Soloing Superior Inside-out 
 a bicycle & Kayak Journey around Lake superior 

  “Who they were . . . not the sea or the 
  weather . . . determined the nature of 
  their voyage.”
                 - Peter Nichols -

“Solo travel removes any ambiguity about exactly 
who is responsible for the outcome."
                               - John Dowd -
“Everything can be found at sea, according to the spirit of your quest.”
                                                                - Joseph Conrad -

In the summer of 2011, I began my bicycle journey around the outside of Lake Superior in Ashland, WI,  primarily because every journey has a starting point and a point to which one returns. Unfortunately, I was not able to return to complete the circle.  The trip ended when I was struck by a car a hundred and twenty miles east of Thunder Bay, Ontario.  I will do the bicycle portion again in 2013 . . . then it will truly be a journey Inside-Out.

This summer I will begin my kayak journey around the inside of the lake in Ashland . . .

The idea for the journey is one of perspective . . . of experiencing the largest freshwater inland sea . . . and myself . . .  from the inside and the outside.


inside by kayak . . . Outside by bicycle


The Spirit Tree

On the western shore of Lake Superior a single cedar tree wraps its roots around rocks ten feet above the water’s surface.  It has been doing so for the last 800 years.  It is the oldest living tree on any of the Great Lakes . Both Cree and  Ojibway First Nations called it Manitou or spirit tree.

I have not seen the spirit tree yet because it is most easily see from the water . . . from the inside-out.

Without getting too “New Age” sappy, there is a certain symbolism for me in this tree.

I am 57 years-old and beginning to feel my age. But I’ll be damned if I’ll go “gentle into that good night.”  There is strength in resisting the pull of entropy and eternity . . . to clinging to bedrock defying centuries of nor’easters. Someday that tree will give up the “spirit,” but in the meanwhile it will meet each sunrise and sunset on its own terms. 

I’m thinking I should do no less . . .

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater inland sea on Earth.  I stretches 385 miles (615 km) east-west and 160 miles (258 km) north, covering 31,700 sq. miles (81,170 km). The states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire would fit within its shores. There is a total of 2,725 miles (4,387 km) of shoreline. Lake superior holds 3 quadrillion gallons of water . . . fully ten percent of the Earth’s fresh water. Its average water temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius). 

It takes 30 minutes for sunrise and sunset to arc east to west across the lake.

Get a feel for the lake in one of her early November moods . . .  

Countdown To Inside Journey

I am dedicating my solo kayak trip around Lake Superior to my younger brother, Greg, who died after eighteen months on this lovely planet. Greg never got the chance to grow up and explore the wild places . . . to share adventures with his older brother or to solo his own.

I also want to dedicate my effort to Big City Mountaineers and their dedication to at-risk youth by providing these young people with a second critical chance to grow . . . to grow confident . . . to grow strong . . . to grow in ways they could not have imagined from the limited vista of the streets on which they live . . . in essence to grow up.

I can think of no better way to honor the short life of my little brother than to support Big City Mountaineers in their effort to change one young life at a time on adventures to the wild places. Learn more about BCM by visiting their website . . .

My goal . . . with your help . . . is to raise $5000, enough to give 15 young people a life-changing wilderness adventure.

Click below logo to access the Soloing Superior Inside Out Donation page on the Big City Mountaineers website. Any amount will be appreciated and well-used.

Click Here

To Donate


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