Hike Bike Paddle 2013
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I hiked on roads near the North Country Trail from the Mackinaw Bridge to North Country Trail headquarters in Lowell, biked to the Hugh Heward Challenge, canoed 50 miles and bicycled to within one day of home. Snowstorm!


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APRIL 2013

4/12  Well for those who may be interested, I will be starting my first trek of the year tomorrow (Sat). For the last few years I've been going over to Lansing, MI and participating in the Hugh Heward 50 mile canoe challenge the last Sat. of April. It's an event that raises funds for a Memorial for the guru of long distance canoeing, Verlen Kruger. To learn more about this amazing man do a web search for Verlen Kruger. You also can learn more about the canoe challenge by searching Hugh Heward Challenge.
This year I'm hiking the North Country Trail to it. The North Country Trail crosses Wisconsin about 15 miles from my house and crosses Michigan very close to the canoe event. I was going to start at my house, but because of the snow I will be getting a ride to the Mackinaw bridge by Jeff Foster Trucking tomorrow (Sat.) and hike the 400 miles of Lower Michigan to the event. I've shipped my bike over to Michigan and will be riding it home after the challenge.

4/13  I rode over with Tom Larson, one of over two hundred truck drivers Jeff Foster Trucking has working for them. I was telling Tom how Jeff Foster Trucking has helped me in the past when they took my canoe to Washington DC for the start of my Atlantic to Pacific journey.

He looked at me and said, "That was you?" Tom was the driver that delivered it. Now he has to put up with me once again!

Great guy. It's been an enjoyable ride. Should be at the Mackinaw Bridge by 7:30 eastern time. Hiking starts early tomorrow.

4/14 Made it to Petoskey State Park on the north side of Petoskey. By trail I believe it would have been well over 40 miles. By road, which I have to do because of deep snow, I think I did about 30 miles. Legs, feet and hips are sore, but I'm okay. Just old!
Park not open, but nestled nice and cozy in a grove of trees.

4/15 Not the best weather for hiking, but on the other hand, by far not the worst I've ever dealt with.

4/16 Made it to Boyne City about a 19/20 mile day. Rained most of the day. Great camp site last night, the local motel! Nice and dry. Sun and in the high 40's low 50's today. Should be good day.

Phyllis & Linda

Linda owns the General Store & Deli in Walloon Lake, MI. I had a great lunch here yesterday (Mon.). Two very nice young ladies.

Today's hiking helped take my mind off what happen in Boston. Brings back to many bad memories. Wish I knew of a way I could take away the pain all the affected families are feeling. Life has changed for ever for them. Outside of your thoughts and prayers and not knowing what tomorrow brings, I think today the families would want each of us, for them, to tell our own love ones how much they mean to you.

I've been blessed with a wonderful family. So, in memory of those who lost their life in Boston and healing thoughts for all the injured, I love each and every one of you so very much. That also goes for all of you my friends.

4/17 In the small town of Mancelona. Found another motel. They actually have two motel buildings. One fairly new and one, well, not so new. New one was around $80.00+, older $45.00 with tax. Guess which one I am in? Can't see out of the windows but there is hot water and a bed.
Stopping for lunch in Kalkaska. About 15 miles done and I even stopped to rest three times. Seldom do that.

Yesterday and today I've been following Highway 131. It has more traffic than I like. Now I will work my way down on 66. I finally got myself a detailed road map that shows a nice side roads that parallel 66. So plan is to work my way on those roads. May run out of cell service so will give my plan for rest of day and tomorrow. Will go as far as I can today and camp. Rain is on its way tonight and tomorrow so hope to make it to Lake City tomorrow and camp once again in a motel!

4/19Temp in the 30's, wind a howling and snow flying sideways. Other than that it's a great day. Seriously, I feel good. Day of rest really helped. Sort like these conditions.

By the way, thanks everyone for your likes and comments. Sorry not to respond back. Tough to do.

Interesting day yesterday. Great morning hike along beautiful Amish county roads. I was even smart enough to avoid taking what I felt would be a shortcut. Good move for later I found out it would have led to a flooded creek I would not have been able to cross.

Most "Coach" shortcuts have a little adventure to them as was the case with yesterday afternoon’s shortcut. I found myself wandering around Pere Marquette State Forest.

It started out well, but soon my little two barrel road turned into a maze of four wheeler trails and gas pipelines going all directions. Well, as most know I hate back tracking, so kept going. Long story short, it cost me about three or more hours. Fun though.

Now I'm in Lakeview getting re-supplied and cell phone charged. Lakeview is about 4 miles east of my route, so I hitched a ride in.

After a little rest I'll hitch back to where I left off. Couple people have already offered. Very nice.

