Friday, September 10, 2010

Mike and Kate: The journey and the destination

Lau Tzu wrote, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." It also has a lot of steps along the way. I got to share a few of those steps yesterday along Mike and Kate's thousand-mile journey.

I joined Mike Link and Kate Crowley yesterday, about 1450 miles of the way into their 1600-mile Full Circle Superior expedition Lake Superior. We hiked a lovely stretch of the Cascade River State Park shoreline, then made some serious miles along old roads parallel to Highway 61.

It was a real treat tagging along and getting a sense of their five-month journey. Although they had a definite goal of ten miles for the day (from County Road 7 to downtown Lutsen), there was always time to stop and look at rock formations, to identify birds, and to visit with friends along the way. The destination and the journey were equally important.

Mike, as always, is a font of natural history information, some of it is really only for nature geeks like me (like comparing the bedrock types we were walking on between syenite and diabase). Kate's observations are a bit more practical, like picking out good spot to video tape and sometimes gently correcting Mike. Although their destination is clear, they are very obviously enjoying the journey.

One nice thing about walking is that every step is optional. You choose to take each step you take, in whatever direction you want, however fast or slow as you want to. Mike and Kate seem to be getting the most out of every single step.

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