Hiking Dude Blog
2023 - Nov Apr Jan
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Just in time for Christmas for you or that hiker you know!
I published SHT4U2NO - 150 Super Hiking Tips For You To Know this summer. Tips and advice from my thousands of miles and hundreds of nights spent on long trails. It includes examples of when I used tips on my treks.
Last month, I finally published Trail Tales #1 - seven fictional short stories for young readers, inspired by my Arizona Trail thru-hike. It took a few years, but it's done!
The stories feature Scout, a boy that can talk to animals, and how he helps animals in need while demonstrating good outdoor ethics.
And, I just published Trail Tales #2 - the second book in the Trail Tales series, this one based on the Superior Hiking Trail. This coming year, I will finish the next two books and the series is scheduled to have 10 books in all.Click a book title for purchasing.
Hey, go to early church on Sunday so you can visit with us about our Camino de Costa Rica hike in Room 102 of Hanson Hall on U of Minnesota campus at 11am. See Midwest Mountaineering's Expo site for details.
Are you busy on Sunday, April 30 at 11am?
If not, join us in room 102 of Hanson Hall on U of Minnesota campus for the first presentation in our world tour about our successful 2023 Camino de Costa Rica hike.
If nothing else, you'll get a sticker, and maybe a free copy of my latest book.
See Expo site for details.
There are a lot of other interesting 1-hour presentations on Saturday and Sunday. After our talk you could hang around and learn about Machu Pichu, Tanzania, Te Araroa, Mt. Assiniboine, and the Wabakami wilderness.
On my hike across Costa Rica, there was never a lack of lush plant life. From the warm, humid coastlands over the cooler mountain ranges, thick forest and jungle could be found everywhere except where bananas, pineapples, coffee, and palm trees had been planted. There were many exotic plants which I had not seen before and a rainbow of colors in the flowers.
Here is a sample of the exotic plants and flowers from along the trail.
(I didn't notice the small insect until preparing these photos :-) )
We did stop at a store for fresh coconut water - a straw poked in a hole in the coconut! That was refreshing.
Reaching the end of the trail around 1:30 at the ocean in Quepos was sudden and fulfilling. With no more land to walk on, we could take our time the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying our success.
You can see photos on Instagram
Our hike started up on a ridgeline with swallow-tailed kites riding the wind above us. At about 8am, we got our first view of the Pacific Ocean 13 days after walking away from the Caribbean Sea!
Once we began the long descent towards the coast, the humidity skyrocketed. Low, stifling clouds and warmth from the sun made a great sauna experience. Our support vehicle stopping with cold drinks and snacks occasionally made it much more bearable.
Most of our hike was on remote dirt roads through lush rain forest but 27km of mostly steep descents wow on legs that had been hiking for 12 days already.
Lunch was at a very remote home of a man that left the city life to subside off the land. The view from his lofty shelter was wonderful. The home grown vegetable meal was also delicious. After lunch, he led us on a faint jungle trail back to the main route. In this thick jungle, the humidity was obvious and did not let up until the end of the day.
With occasional glimpses of the coast to motivate us, we hiked on eventually reaching a most wonderful destination for the night.
Rudy has created a bird sanctuary to conserve lands and education people. It is over 100 acres of land set aside from encroachment and open to visitors to learn about pretty much all things conservation-minded in Costa Rica. He is extremely passionate and had a great small staff to provide a memorable experience. And, they have the best hot shower that over had on the past 2 weeks!
After a nice chat about conversation and a most wonderful chicken dinner, it has cooled down considerably and is now finally pleasant. But, honestly, I believe today was probably the most humid hike I've ever done. The jungle was alive with the sounds of cicadas and birds at times, and this is what I was expecting when contemplating a hike across Costa Rica. I'm just glad every day was not like this.
As I'm writing this before bed, I have huge cicadas flying about and landing on me. Nature everywhere!
You can see our progress at Hikers Social
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Feb 13, 2020 - Jason Berklund
Feb 13, 2020 - Hiking Dude
Getting to the northern terminus is expensive (in my mind). If you can schedule correctly, Arrowhead Transit is cheapest to Grand Marais, but then Harriet Quarles is the only shuttle I know of. You might find a good ol' boy in Grand Marais willing to drive you the 35 miles to the end for a few $$$.
It's a 3 hour drive from Duluth - that's 6 hours and 300 miles round-trip. Maybe your friend would like to drive up the north shore for a day.
Feb 04, 2024 - John
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