Remember when I was talking about adjusting to the time change and how hard it is? Somehow my body has nooooo idea where I am, as I’ve been ready for bed by 6pm (Central Time) and sleeping by 10. A few weeks ago that would’ve been 3/4pm and 7/8pm in LA! So I feel fairly old and boring after falling asleep so early, but I never did anything at night really any how. The wonderful thing about being an outdoors lover is you go out in daylight hours and tire yourself out, so an early bedtime is normal. See, I’m normal! Okay, now that I got that out of the way…
My time home has been extremely eventful – not so much with exciting hikes and new places – but still, eventful. Every single day I’ve had the pleasure of going on local walks or hikes with my family, friends, and their kids and dogs. I purchased my very first Minnesota State Park sticker after hiking a little in Jay Cooke State Park with my friend. Jay Cooke is an absolute gem, a beautiful riverside park with gushing water and ancient glacial rocks. I look forward to exploring the trails there, as well as the many unique parks located “up the north shore” of Lake Superior.
Most of my walks and hikes have revolved around Pattison State Park. I’m so lucky to have this park only a few miles from where I grew up, and as one of my past places of work. This park is so amazing because of the two sets of falls it harbors. The first is the astounding 165 foot giant, Big Manitou Falls. This winding waterfall is only two feet shy of being the same height of the Niagara Falls, and is also a beautiful fall to observe. The second set of falls is the Little Manitou Falls, twin waterfalls that can be accessed easily by a parking lot, or from a few lovely hikes. Mom and I did a long hike to Pattison’s backpacking campsites and the longest ski trail the other day. We had quite a bit of fun looking at the variety of giant trees and noticing the deer tracks and furry wolf poop (guessing they also noticed the deer tracks).
Random side note: even though I’ve been back home for a few weeks now, I still get excited when I see a Wisconsin license plate. NEWSFLASH, they’re everywhere! Other things I’m trying to get used to include: the one consistent northern accent among everyone, only seeing two or three different races in a day, trees and water are everywhere, and how annoying the weather is. There are great things about living in this exact location like the thick forests and beautiful shorelines, but I find it difficult to avoid the things I do not enjoy here. That being said, summer is around the corner and the area will liven more to my liking soon. AAAANNNNDDD I accepted a new job that moves to different states in the US a few times a year, and I’m excited to start that new journey in August.
Until then I will be enjoying time with family and friends, exploring every inch of my homeland, planning and taking more trips (duh!), and enjoying the first summer I’m not working my butt off since I started working seven years ago!!! That gets three exclamation points because I never thought I would be so lucky to have copious amounts of time to go camping and join fellow travelers in the fair weather season. ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: My phone logs my steps (when I have it on and with me), and during my last road trip I hiked 40 miles. If I’m ever really bored one of these days I will calculate my hiking distance through the entire winter vacation, but it totals somewhere close to 200 miles. I’m trying to keep the same pace here, because I have my sights set on the Pacific Crest Trail sometime soon. Maybe I’ll hike some of it this summer, or maybe wait a year or two to do the 6 month hike up the entire trail. Decisions, decisions…at least we all know one thing about my future – adventure awaits!