After getting off to a rather late start this morning, I stopped at the ‘Bay Village’ coffee shop to pick up some gear they offered to lend me. Naturally, I stayed for a nice ‘Bulletproof’ – and didn’t get on the road until after 11 am.
Luckily I just made it to the parking permit office 5min before they closed for lunch, got my paperwork in order and continued to the parking lot at the trailhead!
Around 12:15 I started on the trail towards ‘Sawyer Bay’, planning to climb the head of the giant on the first day.
‘Sawyer Bay Trail’ does frankly resemble a quad track more than a hiking trail, it’s also very easy to walk and should be ideal for groups as two or three people can walk beside each other and chat comfortably.
Where the trail reached ‘Sawyer Bay’ there are several, really nice campsites and fireplaces. Beautifully arranged right at the shore!
The trail continues as a clearly visible, and easy to follow, footpath, soon reaching the fork where the ‘Head Trail’ takes of up the hillside.
I followed it up to the top, and the view is totally worth the effort of climbing the trail. And, yes, partly it is more a climb than a hike, just take it slow and You’ll be good!
Once back at the fork I continued the ‘Kabeyun Trail’ along the shore of ‘Lake Superior. The trail is very easy to find and follow, mostly close to the water and with very few changes in elevation.
After leaving the western shoreline and starting the climb over the giant’s feet, the ground gets clearly rougher. First, just an uphill slope, later steeply downhill on the east side. Closer to ‘Lehtinen’s Bay’ the trail climbs over large rocks and progress slows down immensely!
Just a short way past the rocky area I found this beautiful camp between the trail and the shore, the view over the lake is truly amazing and I look forward to falling asleep to the sound of the waves hitting shore!
On the next morning, I got started around 9 am and headed for the Talus trail to get to the crossing that would take me to the top of the giant. This was a much more mellow hike than to the head, still partly steep, yet with beautiful steps built into the trail, making the steep parts so much easier.
I found it a little weird when finding the sign for the ‘top’ pretty much in the woods and not even near the highest point in the area.
Continuing further up the trail got me to the western cliffs and opened up a beautiful scenery!
The sky, that had been overcast already, grew darker the longer the day went towards noon and, also considering the fact that I didn´t find any water in the streams, I decided to head back to the car. Finally leaving the park just after 1 pm for the hour-long drive back to town!
I really enjoyed hiking the area and am rather happy to have left the ‘chest’ for a later occation, giving me an excuse to come back!
The journey continues, please leave a comment to tell me what You think and share this with friends and loved ones who might benefit or be interested!
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In this article I want to clarify what led up to the decision to hike fasted and how I prepared for the experiment.
So, if You been following my stuff for any amount of time, You already know that I’m a proponent of low carb nutrition and fuel my own activities primarily with fat. I noticed a considerable shift in my metabolism after the 30 day hike in nutritional ketosis I did in the summer of 2017, after which I no longer need a few days adaptation when choosing to up the carbs for a day or a few. My thoughts are that the prolonged activity during ketosis restored my bodies natural metabolic flexibility and increased my ability to fuel with free fatty acids directly.
I have felt inclined to try an extended fast for quite some time, just didn’t seem to get to it, and now I thought the time was right and the decision was made on pretty short notice.
Just a couple of days before the start of the hike on Friday, March 23rd 2018, I caught myself falling into a pattern of spontaneous OMAD (one meal a day). I had my usual fat coffee in the morning and just wasn’t hungry more than once a day.
Probably this can be explained by stress levels being a lot lower than back in Stockholm and the abundance of sunlight I enjoy here on the island.
Anyway, I was clearly in fat burning mode when I skipped my fat coffee on Friday morning, leaving dinner at 18:00 (6PM) Thursday as my last meal before going out into the hills 13:30 (1:30PM) Friday.
Totalling just short of 80km (50 miles) I ended the hike on Sunday 16:00 and did only take in water and pink Himalayan salt (contains lots of electrolytes besides the sodium) during this time. Admittedly I consumed a lot of water and added about 0.5 tsp salt to each 1.5l bottle.
Timing proved to be perfect and on Sunday night my body told me to end the fast, dinner at 20:00 (8PM) left me with a 74 hour fasting period, maybe it had felt good to go longer if I had not been hiking. For now and under the circumstances, this was exactly right for me.
Now, I can’t stretch enough the importance of being properly fat and keto adapted if You want to copy the experience. Though it is true that fasting is one of the fastest ways of entering nutritional ketosis, doing that while being this physically active can only be a very unpleasant experience.
So, will I do this again?
Well, on the fasting side – definitely! I felt really good the whole weekend, good energy levels most of the time and really no feelings of fatigue or even serious hunger. The plan for now is to incorporate 24-36 hours fasts on a more or less weekly basis with an extended fast every now and then when it fits into my life situation.
At some point, when life’s slow and rather stress free, I´d like to go for a longer fast, maybe 7-10 days, to really reap the health benefits. For now the natural intermittent fasting I do on an almost daily basis will suffice!
That’s all for now, thanks for checking out the post and I hope you found it valuable.