Thursday, October 1, 2009

I can see for miles and miles and miles

I hiked earlier this week along the Superior Hiking Trail to a place called "Section 13," which is this rugged area about two miles inland from Lake Superior. This was once a secret rock climbing location, secret sort of like Area 51. Now that it's the official Superior Hiking Trail, it's not a secret anymore. In fact, I could swear I saw Pete Townsend of The Who up there. There was this old guy claiming to be from Duluth. I heard someone singing "I can see for miles and miles. I can see for miles and miles. I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles...Oh Yeah."

It's a rough hike that just gets rougher as you head further in, with great views of the inland ridges, ponds and rivers. At the crest of this trail, at over 1600 feet, a huge distant view opens up through a valley back out to the lake.

There's no way this picture will show the real details I could see, but that finger of color coming in from the left above the lake's horizon is the curving North Shore headed way out to Grand Marais. I love that view. The North Shore is not just one straight shoreline; it has this broad beautiful swooping curve to it.

I could swear I could pick out one distant summit. Here's the best job I can do zooming in on it:

I took a compass bearing on it, and it was at 61 degrees. Sort of East-Northeast.

At home later that day, I pulled out a big Lake Superior map and traced 61 degrees from that point I was standing. It went right to a feature well east of Grand Marais called Farquhar Peak.

How far to Farquhar? 60 miles.

Is that cool or what? I had to have the height to see that far, there had to have the clarity of the air to see that far. And there had to be the open gorgeous curves of the North Shore to pick out details that far.

And if that really was Pete Townsend up there, well it was nice to share the hike with you.

I can see for miles and miles and mile and miles....Oh yeah.

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