The plan

Ha! You were thinking we might have one!

We really enjoyed our approach to adventure planning (others might call it non-planning), well honed on last year’s adventure. We set an intention to explore one or two areas of the country, then connect them up. As we go along.

Neither one of us has ever been to the Southern UT/Northern AZ canyons, so we’ve set aside the month of May – after the snows, before the heat and crowds – to hike, bike and generally check out this gorgeous and unique terrain that is so unlike New England.  We’ll know when we’re done, and at that point, we’ll likely head north as the temps turn into summer. We’d like to see Glacier National Park. Then, we’ll likely head to the left coast, visiting friends and family, looking for music jams and enjoying fun places until it’s time to come back to New England.

Unlike last year, this adventure will require some ‘re-positioning.’ We most enjoy poking around slowly, following the wind and sound of blues. For the first few weeks this year, we’ll travel slightly longer days in a more or less direct line to Moab, threatening to visit any friends and family that may be along that line.

Of course, we’ll adapt as we go along…

The Black Hills of South Dakota

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Cathedral Spires from the Needles Highway

I visited the Black Hills in 1983 and put it on the top of my list of places to visit again. It only took 33 years! I’m finally back, and Doug is getting to see this beautiful place for the first time. Some of the tourist towns have grown, attractions have received face lifts, and more vacationers have discovered the Black Hills, yet it remains every bit as beautiful as I remembered…

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So Minnesota

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Hello, corn!

Joe introduced me to Mike in 2007. Mike’s company Axia Strategies, a small healthcare consulting firm based in Savage, MN, needed to add a clinician to one of their client teams. That started a nearly 10-year relationship between our respective consulting firms. Mike and I shared a similar client service philosophy and a passion for craft brews, and he shared with me his love for the midwest. Mike’s work travel, a new grand-baby, getting 4 kids off to college, and managing a high-schooler’s sports schedule made arranging a get-together kind of tricky, but we were fortunately able to meet with Mike in Minneapolis for a great lunch. It was so fun to catch up, live, on his turf!

This schedule also gave us a couple of days to explore more of MN. We opted to stay along the St. Croix River where we enjoyed a gorgeous bike ride along the rolling hills near the WI border. We visited Pipestone National Monument, the sacred Indian mines. And since we were headed toward SD, Mike provided local intel on back roads to see MN prairies. We And of course, corn…

Thanks Mike!

More photos of So Minnesota and Pipestone National Monument

On Wisconsin: Pelican Lake and the Apostle Islands

My cousin Jean was 18 years old the day I was born, and she joined the army 8 months later. Two years after that, she married her sweetheart and moved to Wisconsin. Needless to say, I never knew my cousin. We met for the first time at her mom’s memorial service about 10 years ago. We decided we needed to connect and planned to do so at some time in the future which finally happened this week…

Pelican Lake
Pelican Lake

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All things Mackinac

Although we’re not much for planning our itinerary, we did plan to stay at Straits State Park on the shores of the Mackinac (pronounced Mackinaw) Straits, and visit Mackinac Island on a weekday. The State Park is a destination in itself – gorgeous views of Mackinac Straights, Lake Huron and the Mackinac Bridge just a few steps from our campsite. It’s also walking distance from downtown St. Ignace, home to 3 ferries, 2 Native American museums and several nice restaurants.

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NW Michigan, aka Jula’s Corner

Recall from a previous post, we put friends’ recommendations for places to visit in MI on a map and tried to visit most of them. Jula, a friend from VT, suggested several, including 3 in NW MI – amazingly varied, totally cool places to visit. Thanks Jula, you nailed it!

jula's corner

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