Go Outside! How to Get Out and Stay Out

"GO OUTSIDE WITH THE REST OF THE WILD ANIMALS!!" -Mom Time to Hike! Last month at our "Unpacking Your Hiking Hesitations"  Clinic at Midwest Mountaineering, Ruth and I were asked a question: “How do you make time for hiking?” I responded almost automatically: “you make time for the things you love”.  But the minute those words … Continue reading Go Outside! How to Get Out and Stay Out

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‘What is’ vs. ‘What if’… Self Care at Glendalough State Park

"When you focus on the 'what ifs', you're almost manifesting the thing you are most worried about. By focusing on the 'what is', you are focusing on the good that is occurring in that present moment'-Sharlene Jones Episode 121: She Explores The last couple of weeks have been difficult. Life stuff...hurting for others, internalizing, etc...I … Continue reading ‘What is’ vs. ‘What if’… Self Care at Glendalough State Park

Maplewood State Park and North Country National Scenic Trail

Just back from a trip to Maplewood State Park!   We originally planned a large Women Who Hike Minnesota group event focusing on Leave No Trace Principles and cleaning up the trails with our reusable green "Dirt Bags" the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics generously provided.  As the landscape thaws each spring, there's trash … Continue reading Maplewood State Park and North Country National Scenic Trail

‘Instructions for Living a Life’ and Snowshoeing at Moose Lake State Park!

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2 mile Hiking Club Trail DIFFICULTY Easy DATE  Dec 28, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Wooded loop through rolling hills, views of a Wildlife Pond You may remember my post from Moose Lake State Park last 4th of July.   Back then the park was bursting with happy campers and families celebrating their 4th of July traditions a the … Continue reading ‘Instructions for Living a Life’ and Snowshoeing at Moose Lake State Park!

2018 Year in Review!

On January 1st 2017, I started this blog, as a place to write about my outdoor adventures, learning experiences, failures and encourage others to get outside at any skill level. That first year, I challenged myself to ask, before starting or continuing various activities, “Does this make me feel strong? Or will this build strength?” … Continue reading 2018 Year in Review!

Solo Hiking in West Central MN | Lake Carlos, Glacial Lakes, and Monson Lake State Parks

The last month or so has felt like a shifting of gears....a combination of the seasons changing, and my body aging.   It happens every Autumn.  November is the longest month of the year... and I feel it setting in.   Instead of fighting this slowing down like I usually do, I'm trying to appreciate the transition … Continue reading Solo Hiking in West Central MN | Lake Carlos, Glacial Lakes, and Monson Lake State Parks

Moose Lake State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2 mile hiking club trail (can be increased to 6) DIFFICULTY Easy with rolling hills DATE  July 4, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Sunny meadows, tall pine forests, swimming beach My morning started with cajoling my teenagers to come outside and play.   It was too hot, they were too tired and they had friends to see.   … Continue reading Moose Lake State Park

Part 2: The Mystery of …Forestville | Mystery Caves!

Welcome to part 2 of the Lake Louise/Forestville/Mystery Cave post!  Here's part 1 in case you missed it! Perhaps no Minnesota State Park offers a greater variety of attractions than does Forestville /Mystery Cave State Park. The park is rich in both historical and natural resources including the 1853- 1910 townsite of Forestville, meandering blue- … Continue reading Part 2: The Mystery of …Forestville | Mystery Caves!

Lake Louise and Forestville Mystery Cave State Parks| Part 1

LAKE LOUISE STATE PARK TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 1.3 mile hiking club trail DIFFICULTY Easy and flat DATE  June 22, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Iowa River and Lake Louise-blood thirsty mosquitoes     I left work a little early on Friday to hike my 37th Minnesota Hiking Club trail and get a head start on meeting the Scouts at Forestville Mystery … Continue reading Lake Louise and Forestville Mystery Cave State Parks| Part 1

Field Trip to Winona, MN | Part 2: Carley State Park!

CARLEY STATE PARK TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2 miles DIFFICULTY Moderate hills with water crossing DATE  May 14, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  River crossing, Virginia Bluebells in May After our visit to Enlightened Equipment to squeeze all of the quilts and meet the wonderful people who make them, followed by a hefty hike in Whitewater State Park, we decided to visit … Continue reading Field Trip to Winona, MN | Part 2: Carley State Park!

