Mike Link and Kate Crowley finished their hike around Lake Superior in dramatic fashion yesterday. Their online progress map, showing each little blip where they stopped and took readings, now fully loops the shore.
They came through Leif Erikson Park a little late, but like the Pied Piper, they had already attracted a crowd. A few dozen folks had been waiting at the park, and they flocked to join in.
So in a swirling group of 60-80 friends and fans and media, they finished the last stretch of the 1550-mile hike right down Duluth's popular Downtown Lakewalk. Kate walked with her grandkids for awhile, once stopping the whole home stretch parade to pick up her granddaughter's cap. Her priorities are still in the right place!
Mike was chatting up the media, and he took the time to tell the reporter on tape that I have "the best blog in the Great Lakes." Hey, Mike, right back at ya, you mature eagle you.
The end was sort of anticlimatic...they got back to the Lakewalk in front of the Canal Park Lodge, and there was no archway, no winner's tape, no painted finish line. Mike and Kate invited the crowd that had grown to over 100 back down to the cobblestone beach, and Mike announced, "Well, we just finished our hike of 1550 miles around Lake Superior." A few people clapped, then all the rest joined in. I guess that's what you might call a well-deserved round of applause.
From one fan, big thanks to Mike and Kate and all their support crew for an inspiring job well done. I'll leave the last word to (I think) Kate,from their last dispatch:
"This momentous adventure comes to an end today, but only in the physical sense. The lake is imprinted in our minds and hearts and we will be forever thankful for the opportunity to have spent 145 days by its side. We have done something grand and we know more adventures lay ahead."