North Manitou Island – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Planning my Fourth of July trip this year was an incredibly stressful experience.  The idea was for Emma and I to take a girl’s trip. If Emma, known for being a little flaky, didn’t come, it would be a solo-Shelby trip.  Ideally, I wanted to go to the Apostle Islands, but that didn’t look like it would work.  So Emma and I settled on Isle Royale- but then the ferry schedule didn’t pan out how we needed it.  On to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore….which didn’t have any backcountry sites available.  Finally, I check on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. North Manitou Island is part of Sleeping Bear Dunes and only allows backpackers.  It is all disperse camping, so no need to reserve backcountry sites.  If we got tickets for the ferry, we were good to go!  Beyond the trouble planning the trip, Brad and I had moved the week before I was going.  I had hoped to get some cool gear shots of what I brought with me, but packing was such a rushed experience.  Continue reading “North Manitou Island – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore”


Memorial Day 2016 | Red River Gorge

With Memorial Day weekend upon us (and me trying to remember to keep my blog alive), I thought I’d share my Memorial Day 2016 trip to the Red River Gorge.  Unfortunately, this year Brad and I have a wedding to attend, so we won’t be at the Red this Memorial Weekend.  It’s probably for the best, though.  I just got cleared to climb after my partial rotator cuff tear and Brad is still dealing with some forearm issues.  Here is a look at my first trip to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. Continue reading “Memorial Day 2016 | Red River Gorge”

On Katahdin

The weather is warmer and it’s time for my adventure team and I to plan out our big trips of 2017.  As we start to nail down locations, number of PTO days, and mileage, Ed makes a comment about my blog. “Shelby, you really need to keep up with your blog.  You can’t have it on Instagram and not write it,” he lamented.  And with that, I felt a renewed interest to share my adventures.

14047321_10100508260760009_9084542336836163406_o.jpgOur view as we ate dinner in Baxter State Park.

While it’ll still be a bit before one of our next big trips, I thought I’d share my experience on climbing Mount Katahdin a.k.a Baxter’s Peak.  Katahdin is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail at the end of a stretch called the Hundred-Mile Wilderness.  However, my story of the Hundred-Mile Wilderness is a tale for a different day.

Brad, Emma, Ed, Spencer, and I had spent a night camping in Baxter State Park. We’d been really lucky to get a site; they book out often during that time of year. We spent the day hanging out by a river, tending to blisters, and letting our shoes dry.  Morale was a little low, but we were trying to save the trip.  Ed had the brilliant idea to hike up the mountain during sunrise.  That sounded amazing, even though it meant waking up at 3:30 am. Emma’s feet were in rough shape and she didn’t think she could summit, so she backed out and said she’d clean up camp while the four of us hiked. Continue reading “On Katahdin”

Shelby Turns 25

This weekend was my 25th birthday!  It was a very busy weekend, but amazing to celebrate with my family, friends, and boyfriend.

Here is proof that I’m not always in hiking/climbing clothes!

On Saturday, Brad and I slept in while Spencer and Ed went to the REI Garage Sale.  Spencer will be doing a post on his gear haul from the sale. I will link it here when it’s up!

Ed, Brad, and I went to Adventure Rock to get some climbing in.  We start on the systems board. I was drilling drop knees, while Ed worked on high underclings.  Brad did a bit of everything,but was anxious to get on ropes.  His local gym in Crystal Lake, IL is basically only bouldering. I was climbing really well that day. I sent 2 of the routes I was projecting, which felt really good.  Brad did some route doubles to work on endurance.  Ed worked on his project for a bit. We left the gym tired, sweaty, and happy!

Ad Rock is very close to REI, so we met up with Spencer there. We all just like to look at gear!  It’s kind of an addiction, to be honest. Ed found some sweet ski boots, but didn’t end up getting them.

It was unseasonably nice for February, so we grilled chicken brats for dinner.  I flipped through Ed’s book on the Red River Gorge. The boys have all climbed there before; they went a few times in 2015.  My first time in the Red will be over Memorial Day Weekend.  I’m really excited and wanted to find a project to work on while we’re  there.  The boys already have theirs picked out.  Brad recommended Send Me On My Way at the Bruise Brothers wall. It looks doable for me! It’s a tall-ish route, so I’ll definitely need to work on endurance.  And just maybe, I’ll actually lead the route instead of doing clip-to-clip top roping!

We were also able to purchase our plane tickets for our 100 Mile Wilderness backpacking trip in August! I am beyond excited for this trip- possibly more excited than for my trip to Spain.  I got some new pieces of gear as birthday gifts too.12745426_10205758360070359_2577011749063823777_n
My mother made me a gluten free peanut butter pie, complete with polka dot M&M’s.

My parents got me the Marmot PreClip Jacket  in the dark raspberry color.  This rain jacket is a great upgrade from my old Columbia Arcadia II. The Columbia jacket wasn’t packable, and my Marmot one will pack inside itself.  It’s also significantly lighter and has pit zips, which I appreciate. Outdoor Gear Lab rated it as a Best Buy; I’m excited to try it out on the trail.

Being an avid reader, Brad got me a Kindle Paperwhite.  It’s only 7.2 ounces, so it is perfect for taking on trips with me.  I am currently reading Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart by Carrot Quinn, at the recommendation of Spencer. I’m about halfway through the book and I love it.  Hearing about Carrot’s experiences on the trail make me wish it wasn’t winter, so we could just go outside already!!IMG_0996

My sister got me another Class Pack for yoga. I currently take classes at Urban Om. Yoga is a new pursuit for me.  I am hoping it will help me with my climbing, make me a less stressed, and more mindful individual.  My sister also takes classes at this studio, so it’s been fun to see her there as well.

Lastly, I got a pair of Saloman Speedcross 3’s in Darkness Blue/Boss Blue. I wanted a nice, lightweight trail runner for the 100 Mile Wilderness trip.  These can handle sloppy terrain, which should be great because there will be a lot of water! We’ll be fording rivers and scrambling over some wet rocks.  They are a little bit warmer of a shoe, but I’m always cold, so I think that should be fine. The quicklace system seems nice, but I’ve heard some people dislike it. My friend Hannah is coming back to Wisconsin (she lives in the PNW) for a visit and I’m planning to break these in during a nice day hike with her.IMG_0995

I was fortunate enough to receive several other non-gear related gifts, as well.  My friends and family really spoiled me as I turned 25. What is your favorite thing about birthdays?



Shelby Catches Up: Quick on the Draw

Hello!  Since this blog is new, I wanted to do a fast catch up on what happened in January.

On January 23rd, I competed in my first rock climbing competition. I’m a fairly new climber, but my friends have been climbing for a while.  Our gym has an annual competition and I was excited to compete.

I came in 15th in the Recreational (Beginner) category, which is around what I had expected.  Some of the routes were way below my current grade and some were significantly above my grade. Continue reading “Shelby Catches Up: Quick on the Draw”

Shelby Starts A Blog

Hello!  I’m Shelby; just your average 20-something Midwesterner.  I grew up in Wisconsin, went to Des Moines, IA for college, and have returned home to Milwaukee.

Growing up, I always loved playing outside and going hiking. We had a bike trail in the back of our house; I would spend hours alone playing on the trail and inventing different games for myself. In high school, I spent many weekends hiking on the Ice Age Trail with my dog.

In my post-grad life, I’ve developed a good group of friends who like to have crazy adventures. Here you can find my adventures and experiences!  20151022-DSC_5171