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Showing posts from August, 2012

Baptism in the Quetico: Part 3

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The following series is a narrative from my first canoeing trip back over a decade ago into the wilderness of the Quetico. In this episode we camp at the end of the portage and then make it to the island campsite on Baptism Lake.
Dusk descended and two more portages loomed ahead. However, once all the gear and canoes were at the end of the portage there was no way we were going to do another one. The next portage was just across a small pond.
Exhausted, I felt dismayed that my favorite shoes were soaked and my best pants were covered with mud up to my knees. I had enough for one day. We pitched tents on the rocky soil at the end of the portage and prayed no one would come through the portage early the next day.
3 Names and I shared a tent. I placed my shoes outside with my socks hoping they would dry. They didn’t. The roar of the falls ahead kept me awake. It also drove me crazy.I should have brought earplugs.In addition I realized my sleeping pad was not very good. I tossed and tur…

Baptism in the Quetico: Part 2

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The following is part 2 in a series on my first canoe trip into the wilderness of the Quetico which occurred over a decade ago. I will provide some annotations to the tale.In this episode we fight off one of the toughest portages.
Our route consisted of more twists and turns. Ruth and I disembarked once again as the canoes were pulled over a beaver dam that blocked the width of the stream. Getting into the canoes we put on our bug netting, since the gnats were getting bad. So far, I was clean and pretty dry. I really did not want to soil my fine hiking shoes and expedition pants and I didn’t think I would have to. Nearing seven, we reached the first portage. Efficiency in portaging is a must, otherwise you’ll be going back and forth quite a bit. So carrying as much as possible helps tremendously. Our first portage was measured around 80 rods I think-- not long but not really short either. With the canoes on shore we removed all the packs and placed them in a pile. I then helped 3 Names…

Journey to the center of North America: part 8

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Way back in July 2010 the Man of 3 Names and I set out from Grand Forks, ND on bicycles to sojourn to the Center of North America (Rugby.) I do not recall much from this part of the trip except my rear tire was causing me problems endlessly. However, now the conclusion of our journey.

Waking in a hotel was not my intention but it felt good. Moreover they did have breakfast- and what the construction workers did not devour earlier in the morn, I ate. I think 3 Names had some too but I am not sure.
Before heading out we stopped at K-Mart a picked up a patch kit for my tire. They did not have a replacement tube for a 700x35 presta.
Back on US-2 we made good time until I had another flat. I repaired the flat next to a round bale and we were on our way again. The shoulders were wider this side of Devil's Lake but the traffic was much heavier.
We lunched in Michigan City and I noted that they grocery store was part of a complex that included a cafe, post office, and the high school. We …

Journey to the center of North America: Part 8

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Way back in July 2010 the Man of 3 Names and I set out from Grand Forks, ND on bicycles to sojourn to the Center of North America (Rugby.) I continue this story as we head east on US 2 from the cairn in Rugby, ND.
From the Center of North America 3 Names and I got on US Highway 2 and headed east towards Devil's Lake. Little did I know that this would be the longest part of any journey I have ever taken on 2 wheels.
As we leave Rugby we meet a lady and her family that are doing a cross country bike tour. She had a support van so we knew we were really the hardcore ones out on the wide shoulder. We were doing good time since we had a strong tail wind pushing us.
Not long after I experienced a rear flat. Luckily we were close to a wayside rest where I was able to repair it in about a half hour.
Back on the road we began to notice our large shoulders diminish to less the a foot of usable space. Pretty scary since cars and large trucks generally sped by at high speeds but fortunately …

Journey to the center of North America: Part 7

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Way back in July 2010 the Man of 3 Names and I set out from Grand Forks, ND on bicycles to sojourn to the Center of North America (Rugby.) It has been while since I have written about it so the details will be sketchy, but I felt I needed to complete this one before I move onto the latest bike trip.
   
Here are the previous posts for you to catch up on
Part 1: Leaving Grand Forks
Part 2: Towards the border
Part 3: From Hoople to Walhalla
Part 4: Out of the Gorge and a change of plans
Part 5: Independence in Munich
Part 6: Night at the Hawk Museum

I continue this story as we leave the Hawk Museum and head towards the center of North America in Rugby.


  I cannot say enough about the Hawk Museum camp we made. It was cool. We were surrounded by tons of old iron. There was a shower. And it was cheap. I think we may have paid just $5 for both of us. What a deal!
With still a chill in the air we left behind the surroundings of the Hawk Museum and got back on State Route 17 enroute to what…