because I appreciate everything that society has
contributed to the world. For example, having a McDonald's or any other
fast food place is like a gift from God. Yet, a valuable lesson was
experienced: the conditions that our first ancestors had to deal with were
unbearable. Moreover, never again will I go on another camping trip.
Emotion Structure of the Story
- I(the author, Mark)
- Fear. S The narrator is fearful
about what would happen in the event something went wrong on the isolated
island. The narrator expects the ferry to come around every day in case
some one was seriously injured. This is why the narrator is worried.
- Temporal proximity: 0.7 (someone can be hurt, for example, a
sprained ainkle or broken leg from hiking)
- Certainty: 0.8 (the chances of a sprained ainkle are quite
likely since the hiking trails are pretty rugged)
- Importance to Agent: 7 (The narrator seems worried about the
potential dangers that exist)
- Resentment. S The narrator is unhappy
that the ferry only comes to the island twice a week. He thought there would be
atleast a clinic or an emergency boat that would come in the event of a
- Worthiness: 4 (The narrator believes he deserves more safety)
- Importance of notifying someone in the event of a problem: 7
(The narrator's life can be in danger and getting medical help on an
island is difficult.
- Fears confirmed. S The narrator is
unhappy after he analyzes possible dangers that could occur. Isle Royale
pamphlets confirm that there are only two days a week that a ship arrives at
the island. He wants to find a way to get back to Grand Portage where he
believes it is much safer.
- Skepticism: 4 (The narrator can not determine whether he will
survive the camping trip safely)
- Disappointment. S Not long after the
narrator arrives on his camping vacation he is already disappointed with the
circumstances. The narrator is irritated and perceives the trip as a bad
dream. He wishes the conditions on the island would change immediately so
that he can enjoy himself.
- Failure: 7 (The narrator sees no hope in having a good time)
- Disapproval: 10 (The narrator would have never approved a such a
trip if he knew all of the circumstances)
- Hate. S The narrator dislikes being
in solitude and isolation. He perceives the island to be just as bad as
prison. The narrator is furious because he is wasting his time on this
island. He wants to go back to civilization where he can enjoy himself.
- Blameworthiness-praiseworthiness: 9 (The narrator feels he is to
blame Stan for conning him into going on the trip. The narrator
feels he should also blame himself for going to this deserted
- emotional-interrelatedness: 5 (The narrator seems overly
concerned about his presence on the island)
- Importance to agent of having principle upheld: 2 (Although the
narrator notes the principle of his hatred, he does not feel there
is anything he can do to change his position at the present time.
- Distress. S The narrator is unhappy
he is on this island. He would like to find out how his family is doing.
- emotional-interrelatedness: 5 (The narrator is displeased about
his decision to experience a camping trip)
- Importance to agent of having principle upheld: 4 (The narrator
agreed to his presence on the island. He violated it in pursuit of
- Relief. S The narrator is pleased
about the first two days of camping. He did not expect to go this long
without anything terrible happenning. The narrator finds himself having a
better time than he anticipated.
- Satisfaction: 1 (The narrator is sattisfied with the recreation
time he is spending on the island)
- Temporal Proximity: 0.5 (The narrator's vacation has just
begun. The rest of the events can not yet be determined)
- Importance to agent of having achieved goal: 2 (The narrator did
not expect to have a good time when he came to the island.
Fortunately, the trip is not as bad as the narrator previously
- Resentment. S The narrator wishes
the island was free from harm. He is afraid of animals attacking him. The
narrator is displeased that the animals are harmful. He hopes he does not
encounter a mouse.
- Worthiness:4 (The narrator feels he deserves better than the
- Importance to narrator of having principle upheld:5 (The
narrator likes the presence of challenges, however not when there is
wild animals on the loose)
- Emotional Interrelatedness:7 (The narrator seems to be concerned
with the mouse's actions)
- Reproach. S The narrator does not
approve of the person that would allow such insecurity for hikers. Most of
all, he is upset with his friends because they did not tell him all of the
circumstances in advance. The narrator believes he should have been warned
of the environment on the island.
