McCarthy Beach State Park

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!

Hiking and Camping at Scenic State Park

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.

Painting, Paddling and Hiking on the Gunflint Trail | Part 2

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

Discovering the Beauty of the Gunflint Trail | Part 1

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

Isle Royale | The Adventure Continues!

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!

Whats In My Pack? 5 Day Comfort Light Gear List!

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!

Rock Harbor to Windigo | Backpacking Isle Royale National Park End to End

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

Happy Feet! Foot Care on the Trail Part 2

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!

Groundskeeping Season is Here! (again!)

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!

The Long and Short of Insulated Skirts and How to Target Your Layering System

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.

How to Enjoy Winter….just embrace it, they said…

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.

Reflections of a 2020 Groundskeeper

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