Field Trip to Winona, MN | Home of Enlightened Equipment and Whitewater State Park

  Most of my hikes in May started early with the sunrise.   When people ask me how I have time to hike, I tell them, you make time for the things you love to do...this means going to bed early and getting up before the sun sometimes.   Setting goals for myself such as … Continue reading Field Trip to Winona, MN | Home of Enlightened Equipment and Whitewater State Park

Backpacking and Day Hiking on the North Shore – Part 2: Split Rock, Palisade Head and George Crosby Manitou State Park.

How do you describe the beauty of a place where heaven and earth join seamlessly?   Or the mind trap of telling yourself over and over again that this massive body is not the ocean or an endless sea?  Or the magnetic-siren-pull of her waters that make you want to jump in and crash like … Continue reading Backpacking and Day Hiking on the North Shore – Part 2: Split Rock, Palisade Head and George Crosby Manitou State Park.

Minnehaha Falls to Pike Island, Fort Snelling State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 10 miles DIFFICULTY Easy but very icy today (bring ice traction) DATE  March 24, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  53 ft Minnehaha Falls and Pike Island My 18th hike of the 2018 52 Hike Challenge started at Minnehaha Falls Regional Park.   One of Minneapolis' oldest and most popular parks features a majestic 53-foot waterfall, limestone bluffs, and river … Continue reading Minnehaha Falls to Pike Island, Fort Snelling State Park

Fort Snelling State Park: 4 miler turned 10 miler

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 4-10 miles DIFFICULTY Easy with a little ice DATE  March 17, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Historic Fort Snelling and Pike Island My 16th hike of the 2018 52 Hike Challenge started at Fort Snelling State Park.   It is a park that I have been to many times during all 4 seasons and can easily be modified … Continue reading Fort Snelling State Park: 4 miler turned 10 miler

A California Transplant’s Guide to Winter Layers

“There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” -Alfred Wainwright   It’s a new year and it’s time to start the 52 hike challenge again! If 52 hikes isn’t your thing and you needed another reason to hike today, there’s also an event led by the American State Parks in all 50 states … Continue reading A California Transplant’s Guide to Winter Layers

2017 Year in Review

On January 1st 2017, I started this blog, as a place to write about my outdoor adventures, learning experiences, failures and encourage others to get outside at any skill level. In 2017, I also challenged myself to ask, before starting or continuing various activities, "Does this make me feel strong? Or will this build strength?” … Continue reading 2017 Year in Review

First solo at Afton State Park’s best-kept secret!

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH N/A DIFFICULTY Easy with some elevation DATE  October 20, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  St Croix River, Fall Foliage, Remote camping On Friday, after a week of the “me too” movement, reading discouraging responses to the Boy Scout announcement allowing girls in the program, this Outside Magazine article about women alone in the woods, and years of ‘helpful' unsolicited … Continue reading First solo at Afton State Park’s best-kept secret!

Fall Hiking in Interstate Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 10 miles DIFFICULTY Easy with some elevation DATE  October 8, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Glacial Potholes, River Bluffs, St Croix River, Fall Foliage, Climbing Interstate Park is on the Western terminus of the 1,200 mile long Ice Age Trail. It gets it name from being located on both the shores of WI and MN, joined by the St … Continue reading Fall Hiking in Interstate Park

Afton State Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 6.5 miles DIFFICULTY Easy to Moderate (hills) DATE  Sept 30, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Training Hills, Prairies, Bluffs & the St Croix River I was a little surprised to see that I have not reviewed Afton State Park yet!  It's my go to park when I want some hills and variety of terrain without driving very far … Continue reading Afton State Park

Myre Big Island State Park and Hennesey Hammock Gear Review

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 8 miles (6.2 mile Hiking Club) DIFFICULTY Easy wide trails. DATE  Sept 10, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Wildflowers, Pelicans, 16 miles of trail and sleeping on an island. This summer started out full of hiking in preparation for our trip to Glacier National Park and ended with weeks of biking, camping, kayaking and paddle boarding.  It's been … Continue reading Myre Big Island State Park and Hennesey Hammock Gear Review