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.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nimblewill Nomad Enters Minnesota

NimblewillNomad hiking
from Lakeland PBS
from the journal of Nimblewill Nomad

Nimblewill Nomad left Lake Sakakawea on March 22, beginning a planned thru-hike of the North Country Trail. Almost immediately a blizzard hit the upper Midwest!

March 23- "We've been listening to the weather report and it isn't good. Blizzard conditions are forecast to begin late this afternoon. We can see it, it's coming. Gordon suggests I stick to ND200 and keep heading east. That's what Ed Talone and Gordon's sister, Sue, did when finishing their westbound NCT hike under similar conditions back in October 2004. So stick to ND200 it is."

March 26 - "Another day to wait, holed up in Underwood, though we do make an attempt. I try getting out this morning, in the wind, the snow, with wind chill around zero, but turn back due to concern about Gordon and the van. With street tires it's hard getting the van to go, and when rolling, it's scary trying to haul 'er down. The roads have been scraped but remain pretty much solid ice. We had a half-inch of freezing rain before the snow came in last Monday. Over a foot has since accumulated and it's near white-out again as I write this. US83 is ice, as is ND200. There's been no sanding or salting, even at the intersections. Vehicles are in the ditches along--a very bad situation."

March 31- "The roadwalk is certainly much shorter again today. On ND200, I'll cover only 22 miles. But as the day progresses, do these 22 miles become the most difficult extended miles I've ever had to endure through the cold. Temperature's started out in the low 20s, with heavy snow, driven by a northeast wind that quartered me from the left front--25 per, gusting to the high 30s, all day."

April 5- "Talked to a local during dinner last, at the Steak Out next our motel. His family runs cattle on the Grasslands--the NCT crosses nearby. He was very familiar with the trail. 'No way to hike through there now,' he remarked, 'drifted snow, ice, flooding, too risky--you couldn't find the trail.' Oh my, so okay, way it looks now folks, North Dakota will be a total roadwalk. I did hike, oh maybe 100 yards of certified trail by the sign at Lake Sakakawea--that's it!"

April 8- (in Minnesota) "The road east, out of Rothsay, is closed due to flooding. Locals direct us around. The terrain is changing rapidly now, from the plains, the prairie, to wooded, rolling hills. It's certainly a welcome change. There are actually places where the wind doesn't blow! There's a bit of designated trail in Maplewood SP. I hike over that way, but then go on past. Western Minnesota's had lots of snow, and most of it's still around. No way to hike the park trail; park roads aren't even plowed. Just keep hammerin' the roads, old man. Spring'll get here, sooner or later-later."

Read all of Nimblewill Nomad's Journal
See interview with Nimblewill Nomad on Lakeland PBS (segment starts at about 11.75 minutes)

No comments: