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, October 18, 2010

First NCTA Extended Outing Program

camp lunch
Lorana on KP duty

by Lorana Jinkerson, excerpted from the NCT Hikers newsletter, Footprints, fall 2010

Mary Coffin, NCTA BOD member from New York, has lead many Extended Outing Programs for the Adirondack Mountain Club. Modeling it after that successful program, she lead the first NCTA Extended Outing Program from September 8 through September 15 along the Superior Hiking Trail (soon to be officially part of the North Country Trail). I was lucky to be one of the 11 NCTA members on that trip.

We met in Duluth, MN on Wednesday, September 8 for preliminary instructions. Each day we were given several options of possible day hikes/activities and, depending upon weather conditions and the feelings of the group, we chose the hike/activity that was most appropriate.

Our first hike took us north of Judge Magney State Park where we started heading south on the Superior Hiking Trail towards Judge Magney Park. This hike was relatively easy, although there were some steep ups and downs, very similar to some of our segments to the west of Marquette. The afternoon brought us to Devil’s Kettle, a mysterious hole in the ground where water from a waterfall goes, never to be seen again, or so they say.

The next morning, we chose to hike within the Cascade River State Park, to Cascade Falls and up Lookout Mountain. The late afternoon found us in Grand Marais, hiking out to Artist’s point and on the breakwall. With the wind coming in, we donned our rain gear for protection from the wind.

Saturday night it began raining around midnight. We awoke to a light mist and lots of fog. Our hike was up on a ridge and, most of the day, we saw nothing but fog. Finally around lunchtime, we started getting a few breaks. There actually was a sign that said “Hellacious Overhook.”

Monday we broke into two groups to hike. My group headed south on the Superior Hiking Trail from our camp area, including climbing the notorious Drainpipe, a challenging rock climb, ascending for about 150 feet. Luckily my group was going up but it required all points, hands and feet, on the rock at all times.

Tuesday morning we closed up camp and then headed south towards Duluth, stopping along the way at Gooseberry State Park for a hike along Lake Superior, our lunch and a wrap-up session.

I would highly recommend the NCTA’s Extended Outing Program to all of you. In the future, there are hopes more than one a year will be offered. But, for now Mary has one scheduled for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore from Wednesday, August 8 - 15, 2011.

This segment is on SHTA maps 1-4

See North Country Trail Hikers Chapter of the NCTA for the entire article
See Pictured Rocks Extended Outing for info about 2011

No comments: