Real Lake Superior Spirit, Fortitude, Sisu & Tenacity

The Huron Bay (between two trees)

 Time to ‘fess up, Readers.  How many miles have you walked at one time?  Have you ever walked five miles?  Ten miles?  An unbelievable twenty miles? 

Please register your all-time record in the comments below.  Mine was five miles on Fort Myers Beach maybe ten years ago.  I walked up the beach from the south end of the island to the north.  Afterward, I ached for two days.  OK, OK, I’m not in the most tip-top physical shape! 

A bay which has recently lost its ice cover

 Tonight I want to share an Inspiring Story with you.  It’s the story of two people who aim to walk 1,800 miles around the shores of Lake Superior starting on April 29th.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Kate Crowley and Mike Link, a husband & wife team from Minnesota, both in their 60’s, will circle around the Big Lake.  Their trip is estimated to take six months. 

Can any one of you readers imagine accomplishing this?  I am so inspired about their Sisu.  (Sisu is the Finnish word for strength of will, perseverance, determination, dedication.  We know that because a lot of Finns have settled around Lake Superior and taught us about the valor of this word.)  

Keweenaw Bay

 There are two ways we can follow their progress.  I discovered about this adventure in Lake Superior Magazine.   This is an absolutely beautiful magazine with incredible photographs of Kitchee-Gami.  (That’s the Ojibway word for Lake Superior.)  Truly, if you ever leaf through this magazine, you will drool at the dancing colors of water, the up-close views of moose and bear, the exquisite shades of leaves in autumn.  

They are helping sponsor the 1,800 mile adventure.  Every month we’ll get updates about the progress of the two hikers.  

Our other option is to visit their website:  Full Circle:  A Journey Around the Greatest Lake.  Today it says:  34 days until countdown.  

Stones underfoot--hard walking

 They plan to stay as close to the shore as possible as they circumvent the lake.  They are both naturalists, interested not only in the adventure, but also in educating others.  Therefore, they have a second important goal:  to record the flora and fauna that exists in 2010 around the shore of the lake.  This kind of information was recorded a century ago, but there have been many climate and landscape changes since then.  

Won’t it be interesting to see what differences and similarities they discover? 

Remnants of ice along the shore

 Want to know some other fascinating statistics published in the Lake Superior magazine?  Let’s say that you decided to walk 1,800 miles south from Marquette, Michigan.  You know where you’d end up?  Cozumel, Mexico.  (That’s how far they’re walking, folks!) 

Free and clear of ice, the waves lap against the shore

 I am suddenly thinking my five-mile lifetime expedition should be upped a bit.  Maybe to seven miles?  What do you think? YIKES–Why did I just write that??

My other thought is:  it would be fun shout “hello!” or even stop by talk to Kate and Mike when they’re navigating next to the Huron or Keweenaw Bay sometime next summer or fall.  I could even tell you guys about it. 

Anyway, just wanting to wish the couple GOOD LUCK! and safe and enjoyable hiking around our beautiful lake.  They truly have Lake Superior Spirit.  We’re cheering them on from the sidelines!

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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41 Responses to Real Lake Superior Spirit, Fortitude, Sisu & Tenacity

  1. Kathy – Thank you for the gorgeous photographs and the llink to Full Circle: A Journey Around the Greatest Lake. WOW!

    We walked across the Highlands of Scotland — from Inverness (on the North Sea) to Ardnamurchan (on the Atlantic ocean) a total of 211 miles in 15 days. We averaged 14 miles per day.

    That might sound like a lot to some people, but it was a nice clip for us. Remember, I’m a Holistic Health Practitioner so we’re in pretty darned good shape. We’re in our 50’s.

    • Kathy says:

      Laurie, I am in awe and admiration that you and Len averaged 14 miles a day for 15 days during your journey to Scotland. Amazing! You are an inspiration, too

  2. Oh….I have walked many miles…but can’t tell you how many and when. And I lived in New York City, where walking blocks and blocks is just not a big deal. When I go home to Escanaba and hop in the car to drive to Elmer’s- I always cringe thinking how in my regular life, I would walk that distance as if I was just stepping out briefly. I love to walk. I am blessed to live in a place where right now, one of my kids can walk to and from school.
    Okay. I will work on reporting true mileage. Until then, I will look in to these walkers. I see you photographing them as they pass through your area. What exciting possibilities!
    Good evening. I improved the peeper show on my site. xo S

    • Kathy says:

      Suzi…my daughter lives in NYC now and she walks miles and miles all the time, too. Isn’t it weird how folks in the U.P. will drive from shop to shop and big-city folk walk everywhere? When my daughter came home last year she was flabbergasted about this.

  3. Gerry says:

    Of course you should meet them! It is your blogly duty. And also you should set a new goal: a seven-mile walk by the end of 2010. I am an old bat and I have done that, right up there in the UP. I was shamed into it – more than once, actually – by my friend Donna Moll, who is in her 80s and still thinks of seven miles as a little stroll. I do not think of it as a little stroll.

    We are wusses, Kathy, wusses. I will walk the seven miles with you. After, we can sink our aching feet into soothing footbaths and reflect on the experience in our respective posts. Best move right along on this. I do not want to do it in snowshoes.

    • Kathy says:

      OK, Gerry, Tis my blogly duty! Will try to honor that. Donna Moll thinks of seven miles as a little stroll? Yes, you and I need to do those seven miles. Maybe next summer. I will come down to Bellaire and you will lead us…seven miles…in some direction. OK?

  4. Dawn says:

    Good for them! Been some time but did a week along the Appalachian Trail in southern Virginia. Maybe 10-12 miles a day. Mostly now my walks are measured in single digit excursions.

  5. Kiah says:

    Mom, remember Rome? That was definitely more than 5 miles!

    • Kathy says:

      OK, if anyone is reading these comments–I have previously told a falsehood in this blog. It wasn’t a 5 mile all-time record. Kiah and I walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and…well you get the picture…in Rome three years ago. We don’t know how many miles but we estimated ten by the end of the day. It’s a wonder I survived the trip. She was fine.

  6. Dawn K says:

    This is totally inspiring!! Thanks for telling us! I will follow them, but you HAVE to meet them! Absolutely!! Wow. I was just up (yesterday) at Whitefish Point and it was amazingly cold and windy and miserable and beautiful. Hope it’s warmer for them in 34 and counting days!

    • Kathy says:

      I would love to meet them, Dawn. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it will work out. (Emailed them today actually.) Let’s hope it does get warmer by the time they start out. It’s suppose to be in the 60″s (60’s!!) by the first of April, thank the Universe mightily.

  7. pearlz says:

    Wow that’s inspiring! You’d definitely need some waterproof gear to walk any distance near where we live at the moment. Used to do a lot of walking when I was younger but slowed down a bit lately as the kids weren’t up to it, unless piggy backed, now they are more into hooray- so maybe we’ll do some hikes – to fishing spots I suspect.

    • Kathy says:

      Pearlz, you have lots of rain now, I take it? I remember having to cut down on hikes when the kids were growing up. (My husband would be wishing he could hike along to those fishing spots, too…)

  8. Nicole Smith says:

    Wow, please pass on my deepest admiration and best wishes to this amazing couple! I don’t remember how long I walked. As a child I remember participating in walkathons through school and ending up footsore and weary but I doubt it was more than 10 or 20 kms and may have been less.

    Much love

    • Kathy says:

      Nicole, I just googled the translation and 20 kms = 12 miles! That is nothing to sneeze at. Sounds like you should pat yourself on the back for that! I will pass along all our admiration to the couple if I meet them.

  9. Jeff Stroud says:

    That is a mighty big walk, but as naturalist they are most likely fairly use to it… I wish I could go along to photograph them and the flora and fauna… it would be an amazing experience… I have never seen Lake Superior, not up close and personal… I wish them the best, it should be an awesome adventure!

    Kathy I know you can do it… bring a friend and your camera, the time will past in a flash… or rather the miles will…

    When I lived in Colorado Springs I walked Pikes Pike three or four times, it is a 26 mile round trip of 14, 110 feet… I was in my 20’s then.
    Most recently I walked the NYC Gay Pride Parade which is 12 miles north to south on the island of Manhattan… plus all the all the side street to photograph groups gathering to for the parade and then most of the parade route. So I would say all toll something like 40 miles…

    I walk most places, and have for years if those miles add up I don’t know?
    You see and witness more by walking about!


    • Kathy says:

      Jeff, and YOU would be a wonderful photographer for them to have on the trip. They would love your photographic skills. Also, congratulations on your hiking feats! (Hiking “feats” LOL) My daughter has said she might walk from one end of Manhattan to the end. I will tell her about your success!

  10. gigi says:

    Okay, now I just feel lazy.

    The most I’ve walked at one time was about 2-5 miles up a mountain; Tunnel Mountain to be exact in Banff, Alberta. I use to spend the summer there with my Dad and his second family. We were a group of 5, with me the oldest at eleven. It took us most of the afternoon and we were unsupervised by adults. It would probably take me longer now and I can not imagine anyone allowing a group of kids to do it alone now.

    I miss days like that; so free and unencumbered by time.

    • Kathy says:

      Gigi, (whispering) “I am feeling a little lazy too.” Sounds like you had a fun time in Alberta climbing that mountain. It’s amazing what kids did years ago without chaperoning, isn’t it?

  11. Trudie says:

    Two points … Firstly, I have not walked more than a few meters at a time … but riding in my wheelchair is another story 🙂 … I used to easily do 5km or more at a time, with my Service Dog, Fayth. Secondly, I am rather tired and too lazy to go convert km to miles for you 😛

    • Kathy says:

      Trudie, you are an inspiration to all of us, for sure. To think that you could do 5 km in a wheelchair! That is wonderful. I just googled–it’s 3.1 miles. Great job!

  12. Cindy Lou says:

    Hey Kathy…..I made it to Orland Park yesterday afternoon! Horray for getting to see my kin! Kenzie is just cuter than ever and what a sticth

    Walk around the Big Lake? Wow…they do have sisu! I think probably 4 or 5 miles at one time is my best. I haven’t gone to their site yet but will when I get home.

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy Lou, I’m glad you made it down there safely. Hugs your bebs for me. Sounds like you and me are about in the same boat mile-wise. Except for that one time in Rome which I forgot. Enjoy your trip!

  13. Mike Link says:

    What a fun Blog you do. Nice writing and fun spirit. Thanks for telling people about us and our website. We have a FULL CIRCLE SUPERIOR fanpage on Facebook too if you would like to check it out.

    We hope you will follow us all the way and that we can take the dreams of all your followers with us.

    • Kathy says:

      Mike, I am so happy to see you here! Thank you for taking the time to stop by–when you must be so busy preparing for your trip. I will check out your fan page on Facebook, for sure. (And you can see how much you have inspired all of us–thank you! And Happy Walking!)

  14. Kathy – We walk a lot. We live two miles from HolEssence. In the late spring, all through summer and part of the fall we walk to/from work each day. If we’re in a real hurry we ride our bikes.

    • Kathy says:

      I would love to be able to walk to work, Laurie! What an opportunity you have. Nine miles is a little far to hike to work around here. LOL. Although Mike and Kate would probably do it. You too, probably!

  15. Gerry says:

    OK, I have no idea how the reply found its way there but it’s a deal anyway.

  16. Jessica says:

    Wow! I don’t know how many miles I have walked in one day but I am a walker. When we were in New York last spring the only reason we took any taxis was because the person we were vacationing with was not physically fit to walk everywhere. Still I am quite sure I have never walked 1800 miles in one shot. Good luck to the participants in this adventure.

    • Kathy says:

      Jessica, glad to hear you’re a walker. When I visited NYC last spring–hey, were we there at the same time??–we walked a lot too. That’s usually when I walk the most, when visiting a big city. For some reason it seems harder to walk three miles on a country road (always up and back) instead of in a circle in a city where you can always see new things. Although–what am I saying????–you can always see new things in the country too. Just sometimes more subtle.

      • Jessica says:

        I am so sorry. Apparently, I lied. I just looked back in my archives on my blog and I was in NYC in July. Why was I thinking Spring? I have no clue being that it was as hot as Hades when we were there. 🙂 It doesn’t surprise me that we were both there. We seem to sync up on a lot of things. LOL

        I know what you mean about the city vs country though. On country walks you have to work to see the wonders around you. In the city, the sights are in your face at all times.


  17. Jeannie says:

    I use to walk all day…in the sunshine along the coast. My perception really came alive. Sometimes I would walk extremely slow and just feel. I did have people ask my what I as doing at times. This reminds me of the time my friend and I pretended to be trees in the park. We held it together as people passed by, we experienced the laugh of our lifetimes when it was over. Nice memories…

    • Kathy says:

      Jeannie…you used to walk ALL day? Really slowly? I have done that slow walking sometimes–deepening into spiritual communion with everything–but it usually only lasts an hour or two. Maybe it would be fun to walk all day sometime this spring outside. Before the mosquitoes come out. LOL. And I love the image of you and your friend pretending to be trees! Now that took courage!

  18. Jeannie says:

    I didn’t walk slowly the entire day. It was more like hiking all day. Moments of slowness would overtake me. Spending time outdoors in this way brought about such inner peace in my life. The way I interacted with my mind was freed up somehow. When I read some of your blogs about awareness and going outdoors everyday I was reminded of the experience. Just as I am now with you. We touched a bit of how John Muir experienced an enlightened state of mind from being outdoors most of the time. I truely do enjoy that sense of heightened awareness being outdoors brings!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, thank you for clarifying, Jeannie. Yes, I think being outdoors can open us to that special enlightened state of mind that John Muir experienced. You are making me hunger for getting back out for some long unstructured walks~~just wandering. Simply BE-ing. Thank you for this.

  19. Oh, to have the time to consider such an adventure. Good luck and safe journeys to Kate and Mike. I’ll be following along.

    • Kathy says:

      Doesn’t it sound wonderful, Scott? Even though we might not have the time to do it ourselves~~at least we can vicariously follow along.

  20. Pingback: How ’bout a 1600 mile hike around Lake Superior? « Lake Superior Spirit

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