The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Local trail group honors longtime volunteer


June 21, 2018

Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

Cal Kangas, left, presents Gerald Anderson with the North Country Trail Association's Honor Award Tuesday at the Ni-Miikanaake chapter's monthly meeting.


Ironwood - Even though he said he doesn't necessarily make it to all the chapter meetings anymore, the Ni-Miikanaake chapter of the the North Country Trail Association honored long-time volunteer Gerald Anderson at its meeting Tuesday.

Anderson, a former pastor of Sharon Lutheran Church in Bessemer, now lives in Rhinelander, Wis. However, even while living in Wisconsin, he still maintains a section of the North Country National Scenic Trail near the Porcupine Mountains State Park.

"Gerald was nominated by some of the people who have been with us for quite a while," chapter president Cal Kangas said while presenting Anderson with the North Country Trail Association's Honor Award.

"Thank you very much for nominating me. For remembering me, considering how seldom I make it to meetings and stuff," Anderson said. "Usually it's only ... in November because the days are so short I have to get out of the woods before it's time for the meeting."

Kangas said while he didn't know Anderson personally that well, he did get a chance to spend a day in the woods with him cleaning up a section of trail.

"We walked in for a good while, and we brushed for a good while after walking in a couple miles ... and I said, 'That man can walk,'" Kangas said, laughing. "He's like a 2-mile-an-hour walker and I'm like a mile-and-a-quarter. He took a lot of rests to wait for me."

Anderson joked he was fine stopping to allow Kangas to catch up, as he was the one who agreed to carry the saw.

Along with spending time on the North Country Trail, Anderson has hiked trails around the country - including completing the Appalachian Trail three times as well as hiking sections of the Pacific Crest Trail in California and the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin.

"He has walked more trails than most people have walked, miles-wise and trails-wise," Kangas said.

Anderson recounted some of his memories maintaining the section of trail between South Boundary Road and M-64, which he said he has been doing for at least a decade.

"I started hiking on the Appalachian Trail in 1995, and I quickly learned to appreciate trail maintainers," Anderson said. "You know, the people who built that trail and keep it going. But I wasn't in the position to go work on the Appalachian."

In other action:

-The chapter scheduled a hike to the Montreal Gorge for Sept. 8. The time will be determined closer to the hike.

-The chapter also heard an update on the effort to reroute the trail through the Porkies. While it is too early to discuss the timeline of the switch, Karl Jensen told the Daily Globe the reroute will start roughly from the Lake Superior Trail and use other existing trails in the park to route the NCT closer to Lake Superior and the Lake of the Clouds before rejoining the existing route toward M-64.


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