Painting My Way West – Part 1: Idaho!

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.

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? 2021 Isle Royale Gear List!

The 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 trek, where … Continue reading Whats In My Pack? 2021 Isle Royale 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

Hiking Southern Minnesota – Part 2: Pipestone National Monument, Split Rock Creek and Lake Shetek State Parks

Continued from part 1: Kilen Woods, Fort Ridgely and Blue Mounds State Parks! The prairie has a unique beauty and history that I am still learning more about. I'm also realizing the importance of knowing our history, in order to learn from it and avoid repeating it. So, if you are like me, and history … Continue reading Hiking Southern Minnesota – Part 2: Pipestone National Monument, Split Rock Creek and Lake Shetek State Parks

Hiking Southern Minnesota | Part 1: Kilen Woods, Fort Ridgely and Blue Mounds State Park

Garden Update! The garden is bursting and these late summer days are filled with working at home and in the yard. I'm writing this post on a family trip to another beautiful MN State Park, in a cute little rental camper, early in the morning while everyone is still asleep. No work or chores for … Continue reading Hiking Southern Minnesota | Part 1: Kilen Woods, Fort Ridgely and Blue Mounds 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

Exploring the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and 5 LNT Tips During the Government Shutdown

Read about our January thaw hike at Minnesota Valley Wildlife refuge! Learn some Leave No Trace Tips to help keep our wild spaces preserved, and check out an initial review of the Kula Cloth: the highly technical, one of a kind, reusable pee cloth!

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

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

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

Glacier National Park | St Mary, Virginia Falls, Garden Wall and Final Trip Thoughts

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 3 mi + 2 mi DIFFICULTY Easy, with a few blazing hot hills on the way out of the falls. DATE  July 6, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Two hikes in one day!  The trail to the falls follows the path of a recent forest fire, 3 miles out and back.  Several great spots for lunch and enjoying … Continue reading Glacier National Park | St Mary, Virginia Falls, Garden Wall and Final Trip Thoughts

Glacier National Park | Many Glacier

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 5-10 mi DIFFICULTY Easy and flat to Grinnell Lake, then hilly on the loop back. DATE  July 5, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  The trail follows the shoreline of Swiftcurrent Lake, Lake Josephine and Grinnell Lake with views of 5 Glaciers from the Many Glacier Hotel area. No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving … Continue reading Glacier National Park | Many Glacier

Glacier National Park | Trail of the Cedars, Avalanche Lake and Paradise Point.

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 5-6 miles DIFFICULTY Easy with some elevation up to Avalanche Lake DATE  July 4, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Trail winds through towering Cedars and evergreen forest along waterfalls and rushing river to turquoise blue Avalanche Lake.  Be sure to walk to the end of the trail for the best view. Woke up before everyone again and ordered … Continue reading Glacier National Park | Trail of the Cedars, Avalanche Lake and Paradise Point.

Glacier National Park | Whitewater Rafting

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH about 3 hours (I lost track) DIFFICULTY Easy with an awesome guide like "SOCCER MIKE"! DATE  July 3, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Amazing views of Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Woke up at 4:45am, made the hostel coffee and headed out to Brownie's front porch to enjoy the sunrise.  I get the feeling that I am … Continue reading Glacier National Park | Whitewater Rafting

Glacier National Park | Logan Pass & Hidden Lake Trail

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 4-5 mi DIFFICULTY Easy to overlook without snow, but extremely steep down to the lake.  Moderate to Difficult with snow. DATE  July 2, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Panoramic views across mountains, glacial lakes and snow fields, mountain goats. One of the benefits of adventuring with Scouts is that the Senior Patrol Leader and ASPL decide each night what time … Continue reading Glacier National Park | Logan Pass & Hidden Lake Trail

Glacier National Park | Scenic Point

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 7.9 mi (longer if you start at the visitor center) DIFFICULTY Moderate to Difficult DATE  July 1, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Beargrass, wide mountain views, Hoary Marmot and Sheep My day started at 5am.  Made a pot of coffee and relaxed on the Brownie's Hostel porch with a mountain view for a good hour or so.  Today's … Continue reading Glacier National Park | Scenic Point

Glacier National Park – Day 1 & 2: Amtrak & Brownies

Welcome to the first post from last week's trip to Glacier National Park!  Last year, 18 of us went to Isle Royale, this year another group of 18 Scouts and adults to East Glacier for our Boy Scout Troop's 2017 High Adventure Trip.  We planned the trip 9 months out and held almost all of … Continue reading Glacier National Park – Day 1 & 2: Amtrak & Brownies

Glacier National Park Part 1: Remembering our first trip.

“Wander here a whole summer, if you can. Thousands of God’s wild blessings will search you and soak you as if your were a sponge, and the big days will go uncounted. If you are business-tangled, and so burdened with duty that only tweeks can be got out of the heavy laden year, then go … Continue reading Glacier National Park Part 1: Remembering our first trip.

Isle Royale Part 3: Prepping and Packing!

Here's the 3rd installment of our backpacking trip to Isle Royale National Park!  This post will focus a little more on planning and packing for our backpacking adventure! Know your facts about where you can and can't stay: Group camping:  Like most NPS Backpacking sites, there are regulations on how many people can stay in a … Continue reading Isle Royale Part 3: Prepping and Packing!