The Nomad carries a small digital camera with him to capture the people, places and breathtaking scenery found along the trail. Every couple of weeks he sends home his camera media card so online photo albums and videos can be created to share with you. Be sure to check back often to view these images and experience the journey through his eyes.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 1
March 22, from the Knife River Indian Villages at Stanton, North Dakota, to March 27, near McClusky, North Dakota.
This segment of video begins the first steps of Odyssey 2009, a thru-hike of the North Country National Scenic Trail. It’s a rough start for the Nomad as the snow and below freezing temperature lingers into the Spring and some near white out conditions cause a few zero mile days at the outset. However, as is the nature of the Nomad, he quickly puts the frozen tarmac under foot and makes his way through a portion of North Dakota.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 2
March 29, from Goodrich, North Dakota, to April 3, Valley City, North Dakota.
This segment of video begins at Goodrich, North Dakota. Enduring below freezing temperatures, high winds, snow, flooding, fog, and extremely low visibility, the Nimblewill Nomad shares with you this footage of Spring in the High Plains of North Dakota. He continues his roadwalk eastward along ND 200 to southbound on ND 1. The video closes on April 3, at Valley City, where the Sheyenne River pedestrian bridge crossing is sandbagged 4 1/2 foot high due to flooding.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 3
April 3, from Valley City, North Dakota, to April 10, near Frazee, Minnesota
This segment of video takes the Nomad through many flooded areas as he continues his roadwalk and the conquest of a rough Spring in North Dakota. Hiking his way out of the Sheyenne River Valley he continues southbound until he puts Fort Ambercrombie and the Red River behind him, thus crossing into Minnesota, the “Land of a 10,000 Lakes”. The days are starting to warm up a bit and things seem to be shaping up into a fine hiking adventure.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 4
April 10, from Tamarac Lake, Minnesota, to April 17, near Reemer, Minnesota
This segment of video begins with a peaceful panoramic view of Tamarac Lake, frozen and serene, as the Nomad makes his way toward the Tamarac Wildlife Refuge. Soon after, he finds himself at the beginning of the treadway of a certified section of the North Country National Scenic Trail. He treks his way into the Itasca State Park, giving us an educational look at the Headwaters of the Mississippi River, at Lake Itasca. His journey also takes him through the Paul Bunyan State Forest, and then the NCT certified trail comes to an end in Minnesota, northeast of Remer.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 5
April 19, from Midland, Minnesota, to April 26, west of Howard Lake, Minnesota
This segment opens with the Sunday morning church bells of Midland chiming a serene “Ava Maria” in the background. From there theNimblewill Nomad treks on to pass by historical locations of yesterday’s rich iron ore mines, now depressing to see so much that time seems to have forgotten. You can also experience the beauty and power of the runoff water of snow melts and the outfall from Aginak Lake (Canada) as its affects are seen in Minnesota.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 6
May 3, from Pattison State Park, Wisconsin to May 8, Copper Falls State Park, Wisconsin
This segment begins shortly after the Nomad has left Minnesota behind, crossing the St. Louis River Bridge into Wisconsin, and stops to admire the scenery in Pattison State Park, along the Black River. Follow him as he climbs the Brule-St.Croix Portage, a route between/connecting the waters of the Great Lakes with those of the Mississippi, first discovered in 1680, and pauses at large stones with bronze plaques naming just a few of the earlier voyageurs, some dating to the 18th Century. A little further along the Nomad shares some footage of the cascading waters at Tyler Forks & Bad River, in Copper Falls State Park, Wisconsin.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 7
May 10, Ironwood to May 11, Manitou Falls, Michigan UP
This segment begins with Lone Wolf discovering the Nomad as he walks the streets of Ironwood, in the Michigan Upper Peninsula. Then, as he continues the North Country Trail, he takes us with him along the banks of the Black River, near Lake Superior, sharing the beauty and power of the Conglomerate Falls, Patawatomi Falls, and Rainbow Falls. Later , as he treks through the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness, along the Presque Isle River, the Nomad again lets us hike along with him to experience Nawadaha Falls and Manitou Falls. These are only a few of the many waterfalls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 8
May 10, Ironwood to May 11, Manitou Falls, Michigan UP
May 12, Ottawa National Forest to May 19, Marquette, Michigan UP
This segment begins in Ottawa National Forest, beyond Cascade Falls, through the historical old village of Victoria, on to Rockland. The trail then leads to O-Kun-De-Kun Falls and a suspension bridge over the Baltimore River. Hiking along with the Nomad, we get to enjoy a scenic walk along the shore of Lake Superior, at Little Presque Isle Point, north of Marquette.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 9
May 23, Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore to May 26, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Michigan UP
This segment takes us along the Pictured Rock National Lake Shore, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, showing off such marvels as a rock formation known as the Grand Portal and Grand Sable Falls. And then the Nomad takes us on down the trail to the majesty and power of the upper and lower falls of the Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 10
May 28, Paradise, Michigan UP to June 2, Petosky, Michigan LP
