Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Monday, February 16, 2009

"New" NCT Clubs Members

Gary & Gail Rasanen
Gary & Gail Rasanen with their Karelian Bear Dogs (photo by J Young)
by Joan H. Young

This entry into the unofficial long-distance hiking clubs of the North Country Trail is long overdue. However, for readers of this blog, let me first explain the "clubs."

A few years ago, in an attempt to at least begin to collect names of people who have hiked more than 200 miles of the North Country Trail, I asked folks to notify me when they had reached that milestone. That's figurative, of course, we'd be happy for blazes on some of the trail, let alone actual mile markers! Most people have been eager to share their accomplishments, and are willing to have their names added to the web site.

There are eight people who have now followed the entire North Country Trail. The first was Carolyn Hoffman who hiked and biked the route before there was much trail completed. She chose to ride a bicycle over the road sections, but she is generally recognized as the first person to follow the complete route. Since then Peter Wolfe, Chet Fromme, Ed Talone, Andy Skurka, Allen Shoup, Don Beattie, and Bart Smith have completed the entire North Country Trail on foot.

I'm next closest to completion with 3518 miles done... more miles than Carolyn covered and fast closing on Chet, who did not do the Arrowhead route. The trail has evolved and grown since then. And there is one person who plans to attempt a thru-hike this coming summer. I'll introduce you to him in a future post.

But there are quite a few people who have successfully hiked a nice chunk of the NCT beyond their own back yards. Their info is now linked from the sidebar of this blog as well as from the North Country Trail Association web page. You can click on the footprints and a popup will open- no ads.

OK, back to Gary and Gail. Last spring I was hiking the NCT in Michigan's Upper Peninsula near Marquette. I met a couple, with 3 dogs, who were also out hiking. It seems that they are working their way across the UP, and they estimated their total miles at just over 200. And they may have added to it last summer. They've hiked most everything from the Two-Hearted River to Grand Marais, and also from Marquette to the Porkies.

I have to offer them my apologies for the belated addition of their names and photo. First I had to wait till I could afford to get my films developed. And then I had to find the paper with their names and info. But I finally got it all together. So welcome to the clubs, Gary and Gail Rasanen!

If you have hiked more than 200 different miles of the North Country Trail, please let me know. J. Young
See Running Bear Dog for more about the Rasanens and their dogs

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