I’d SO been looking forward to resuming my NCT hike in 2024, this time heading out from Hobart Township Hall in western Minnesota to the western terminus in North Dakota. But shortly before I was to leave, my father – who was given six months Hiking trail running alongside a lake.to live 2.5 years ago – suddenly went downhill rapidly. I was by his side for several days, turning him over in the middle of the night to prevent bed sores, and saying tearful goodbyes when they took him to hospice.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (among regular links) to products I own and like, or which I think you might like. This means that, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Should I go on my hike anyway? He’d always told me YES these last 2.5 years. With the medical professionals saying he could last a day or a month, and other family members eager to take turns by his side, I headed out yesterday. It wasn’t an easy decision. And I know I will likely interrupt my four-week trek to return home for his funeral.

Heading Out from Hobart Township Hall

Michelle and Dave Olsen were my shuttlers today, and will be for the next three days. The weather was perfect – sunny and cool, with temps that began in the 40s F (4-7 C) and would top out around 70 F (21 C) by day’s end. This section of the trail began as a road walk, where I passed innumerable pretty little lakes.

At one point the path went off-road for a little bit, taking me along Long Lake and then past the largest loon in the world in Large loon decoration on a Minnesota lake.Vargas. Ha!

Segueing to a Recreational Trail

After Vargas, the trail piggybacks on the Otter Tail Trail (and maybe one other), which extends to Fergus Falls. These recreational trails are paved and follow the road, with occasional benches and even a porta-potty at one point.

The day’s mileage continued to showcase all of these pretty little lakes, which was so lovely. While I was initially on a busy highway, the bulk of the miles were on a quiet – but quite hilly – area.

Tonight I’m camping at Maplewood State Park. There’s a beautiful new shower house that I’m sure the website said would be open, but it’s closed. Rats. It’s a little wash-up in my tent tonight.

Clouds reflected in a blue lake.

MN NCT miles today: 19.9 (32 km)
MN NCT miles to date: 812.1 (1,307 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 2,830.6 (4,555.4 km) 
Total NCT miles to go: 1,769.4 (2,847.6 km)

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons