So, Backpacker Magazine has a contest to become their field scout for an issue. The deal, for the winning entry, is that Backpacker pays for a backpacking trip in the “Lower 48” for the winner and a companion. The trip cannot exceed seven nights, and part of the assignment is to present the trip to Backpacker readers. To enter, one could submit an essay – not to exceed 300 words – or a link to a personalized video or web page. Three hundred words is not a lot to show why I’m the best hiker for the job, and how I could bring the adventure to life for their readers, but here is my entry: 293 words long. Wish me luck!
First, my girlfriend dumped me like a load of gravel, prompting me to decide that two weeks in the Rockies would cure my funk. Then, my car broke up with me in Ohio, so I thumbed a ride to northern Minnesota, and caught the ferry to Isle Royale. A 20 year-old greenhorn, I hoisted a heavy pack that was missing several of the 10 essentials, but was crammed with the 50 non-essentials. I staggered along like an abused pack mule, generously donated blood to hordes of mosquitoes during tent-less nights, and fell into a river vainly attempting to photograph a moose. And I had such a good time that I want to go back!
From Rock Harbor, I’ll plan a circuit route over the Greenstone Ridge, Minong Ridge, and Rock Harbor Trails. This time, I’ll carry only what I‘ll need to safely hike a seven night trip, and to record it for Backpacker. The latter will include my DeLorme PN-60 GPS to record the track and waypoints. My digital camera, constant companion on my treks, will come along to capture images, hopefully to include a moose – sans dunking! Back home, my Topo USA software will map the track and synch my photos geographically. And on the trail, I’ll periodically send custom messages using my SPOT synched up with the PN-60. I’ll record field notes in a standard notebook, though.
I may not be your guy to lead a three-week trip through the Yukon, but I’ve done plenty of hiking and have enough backpacking experience to do the trails of Isle Royale again. And I like to share my hikes, as evidenced by my blog: http://o2bhiking.blogspot.com/. Appoint me as your field scout, and I will take your readers along to this magical island park!
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