A Superior Week

Author: Stephen
Rain Day

Rain Day


On each of my previous trips, the first week was the most challenging. So far, Superior has been no different in that regard. Worries about whether I have the right clothing, enough or too little food, where I will stay, if I’m prepared for an emergency, unknown wind and waves… The list is endless. Then I push off, and what will be, is.
The cold water is scary. Water temps were in low 40’s where I started, which ruled out my daily bath. It’s in the low 50’s now, where I’m taking a rain day off on the Wisconsin coast, about 20 miles from Duluth. The mosquitoes have been happy to see me, but they’ve been manageable so far. The marshy island I stayed on in Superior, Wisc., two nights ago was loaded with American dog ticks. I’d encountered them a couple of days prior at a river mouth where I camped, and got a couple of bites, and had become very biased against them. As I got out of the canoe on the island, I said to myself, looks like this could be Ticksville. I was wrong, it was Ticktropolis. I survived without a bite, though, by stomping the grass flat around my hammock, tucking my pant legs into my socks, pulling my bug shirt on tight, compulsively brushing my hands across my shirt every few minutes, and dumb luck.


Thick with ticks.

Thick with ticks.


Thankfully, I haven’t encountered any on this beach I’m staying now. The rocky Minnesota coast was beautiful, though intimidating with its lack of landing spots.


Splitrock Lighthouse, seen on the first day of paddling in Minnesota.

Splitrock Lighthouse, July 7


The sandy stretches along this stretch of Wisconsin are a welcome change. The sun is setting over the lingering rain clouds, so I’m off to bed. Thanks to everyone for the warm wishes. If I have one regret, it’s not having said enough how much your support of my going around in watery circles means to me.



At the mouth of the Bois Brule, Tuesday, July 15.



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11 Responses to “A Superior Week”

  1. Roy's Mom Says:

    You are awesome, my dear friend! There isn’t a moment I’m not sending you good vibes and whispering a prayer for your safety. You are always in my mind and, more importantly, in my heart!

  2. Spiceman Says:

    I love it when you report.

  3. Mary Johnson Says:

    Hi Stephen,
    Sending warm well wishes. Lovely photos! Post when you can.

  4. Timmo Says:

    Living the dream !

  5. Tweetmore Says:

    I just returned from Superior’s north shore, Stephen. I know you’ll have a great adventure. Happy circling! (It occurs to me that circling is exactly what many creatures do when their goal is to investigate something new and different. A perfectly adaptive strategy!

  6. Gene Says:

    It looks spectacular. Maybe cold and ticky, but beautiful.

  7. Timmo Says:

    He’s heading toward The Apostles…Oh, he must be reveling in the views !

  8. Ruth Says:

    And I get to see some of that this weekend! We are meeting briefly in Bayfield on Saturday and Sunday.

  9. No Mud/No Lotus Says:

    Bowing to the ticks…. but not too low
    Bowing to the waves…. but not too deeply
    Bowing to the canoe & paddle & body…. to carry you on
    Bowing to the beauty…. in the moment
    Bowing to you…. in our heart
    Serene Jewel wishes you happiness as
    you Breath In & Breath Out

  10. Timmo Says:

    Hmm….thought he might do more Apostle Island hopping…..

  11. Nancy Kowaleski Says:

    Except for the vivid tick report, I continue to live the dream with you Steven my friend. Safety Superior!!!

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