All in all I feel pretty good. Although legs and feet really feel it at the end of the day. Road walking takes a toll on you. At night you wonder if you can keep going, but by morning one is ready. I'll try and take more rest!
I don't think I have many,if any places to stop between here and my destination, The North Country Trail Headquarters in Lowell,,MI, so will cut back on posts to save my cell battery.

Figure I should be there Weds. Although it's supposed to rain tomorrow. What's new!

4/23 Last night’s campsite! Little rain this morning.

April 24 FINISHED!

4/26 Part Two Begins

All rested up, hiking gear shipped back home and bike ready to go. I really feel good about my hike. Happy I'm still able to do that kind of miles on a half partial knee replacement I had done in 2006. It would stiffen up some in the afternoon, but once I started resting it a little more all was fine. In short, my body adjusted well to long distance hiking and towards the end I felt I could go forever.

Meeting people once again was the biggest highlight of many on this part of the journey. Starting with my ride over with Tom of Foster Trucking. The kindness of Linda and Phyllis where I stopped to eat in Walloon Lake. The Amish children staring out their buggy window, wondering who that strange man was. The three children that showed me the mile hole at the end of their driveway and sharing so many other exciting things go on in their lives. Lots of nice people.

Soon I will start out on my bike for Dimondale, the starting point on the Grand River for the Hugh Heward 50 Mile Challenge. I now have my spot with me so if interested you can track my progress in real time. (Shipped it over with my bike.) Sort of wish I kept it in pack for the hike, but at the last minute I took it and a few other items out to cut back on weight.

4/27 Canoe Challenge went well, plus great visit with these friends. Specially great to see the "The Topologist", Jim Woodruff,  my 91 year old friend. Still just as ornery as ever!

Jim Woodruff - founder of the Hugh Heward Challenge and myself swapping tall tales at the end of the event.

4/28 Right now I'm on my bike heading to Saugatuck, MI. Pat Paquette lives there. For those that do not know Pat, he played football for me way back when. Pat will be helping me get around the Chicago area. Hope to make it halfway tonight. Must get a move on it.

Raining once again. Waiting for it to end. Suppose to be just a passing shower.

Did have a great and easier ride than I figured yesterday. No wind, warm and hardly a cloud in the sky. Found a motel around 9:00. Good night’s rest and ready to go once again.

Rain has stopped. I have about 35 miles to Saugatuck.

4/29 Busy day yesterday, which only involved 35 miles of riding.

My original plan was to ride to Muskegon and take the ferry over to WI which fit my timeline for getting home. Plus I promised loved ones I'd avoid Gary, IN and Chicago.
One slight problem with my excellent pre-planning, the ferry doesn't start until May 4th. Fortunately help came to my rescue once again. Pat Paquette drove me to New Buffalo and my very first friend ever, Jim McIntyre from Racine, WI met us. Jim and I go way back to kindergarten.
I am now at his house and will continue on from the Milwaukee area around noon. First I must figure out why my back tire keeps going flat. Two flats in two days of riding. Nothing in the tire so it must be the rim. Also, my spot tracker is not working. When I turn it on it goes right off. I'm hoping it's just the batteries.

4/30  Finally made it to Wisconsin Dells. That strong SW wind must have thought I was my son, Eric, for now it's quartering into my face. They are saying, gusts of 40 miles an hour. Going to be an Eric Hoff afternoon, head down, stubborn and just go. He must have gotten it from his mother.

Need to make it to Tomah before the severe weather hits late this afternoon.

This is Shirley Czerniak. If I'd stayed in Barron,WI we'd graduated from high school together. I did not know her back then for she lived in the country and the country kids did not come into Barron until 9th grade. I moved after 7th grade. She and husband now live in Osseo,WI. Really glad she took the time to come and see me at McDonalds. Very nice young lady and we had a great visit.

5/1 Quick update. Working my way through Chippewa Falls. Little rain now, but not a bother. Had to stop to put some gloves on. Surprisingly I still feel strong. Going to go as far as I can. All is well.

5/25/2 I'm home safe and sound. We got within 20 miles of our house and no snow!

Just want to thank everyone that followed my trek. Your likes and comments meant a lot. Specially need to thank Mike Smith for letting me use one of his Kruger Canoes for the Hugh Heward. That actually was the toughest part of this journey. I had rotator cuff surgery over the winter and by the time I ended the 50 miles of canoeing I could hardly raise my arm. (I did check with my doctor to see if a little paddling would be okay, just forgot to mention the 50 part) I thought maybe I really screwed it up, but the next day it was just fine. Just didn't have any strength or power to really push it. Of course it did not bother one bit when people passed me up, darn it!!!

Later this month, Lu and I will be going down to our son's and I will bring my bike with and finish this last 95 miles.