Wanna help me hike?

Friday, June 21, 2013


What an amazing time. I called Trail Angel and Hikers Chapter President Lorana Jinkerson when I was still about 10 miles outside of town. I was thrilled to hear that fellow hiker Strider was at her home. I had been looking forward to meeting this guy for weeks. He's only 23 and he was taking on the entire 4,600 mile North Country Trail as his first big thru-hike. 

From the moment I arrived, there were TV and newspaper interviews to do and everyone wanted to take us out to eat! I couldn't believe it. Usually, if you're lucky enough for a Trail Angel to put you up for the night, you might get a cot, a meal and maybe a shower. Here, we were being treated like stars. We were being interviewed and meeting people from the North Country Trail Association and going to all these nice restaurants... It was fantastic. 
This is Strider in front of Lorana's incredible 'earth home'.  Follow Strider's adventure's at Stridernct.com

Out for (another!) delicious meal with folks from the North Country Trail Association at the Vierling Brewpub in Marquette. Great company, great food, great beer...

This is Jennifer Perez from Channel 6 filming me.
Everyone was so kind to us and it was a pleasure for us to be able to thank the people, in person, who work really hard to maintain the trail, for all their hard work. Plus, I got to ask Strider about the trail immediately ahead of me. He had lots of good advice. 

This is the official paint that trail crews everywhere use to paint blazes on trees. I can think of many times when I was really glad to see a blaze and know that I was on the right path. Of corse Lorana has gallons of it in her garage. 

Trail Angel, PHD, Author, Chapter President, Dear Friend: Lorana Jinkerson. She is the bomb. 
So now I have my resupply (thanks Martha!). I had two good nights of rest on a real bed. I have a belly full of good food. I have all these new friends rooting for me. I have plenty of time and beautiful trail ahead of me. I can't wait to get back to doing what I do best. 

Anyone out there ever been hiking in the Porcupine Mountains? That's where I'm headed. Leave me a comment!

Video Interview From Marquette


Saturday, June 15, 2013

More From Lake Superior

The trail up here continues to astound me. I always thought Michigan was beautiful but I never felt like it had the natural scenery to match California's Sierra Nevada or New Hampshire's White Mountains. Pictured Rocks may rival those places for awe inspiring beauty. It helps that I've had great weather up here including a day of dark skies and high winds but no rain. The cold air was refreshing and the huge waves rolling in added to the drama as they crashed against the steep cliffs. 

Lighthouses still warn ships on the 'Graveyard Coast'

Alternating sugar sand beaches and rocky cliffs make for great hiking. 

Spray Falls pouring out of the forest. 
Chapel Rock. Possibly the most amazing natural formation I've ever seen. 
Tim and Ellen Hass manage the Superior Shoreline chapter of the North Country Trail. The were very gracious hosts and even took me out for all-you-can-eat whitefish. Right outta Lake Superior to my plate. I ate all the fish. The lake is now empty. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Best So Far

The trail between St. Ignace and the coast of Lake Superior is solid woods. And solid bugs. Taquamenon Falls offered a short break because they had a restaurant so I could go inside and the falls themselves were beautiful but still, solid woods and solid bugs. As I hiked north, the woods turned into a charred shadow of a forest. There had been a huge fire up here last August and all that remained were the burnt trunks of the largest trees. It was simultaneously eerie and beautiful. Finally, after climbing a high ridge, I could see the mighty Lake Superior. The trail ran parallel to the shore on a fifty foot high bluff. As soon as I found a spot that wasn't too steep, I made my way down to the water. There was a steady cold wind and there were finally NO BUGS!  I removed my mosquito netting for the first time in a week and felt the cool air on my face. I was overcome with joy.  

I decided then and there to call it a day. I put up my tent and spent the afternoon washing my body (skinny dipping in the freezing water) and my gear. It felt so good to rinse off the layers of dirt, DEET and sunscreen. The sun was warm and the wind was strong. Perfect for drying out all my clothes. I built a nice fire and watched the sun set over the lake instead of diving into my tent and swatting at bugs all night, as I had been doing for the past week. 

