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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
Stay tuned for updates!
73 de Mike, KEØGZT