Thursday, August 2, 2018

3 to 113

It's been a while since I posted something here. Life did throw me a curve ball last year and my adventure of 2017 ended up being an exploration of the health care system.

Now that I'm sewn together again (literally) I need to get back to doing stuff again. There is still the Crazy Local Ride Ideas. I successfully completed visiting all towns on a bicycle ride in Story County but the same for Boon County still needs to be done. So what better way to go start things out, going from 3 to 113?

Yes, I haven't been doing much riding lately. Only commutes to work which are about 3 miles one way. This makes it more of a challenge to visit all 11 towns.  What better way to have fun?

Watch my twitter feed to see when I start and cheer me on.

Towns of Boone County Route

Sunday, September 25, 2016

10 Different Routes Challenge

I guess I have a chronic disease that causes me to get bored of a "normal" life.  So I seem to seek always something crazy to spice my life up.  But on the same side I don't want to give up the "normal" life either.  Anyway here's my latest thing, the 10 different routes challenge:

Without really verifying that it's possible, I pledged to commute by bicycle to work and back using 10 significantly different routes.  The ultimate goal is to do this within a week.  You are welcome to join me in this ridiculous challenge.  Feel free to leave a message below how it's going for you or tweet using #10diffRoutes .

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Superior Hiking Trail

I spent eight days hiking the northern most 120 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail.  My car was parked at the Lake County Road trailhead as I was initially planning to hike a longer distance (see Hey wasn't that supposed to be a thru-hike?).  I took Harriet's shuttle up to the Otter Lake Road trailhead.  She gave the scenic route and took me to top of Palisade Head and a tour through Grand Marais on the way there.

Palisade Head

Of course I had to climb the 270 degree overlook before heading south on the SHT.  The views from the overlook are amazing and it's a worthy terminus.  Of course at that time it's my first overlook from which I did see the vast expanses of the trees.  It might have been more boring if you'd hiked already from Duluth up to here.

End of the Superior Trail

Canada-US Border

Highest Elevation

The first day already shared with me the highest point of the SHT hiking trail as well as blisters on the heels of both feet.  I shared the Jackson Creek Pond campsite with two other ladies that were planning to do a thru-hike as well at a slower pace.

The next morning I was a bit rushed in breaking the camp as it started to rain and water pooled up at the camp site.  The second night I spend at Hazel campsite which I didn't share until late at night.  I didn't see Mike until later during the third day of hiking when he provided me with moleskin and medical tape for proper taping of the blisters.  I only had duck tape and a few band aids.

Devils Kettle

Woods Creek

Board Walk

The next day I went to Grand Marais to get tape and moleskin for the rest of the trip.  While I was in town I met Mike again and hiked with him to the South Bally Creek Pond campsite for my fourth night out on the trail.

BTW, Mike already has some long thru-hikes under his belt and has some crazy ones planned for the future.  His adventures can be followed at his Improbable But Possible blog.

Sundling Creek Dam

Caution Trucks (but there was nothing but trees and this little path)

The trail passed many amazing and sometimes huge beaver dams, some of which the path goes across, as seen on the photo of the Sundling Creek. The Brule River, Cascade River, Temperance River and many smaller rivers have awesome gorges, waterfalls and rapids.

After slipping and falling off a 3 to 4 foot high half broken bridge I ended up with a healthy dose of gephyrophobia of two planks wide or fewer bridges and boardwalk of which there were plenty.  Luckily besides some bruises I wasn't hurt and nothing was damaged.

I also saw three trees falling during my hike and heard that a bear took the food from a camp site near which I stayed two days earlier.

Rest Time

Lookout Mountain

Becoming wet is just part of such a long trip. So I started the practice to take a longer lunch break where I'd dry out the tent, sleeping bag and anything else that could benefit from the sun.

Hunters Rock

Lake Agnes

Poplar River

On Saturday I meet a large portion of the runners that were doing the 100, 50, or 26 miles.  That was quite the change of the solitude that I enjoyed earlier but wasn't so bad that I couldn't get miles in for that day.

During the same week I was on the trail, the freshman groups of Northwestern University had their outing.  It did cause me to have to find other campsites on several occasion, since their group of 10 pretty much takes over the whole campsite. I.e. I had to skip the nice campsite at Lake Agnes.  A swim in that lake would have been nice.  But I did get to swim in Lake Superior, that was great and definitely a highlight of my trip.

SHT Race Signage

Gondola to Moose Mountain

I ordered some Leukotape from Amazon with one-day shipping and had it sent to my Lutsen resupply point.  The tape I had from Grand Marais wasn't very wide and this one is much nicer to tape the blisters.  Unfortunately logistics caused the shipment to be delayed a day so I was waiting all afternoon for the UPS truck in Lutsen.  To make up some lost time I took the gondola out of Lutsen.  The spur trail connecting the upper gondola station to the SHT was quite scenic.

SHT, the Rugged Trail

Moose Mountain Spur Trail

As mentioned in the Hey wasn't that supposed to be a thru-hike? post I started to decide not to attempt the thru-hike but finish at my car.  But then the unfortunate situation where I couldn't find my scissors to cut the moleskin and tape up my feet for the 8th day prompted me to terminate the hike.

As mentioned I've seen a lot that can be seen at the trail and I think I was ready to finish the trip anyway.  So on the 8th day I hiked to the trail head from Sugarloaf Pond campsite and hitched a ride back to my car in Two Harbors.

Temperance River

Superior Lake


  • Day 1: 9.5 miles from Otter Lake Road trailhead to Jackson Creek Pond campsite via 270 Degree Overlook
  • Day 2: 13.2 miles from Jackson Creek Pond campsite to Hazel campsite
  • Day 3: 23.4 miles from Hazel campsite to Durfee Creek campsite
  • Day 4: 16.6 miles from Durfee Creek campsite to South Bally Creek Pond campsite (additional 3.5 miles were hitchhiked into Grand Marais)
  • Day 5: 20.3 miles from South Bally Creek Pond campsite to West Lake Agnes campsite
  • Day 6: 14 miles from West Lake Agnes campsite to West Leveaux Pond campsite (additional 1 mile via gondola)
  • Day 7: 21.7 miles West Leveaux Pond campsite to Sugar Loaf Pond campsite
  • Day 8: 1.3 miles and hitchhiked 47 miles back to the car