Hiking makes me happy.
A solo winter’s day hike on the NCT
An unexpected day off and a decent weather forecast: Where should I go hiking? I decided to fill in a gap in my NCT progress through Emmet County, along a stretch that contained enough road walk that I didn’t want to do it when there would be a lot of traffic. A Monday morning seemed… Read more
To build a fire
Starting a fire in your fireplace or a backyard fire pit is a skill that many people feel confident in, but how about starting a fire in the backcountry, without a Duraflame fire starter and a foot-long fire stick lighter? When I first began backpacking, I hadn’t started a fire in years. I had a… Read more
Two Flatlanders Attempt Mountains
“Do you still want the shuttle?” appeared in my Messenger alert. I watched the rain hitting the window pane, the tree limbs blowing in the early morning light, and wondered to myself if I did indeed want to be shuttled from this warm and dry place to the southern end of Shenandoah National Park at… Read more
I am a retired history and English teacher who spent 27 years in the classroom. I also have experience working as a freelance writer and photographer. I am an admin for the West Michigan Hiking & Backpacking page, leading group trips throughout Michigan, focusing on beginning backpacking skills. I also lead wilderness trips for kids attending Camp Daggett in Petoskey, MI and lifeguard at the Charlevoix Community Pool.
My parents encouraged a love of nature from the time I was a small child; pontoon rides on Houghton Lake, fishing from the dock, and collecting fossils along the shore. We cross-country skied and snowmobiled in the winter, and sailed Lake Michigan in the summer. My love of hiking and backpacking comes from my desire to explore all of Michigan’s beauty, and escape the humdrum of everyday life.