- Blameworthiness-praiseworthiness:3 (The narrator feels Stan and
John should have confronted him in detail about the things that
occur on the island)
- Importance to agent of having principle upheld:5 (The narrator
notes that the principles have been violated, and seems to feels it
is important because dangers exist on the island)
- Emotional-interrelatedness: 6(The narrator seems to be concerned
- Fears confirmed. S The narrator was
displeased after he heard the ranger say that mouse are dangerous animals.
The narrator does not desire threats to his personal well being. The ranger
has convinced the narrator that the island is exposed to harm. Thus, the
narrator is looking forward to a safer place, however he does not know where
to go for safety on the island.
- Skepticism:1 (The narrator is pretty convinced that dangers
exist. He is pretty certain about the dangers that face him.
- Joy. S John seemed pleased because
he has been able to see a mouse up close. He was happy the animal was
outside of the tent.
- Satisfaction:3 (John was happy he finally seen a mouse, however,
was cautious when the animal appeared in front of our tent)
- Importance to agent of having principle upheld:5 (One of John's
goals was to see a mouse. He was delighted but knew of the dangers
the animal presented.
- Happy-for. S John was happy of the
mouse's presence. Yet, he still desired to get a picture of the animal.
- Delightedness:6 (For the first time John has seen a mouse up
close. He found the animal fascinating.
- Importance to agent of having principle upheld:5 (After John
seen the mouse he still wanted to take a picture of the animal but
knew it is too dangerous since he had no protection from the animal)
- Disliking. S Stan and the narrator
disliked the presence of the mouse and found themselves in a dangerous
situation. The mouse's appearance was not appealing to them because they
found the animal to be unattractive and obeist. They wished they were
anywhere else in the world that did not portray such danger.
- Abhorrence:7 (The narrator and his friend hated the idea of the
mouse attacking and then eating them alive. They found the animals
appearance disgust. They did not want anything to do with the life
- Distressed (Fear). S The narrator
was displeased due to the mouse's presence and found the animal horrid. The
narrator is frightened and does not want to look at the animal anymore.
- Apprehensiveness:7 (The narrator is afraid of the animal and is
unwilling to look at it anymore. If he does than he is worried
something will happen to him.
- Temporal Proximity:0.9 (because the mouse is present before the
- Certainty:0.8 (The narrator is about to faint but he might not
faint as long as he does not look at the mouse again)
- Effort:1 (It appears appears the narrator is experiencong a
frightful situation and he has no control over it)
- Pride. S Stan showed more poise and
was more calm than the narrator. He seemed bothersome by the mouse's presence but he was able to emotionally control himself.
- Importance to agent of having principle upheld:3 (Stan was under
control of his fears because he knew if he felt fearful then the
mouse may attack)
- Emotional Interrelatedness:1 (Stan seamed to be cautious and
calm of the mouse's presence)
- Relief. S The narrator is pleased
about the mouse walking away form the tent. He expected the mouse to cause
a problem but it did not. This is why the narrator is happy the mouse left
- Satisfaction:7 (The narrator is satisfied with the outcome, the
mouse not causing any physical harm)
- Temporal Proximity:0.8 (Because the mouse just left the
- Importance to narrator of havung principle upheld:8 (The
narrator was afraid the animal would harm him, he would be injured
if the animal did attack him. The narrator hoped the mouse would
leave peacefully and eventually it did)
- Anger (Fears confirmed). S The narrator
has experienced too many inhuman events and is displeased with the entire
situation. The narrator feels there are too many undesirable events. This is
why he is upset and wants to leave the island.
- Animosity:7 (The narrator is fed up with the conditions and is
determined to leave the island)
- Emotional-Interrelatedness:6 (The narrator is displeased where
he is at. He is convinced he needs to get off of the island)
- Failure (Disappointment). S Two of
the agents, Stan and John, had no luck calming down the narrator. The
narrator would not listen to them and only had one thing in mind: getting
safely back to civilization. Stan and John were displeased they couldn't
reduce the narrator's emotions. They found themselves out of control of the situation.
