In May, Leo and I started this foolishness at the Grand Portage Trail in Jay Cooke State Park. Based on the SHTA website, I thought it was the western terminus. Two weeks ago, I stopped at Superior Hiking Trail Association headquarters in Two Harbors. I joined up. I got the book. The book said I had some loose ends to clean up. The trail really starts in Jay Cooke, at least since the floods of 2012. I had a surprise 6.6 more miles to do.
I took the dog out to what the book says is a trailhead at Palkie Rd. Well, the website says there’s some sort of land dispute, so that trailhead is closed. Book says open. So, when I drove up to it and it was closed off with snow fence, I guess I had my answer. Plan B. I went to Jay Cooke and ran with the dog along the Munger and hustled off to work afterward.
Then, after returning from work today, we went out to the exact spot I thought was the beginning and finished out the Jay Cooke to Duluth section. What a beautiful fall day. And we did it after I returned from work earlier in the afternoon. One minute, in traffic in San Francisco. The next, running in the blaze orange foliage of a silent maple and oak stand. What a life.
When I’m croaking, when my life flashes in front of my retinas, I want to see images like I saw today. The sun flickering through the trees. Crunching leaves underfoot. That smell.
It was fun to own Highway 210. I may or may not have driven past the Road Closed sign to get to our starting point.
The loose ends are cleared up. I’ve got over 40 miles to cover in the next four days. Good weather. Feet don’t fail me now.
Loose end data:
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T-Shirts of the Days:
The Chef has been slowly culling garbage in our attic. To her dismay, she found I had even more T-shirts up there. Here’s one treasure she found from 1983. It was the first time I ran 8 miles and 4500′ up Mount Washington in NH. You can read about that flail here.
She also found this pilot training T-shirt. The “no” symbol denotes “No Shit-Helmets.” Which means “No Dummies.” The quote was from the IP who was in charge of our class. That was his advice for how to deal with the dreaded “standup” that was part of our daily mass briefing. And the picture on the back was an attempt (failed) at making a logo for the class. Anybody who knows “stick figure theater” may know who was driving that idea. Anyway, we were the Barons of the Sky officially. What the hell is a Baron of the Sky?