wilderness adventure log

1/10/2024 ; wintertime snowshoe adventure

sorry for not writing in here as often as i should! doesn't mean i haven't been having adventures outside! the snow came really late this year, it's only recently that the snow has actually stuck around. we should have had all this snow at least by thanksgiving!

i guess i can start with what i've been up to lately. with all this snow, we were able to go snowshoeing at a little trail here called vielmetti-peters! it was closed for a bit for logging activity apparently? but who's gonna be doing any kind of logging with all this snow. so we decided to just go for it, and it was so beautiful!

there were at least 5 inches of snow, and it was amazing! this was really my like, my first time seeing real actual piled up snow so i was really excited. it's so fluffy and pillowy! we kept walking down the trail and it was so dead silent, except for a train passing by for a minute. no birds, no wind blowing through the trees, just the sound of our snow shoes crunching in the snow as we walked. only thing i will say, my pants did get all drenched in snow because the snow shoes kept kicking it up onto the back of my legs. i'm not sure these were the best snow shoes and they were a pain in the ass to put on but they were better than nothing!

my first snow angel! probably against my better judgement, because my pants got drenched again... but i tried to do it as quick as i could so i could dust the snow off. all things considered, it was fun!! definitely need to bring my snow pants next time though.

i guess i understand why people hate the winter sort of? i mean, it helps that i don't need to commute for work, but yeah driving when it's snowy out and the roads are icky is really scary. but really... i don't mind the snow very much! scraping snow and ice off my car is tedious, but in florida i would spend the same amount of time cooling my car off before i could even get into it! no more burns from my seat belt, no more sweating so much i can't breathe, no more not being able to put my glasses on because they're too hot. it's all just a part of the season and i think more people should kind of just... appreciate what they can about the winter.

it's funny, N tells me a lot about what they used to do as a child. wear their pajamas inside out so there would be a snow day. using trash can lids to sled down hills. it feels so... weird. knowing that these are things people actually do, and not just something you see in a christmas movie. having never experienced winter, the most we would get in florida is that ONE day where it was like 45 degrees and people start busting out the scarves and boots. iguanas falling out of the trees, foggy windows in your car. it just feels strange. even in school, we learned about seasons, but i didn't really even have a frame of reference for what that felt like. we never travelled to places where it snowed, so i just really had no clue what people in other states that actually got seasons experienced. i'm really trying to take advantage of it and feel like a kid playing outside.

i really didn't mean for this entry to be so emotional. i don't know, every day i just feel so blessed and thankful to be where i am. to have the ability to experience this. even if i need to slow down sometimes and remember to enjoy little things, i'm happy i'm here. to have someone that cares, someone to share these experiences with and have fun together. a little critter to keep me company and laugh at. live somewhere so beautiful and be in awe every time i go outside because it reminds me of how beautiful the world is.

i guess that's it. enjoying the winter, enjoying good company, staying warm. that's all there is to it. enjoy this picture of mochi in the snow, she really loves it. why don't i write here more often?

until next time!

9/7/202 ; surprise! it's a bog!

man, has it been a minute since i wrote in here LOL. mostly because i like to include pictures in my entries, and getting the pictures set up is a bit of a hassle. but, i really need to talk about the hike i went on last week!

i've had this park saved for awhile, but i never really thought to go until last week when i didn't have much else to do and thought "hell, why not". so glad that i decided to go because it was AMAZING! it's called wetmore pond if you want to check it out. so i went in completely unaware of what was awaiting me at the end of the trail. the whole time, i thought it was just your usual nature trail with a pond at the end and that's it. but... i was very pleasantly surprised. so let's start at the beginning!

so the hike begins just like any other. lots of trees, 2 different trails to go down that all lead to the pond, and a little wooden path. it was a very hot day. sun was out and shining, no clouds, very steamy. but under the canopy, it was very cool and fresh. as i'm walking down the wooden path, i come up to an area with a huuuuge expanse of sphagnum moss! i had never seen sphagnum growing out in the wild before, so i was very excited to see so much of it! little did i know, i would see A LOT more later. but we will get to that...

so i'm walking down this wooden path, there's trees and bushes and moss everywhere, and the trail abruptly ends in this huge clearing of old growth trees! there were 2 separate trails to get to the pond. one was the standard trail, and the other was the DNR old growth trail. i obviously opted to take the longer, but more interesting old growth trail. and it did not disappoint! there were huge trees all over, and the trail at this point gets a little hazy, but i made my way through just fine following the trail markers. this section of the hike was pretty long, but it was beautiful, especially since i went later in the day and the sun was in peak golden hour.

the park was absolutely empty this day, it was a really hot day so i think most people were at the beach. i only encountered one couple with their dog the whole time i was there, and once they left i was pretty much alone here. which was amazing, because it meant i had the park and the trail all to myself! it's a weird sensation, to be alone in nature. it's definitely a bit scary, especially if you're new to hiking like me and still learning how to go through trails and basic outdoors stuff. but it's also very liberating. no sounds of people talking or cars or construction. it's just you and the sound of the wind in the trees, the birds, your footsteps. it almost feels like your senses are heightened, because it's just so quiet that every little sound is so crisp. still doesn't answer the whole "if a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound" question. it a tree fell while i was there, it probably would have sounded like a bomb went off.

anyway, continuing on the trail you can tell you're starting to climb up. rocks begin to appear, and the landscape changes from a forest to a sort of rocky clearing with moss and blueberry bushes. i come up to this area that i stopped at to just breathe and draw for a bit. it was a rocky, moss covered opening in the trees, where the sun was able to shine in through the canopy. on one side you had the forest, and on the other side was the small mountain which hid the pond on the other side.

on top of this little clearing that i was sitting on there was a pile of burned logs, which means that people had definitely camped up here, which gave me the awesome idea of possibly coming back to maybe spend a night out in the woods. it's scary being a "girl" and doing things outdoors, because there will always be evil people who have the worst intentions in mind, but i also can't let that fear stop me from doing things i want to do. i'm not sure if i'm at the level yet where i would go camping on my own, but i would love to get there soon. this area seemed like an awesome place to camp, so i'm saving it on my list of potential camp spots. anyway, i stopped here to drink some water and draw a bit, just taking a little break before i continued the higher incline hike to the top to see the lake. the moss and lichen carpeting the floor was a comfortable seat, and of course mochi had to try and eat a random mushroom growing on a log, which i had to quickly yank from her mouth and throw as far away as possible.

after taking a rest, we continued onward to the top of the mountain. well, less mountain and more giant rock hill. or maybe it is a mountain? i don't know, apparently the mountains in the upper peninsula are so damn old that they've eroded and they're just like. giant mounds of smooth rocks now. but whatever, the point is i climbed the rocks, and the trees started to get more and more sparse, until BOOM! you are greeted with the most romantic, breathtaking view of wetmore pond.

the sun is glistening over the water, there's tall grass all along the banks of the pond, all framed by a beautiful treeline in the distance. i couldn't believe i hadn't come here sooner, it was amazing! it honestly left me in awe of the natural beauty of the UP. and i actually live here? that's nuts.

living here really does feel like you're at the edge of the world. it's kind of an existential feeling, you feel like there isn't anything else beyond the shores of lake superior. the sky is so big and wide it feels like it can eat you up sometimes. same with the lake. she's (yes, lake superior is a big, beautiful woman) so vast and you can't even see the other side. it feels like if you get on a boat and sail north, you'll hit a wall like in the truman show. but yeah, i feel very safe being up here, not only because nothing ever really happens up here, but because it just feels like i'm so far away from the rest of the world. like if you're at the top of mount everest. you're so far away, nothing can touch you.

anyways, enough blabbering about the existential dread i feel every day. cough cough. once you reach the top, there's a little offshoot trail that leads you down the mountain to the edge of the pond. and here is where it gets even MORE AWESOME. so all that land you can see on the banks of the pond? it's not solid ground. it is a PEAT BOG!!!

i was absolutely ECSTATIC! i love bogs and swamps of all kinds, and the fact that waiting for me at the end of this hike was a GIANT BOG was absolutely incredible. and the cherry on top? there were NATIVE PITCHER PLANTS GROWING IN THE MOSS!!! i got so happy seeing these guys that i could have screamed. so excited in fact, that i stepped out onto the peat to get a closer look and almost sunk into the pond! my dog was not as lucky as me, while crossing a wooden path to the lookout, she miss-stepped and fell in! she was absolutely soaked and covered in peat, which for some reason ended with her getting the zoomies and running around all over the place and proceeding to roll in the mud, dirt, leaves, and everything she could find. it was hilarious. but anyway back to the bog. there were pitcher plants everywhere, sphagnum moss growing all over, it smelled earthy and sweet, it was just so amazing. i have never seen wild pitchers before, so it was an absolute treat to be able to see so damn many of them in one place. i really need to come back here, because there was a little alcove in the rocks right in front of the bog with a fallen tree, and it looks like the perfect place to sit and look out onto the pond with a book.

i stayed here just relishing in the scenery of the bog for a bit, before i realized it's no longer summer and the sun doesn't set at 10PM anymore and oh god sunset is in an hour i need to get back to my car. so i got mochi and began the trek back to the car. i didn't really have time to relish the scenery on the hike back, but i still tried to make the most of it! it was even more beautiful now, the rays of sun cutting through the canopy were gold, and it tinted everything in a sort of yellow filter. very pretty, definitely need to do more evening hikes to take advantage of the light for pictures.

but yeah, that concludes my epic saturday hike to a super cool and epic bog! here is an extra picture i took of a swamp aster, which to date is i think the most beautiful picture i've taken. i'm very proud of how it came out.

that's all for today folks, see ya next time!

7/25/2023 ; waterfall walks and sketchy waterpipes

so, this entry is 2 days late but i still wanna share the images with you all so i'm posting anyway!

on sunday i went on a hike to dead river falls, and it was pretty amazing! i've been to wright street falls before, and from my understanding, the dam at dead river is what feeds the falls at wright street, so it's all the same river. but it was really nice to actually go here and see the dam and the huge river! it was a really sunny and hot day, but there were some clouds on the horizon that eventually made their way over after i had left.

so to actually get to the trail, you need to walk up this HUGE hill that's paved with gravel and rocks. it was really rough climbing up and i was super out of breath when i finally got up there but it was worth it. once you get to the top, there's a little staircase that leads down to the main trail. you can even hear the rushing of the falls from the top, which was amazing. the main trail is basically steps made from tree roots and dirt and little paths that lead you to the bottom, which is the main viewing area for the falls.

the sight of the falls was amazing! the water was rushing over the rocks and the reflection of the sun on the water looked like glitter. walking to the right of the viewing area, there's a little trail that leads down to the water's edge, and it took everything in me to NOT step in. it was really hot that day, so that would have been amazing. and there actually were people in their bathing suits at the falls, so i have to assume they were jumping in there and swimming.

when you keep walking down there's a little stream that runs into the river, with a makeshift bridge made of logs to cross over. of course, mochi crosses with no problem like the pro she is. it takes me a little bit to finally get across. but once you do, it's this beautiful little shady area with mini waterfalls and moss, twisting tree roots, more fallen trees, rocks... it looks straight out of a fairy tale, like you just got lost in the woods on the way to go see your grandma but you're not scared, it just feels nice.

i rested here for a bit and took some more pictures before going back to where the log bridge was. to the left of that is a rocky area with a little outcrop in the side of the rockface. we climbed over there and the view was breathtaking. full view of the falls and the trees behind.

i sat here for a bit as well, taking some pictures and just enjoying the view of the falls, the smell of the water and dirt. mochi was climbing around on the rocks, jumping into the water, drinking the water straight from the river. you know, typical mochi behavior.

i really wanted to climb up the side of the rock to get to the top, but i was honestly already getting pretty tired, and it was a really steep climb up, so i decided to just walk back to the main viewing area. i decided, however, to explore the left side of the viewing area which also has a little path that leads down to the water. i'll definitely explore more on that side next time because i know there was a lot more to see down there.

after i finished up exploring down there, i decided to head back to the top of the trail. at the entrance, there's a long maintenance trail that leads to a water pipe with a bridge over it. i walked down it for awhile, but it started looking a bit sketch the further down i went so i went back. i'll definitely have to come back here some other time when i have less gear on me. there were a couple little offshoot paths on this maintenance road, so that seems like it would be fun to explore.

but yeah, that was my adventure on sunday! this was a much needed hike, it felt good working up a sweat and being outdoors. especially here, the scenery here was amazing. definitely coming back here more often to explore. i can only imagine how beautiful it'll look in the fall when the leaves change color and there's mushrooms popping up everywhere... can you tell i'm excited for the fall?