Entries to Win Afghan

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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

NCTA Celebration - Almost - Day 309

  This is a totally lame blog post, but it will have to do for today. Bill and I have arrived in Walker, MN for the NCTA Annual Celebration. Today was just sign in and get settled, which we have accomplished. The organized events start tomorrow morning.
conference registration

I managed to not take any other pictures. Lots of saying hello to people and finding things, and getting questions answered. I promise to do better tomorrow.

Everyone wants to know what hikes I'm going on. The answer is not very many. I'm giving my body a genuine rest for the next 3 days.

See All Connected

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

All Connected - Day 308

  Bill and I finished the Border Route Trail today, and did the northernmost mile of the Superior Hiking Trail. There are now no gaps left for me to fill in, and hopefully I won't make any new ones.

Here I am at the 270-degree overlook at the northern terminus of the SHT. I like this picture.
hiker on mountain

You can see that the colors are coming into their glory.
fall colors

All waterways we crossed today were easy with good bridges. This is the Stump River.
Stump River

The Border Route just never stops with the vistas. This is some cliff on the Canada side.
cliff with fall leaves

This island is in South Fowl Lake just on the Canadian side of the line. There was a tiny cabin on it we could see by looking carefully.
island

This picnic table has a story. It's been here, right here, at least since 2009, but there is a 1999 date carved on it. One end is half buried in the ground, so I'm quite sure it hasn't been moved an inch. When four of us hiked this before (Marie, Ed, Lyle, and I), we were so surprised to find a picnic table in the middle of nowhere that we sat down and ate, just because we could. Bill and I did the same thing today. Now, it's listed as a campsite. Bill contemplated how many people might have slept on the table since the ground was really lumpy.
hiker resting on a picnic table

We had to hike an extra tenth of a mile UP to actually reach the 270-degree overlook, but it was really spectacular. This is the view south.
SHT overlook

Miles today: 12.4 (plus the 0.1 x 2). Total miles so far: 3594.3.

Now, I'll get a significant break from hiking. We are headed back to Walker, MN for the NCTA Celebration. I'm looking forward to it! I'll get the catch-up posts from the Border Route done as I can.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Here We Go - Day 303

  David, Bill and I have a few logistics to do today, but then we will be backpacking.

You may remember that David hiked with me a few winter days early with me on this trip, and Bill is over 400 miles with me on this trip. They are both back to do the Border Route.

This should be good! The weather forecast looks great, and we just have to do a final packing of the packs and stage cars.
friends

See Into the Wilderness

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Into the Wilderness - Day 302

  Today we entered the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Most of the Border Route Trail is inside the boundary, but not all of it.
hiker

Lots of nifty overlooks. Marie's last day with me.
hikers

Most of where we walked was along the south side of Gunflint Lake. This shot shows most of the lake.
Gunflint Lake

I really love the blue waters- and it's all Canada on the other side. That's why it's the Border Route. But there were little details to enjoy as well. These are Indian Pipes that are ready to go to seed. The curved pipes lift their heads straight up.
Indian Pipes


Best tiny find of the day- some pretty slime mold.
slime mold

We did not find a BWCAW sign where we entered the wilderness. But when we took the spur trail back to the car we found a sign.
BWCAW sign
BWCAW sign

More big changes tomorrow. Backpacking begins, so we'll be off line for a few days. Don't get worried.

Miles today: 10.1 that count (plus 1.2 on spurs). Total miles so far: 3547.5.

See Magnetic Rock

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Magnetic Rock - Day 301

  And we have begun the Border Route Trail section of the NCT! The first two days can be done as day hikes, and that is what we are doing.

One of the outstanding natural features of this piece of trail- of the entire NCT- is Magnetic Rock. It's a 60-foot tall monolith that begs the imagination. How did it get there? Well, supposedly as a result of the glaciers. But seriously, why is this one rock standing on end? Maybe aliens dropped it from a spaceship. Maybe Thor hurled it there.

The rock is primarily iron ore, and it makes compasses go nuts. Bill held one near it in several different places. On one side, using the sun to determine the correct location of north, we could see that the rock pulled the compass off by 90 degrees.
Magnetic Rock


Marie is doing the two day hikes with us, and she chose today to celebrate her 100 Mile Challenge. We haven't kept close track of her miles, but she has to be well over 100.
Hike 100

We needed to cross the Cross River on a road bridge, and were a little concerned as we approached, but the bridge is there and we didn't even have to beg to walk through the construction zone. Whew!
Cross River Bridge

After that, we climbed to an overlook above the river. (We also had to hunt a bit for the trail, but Marie found it!)
Cross River

Marie and Bill above the Cross River.
friends

In the afternoon we were south of Gunflint Lake with some beautiful views. The water in the foreground is Gunflint, and beyond that narrow place (which incidentally is near the Cross River Bridge) is Magnetic Lake.
Gunflint Lake

More day hiking tomorrow with the 3 of us.

Miles today that count: 8.0 (and 0.2 that don't count). Total miles so far: 3537.4.

See Look What's Happening
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