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Who cares, let’s go outside!  I’m supposed to be working on a decluttering project tonight by going through my iPhone photos and exploding inbox.  I’m terrible with cleaning up my phone…so, here I am procrastinating.

imageAs I look over at my empty backpack, hanging there, in the corner, staring at me…and I’m trying to sort through photos...I have to just give myself a few minutes to look back on the adventures of 2016.   What an amazing year!!!   2017 is all about Glacier and the 52hikechallenge.  But last year…the DNR got most of my miles!

2016 marked the 125th Anniversary of Minnesota State Parks.  It’s also the 100th Anniversary of the National Parks!  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources held a special challenge for people to Hike, Bike or Paddle through their State Parks and State Trails to commemorate this milestone anniversary.

DNR 125:  Hiked and paddled through 20 State Parks and State Trails for a total of 184 miles.

My first hike was a 5 miler through Rice Lake State Park

My 128th mile was a 26.5 mile hike through Temperance River State Park

My 143rd was a 27 mile kayaking day.

The 184th mile was a 4 mile snowshoe through Fort Snelling State Park to close out the year.

fullsizeoutput_e24This is the nice ranger that gave me my fancy sticker.  He insisted on being in the photo.

In addition to the DNR party, several National Parks hosted their own ways to #findyourpark and celebrate their Centennial birthday.  I chose to hike 100 miles for my own personal satisfaction through National Parks and monuments.   I totally double dipped when I was on the St Croix National Scenic Riverway and Mississippi National Recreation Area if I was visiting a State Park or trail on those rivers.  Why not?  It was my challenge.  I also signed up for a virtual race on August 25th, the NPS’ ACTUAL birthday and wore this SWEET race bib while I hiked that night.  My poor hiking partner, Oh yes I did!


NPS:  Hiked through 15 Parks and National Monuments for a total of 147 miles.

My first hike was along the Mississippi National Recreation Area at Coon Rapids Dam

The furthest was 35 miles, backpacking through Isle Royale

The farthest from home was (hiking) 6 miles around the Liberty Bell and surrounding Philadelphia National Monuments.

What I learned?  

  1.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13
  2. You don’t really need your toenails.  Only 3 survived and two of which are still on life support.
  3. If you want to keep your toenails, get boots that fit.  (you really do need toenails)
  4. Hike your own hike.  For real.  And drink a lot of water.
  5. Never ever delete any photos or emails, you may need them later.  (just kidding.) But prioritizing being outside over being in front of a screen always pays off…(well except when you have to work.  If you are reading this blog, you already know that)  Be present.  Unplug.

After my big e-decluttering project, I’ll get going on my trip report for Isle Royale , the Curesearch Ultimate Hike and include some more cool local trails like the one I just hiked last night!

Happy Trails!



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