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.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gordon Lachinet Nearing the 1000 Mile Club

Gordon Lachinet
Gordon Lachinet)

OutdoorBlips: vote it up!
by JHY, based on Gordon's journal and personal communication

Gordon Lachinet keeps vowing that he’s not going to do any more long hikes, but every time he gets home from one he’s quickly cooking up plans for another. Now he’s realized just how close he is getting to becoming a member of the unofficial 1000 Mile NCT Club, so he suspects that he’ll be tempted into the woods again. He’s affectionately known to many hikers as “Grumpy Gord,” nevertheless, he’s agreed to let me share some of his experiences with you.

This summer he checked out some of the great trail miles in Wisconsin. He likes to write up trip reports just for himself. It’s the “the type of thing I keep to read on winter evenings,” he says.

One of the things Gordon tried is that he used a shuttle service, D&J Shuttle to take him from Mellen to Solon Spring. It’s pretty awesome that there are at least a few places along the NCT where one can find this kind of service.

On August 20 he hiked the road section out of Solon Spring to reach the Brule- St. Croix Portage section of the trail, an awesome historical pathway. This major connection between the two waterways is marked with commemorative stones with the names of important people who have used the portage.
North Country Trail in Bayfield County Forest, Wisconsin
Gordy didn't take pictures, but this is from the Bayfield County Forest NCT, taken in October 2005

The first night he camped in the bluff site at Jerseth Creek. Following that he camped at Erick Lake Campsite in the Brule River State Forest and Bayfield County Forest.

After entering the Chequamegon National Forest, dispersed camping is allowed. Gordy reports that he didn’t have much trouble finding the trail through the Rainbow Lake Wilderness. This is really good news because Region 9 of the Forest Service (all but North Dakota on the NCT) does not allow blazing in designated wilderness.

At the Lake Owen picnic grounds he first encountered other people, a mother and children who had driven to this access point. Continuing east in the Cheq, Gordy reports that the trail became more difficult to find, especially where the ski trails in the Penokee area braid through the NCT. (Hikers found this very true ten years ago as well!)

He concludes that, in August, water can be difficult to find along the route but “overall it was a good trip.”

You can read Gordy’s full report at the NCT Friends message board, where he has posted his itinerary and comments. See the entry on Sept 18. This is a significant off-road section trail that really doesn't get the use it deserves. Why not plan a Wisconsin adventure for next year?

NCT Friends Yahoo Group

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