This segment begins on the last day of May, and the last day in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, at the Straits of Mackinaw Bridge. TheNomad is driven the 5 miles across the bridge but plans to return in September for the 53rd Annual Bridge Walk to fill in this gap. On the other side of the bridge, now in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, theNomad takes us to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, the ship he served on some 50 years ago. Next we experience both the visual and sound of Sandhill Cranes along the trail. And then it’s on to French Farm Lake and Big Stone Creek, before the Nomad stops to replenish his H2O, as he heads on toward Petosky.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 11
June 4, Boyne Falls to June 11, past Timber Creek National Forest Campground, Michigan LP
This segment begins where the Jordon River Valley Trail and the North Country Scenic National Trail run together as one. From there the Nomad takes us along the Manistee River, where he records a sighting of hens and chicks in the trees. Further down the trail we get a lesson on the identification of Sassafras growing on the trail, and a reminder that Poison Ivy can grow there as well. The Nomad then shares the cathedral atmosphere of the Manistee River Red Pine Plantation, before reaching the Pere Marquette River.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 12
June 14, Croton to June 16, north of Lowell, Michigan LP
This segment begins by hiking along with the Nimblewill Nomad as he emerges from the North Woods portion of the North Country Trail, near Croton, Michigan, leaving it behind to begin a series of road walks. The Nomad pauses to take in the peaceful beauty of a Centennial Farm before pushing on toward Lowell, Michigan, where he will reach the half-way point of this odyssey.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 13
June 20, Fort Custer National Cemetery, Michigan LP to June 26, Independence Dam State Park, Ohio
This segment begins with a pause at the Fort Custer National Cemetery, in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. From there the Nomadmoves on to the bike way along the Kalamazoo River, in downtown Battle Creek; and then on to several greeting committees (of the webbed feet and four legged variety). At one point, on the centerline of Territorial Road, the Nomad stands one foot in Michigan and one foot in Ohio. The closing scene is at Independence State Park, with a pan shot of the Maumee River, along side the Miami-Erie-Wabash Canal.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 14
July 1, Urbana to July 11, Fort Hill State Memorial, Ohio
This segment begins in Urbana, Ohio, on the Simon Kenton Rail Trail and then on to the Little Miami Rail Trail. The NCT takes the Nomadthrough miles of mud bogs found in the East Fork Lakes State Park, until he bails out to the back roads where he finds a very noisy welcoming party. After lots of road walking, the Nomad arrives at the Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve, a beautiful place where the NCT follows the Buckeye Trail. Another day finds the Nomad pausing at an archeological site called Serpent Mound, and then on to Fort Hill State Memorial.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 15
July 13, Scioto Trail State Forest, near Londonderry to July 19, Marietta, Ohio
This segment begins near Londonderry, in the Tar Hills of Ohio, in the Scioto Trail State Forest. From there the Nomad takes us to the awe and wonderment of Ash Cave and Old Man’s Cave, sharing the magnificent natural beauty of Cedar Falls and these amazing formations. A few more miles down the trail and the Nomad spends time in Burr Oak State Park before coming to rest in Marietta, Ohio.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 16
July 23, Freeport, Ohio to July 28, South of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
This segment begins in Freeport, Ohio, at the Fort Steuben Scout Reservation. The Nomad and Gordon enjoy a meal and a short stay with these scouts before heading along the Ohio-Erie Canal Tow Path, near the historic village of Zoar. Once in Zoar, the Nomad pauses to take in the beauty of Zoar Garden before hiking on down the Potomac Heritage Trail, a rail trail south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along the Great Allegheny Passage.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 17
August 1, Parker, Pennsylvania to August 9, Franklinville, New York
This segment begins with the Nomad on the road in Parker, Pennsylvania, watching many motorcyclists pass him by. We get a look of the Allegheny River as he crosses the bridge; and then it’s off to the Lower Sheriff Run, in the Allegheny National Forest. Another state line is crossed and the Nomad finds himself on the Finger Lake Trail at Poverty Hill, New York. As the Nomad continues the trail to arrive in Franklinville, he shares scenes of how treacherous the floodwaters have become in this area.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 18
August 12, Garwoods to August 17, Watkins Glen State Park, New York
This segment takes us along with the Nomad, near Garwoods, in upper state New York, as he traverses a remarkable tread like none other he’s hiked before. For the better part of a quarter-mile, the trail takes him right up the center of a stream, set up in steps, with cascading water falling to ripples and small rapids. This little stream is on private property, as is the next section of peaceful farmland, where the Nomad gives some good advice on electric fences. The segment then ends with a spectacular view along the Gorge Trail and Indian Trail, as seen from the Rim Trail that runs along-side, in Watkins Glen State Park, as the Nomad pauses to take video that needs no narration to enjoy the awe-inspiring wonder found within.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 19
August 19, Robert H. Treman State Forest to August 31, Adirondack State Park, New York
In this segment the Nomad takes us through Enfield Gorge, located in the Robert H. Treman State Forest, in New York. Such magnificent stone work and rock structure, made by both nature and man. A little further down the trail the Nomad reaches the Adirondack State Park and provides us with a breathtaking look at the rushing waters of the Cold River, from a suspension bridge he is crossing. What a view!
