Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Petoskey Couple Escapes Minnesota Pagami Creek Fire

Pagami Creek Fire
smoke from Pagami Creek Fire (photo from a video at

based on a news article in the Duluth News Tribune

Greg and Julie Welch, of Petoskey, spent a terrifying day and night surrounded by the Pagami Creek Fire in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The couple was kayaking on Kawasachong Lake north of Tofte about 4 p.m. Monday when the fire hit. They had previously been told that they were in no danger. Then came the unprecedented 16-mile run as 40 mph winds spread the fire far to the east.

Three-foot waves kicked up on the water and Julie's kayak capsized. The sky turned black from smoke and hot coals and ash began raining from the sky. the Welches spent the afternoon in the water, wondering if they would survive. The noise from the fire and wind sounded like a freight train, and the two could barely hear each other shout although only ten feet apart. They could find air pure enough to breathe only at the water's surface, and they used sweatshirts to shield their faces from the hot coals.

The strong winds blew water onto the rocks at the eastern shore making a place that they decided was safe to land. Their tent had been lost, but they used inflatable mattresses to shelter themselves for the night. Severe thunderstorms and hail hit that night.

In the morning, they paddled through the blackened area, back to their truck parked at Lake Kawishiwi which was undamaged. At the ranger station in Tofte they were given a refund on their Boundary Waters permit!

Greg and Julie say they love the Boundary Waters and will return, but not when a fire is burning.

These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Tails to Trails Raises $10K for Animal Shelter

small rescued dog
shelter pet (photo by Animal Match Rescue Team)

based on several news articles

Isabella County’s Humane Animal Treatment Society raised about $10,000 Sunday for the operation of their shelter. The run/walk takes place each year at Island Park in Mt. Pleasant. Participants were welcome to bring their own pets, or to take a dog from the shelter.

The walk and 5 kilometer run use the Chippewa Trail system, with the run being staged in the morning and the walk in the afternoon. Participants who raised more than $75 received a T-shirt.

HATS Executive Director Jill Irving commented, "Many people who have adopted pets from the shelter use the opportunity to give back by either paying their own fee to take part, getting pledges from others, or both."

See Isabella County’s Humane Animal Treatment Society
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Michigan State Championship Disc Golf

disc golf
disc golf (photo by Garret Ellison)

based on a news article in the Ludington Daily News

Since 1996, the State Championship Disc Golf Tournament has been held in the Mason County area, on Labor Day weekend, largely because there are enough courses in the area to handle the volume. Even more courses have been added since the beginning year.

Jeff Schwass, the tournament director, confirmed that 340 players were pre-registered, and even more signed up on the weekend of the event. This meant that they were required to qualify on Friday to compete in the actual tournament.

Courses used for the tournament include Beauty, Beast and Goliath at the Mason County Campground, Leviathan Pro, Mids and Amateur, at the Ludington School Forest, and Flip City in Shelby. Added to that is a new course called The Edge at Scottville Riverside Park.

The Scottville course is not yet permanent, but is getting rave reviews for a short course. It consists of 20 holes over 4851 feet. Thirteen holes are in the woods, and seven in the open fields.

Not used for the tournament is another course, installed last year, at Udell Rollways off M-55 east of Manistee.

See 2011 Michigan Disc Golf Championships
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Epic Runners Meet at North Country Run

Terry Hitchcock
Terry Hitchcock (from the cover of his book)

compiled from several sources

This past Saturday, two epic runners were on hand at the North Country Run, staged at Big M near Manistee.

Terry Hitchcock ran the equivalent of 75 marathons in 75 days, at age 57. His book, A Father's Odyssey, tells of the challenges involved. He now travels the country as a motivational speaker. A movie about his quest was produced, called My Run, and his theme is "Nothing is Impossible."

Steve Knowlton was inspired by Hitchcock's run, and set out on one of his own, from St.Paul, Minnesota to Atlanta, Georgia. He has also completed a run from the northwest corner of the state of Washington to the southeast coast of Florida, over 4000 miles. His purpose was to raise awareness of Crohn's disease. He also hopes to raise money for that cause.

The two men had previously met, and are friends. Both live in Minnesota.

Hitchcock sold copies of his book on Saturday, and talked about the changes in his live that led him to take on such a run. Knowlton actually competed in the event, calling it a "tough course."

The North Country Run is a race with ultra marathon (50 miles), marathon and half marathon options. It is in its 12th year, and always fills fast, with a long waiting line for registration.

See Terry Hitchcock's site
See Steve Knowlton's site
See North Country Run
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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