Hiking along the coast has been the best part of the trail so far. I kind of abandoned the actual North Country Trail and just stick to the shoreline. It's flat and the hard-packed sand is great to hike on. There are bald eagles soaring above and salmon swimming at the mouth of the Two Hearted River. I don't ever have to carry water and I've been able to stop at state campgrounds along the way to use the restrooms and charge up the phone. The girls at the Muskallonge State Park were especially helpful, providing me with maps, information and good company. Thanks, girls!

I have another 20 miles of coastline to hike before I get to Grand Marais and resupply at the post office. From there, I'll also stop at Marquette, L'Anse and Ontonagon before finishing at Ironwood.  Seems like a long ways away but if any of it is half as sweet as the Lake Superior coast has been, then I'll enjoy every step. 

Have you ever been to the northern coast of Michigan's Upper Peninsula? Leave me a comment and tell me about it!

Selfie in the burned out forest. 

I've been camping on the beach every night. 

The sun setting over Lake Superior is worth staying up for. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

With A Little Help

The trail from St. Ignace to here (I'm writing this from Taquamenon Falls State Park) has been beautiful but tough. The only way I made it through is because of good people like Stanley and Kay Kujawa. They spend a lot of time and money maintaining the Hiawatha Shore To Shore portion of the North Country Trail. They met me in St. Ignace and again at Rivermouth State Park. They gave me maps, food, information and genuine kindness when I really needed it. 

The Kujawas haul this trailer all over the UP. It has chain saws, mowers and all kinds of equipment necessary to clear and maintain the trail. 
Kay and Stanley Kujawa
I also got a helping hand from Bob and Pat McNamara.  They re-routed me around a portion of the trail that was flooded by a beaver dam. I would have been waist deep in a swamp (again!) if not for these good folks. 
Bob and Pat McNamara

I should be hitting Grand Marais within a few days and Marquette after that. I can't wait to go for a swim in Lake Superior!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Grand Marais

I just made it in to Grand Marais. Before I even got into town, I was greeted by Ed Bowen. He and his wife Karla put a lot of time into maintaining the North Country Trail up here. It was my pleasure to meet him. I'm also looking forward to meeting Tim Hass, the President of the Superior Shoreline Chapter of the North Country Chapter.

Big thanks to Bruce Matthews, Matt Rowbotham ans Jill DeCator at the North Country Trail Association headquarters in Lowell, MI.  They hooked me up with contacts along the trail and they sent  maps that I desperately needed to  Grand Marais. They really came through for me.

I stopped into the Sportsman's Restaurant here in town and found everything a hiker could ask for: power outlets to charge up the phone, a bathroom with a fancy flush toilet, a wi-fi signal, cold beer on tap and really friendly folks. Anyone passing through Grand Marais should stop here for a bite to eat. You'll be glad you did.

In contrast to Mackinaw, getting my resupply here was as smooth as silk. Like a handoff from a great quarterback (Martha Rogers) to a charging running back (me), when the plan works, it's a thing of beauty. My box was full of everything I need and just as important, nothing I didn't. I should be good to go until Marquette. Thanks Martha!

Now that pictures and blog posts have been sent, look for a few more updates over the next several days.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

What a Wolverine Eats...

Martha here-
A bunch of people ask me what Wolverine eats while he's on the trail.  The answer is---anything!  Rice, pasta, hot sauce, granola bars, oatmeal, TVP, tuna in foil pouches, jerky, pop tarts, vienna sausages, trail mix, his sister Carol makes fantastic seasoning packets that he uses on rice, beans and pasta. Here are some great pics he sent showing a meal.



Any food you might have part of a box of, something you think you and your family won't use, please feel free to send my way  (email me mrog12275@yahoo.com or message me on facebook or here) and I'll get it to Wolverine. Donations of food are always welcome and help fuel Wolverine's body and spirit North and through this new trail.  Likewise, there is a button at the top left of this page to donate money.  Any and ALL money donated goes to Wolverine's hike.  Through kindness and generosity, we got him through the PCT and the AT, we can do the same with this trail!
Thank you in advance and stay posted!