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Happy 6th Birthday to Wandering Pine!
S I X . Y E A R S 🎉
Break out the party tooters and root beer, it’s time to celebrate! Thanks for being here, from Wandering Pine’s very first post to the 203rd post! It’s time to look back on another year of adventure: from Art Hikes to Bikepacking to Bushwhacking in the BWCA- I’m filled with gratitude for your readership and support along the way!
Here’s to an amazing 2023!
‘Tis is the season that I find myself looking back on the previous year , reorganizing things and setting new intentions. Winter is also great time to stick your nose in a map or a book and dream up a new adventure. My friend calls it ‘Planuary’. I love that.
After 6 years of content creation (203 posts and 16 pages), this space was starting to feel like a bursting closet that needed some clearing and reorganizing. I kicked off 2022 with a new home page, newsletter, events & classes page, a shop page featuring my watercolor art prints, new brands on the Brand Partner Page and some general tidying up. Whew!
Ok, do you have your root beer and party tooter? Lets go! 🎉🎉🎉
2022 Fun Facts!
Annual Blog Stats:
- Number of posts: 13
- Number of visitors: 26,076
- Number of views: 43,318
- Total words: 28,677
- All time views (2017-2022): 181,491
Top 5 blog posts:
- Wheal n’ Flare! My Dance with Hikers Rash
- What’s in my field Art Kit and How to Build Your Own
- Backpacking Isle Royale–Rock Harbor to Windigo
- Making Your Own Ultralight Backpack
- Women’s Winter Retreat Hayward WI
2022 started with a First Day Hike at French Park with the Women Who Hike Minnesota crew. This is a tradition I’ve enjoyed over the years and is a great way to kick off the New Year with fresh air and friends. I also released the Winter Solstice Print, one of my favorites in the shop.
Happy 50th to me! I celebrated turning half a century old with family and friends, a new paint palette, and painted a lovely White Pine Tree as a gift to myself. You can also read about the Thrive Women’s Retreat in Hayward WI- which was full of Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, cozy cabin time and plenty of time for sketchbook painting. I also taught my first art class of the year with the Kula Academy, called: The Great Kula Art Experiment. In this class we learned an overview of the mail art movement in Art History had some fun painting and engaged in a month long art postcard trade from people all over the US and even as far as Japan!
March brought the Spring thaw, and kicked off muddy training for our May backpacking trip. I released 4 new Art prints, the put a bird on it notecard series and continued the daily Postcard project. The community and connection of this project has been so wonderful, I’d love to teach it again in 2023!
In April, I shared ways to reduce waste on the trail, hosted another Women Who Hike MN Group hike and started dehydrating meals for our May trip. I also got to teach 3 more workshops- woo hoo!
- Beginner Backpacking Clinic in Wisconsin with Thrive Outdoor Women’s Adventures
- Adventure Sketchbook course through the Kula Academy
- “The 4 P’s” webinar sponsored by Leave No Trace, Women Who Hike and Kula Cloth – 350 people attended!
I really enjoy teaching classes that focus on learning new skills designed to help build confidence in the outdoors and creativity. I hope to do more of these types of classes in the future.
May kicked off with another Art Hike and Workshop at Silverwood Park, more food prep and more training for this Summer’s adventures. We originally planned on hiking the Kekekabic trail at the end of the month, but the heavy snow and floods made the trail impassible and we came up with a plan b, days before the trip. Pictured Rocks National Scenic Lakeshore ended up being the most beautiful backpacking trip I’ve been on to date and I would love to go back!
- S24what?! First Bikepacking Trip, Route + Gear List
- NW Minnesota State Park Tour | Buffalo River + Red River + Old Mill!
- NW Minnesota State Park Tour | Lake Bronson + Hayes Lake + Zippel Bay + Lake Bemidji!
