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Thru-Hiking the SHT

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

This summer I thru-hiked the Superior Hiking Trail, traveling south bound. This trip was all made possible with funds from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Along the way I met wonderful people but also got to meet more of myself. It took 25 days to carry a 60lb pack 310 miles to the Wisconsin Border. I carried a Canon R5 digital camera with a 35mm f/1.4.

The stories I have taken away from this trip have been the most fulfilling part of the journey. Just sharing the images doesn't do them enough justice. Everyone I met on trail was so willing to have real conversations and to open up about their lives. After I got to know these folks I would take their portrait.

On my journey of the SHT, I was welcomed into homes to share dinner, to shower and enjoyed conversation with complete strangers. I learned about other people's hardest life challenges, how they over came them, or how they are still working through them. Lots of surface level conversations were had too. There was lots of talk about latrines, water sources during a drought, ultra light gear, the weather. Throughout the thru-hike I was met with endless hospitality and kindness on trail.

The people I met on trail were complete strangers. We happened to meet up at the same place at the same time, and likely will never see each other again. These images preserve the importance of the people who I "ran into" on trail.

Alice, the dog, from Endurance Kennels joined me along the way and she covered about 70% of the mileage with me.

I've had lots of folks reach out surrounding the images from this hike. I have decided to share a small portion here but have applied for another artist grant to showcase them in an in person format along side the stories behind every image.

Almost to the finish line of this thru-hike.

Cecelia Boyle is a fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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