- I am at two with nature. Woody Allen
Up to 200 people each year take three weeks "through hiking" the 200 mile long Superior Hiking Trail, starting at one of the trail that stretches from the Canadian border to Two Harbors, MN.
My friend Cary and I will not be among them.
But we are tackling the route in sections that fit our stamina and ability to be gone from our jobs. We're hoping to hike about 25 miles over three days this weekend. It's a start. Rather than our usual meandering annual jaunt, this year we have A PLAN. We are starting on the north end of the trail and walking south until we get to Duluth. We estimate it will take 10 years unless both get fired and have little else to do with our lives.
Cary Griffith is an expert on being lost. I am not sure I find that a comfort. His book Lost in the Wild (a classic in the survival genre) is a fantastic read and should be in every middle and high school library on the planet, especially for reluctant male readers. If they weren't reluctant readers before they started the book, they will be afterward. (That's a joke.) Even if I wasn't Cary's friend and even I wasn't given prominence - OK, mention - in the acknowledgements, I would still recommend this compelling story.
If you would like a sample of Mr. Griffith's prose, try "Surviving Cascade," a re-telling of the manly adventures of the author, his friend Doug, and their boys - Nick, Noah and Brady. It recounts the hike our sons still lovingly refer to as "The Death March." (See, boys, didn't we tell you that you really don't need all your toes?)
Here is part of the trail's description from its official website:
The Trail is routed principally along the ridgeline overlooking Lake Superior. At its lowest point, the Trail goes along the lakeshore, which is 602 feet above sea level. At its highest point the Trail is 1750 feet above sea level and more than 1000 feet above Lake Superior. The Trail is characterized by ascents to rock outcroppings and cliffs, and descents into numerous river and creek valleys crossed by attractive and functional bridges. Panoramic overlooks of Lake Superior, the Sawtooth Mountains and inland woodlands, lakes and rivers are abundant along the length of the Trail. At many points, the Trail follows rivers and creeks, often for distances of a mile or more, show-casing waterfalls and rapids, bends and deep gorges where thousands of years of rushing water has cut into layers of ancient volcanic rock.
I can attest to the region's beauty and ruggedness. It will be an awesome hike. Oh, the last website update from May 17th indicated there was still snow in areas along the trail. I'm packing my long johns. And the LWW suggested I bring aspirin for mornings after sleeping on the ground.
Anyway the Blue Skunk will be off line for a few days. Enjoy the respite.