In 1994, twenty-give years ago, I published my first feature article. It was about a two week motorcycle ride from Maine to the newest leg of the Labrador Highway- Churchill Falls to Goose Bay. My touring mentor and buddy, Alan MacKinnon and I had just read Great Heart, by Rugge and Davidson and were inspired by the book to explore the region.
To link to a .pdf of the article, complete with original photographs, clink the link below, where you will be able to download the .pdf in separate browser:
Not only are there no ticks in Newfoundland, the hiking is world class on the East Coast trail (ECT).
I flew from Boston to St. John’s there last year to hike the 170 mile East Coast Trail, dubbed one of the Top Ten Backpacking Trails by National Geographic in 2011.
This coastal trail definitely lives up to its description as a “genuine wilderness walking and hiking experience”. Printed materials from the East Coast Trail Association describes the trail as passing directly over the most easterly point in North America at Cape Spear as it connects over 30 communities (some were abandoned) along the route.
I enjoyed visiting the communities along the way where people were welcoming and were interested in speaking with us.
Here’s three minutes of drone footage from last August that was shot and produced by Mark Shaw of HMS Images, my hiking partner on this adventure. Recently I have been giving presentations on this thru-hike. Please contact me if your organization would like to have me present this summer.
I’m the after dinner entertainment up to Shin Pond in couple of weeks. I’ll be presenting after the full belly dinner at Mt. Chase Lodge on Friday night – a brand new hiking presentation entitled, “The Allure of the Long Distance Hike” Reservations are being accepted until April 20 ! I bet there will still be snow on the ground in the campground, but rooms and cabins are available in the village.
Reblogging this 1/4/17 article from The Hiking Project!
Welcome to the low pay lives of some of the best hikers in the world!
I have hiked and sometimes camped with 5 of these 6 folks, on my 2010 PCT and 2013 CDT thru-hikes. They are all truly genuine individuals. Freebird told me that his goal every year that he thru hikes is to be the first person on and the last person off the trail.
Here is a pic of me and Billy Goat on Sept. 8, 2014 at the Millinocket Hannaford’s in when Billygoat was resupplying while he was providing car support for a buddy who was hiking the International AT from Katahdin to Quebec.
I’m planning to thru-hike this trail next August. I have visited Newfoundland about a half-dozen times in the days when I used to enjoy long distance motorcycling. There are so many biting insects there that we often celebrated riding in the cold rain, which kept the bugs down. I am looking forward to the simplicity of walking, although there will be logistical challenges that a thru hiker will need to work through in order to complete the whole 165 mile hike.
Despite recognition by National Geographic as one of the world’s best adventure destinations, Newfoundland’s East Coast Trail remains virtually unknown to Americans.
It appears that Andy’s Spot device has not transmitted properly since 6/9/ AM ( yesterday), so we don’t know where he is right now. You can’t call him, and he can’t call us right now, but we know that at last report, he was in the middle of the pack.
Updates and discussions about the race are on on the Bikepacking.com list serve that one can follow. TD’12 Race Discussion. <<–Click this link to get there, and view three pics from what looks like Elk Pass. Andy had told me that he pushed his bike 4 miles through the snow on his ride up to Banff, so he is familiar with the whole route up through the US Border.
One pic reflects the fresh snow that fell there yesterday.
On June 8th, this astounding yearly race begins again. I just found out that the DVD is now available from Netflix, either as a physical in-the mail- DVD, or as an Instant download format.
Appleton Ridge’s Stephen Gleasner completed the race in 2008. This year, my next door neighbor, Andy Hazen, is planning to be the second rider from Maine to finish as well. Starting in Banff, Canada, and ending at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Great Divide mountain bike race extends 2,700 miles along the Continental Divide. This scenic documentary follows three determined cyclists, from the 2008 race, attempting the grueling ride.
FSTPKR: BLC to the Bering Sea.—-< Click. Now!
You absolutely have to check out what Krudmeister is up to this season. It is practically inconceivable to me that someone has both the interest and the skills to undertake a solo excursion that combines bicycling to Alaska from Reno, then backpacking the Chilkoot Trail out of Skagway, then assembling a kayak and following traversing the length of the Yukon River, all the way to the Bering Sea! What is even more inconceivable is that in this day and age, there will probably be no one who will read about Krud’s adventure in the sport section of a newspaper, where we are exposed to the daily whining of multimillion dollar base and basketball stars.
Krud is one of my virtual friends. He figured into a couple of my gear acquisitions. I came to know him when he and Scott Williamson broke the Pacific Crest Trail Speed record, I think in 2006. I went to my local Patagonia outlet and showed them his blog. He was and maybe still is a Patagonia customer service employee. He was trumping up their Houdini jacket, and one of the employees gave me one, that I used on my PCT and Long Trail thru hikes. It is still as good as new.
Then he posted a picture of some wildly garish New Balance shoes that I tracked down through my brother Roy, who works for the company. They are a product that is sold in Japan.
I though of Krudmeister yesterday when I was aglow with the shoes on my birthday.
Krud, want a pair to wear when you get back?
Reposting a most excellent entry from our brethren in the kayaking school of adventure. The content is Labrador-related and references “the book” that got me and Alan MacKinnon into Labrador way back when.
Here’s the teaser: “Their story has lessons for all of us who venture into the unknown, whether it be taking a back road to cut across town, guessing left at a fork in a hiking trail, or guessing right at a confluence of two rivers. Their refusal to turn back, despite mounting evidence that they had taken a “wrong turn” followed stages many of us are familiar with.”
Joe was the native guide on a 200 mile canoe trip I took on the Grand River in Labrador several years ago. He was the kindest, most humble, and most knowledgeable outdoors man I have ever met. Joe, and especially his brother Horace, are probably the last of the line to possess the encyclopedia of skills that encompass trapping, bush survival skills, hunting, and survival in the harshest environment I have ever traversed. For a glimpse of this life, read Rugge and Davidson’ Great Heart, now back in print. I consider Great Heart a treasure of a read, one that I have enjoyed several times. The book inspired my own motorcycle trip to Labrador in 1993, when my friend Alan MacKinnon and I were the among the first motorcyclists to traverse the newly constructed gravel-and-sand Trans Labrador Highway. The mosquitoes there were so bad that nothing I have encountered since seems too bad, including a month in Alaska and 6 months on the PCT.