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Lake Superior - NMCA Winter Walk:
February 2 - 13, 2008

This expedition was an exploration of the beauty and recreational opportunities of the newly designated Lake Superior National Maritime Conservation Area (NMCA) in winter.

Winter is the defining season of the Boreal Forest which is sometimes called the "Snow Forest" and as such it was also an opportunity to expand on WREAF's summer and autumn expeditions of the Boreal Forest.

We started from Scandia House in Nipigon, Ontario; a B&B where we had spent the night of Feb 1.  We traveled out  across Nipigon Bay  to St. Ignace Island, the second largest island in Lake Superior and the largest island in the NMCA where we spent the next 10 days exploring before returning to Nipigon.

The town of Nipigon treated us like conquering heroes upon our return, with a welcoming committee that escorted us in so that we wouldn't miss the petroglyphs or the safe route across the river, dinner with the mayor and plaques for "Crossing the Line at 49" since we did come into Nipigon - the most northerly freshwater port in North America - by water, or ice in our case.

Rest and Relaxation

Dangerous WindChill Warning as this ground gale approached.  We elected to head for an emergency shelter at Caribou Point and it roared in exactly at 7:00 pm February 9. While we would have been OK in the tent pitched in a sheltered location, it was a reassurance to have the shelter; rickety as it was, during this dangerously cold storm with its 50 mph winds.

Incongruously there was a run-down sauna out on a point across from the cabin.   After shoveling out three feet of snow and ice from the buried chimney, wiring aluminum foil patching around the inside pipes and burning a fire in it for hours it was ready.  Afterwards naturally we had to run outside wearing only mukluks and snowflakes.

Map of the Winter Trek Detailed Map of the Winter Trek The Walkers John Walking on the Ridge NMCA Walk Tent at Night