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 the … Continue reading Field Trip to Winona, MN | Home of Enlightened Equipment and Whitewater State Park

Stillwater Stair Challenge + The Stillwater Bridge

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 3-8 miles DIFFICULTY 500 + Steep stairs with lots of flat paved sections in between. DATE  May 19, 2018 MAIN FEATURES  Historic town of Stillwater with beautiful views of the St Croix River. My 26th hike of the 2018 52 Hike Challenge started at 6am at the base of the Chilkoot Stairs on Main Street in … Continue reading Stillwater Stair Challenge + The Stillwater Bridge

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

Hiking From Minnesota to Wisconsin Across the St Croix River Bridge

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 10 miles DIFFICULTY  Easy DATE  March 4, 2018 MAIN FEATURES Flat multi-use trail, accessible to all levels.  Windy! There is only person I can go on an unplanned 10 mile hike with.   This person escalates everything into a full fledged adventure and swears that every bald eagle I see is actually a vulture or … Continue reading Hiking From Minnesota to Wisconsin Across the St Croix River Bridge

Belle Isle, Richmond Virginia

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2 miles DIFFICULTY Easy, very accessible DATE  Jan 18, 2018 MAIN FEATURES Flat urban trail, accessible to all hiking and biking levels.  Sun! There’s something so lovely about witnessing the power of mother nature taking back her space with her vines, rust and ability to move just about anything she wants back into place.  I'm currently … Continue reading Belle Isle, Richmond Virginia

Snowshoeing on the St Croix River

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 2.5-3 miles DIFFICULTY Easy, with caution DATE  Jan 13, 2018 MAIN FEATURES Flat trail on a frozen river, use caution and traction devices. I have been taught to never trust a river, whether frozen or thawed...it is wild, dangerous and a tempting treat. I think there are more rivers in my future. Today’s adventure started at … Continue reading Snowshoeing on the St Croix River

Hiking Minnesota National Wildlife Refuge: Nine Mile Creek

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 5.5 miles DIFFICULTY Easy DATE  Jan 6, 2018 MAIN FEATURES Flat trail with views of the river and 9 mile creek. Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1976 to provide habitat for a large number of migratory waterfowl, fish, and other wildlife species threatened by commercial and industrial development, and to provide environmental education, … Continue reading Hiking Minnesota National Wildlife Refuge: Nine Mile Creek

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

Hike 52: Eagle Mountain-BWCA!

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 7 miles roundtrip DIFFICULTY Moderate DATE  December 9, 2017 MAIN FEATURES Highest Point in MN, Amazing views of the BWCA Wilderness, No wind, no rain Or winters cold can stop me, 'Cause you are my goal. There ain't no mountain high enough Ain't no valley low enough Ain't no river wide enough To keep me from getting to … Continue reading Hike 52: Eagle Mountain-BWCA!

Hike 52 Adventure Part 1 – Lake Superior

"Those who have never seen Superior get an inadequate idea by hearing it spoken of as a lake Superior is a sea It breeds storms and rain and fog like a sea. It is cold, masterful, and dreaded." -Rev. George Grant, 1872 If you have been following along on the 2017 Wandering Pine journey, you … Continue reading Hike 52 Adventure Part 1 – Lake Superior

My First Winter Camping Experience aka ‘The coldest night of my life’

I was a new Scout Leader, and knew nothing about winter camping but enthusiastically volunteered to coordinate a winter overnight as a camping merit badge requirement. From there, I led my first backpacking trip the following summer without any experience.  Powered by this same enthusiasm and thirst for wilderness knowledge, we trekked to Glacier National Park.  Lots of learning and we've  survived every adventure since!

Hiking Lebanon Hills Regional Park

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 8 miles DIFFICULTY Easy DATE  November 4, 2017 MAIN FEATURES Forests, grasslands, marshes, and wetlands Lebanon Hills Regional Park is located in the Minnesota cities of Eagan and Apple Valley. The 1,869-acre park, the largest in Dakota County.  This park has been on my list for a while since it's fairly close to home and has come … Continue reading Hiking Lebanon Hills Regional Park

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 public 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' … Continue reading First solo at Afton State Park’s best-kept secret!

Fall Hiking at 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 at Interstate Park

Live from New York, it’s Central Park!

TRIP DETAILS  LENGTH 5 miles DIFFICULTY Easy DATE  October 13, 2017 MAIN FEATURES  Beautiful views of the Big Apple, walking trails and happy dogs. Just got back from a quick work trip to Manhattan that included a hike through Central Park.  Being a Scout Leader and part of the 52 Hike Challenge has been such a great way to … Continue reading Live from New York, it’s Central Park!