On the trail again!

This is the beginning of a story about a grandfather hiking with a grandson. I will soon be hiking and camping together with my grandson, Mikey, in state parks and on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT), along the North Shore of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota.

Mikey is 12 and he has camped and hiked with me before, often with his grandmother and sometimes his brothers.  However, our planned hiking and camping this year will be a little more demanding, given it’s just the two of us. But I have no doubts, Mikey is ready for the increased rigor and challenge! 😉

I’ll also bring along my Yaesu FT817 all mode tranceiver, a tuner, and a not-so-random, long wire home-brew antenna and some other radio kit, which I think he’ll find interesting. He is interested in the STEM-oriented classes (science,technology,engineering and math) available to him in middle-school , so I thought he might find the physics of radio design and operation to be intriguing. He’s into robots, drones and radio-controlled cars -amateur radio just might be a natural! If not now, maybe in a few years. We’ll see.

Then there’s always map-reading, use of a compass with or without a map, and common-sense things like using the sun and stars to find direction. And the campfires at night! We’re gonna have fun!


Two Step Falls, Baptism River

Two Step Falls, Baptism River, Tettegouche State Park, MN


High Falls, Baptism River

High Falls, Baptism River, Tettegouche State Park, MN


Trail in the woods

Trail in the woods, peaceful and quiet… the road less traveled!


A winding river in the distance

A winding river in the distance.


Which way is this river flowing and where does it go to? We can hike down and check it out, or find it on the map relative to the ridgeline we’re following, maybe also looking at the compass, or the sun’s angle for confirmation of our location. There’s also a road down there that might help confirm things.


North Shore river


Easy enough to see which direction this river/creek is flowing. Looks like its coming from the higher ground in the background, and is headed into Lake Superior. The sun’s angle would help confirm this, except for all the clouds blocking the sun this day.


Small lake and wetlands


It’s always important to filter water before drinking it. Some filters are better than others based on their ability to filter microorganisms (bacteria, protozoa, viruses, giardia, cryptosporidia, parasitic cysts, etc.), sediments and possible chemical contaminates in the water supply. Just because it looks clean doesn’t mean it’s safe to drink. And sometimes water that appears dirty or cloudy may actually be safe to drink -if filtered.

A ‘good’ filter is a ‘top-of-the-list’ need in the backcountry -or even in the city if the potable water supply gets contaminated. Always have a back-up filter canister/mechanism available if possible  -just in case. Boiling water will eliminate bad microorganisms, but not bad chemicals. I’ve seen people filter water through a bandana, or use no filter at all -don’t put yourself in those situations. Bad water can put you out of commission, simple as that!


Rocky river (1)


Rocky river (2)


Shovel Point, Tettegouche State Park, MN

Shovel Point, Tettegouche State Park, Lake Superior, MN


This area was once covered by glaciers over a mile deep. They began to melt 10-20,000 years ago leaving behind lake Superior and steep river gorges all along the North Shore. As I like to say, “thank God for global warming…,” or none of us would be here to enjoy this beautiful natural environment! Indeed!


Bear Lake, MN


Split Rock Lighthouse, Lake Superior, MN

Split Rock Lighthouse, Lake Superior, MN


SHT map and compass

SHT map and compass


SHT Maps and State Park maps

SHT Maps and State Park maps


Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail


Mike and Mikey Gone Hiking sign

Fun, fun, fun! 😉


Stay tuned for updates!

73 de Mike, KEØGZT


About Mike Hohmann

I did lots of camping/hiking as a kid in the Scouts, and I still strive to 'be prepared.' After high school, I got bored with more school and enlisted in the Army Corps. of Engineers, doing two tours in Vietnam. Post military, I completed BS and MBA degrees and spent several decades with Corporate America, working mostly in the areas of conventional and renewable energy. I also spent over a decade as a self-employed small business consultant in marketing and finance. As a young family man with a wife and two kids, we spent many vacations camping and hiking in northern Minnesota. I spent additional long weekends fishing the rivers and camping/hiking along the North Shore of Lake Superior. I retired early and hit the trails hard-- in the lower-48, Alaska, and western Canada. These days I backpack, car-camp and day-hike, go snowshoeing, and try to get the grand-kids out to teach them the ways of the trail. Other interests include American Revolutionary War and Civil War history, 19th and 20th century firearms, Native American history; business and macroeconomics. I'm a recently-licensed amateur (Ham) radio operator, and I look forward to many radio-related adventures in coming months. Life is good! Member, Superior Hiking Trail Association; Member, Appalachian Mountain Club; Member, REI; Member, ARRL- Amateur Radio Relay League, the National Assoc. for Amateur Radio; Twin Cities Metro Skywarn Spotter; Twin City FM Club; Richfield Amateur Radio Club; QRP ARCI, Low-Power Amateur Radio Club International; Honorary Member, Toronto QRP Society; Life Member, National Rifle Association
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6 Responses to On the trail again!

  1. Start ’em early, I always say. Enjoy! Looking forward to getting out soon myself.

    • Mike Hohmann says:

      I agree, Curt. Mikey is a trooper. He’s been out hiking with me for about 8 years, and camping with me for a few years now. Mostly in MN, but he’s been down to NM and CO as well. He’s getting bigger and stronger, and backpacking isn’t far off. I look forward to the backpacking with him and maybe his brothers… time will tell. Thanks for stopping by Curt. Btw, I enjoy your insightful takes on life in your blog, http://curtmacdougall.wordpress.com/. Thanks for visiting, Curt.

  2. Sounds like a great adventure for the two of you. Enjoy!

  3. judy hohmann says:

    This sounded like an awesome experience…so wonderful that you and Mikey created some wonderful and lasting memories in the outdoors!

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