Welcome to day 3 of our trip to 4 North Central Minnesota State Parks! Today's hike takes us to Big Bog State Recreation Area, part of one of the largest undeveloped wilderness areas in the United States. The park features many species of rare and fascinating plants and feels like going to another world filled with tiny surprises. Enjoy!
Welcome to day 2 of our trip to 4 North Central Minnesota State Parks! We used our new camper as a relaxing home base for exploring neighboring parks and I'm excited to get back to my goal of hiking ALL of the Minnesota State Park Hiking Club Trails. Have you been to McCarthy Beach State Park? Be sure to hit subscribe or check back to see more paintings from the trail, and hear more about a 300 year old pine tree and a belching bog!
We're back from a great trip to 4...count 'em, F O U R North Central Minnesota State Parks! We used our new camper as a relaxing home base for exploring neighboring parks and I'm excited to get back to my goal of hiking all of the Minnesota State Park Hiking Club Trails. Have you been to Scenic State Park? Be sure to hit subscribe or check back to see more paintings from the trail, and hear more about a 300 year old pine tree and a belching bog! Hope you are having a wonderful end of Summer and are looking forward to cooler temps and the colors of Fall.
We're picking back up from part 1 where we'll head back up to the Gunflint Trail and venture out on a few hiking trails, paddle in the BWCA and do some more adventure painting! So many of our favorite places are currently burning and are on my heart these days. Isle Royale, the Arrowhead of … Continue reading Painting, Paddling and Hiking on the Gunflint Trail | Part 2
So many of our favorite places are experiencing active wildfires this summer. The forest has a miraculous ability to regenerate itself after fire, but my heart and prayers are with all of the firefighters, emergency workers, residents, recreationalists, resort owners and animals as the BWCA and Arrowhead of MN burns and is currently closed for … Continue reading Discovering the Beauty of the Gunflint Trail | Part 1
R O A D T R I P! Happy 105th Birthday to our National Parks! Our family recently returned from a 10 day road trip out to Idaho to see the grandparents. We didn’t stop much on our way westward, but extended our vacation on the way back to Minnesota, visiting 4 National Parks and Historic Sites! … Continue reading Black Hills and Badlands | South Dakota Roadtrip!
“There are no foothills to the Tetons. They rise suddenly in rugged majesty from the rock strewn plain…” — Gustavus Cheney Doane Our family recently returned from a 10 day road trip out to Idaho to see my grandparents. We didn't stop much on our way westward, but extended our vacation on the way back, visiting … Continue reading Grand Teton National Park | Jenny Lake!
Our family recently returned from a 10 day roadtrip out West. Our last trip to Idaho to see the my Grandparents was in 2014, the kids were a lot smaller back then! This post is a memoir of our visit. Stay tuned for part 2 and 3 which will highlight our trip home through 4 National Parks and more daily watercolor paintings from the car.
We’ve been back on the mainland for a few weeks, but the adventure continues! Last week, we were invited to be on a podcast based out of Michigan, called "Hike: explore|wander|live"! I have been on the show before talking about my SHT LASH (Superior Hiking Trail Long Amazing Section Hike), and it was so … Continue reading Isle Royale | The Adventure Continues!
The Isle Royale trip report is up, so let's talk about gear next! This post covers my 5 day packing list, weights (according to my scale) and some of the conditions I prepared for on this trip. Be sure to also check out the accompanying gear video I shot on our last night of the … Continue reading Whats In My Pack? 5 Day Comfort Light Gear List!
We're back from our 5 day trip to the Isle and wanted to get this trip report out, in one long segment in case anyone is heading out there soon and needs up to date conditions. We were given a current condition report from friends prior to leaving and it was super helpful. Please check … Continue reading Rock Harbor to Windigo | Backpacking Isle Royale National Park End to End
This two part post covers foot care tips for hiking, backpacking and off the trail. Check out Part 1 for pre-hike foot care tips. Topics covered in part two: my journey to finding the right footwear, daily foot prep, foot first aid kit and a list of my favorite foot gear. Our feet can take us wonderful places, but without proper care, they can be a real pain. So let's start with some things I learned the hard way, so hopefully you don't have to!
This two part post covers hiking and backpacking foot care tips for both on and off the trail. Topics covered: selecting footwear, prepping your feet, checking your gear and my favorite foot gear. Our feet can take us wonderful places, here are a few ways I keep mine happy! Happy hiking!
The great thaw is upon us here in Minnesota, which the means Winter’s trash is making it’s BIG reveal and it’s time to kick off Groundskeeping season! In case you missed it, or you are new to this space… Since 2019, I have been part of a team of amazing humans who are committed to leaving public spaces better by picking up trash, following the Leave No Trace (LNT) principles and spreading the word! In this post, you can also read about my submission for the 2021 Kula Cloth Design Contest and how to support my work with your vote. Thank you!
"No matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, the outdoors is for you. And I think everybody should be able to enjoy it."Emily Ford, Duluth News Tribune We had the privilege of witnessing Emily Ford and Diggins the sled dog make history this weekend by reaching the Western … Continue reading Emily Ford Completes the Ice Age Trail!
Pants are cool - if you love em, wear em! But I have found, as my body shape changes with age and new hiking and biking muscles, that pants are not the well fitting friend that they once were. Skirts and kilts provide a freedom of movement and fit that pants do not. But the bigger reason for adding an insulated skirt to your closet is that you can target areas that tend to get colder and add a new tool to your layering toolbox. I find that that the fronts of my thighs, rear end and middle get the coldest first, so having another layer over these spots keeps me happy. Having a separate layer of protection provides options for different conditions. Check out this post to read more about insulated skirts, kilts and wraps and a few more ideas of how to stay toasty this winter.
It is currently -16 degrees, -32 degrees with the windchill as I write this. One of the things I've come to love about Minnesotans is their fondness for talking about the weather. Re-visitng my journey towards learning to love winter and rounding up some of my best winter posts was a fun to do over a hot cup of coffee on this cold morning. I hope these stories inspire you to keep venturing outside without worrying about freezing your buns off.
Happy 4th Birthday to Wandering Pine! It's always fun to look back to see how things have changed and recap the highlights of the year. The Saturday mornings that I used to dedicate to writing have been spent walking outside, working in the garden and quietly wedged into my reading chair with the dog. I … Continue reading 2020 Year in Review
The numbers are in! The Groundskeepers team picked up over 6,348 pounds of trash from our public trails and waterways around the country this year! That's a total 16,729 pounds of trash since 2017! Whoa. Last year, I was interviewed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune about being part of the 2019 Granite Gear Groundskeeper Crew. We … Continue reading Reflections of a 2020 Groundskeeper
This review covers 4 different types of Wandering Pine-tested winter foot traction, including an affordable DIY Screw Shoe option! After a few falls on the ice, I consider winter foot traction a critical piece of winter gear. I also gave traction devices a special shout out in my 2020 Outdoor Gift Guide because they are a practical and thoughtful gift for anyone living in a cold climate.