In 2013, a buddy and I kayaked across Lake Michigan to North Manitou Island, which I’ll write about at some point. I’ve been looking for a new personal accomplishment since then, but unlike some of my friends, solo kayaking in deep water isn’t really my idea of a relaxing time.
I love being on the island, and I had originally played with the idea of doing a solo week there with a lazy lap around the island. People have done longer trips there for sure, but how many people have done more than one night out in the wilderness by themselves? A week alone on an island would certainly be an accomplishment.
I want to go in the spring before the weather gets too hot and the insects too large. The ferry will only run if there are enough people to make the trip worthwhile, and only if the water is fairly calm. The shipwrecks around the island can attest to how temperamental the Great Lakes can be. I don’t want to take the risk of being stuck on the island longer than planned, especially when carrying only the bare minimum of food to save weight. What about the same experience without the ferry?
So I decided that I would do a week in a forest on the mainland. Michigan has a ton of public forest land. If I’m going to spend a week in the forest, I may as well spend that week hiking and get a little taste of what I would experience on the Appalachian Trail (one of my life goals). I think 100 miles in a week is a difficult but attainable goal, and an accomplishment not many people can claim, especially with how sedentary our country is. I certainly don’t know of anyone personally that have done a hike of this length. So that’s my goal for this year.