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‘Thursdays at the U’ presenter shares adventures from 313-mile hike

| Linda Tollefsrud and Diane Walkoff

Looking for a unique way to celebrate your graduation? “Take a hike!” says one local librarian.

On Thursday, Feb. 28, Roxanne Backowski will present “Surviving and Thriving: a Through Hike of the Superior Hiking Trail” as part of UW-Eau Claire – Barron County's "Thursdays at the U" lecture and performance series. The presentation will be from noon-1 p.m. in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (Room 234, Ritzinger Hall) on the Rice Lake campus, 1800 College Drive.

Backowski, who serves as the electronic resources librarian for UW-Eau Claire’s McIntyre Library, earned her master’s degree in 2016 and celebrated by hiking the entire 313-mile Superior Hiking Trail.

Backowski’s trek began at the Wisconsin border, south of Duluth, Minnesota, continued to the Canadian border and followed the ridgeline along the north shore of Lake Superior. How does a person not only survive, but thrive, on a three-week hike? Based on her 2016 adventure, Backowski will share experiences on the trail and tips on how to plan for and execute an extended hiking trip.

"I encourage everyone to challenge themselves, get outside and enjoy the natural beauty around us," Backowski says. "I wanted to challenge myself physically after completing the mental and emotional challenge of graduate school. Spending 23 days on the trail was exhausting, but at the same time refreshing, and it turned out to be an experience of a lifetime."

For more information about "Thursdays at the U," contact Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, professor emeritus of psychology, UW Colleges, at or 715-234-8176, ext. 5417.

Photo caption: Roxanne Backowski pauses during her 313-mile hike to enjoy the scenery at Bean Lake in Minnesota's Tettegouche State Park.