Monday, March 23, 2015

Lake Shelbyville 2014 - Blurb Photo Book

Yet another successful family camping trip, to our beloved Lake Shelbyville over July 4th week in 2014. The same campsite, the same boat, much less rain than in 2013. More sunshine, more beer, more fun! This Blub Photo Book shows it all :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In Search of Adventure...

Last October we visited Michigan’s Upper Peninsula again, this time in the fall. Pictured Rock National Lakeshore was the main destination, and with the autumn color change, I was very excited for the long weekend away.

We missed the color change for the most part, trees were wearing gold and brown leaves, still pretty magical, but not exactly what I wanted for my photography purposes. Weather was cold, gloomy and rainy. A lot colder than anticipated. With the right amount of clothes we made it through those few wonderful days of nature bliss in UP. 

We stayed in Munising, MI. Little town on the southern shores of Lake Superior, home to the Pictured Rock National Lakeshore. As we walked the beaches and follow the trails, I realized how much I miss the outdoors. How happy it makes me to sit on the wet sand, listen to the waves crashing and just enjoy the stillness. Walk through the leaves and smell the fall air. Enjoy being in that moment. Watching my dog having time of his life, running through the leaves, sniffing the sand, and dipping his little toes in the Lake Superior. I don't get too many moments like this in the city. Pure, magical, still moments where you can stop and just "be".

Back in Poland, I used to spend a lot of my summers biking, hiking and being outside. Since I moved here, my life became polluted with so many other things. It just now, took me 20 years to realize that, I need more to be happy and have more fulfilled life. I don't want just a boring, pre-programmed "work-home cycle" days. Life should more special. We need to make it more special. Why not try to live your dream? What's there to loose?

From now on I would like to experience the nature as close as I possibly can. I want to walk the mountains, sleep under the stars, drink from the streams (ok, with filters, and water purifiers), see all the beauty our good, old Earth has to offer. And start hiking again.

The best part about all this is, that I came to this realization in Upper Peninsula, Michigan. This unassuming, yet amazing part of Midwest, that has so much power to change you forever. 

As we explored the Pictured Rocks, I found myself walking by wooden sign telling me that I was trekking the North Country Trail. I didn't think much of it, until I came back home, and started researching the trails. NCT (North Country Trail) is one of the longest out of all 8 national scenic trails in US, with 4,600 miles, it starts upstate New York, and end in North Dakota. How amazing! My research led me to this NY Times article.

NY Times NCT Article

While ago I used to work with a guy that was preparing for a through hike on Appalachian Trail, and I did read "Wild", which opened my eyes to another great trail, Pacific Crest Trail. But after going to UP last fall, and reading about the parts of North Country Trail that winds along the shores of Lake Superior and the Pictured Rocks, I realized that I could do it, I want to get lost in the woods for few days. Wake up to the chirping birds, go to sleep after watching the sunset. Simplify. Take a break from everyday life. Just be.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is definitely one of the most beautiful places in the Midwest. Hidden gem of the Upper Peninsula. So hopefully, in late summer/early fall of 2015 this might be the first backpacking overnight trail for me. 40 miles in 4-5 days, not too much elevation change. Should be a breeze. Perfect time to start the new adventure of my lifetime. Long distance hiking someday? Absolutely. Start small, dream big!

In April 2015 we are going to Arizona, planning to do some hiking in Grand Canyon. And week in Oregon on the end of May. Pacific Northwest was on my radar for a good few years, and finally I am getting a chance to get out there and explore. Couldn't be more happy with my travel plans so far! The only sad part is, that we have to leave Kodie behind, with his grandma, since it would be too difficult to travel with a Yorkie. 

Photography from Miner's Castle Area, October 2014. UP Collection. 
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