1,100 Mile ‘Ode 2 Minnesota’ Expedition Traveler Stops at Caribou Highlands to Celebrate Halfway Point of His Journey  

Minnesota native, Steve Schreader, knows the North Shore more than most. In fact, he’s on his way to completing a 1,100-mile travel expedition which he’s aptly titled ‘Ode 2 Minnesota.” Steve has biked, paddled and hiked from his home in St. Paul, Minn. through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area to the Grand Portage north of Grand Marias and the entire Superior Hiking Trail in Jay Cooke State Park. From there Steve will round his trip off with a bike ride home to St. Paul.

Caribou Highlands had the opportunity to interview the adventurer and ask about his travels. You can follow Steve as he completes his journey on his Facebook page.

Caribou Highlands: You have covered quite a bit of ground so far. What has been your most memorable part of the journey?

Steve: The paddling portion of Rainy Lake to Grand Portage was pretty much what I expected until we hit Gunflint Lake. Gunflint Lake is big, and we were hitting two-to-three-foot waves for a couple days.

I had a wave that caught me off guard, spun me around broadside and rolled me. When I rolled, the maps went in the waves. At that point…I was yelling about every curse word possible.)

Long story short. It became a real adventure.

Caribou Highlands: What have you learned on this journey that you can share with fellow outdoor enthusiasts?

Steve: It probably regards maps. You don’t have to rely on them 24/7. People think you have to have your maps on you at all times. The reality is you don’t.

With skills and confidence to know and understand landscape features and know where landmarks are in relation to those features, you don’t need to necessarily use maps.

The map is just there to get you out of the bad stuff if it does in fact happen. If you somehow lose track of where you are, you can pull out the map and use it to get to safety.

Caribou Highlands: Do you have a favorite aspect, location or memory of the northern Minnesota wilderness?

Steve: We had a pretty magical moment this time around. The first day we stayed in Voyageur National Park, we had two eagles fly right by the campsite. And, every day from that day until we landed at Grand Portage we had an eagle with us.

The biggest moment was when we hit one of the pictographs. We were looking at these pictographs and a loon came by and gave us this little laughter-like song as if to say “what are you doing here?” Then the eagle flew by. It was super crazy!

Caribou Highlands: If you could recommend one thing to travelers looking to explore the Lutsen area like you have, what would it be?

Steve: What I would say for the Lutsen area in general is, rather than looking on TripAdvisor or looking on the internet, pick an activity you’re very passionate about and find the means to do it.

The Lutsen area has a lot that people can get a lot out of, depending on what activity they’re involved with.

Find something you like and direct yourself toward locations you can do those activities, rather than picking a spot and questioning what you can do around there.

Caribou Highlands: How does it feel to earn a break and get a good night’s sleep?

Steve: Oh, you have no idea!