Ice Age Trail: Loew Lake Segment 1.30.21

IAT Loew Lake Segment 1.30.21

Whoooosh! We connected to IAT Loew Lake segment in a wide open prairie as we walked away from a cozy pine forest. The wind smacked us in the face until we could make the first turn onto the Ice Age Trail. Oh boy, was this how the whole hike would be??! It finally teetered off as we hiked further down the trail. I was able to start taking everything in. The snow was powdery under our feet since not too many hikers had been on before us. Maxie kept pulling off to the side digging her whole head in the snow and tracking all the smells. What a blast watching her do all her deep dives! It was my first time hiking this segment in the snow. It was so neat how the snow really helped outline all the hills and geographical features that would normally be more blended in shades of green. About  2.5 miles in, we ate lunch on a bench, on top of a hill where Holy Hill could be seen in the distance. While scenic, the wind was once again blowing right in our faces. We packed up and finished a little ways back with the protection of some trees blocking the wind.

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Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve 1.23.21

Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve 1.23.21

Blue skies and a bright blue Lake Michigan made the most amazing backdrop for today’s hike. I love the entrance to this trail…walking directly east on a boardwalk until Lake Michigan comes into view. The sun’s reflection off the water was almost blinding. Or maybe it’s just the fact that we have barely seen the sun the past few weeks that it seemed so bright! Either way, it instantly put me in the best mood.

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Ice Age Trail: Parnell Segment 1.16.21

IAT Parnell Segment 1.16.21

My second hike of 2021 in the books! More fresh snow and temps in the mid-30’s made it awesome winter hiking conditions. Really, I am a person who “runs cold”, but hiking with the right gear made it so enjoyable. The temperature was just warm enough that chunks of the fresh snow would just fall…sometimes right in front of us or sometimes on us! That’s when I would think to myself “The sky is falling!” ThIs trail is a mix of some hills and flatter areas. We passed Mauthe Lake, which was covered with snow, and saw many folks ice fishing. Then we came across the most picturesque bridge and stream. There is just something about the sound of a stream, isn’t there? We got another chance to cross a stream later too, this one even louder than the first. There were not many benches along this part of the trail, so we started looking for logs just before noon. Kurt found one a bit off trail with a gorgeous view of the woods, a perfect place for a lunch pitstop. Finally, we came upon an open area about mile 3, appears to be some prairie, but we will see in the spring!

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Ice Age Trail: Monches Segment 1.2.21

IAT Monches Segment 1.2.21

First hike of 2021 and I was so excited! It snowed on New Year’s Day, so I couldn’t wait to see what the trail would be like with fresh snow. We chose Monches for a couple reasons: 1) besides a big hill at the beginning, it’s pretty flat 2) it’s mostly in the woods with a creek starting about 1 mile in and 3) an awesome bridge and bench making the perfect spot for lunch.

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A Spark Ignites

In 2020, I lived through a pandemic. As I type this, this still sounds unbelievable. We have all had to make changes we never could have imagined. If I never hear the words….pivot and new norm…it will be too soon. In the scheme of it all, my family and I have remained healthy, so I have much to be grateful for. 

Like everyone else, we heard cancelled, CANCELLED, cancelled. No kids’ soccer games on the weekends. Festivals..cancelled. Summer adventure road trip…nope.  

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