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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Thinking About This Year's Big Hike

For three years now I've been trying to put together the plans to hike the Minnesota Arrowhead on my quest to hike the entire North Country National Scenic Trail. (My current total is 3314 miles, with about 900 to go.)

I'm pretty sure that the Arrowhead hike is really going to happen in May. Looks like there are four people going, with a fifth in the wings if one drops out.

So... I have to get busy with plans pretty soon! But with confirmation that at least three of the group is firmly committed my enthusiasm is beginning to build. We'll do about 120 miles: north of Judge Magney State Park on the Superior Hiking Trail to the Border Route Trail to the Kekekabic Trail (all part of the NCT). This is the most remote and possibly dangerous section of the entire route. Dangerous because it is possible to become lost without careful attention to details.

I'm feeling confident about the members of this group, and about the timing. Two past potential plans were scrapped because the Forest Service has closed sections of the region to hikers in late summer due to fire risk. A major blowdown in 2000 closed the entire BRT and Kek for over a year. Since then, between controlled burns and a couple of forest fires the current fire risk is reduced but trail maintenance has become very difficult. (Reasons are complicated and possibly of interest only to dedicated trail people.)

Anyway, May is a good time. The trick is to get in after the ice and snow are pretty much gone, but before the black flies hatch. I don't know if we'll manage to miss all the black flies. But what we will catch is the benefit of the trail crews who go in to do maintenance during May.

I'm getting excited!


Anonymous said...

And this is also a wonderful blogging idea! Thank you so much for stopping by my pattern page to introduce yourself and lead me to this great read.

Please do start a blog from your old patterns - just don't forget to send me the link to share!

Ratty said...

I like to stop and ask the maintenance crews on the trails about a million questions. After you talk for a few minutes, they open up and have good stuff to tell.

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