German hiker back to walk the line along the 48th parallel

Gary Kean
Published on June 9, 2014
German Schleinkofer poses for a photo outside the Glynmill Inn in Corner Brook on Saturday, June 7, 2014.
Diane Crocker

A man of his word, German Schleinkofer is back in North America to meet more of his “neighbours” who live on the 48th parallel.

One year ago, the 65-year-old man from Bad Wörishofen, Germany was in the midst of the North American portion of his mission to follow the global latitude on which his own home sits in Europe.

Schleinkofer has already strolled the 48th across 10 countries in Europe.

He began his North American trip in St. John’s in mid-May 2013 and returned home in late June after arriving in Corner Brook.

Late last week, Schleinkofer landed at Deer Lake Regional Airport and is now all set to resume his hike, starting from Corner Brook today.

“I met some great people along the way in Newfoundland last year and I’m looking forward to meeting more of my neighbours I don’t know yet this year,” said Schleinkofer.

His plan is to hike to Port aux Basques, then take the ferry across the Nova Scotia. From there, he will find his way to Charlo, N.B. and back to the 48th parallel as quickly as he can.

“When I get to the mainland, I will try to hike towards Lake Superior,” he said. “I have no idea how far I’ll get this year. I have my flight booked to go back home from Montreal on July 15.”

 After Lake Superior, the journey would take him into the United States and through Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Washington in order to reach the western coast of North America.

Last year, he used a mono-walker — a one-wheeled trailer — to carry all of his possessions. For this year’s hike, Schleinkofer has built his own two-wheeled trailer, which he hopes will make for easier going.

“I don’t know how it’s going to work yet because this will be the first time I’ve used it,” he said.

One other lesson he learned last year was to get a better sleeping bag.

“There were some cold night last year, so I wanted to have a better one this time,” he said. “This new one is good for both warm and cold nights.”

Schleinkofer hopes to one day pen a book about the travelling experience he’s had on the 48th parallel.