Isle Royale National Park's Ranger III docked in Houghton Thursday afternoon after being lodged in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin since October 2013.
The Ranger III came through just after noon from North Portage Entry. Crews say the three day trip was exhausting, as there is still much ice out on the lake.
The long winter pushed the National Park Service three weeks behind schedule. Captain Bill Hanrahan says they had to go all the way around the Keweenaw Peninsula because South Portage Entry had too much ice.
â??Quite still nasty out on the lake. We came through lots of ice last night, floating plates, some of the stuff was five-, six-foot thick,â?? said Hanrahan.
Crews will be busy making final preparations to the ship before she sets for Isle Royale for the first time this season on Tuesday.