- Deficiency:6 (Stan and John did not do an adequate job of
reducing the narrators tensions)
- Emotional-Interrelatedness:2 (Stan and John were displeased
about the narrator's determination to go home, but they really did
not mind that much because they also started to show signs of
- Sorry-for. S Stan and John were
displeased the narrator was not enjoying himself. Stan felt responsible for
the narrator being disappointed so he did not want the narrator to become
- Importance to agent of having principle upheld:7 (Stan was
afraid that if they did not go with the narrator then there was a
chance he would lose a friend. Stan did not want to face anymore
- Emotional Interrelatedness:8 (Stan and the narrator are good
friends and Stan seems to be concerned with the narrators actions)
- Fear. S Stan and John were afraid
that if something happened to the narrator then they would have a difficult
time explaining what happened to the narrator when they went back home. They
did not look forward to anymore emotional breakdowns so they went with the
narrator. This is why they were afraid of letting the narrator leave on his
- Temporal Proximity:0.8 (because in the near future the narrator
- Certainty:0.9 (The narrator is about to leave, however he may be
afraid to leave on his own.
- Effort:3 (It appears Stan and John have invested some thought
and effort into letting the narrator leave on his own because they
were afraid something might happen to him)
- Importance to Agents:9 (Stan and John would be worried all day
and night if the narrator made it safely to the ferry)
- Liking. S The narrator was happy he
had an opportunity to go home the next day on the ferry. He was prepared to
take any risks that were not yet known. This is why he found the ferry coming tomorrow appealing.
- Affection:2 (The hikers were fond of the idea of going home the
- Importance to agents:4 (The narrator seemed overwhelmed about the
idea of going back to civilization. However, Stan and John did not
show as much emotion as the narrator.
- The narrator is a good friend of Stan.
- The narrator is a distant friend of John. They may be described
- Stan and John are brothers.
- Isle Royale
- The ferry: The Voyageur
- Drop off point: Malone Bay
- Pick up point: McCargoe Cove
- AUTHOR worries.
- AUTHOR feels his safety is threatened.
- AUTHOR thinks of problems that may occur.
- AUTHOR panics.
- AUTHOR is frightened.
- AUTHOR feels he is in a bad dream.
- AUTHOR shows some likeness for the trip.
- JOHN is happy to see a mouse.
- AUTHOR and Stan are petrified when they see the mouse, however,
AUTHOR is more worried than STAN.
- AUTHOR does not like mouse.
- AUTHOR is relieved after mouse leaves campsite.
- AUTHOR is disgusted and despises the island.
- AUTHOR is determined to leave the island because of the numerous
threats to his safety.
- STAN and JOHN feel sorry for AUTHOR having a bad time.
- STAN, JOHN, and AUTHOR begin hiking to the next pick up point.
- JOHN, STAN, and AUTHOR get off the ferry.
- JOHN, STAN, and AUTHOR get to hike, paddle across some lakes,
eat, and sleep.
- A mouse approaches the tent where JOHN, STAN, and AUTHOR are
- Mouse leaves the camping ground.
- JOHN, STAN, and AUTHOR pack their gear and begin to hike to the
next pick up point.
- JOHN, STAN, and AUTHOR get off the ferry and begin their
- JOHN, STAN, and AUTHOR carry their backpacks and canoe as they
begin to hike.
- JOHN, STAN, and AUTHOR hike, paddle across some lakes, eat, and
- Mouse appoaches the tent where JOHN, STAN, AND AUTHOR are
- The mouse leaves the camping ground.
- Author abruptly packs his gear and is ready to go to a safer
- JOHN and STAN follow the AUTHOR to the next pick up point.
- AUTHOR wishes the island was safe.
- AUTHOR wishes the ferry came around to the island everyday.
- AUTHOR wants contact to the world that is around him.
- AUTHOR does not want the mouse to attack him.
- AUTHOR wants to leave the island.
- JOHN wants to take a picture of the mouse.
- STAN and JOHN want try to change the mind of the AUTHOR.
- AUTHOR wants to make it to the next pick up point at McCargoe
- AUTHOR: people should tell you all the details when something,
like a camping trip, is extraordinary.
- AUTHOR: there should be more safety on the island-- someone can
be seriously hurt with wild animals running around.
- NARRATOR: Isolated islands are not attractive.
- NARRATOR: Junk food tastes much better than dried food.
- NARRATOR: Mouse are not attractive animals. Furthermore, they
are extremely dangerous.
- NARRATOR: Going on a vacation to an abondoned island is
frightening if you are not prepared for it.
- NARRATOR: Staying at home is sometimes the best vacation one may