Our youngest son graduated High School! We are so proud of him and time really does fly! I took my first S24O bike packing overnight and focused on training for upcoming bikepacking and backpacking trips. My husband and I embarked on a week long Minnesota State Park Tour in our sweet lil A-frame camper to visit the last 7 State Parks in my Hiking Club book. It was so fun to visit the northwest part of the state and spend time together.
- A Brand New Minnesota State Park Campground | Split Rock Lighthouse – Shipwreck Creek!
- Rolling on the River: Bikepacking the Root River State Trail
Over the 4th of July, we took our second camper trip of the year and visited Minnesota’s newest State Park. It rained and temperatures felt more like November, but we stayed cozy and I enjoyed painting inside. We also said goodbye to my 92 year old Grandpa in Idaho, and celebrated the vibrant cowboy life he lived. A few weeks later, I was back on two wheels leading my first multi day bikepacking trip in Southern Minnesota with Thrive. We rolled along the Root River, through the driftless region and enjoyed the small towns (and pie) along the way!
- Backpacking the Border Route Trail | 65 Miles on the Canadian Border
- What’s in my Pack? 15 lb Baseweight Gear List
- Border Route Trip video
- Border Route Gear Video
In August, we backpacked 65 remote miles through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. It was the wildest and most challenging trail I’ve ever hiked. The Border Route Trail is part of the North Country Trail, and hiking it, in combination with Pictured Rocks allowed me to earn another 100 miler patch for the NCT. I also received my all miles patch for Minnesota State Parks this month, a goal I had been working toward for 7 years! I’m a sucker for patches if you didn’t know that by now. 🙂
- no posts this month
We spent our annual Fall family camping trip at Frontenac State Park, it was fun to have adult children along in their very own campsite! I also organized another clean up hike with the Women Who Hike crew and squeezed in an overnight backpacking trip on the Bean and Bear Lake loop on the Superior Hiking Trail. We had such a nice long Autumn in Minnesota this year, we really savored it!
In October, I hosted another Art hike with the Kula Academy, a leaf peeping hike with the Women Who Hike crew, and co-led a women’s retreat in Hayward Wisconsin with Thrive Outdoor Women – hiking biking, paddling, yoga and art. I also taught two backpacking courses again at St Paul College and finally got around to writing the food post I’ve been promising. Granite Gear gifted me an undyed (white) Crown 3 60 backpack to use as a blank canvas and I’m having so much fun painting it with my own designs. I’m looking forward to bringing this custom pack on my 2023 adventures!
- no posts this month
Work trip to San Francisco, and a little side trip to the Muir Woods. It was one of the most magical forests I’ve ever visited and am looking for a way to see more of the Redwoods in the future. Hosted another Annual Ugly Sweater Hike with the Women Who Hike Crew, celebrated the first snowfall and released 5 new stickers in the shop – check em out!
I painted everyday during the month of December in a beautifully handmade book by my friend Ruth to celebrate Advent; focusing on experimentation, using my imagination and spiritual reflection. Got out twice in my brand new snowshoes and enjoyed family Christmas with a new 4 legged family member- a KITTEN! He is such a sweet little cat and my phone is now full of funny cat videos.
2022 was another full year of personal growth, adventure and rolling with the ups and downs of life. It was such a pleasure to teach more classes, host group hikes and get to meet so many of you virtually and in person.
In 2023, I’m looking forward to backpacking across the Grand Canyon, hopefully another shot at the Kekekabic Trail (if conditions allow) offering more workshops and classes, and doing my 5th 52 Hike Challenge as part of the ‘Over 50 Outside’ crew.
What are you looking forward to in 2023? Are you heading out on a big trip? Building your outdoor skills and spend more time outside? I’d love to hear about your goals and aspirations! Drop me a note in the comments or join the Wandering Pine FB or IG to continue the conversation! Hearing from you is always encouraging and really keeps things going around here.
Thank you for being part of another amazing year here at Wandering Pine. Wishing you a blessed New Year full of good health, hope and new adventures!