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”


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”