SHT Total Thru-Hike Complete

SHT NOBO (Northbound, starting in Wisconsin ending at the Canadian border) Total thru-hike complete!

 

 

Total miles: 310+ In the spirit of transparency, I hiked approximately nine SHT trail miles on the Gitchi-Gami Trail. 

Trail start: July 4, 8:46 a.m. Southern Terminus, Wisconsin/Minnesota border 

Trail end: July 28, Northern Terminus, Canadian border

Hike end: July 30, George Floyd Memorial at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis.

 

 

Total days: 24 days total, of those it rained at some point 21 days.

Days off: Three neros (nearly zero, meaning a partial day off-trail or not hiking).

  • Once because of a storm, a trail angel in Grand Marais picked me up and I stayed with her family. I went to a Black Lives Matter protest and interviewed with a radio station that evening as well.                                           
  • Once to dry gear, shower, and sleep in a bed at Superior Ridge Resort Motel. It was a bit more than I wanted to pay but worth it! The owners were friendly and were kind enough to run me into town to resupply.             
  • Once because of a post office resupply—to soak my arm in a bathroom and wash my arm with soap due to what I believed was poison oak. 

It was brought to my attention that Minnesota doesn’t have poison oak. I know what poison ivy looks like, and it wasn’t that. So one incident of painful itchy, rash obtained near or around Blueberry Hill Campsite. The use of Tecnu and calamine lotion for a few days after cleared up everything.

Resupply: Two Harbor (post office). Beaver Bay (gas station/post office). Grand Marais (post office/grocery store).

Shortest miles in a day: 8.46

Longest miles in a day: 22 

Gear change: 

Pack: I started with the L.L. Bean AT 38, and switched to the Granite Gear Crown2 60 for more capacity when my tent failed me.                                       

Shoes: I started with the L.L. Bean Alpine, switched to the Arcteryx Norva after several days of rain, mudholes, and an inability to keep the boots and my socks dry. I later switched back to the Alpines.                                    

Socks: I started the journey with three pairs of sock, two pairs to alternate for hiking and one for sleep. Due to conditions listed in the shoe section, this number grew to six, five pairs to alternate for hiking, and one for sleep.

Tent: I wanted to love the Nemo Hornet Elite, I really did. But after several days of rain, it failed me. I reverted back to my Marmot EOS 1P.

Animal encounters: Birds, snakes, moose, and a cub. No harm came to me.

Favorite section: I thoroughly enjoyed the section from the Cascade River to Bally Creek. Walking through the large red pine forest reminded me of my childhood in Florida.

Least favorite section: I didn’t like, the Sawmill Creek Pond Boardwalk. The boards were sunken, curved, slick, and missing in places. 

Random SHT $h*t: I became pre-hypothermic, due to rain, wet gear, wet clothes—not serious or life-threatening, and thus, I live to write this story.

SHT Personal ranking:  ⭐⭐⭐ out of five

The 310-mile hiking trail from Canada to Wisconsin MN is maintained by volunteers and private landowners.

The sections range from well-marked, well-maintained paths to mud and tall grass-covered barley visible sections.

The SHT is a rough trail, lots of roots, mud, and rocks.

You definitely should “Hike That SHT.”

p/c: Instagram dkap09

p/c: Instagram wanderingseagoat

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Comments 4

  • Ben Gunderson : Aug 17th

    Bummer it rained on you so much. I’m sure you’d have had a higher rating had it not. Regardless, what’s next?

    Reply
  • Crystal Gail Welcome : Aug 17th

    Yeah, the weather was a factor, the bushwhacking, lack of trail community, and at times seemingly unnecessary (random and out of place) paths were also taken into consideration.

    Next, researching other trails where BIPOC presence is lacking (of course, there are many) and the majority of the BIPOC communities are effected by environmental injustice go there, spread my mission and leave some footprints.

    Reply
  • DIANE DEMEYER : Sep 20th

    Wow, quite a trek, and such an admirable undertaking. You’re a brave person!

    Reply
    • Crystal Gail Welcome : Sep 21st

      Thanks Diane!

      Reply

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