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 20
September 1, Mt. Marcy to September 2, Crown Point State Park, New York.
This segment finds the Nomad standing atop the summit of Mt. Marcy, the highest point in New York State, at a little over 5000 feet. Here he finds Julia, a summit steward, who gives us quite a historical background on the Indian legend of Mt. Marcy. From there the Nomad shares with us a view of some of the harsh trail conditions, along with the climb portions and methods the trail follows across the mountains. Before leaving the forest trail, to take up the road walk portion that comes next, the Nomad stops to give us a few moments of the beauty of Beaver Meadow Falls. Then it’s on to some scenery along the road walk, and a view of Lake Champlain, as the Nomad arrives at Crown Point, the end of the North Country National Scenic Trail.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 21
September 3, Lake Champlain Bridge, New York to September 7, Mackinac Bridge, Michigan.
This segment begins with the Nomad standing on the lake Champlain Bridge as he crosses over from New York to Vermont. With the North Country Trail now behind him, the Nomad continues on to Vermont to hike 52 miles to connect his NCT hike to his Appalachian Trail Hikes of 1998 (northbound) and 2000 (southbound). From there the Nomad heads back to Michigan, to the Straits of Mackinac where he returns to walk the 5 miles he earlier had to ride, across the Mackinac Bridge. Labor Day is the only day of the year that pedestrians are allowed to walk across the bridge, and the Nomad timed it just right to be a part of this event.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 22
September 25, Pigeon River to September 28, East Devil’s Track Lake, Lake Superior National Forest, Minnesota.
This segment begins about 2 miles into the Nomad’s hike to cover an area of the Border Trail Route, in Minnesota. Determined to make up lost sections and complete this NCT thru-hike, the Nomad is now backtracking to hike all sections that were flooded, or otherwise impassable, during the earlier part of this odyssey. Taking us along the Superior Hiking Trail to the shores of Lake Superior, with some great panoramas, the Nomad makes us feel as though we’re right there in the woods with him as we watch the strong swaying of the trees from the stormy winds of the day, which produced some fresh blowdowns along the path. As he continues on down the trail, we get a peek at East Devil’s Track lake as the Nomad descends along a steep hill to cross a foot bridge, before heading back into the woods.
Odyssey 2009 – NCT – Part 23
October 5, Mt. Trudee, Minnesota to October 16, Sakakawea State Park, North Dakota
In this segment the Nomad continues to make up lost sections by backtracking to hike areas that were flooded, or otherwise impassable, during the earlier part of this odyssey. In this final video-log, the Nomad recites one of his poems amidst the beautiful fall colors of Mt. Trudee, Minnesota before moving on to North Dakota, where we are given panoramic views of the Sheyenne National Grasslands. At the Valley City State University we get to see a footbridge that crosses over the Sheyenne River, which was under water and sandbagged about 4-foot high in earlier pictures. As the Nomad moves on toward the end of his journey we take in scenic Lake Ashtabula, Sheyenne Lake and the McClusky Canal Spillway at the end of the terminus. And then Odyssey 2009 comes to an end at Sakakawea State Park, where it all began. At the visitor’s center, to celebrate the completion of his thru-hike, a reception and cake was awaiting the Nomad. The video closes with the Nimblewill Nomad, and his long-time friend and trail support, Gordon Smith, polishing off a piece of that celebration cake.
Yesterday Once More