5.19.2016

Hike 100 NCT Challenge (Miles 30.4 to 42.4)

In celebration of the National Park Service's Centennial Anniversary, we are hiking 100 miles of the North Country Trail in 2016.

To read about our first 7.1 miles, click HERE.
To read about miles 7.1 to 18.9, click HERE.
To read about miles 18.9 to 30.4, click HERE
 
A long, sandy stretch of beach trail. Water so blue it reminds me of the Caribbean. Early spring woods exploding with ramps. Long stretches of boardwalk over muddy stretches and muddy stretches that should have had long stretches of boardwalk. Sore knees and hips and the last miles that never seem to end. And then, finally, we've made it. After a shower, a burger and a beer, all of the painful moments disappear and we start planning our next miles on the North Country Trail.

Day 4 - Mosquito to Munising Falls
A sandy stretch of trail along Miners Beach.
Miners Castle
Ramps everywhere!
Boardwalk near The Cliffs section.
The last miles.
At Munising Falls - 42.4 miles from Grand Sable Visitor Center.

5.17.2016

Hike 100 NCT Challenge (Miles 18.9 to 30.4)

In celebration of the National Park Service's Centennial Anniversary, we are hiking 100 miles of the North Country Trail in 2016.

To read about our first 7.1 miles, click HERE.
To read about miles 7.1 to 18.9, click HERE.
 
Our third day of backpacking was, by far, the most scenic section of trail. Even though we've been to Pictured Rocks twice before we had never been to Beaver Creek and The Coves. What a treat! Unlike the previous day where we were pretty much at beach level, this section of trail skirted cliff edges high above Lake Superior. Finishing off our 11.5 mile day with Grand Portal Point and Mosquito Beach was the cherry on top.

Day 3 - Pine Bluff camp to Mosquito camp.
I slept in my puffy coat to stay warm - should have brought my warmer sleeping bag!
Footbridge over Beaver Creek.

Watching the waves crash into the cliffs.
Cool stairs on The Coves section. (Reminded us of the Smokies)
Grand Portal Point
Sunset at Mosquito Beach

5.16.2016

Hike 100 NCT Challenge (Miles 7.1 to 18.9)

In celebration of the National Park Service's Centennial Anniversary, we are hiking 100 miles of the North Country Trail in 2016.

To read about our first 7.1 miles, click HERE.
 
After a chilly night at Au Sable Point East backcountry camp, we set off down the trail and quickly came to Au Sable Lighthouse. We didn't linger long because we had 11.8 miles of ground to cover. Most of this section of trail was flat and wove in and out of the woods along Twelvemile beach. Camp for our second night in Pictured Rocks was at Pine Bluff where we had to get creative with collecting water.

Day 2 - Au Sable Point East camp to Pine Bluff camp.
Au Sable Lighthouse
We ran into a little bit of snow on the trail.
The North Country Trail along Twelvemile Beach.

So strange (and awesome) to be the only ones for miles around!
How to get water from Lake Superior: Time the waves, scoop water with cooking pot, filter water out of pot, repeat.
Pine Bluff backcountry camp's namesake bluff.

5.12.2016

Hike 100 NCT Challenge (First 7.1 miles)

In celebration of the National Park Service's Centennial Anniversary, we are hiking 100 miles of the North Country Trail in 2016.

To kick off our Hike 100 Challenge, we set off on a 4-day backpacking trip in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in upper Michigan. When I mailed in our application for backcountry permits I knew we were taking a gamble going so early in the season. Many things don't even open until Memorial weekend and weather along Lake Superior can be chilly even in the height of summer. Our gamble paid off because we had beautiful blue skies with daytime temps near 60 and nighttime temps in the 30s.

We hired Altran to shuttle us from Munising Falls Visitor Center to the start of our hike at Grand Sable Visitor Center. The shuttle service worked out great - our van was on time and at $20/person, it was a cheaper option than some other shuttle services in the area. 

From Grand Sable Visitor Center we hiked 7.1 miles on the North Country Trail to our first backcountry camp at Au Sable Point East.

Day 1 - Grand Sable Visitor Center to Au Sable Point East camp.
The start of our 4-day backpacking trip at Grand Sable Visitor Center in Pictured Rocks.
Creek near Grand Sable Lake
At the Log Slide. Christian went the whole way down. I didn't.
Au Sable Lighthouse viewed from the Log Slide. We camped just to the east.
Making dinner at Au Sable Point East camp.
The Log Slide and Dunes at sunset viewed from the beach at Au Sable Point East camp.

3.30.2016

Yarn Along: Madalynn Izel

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.


I have a lot of squishy goodness to talk about so let's get started!


Knitting: Izel Hat
At the start of winter I bought a new puffy coat. Now that winter's almost over, I decided to knit a hat to go with it. My timing is impeccable. LOL. I've never had a slouchy hat before so I hope I like it.
Pattern: Izel by Veronika Jobe
Yarn: Cascade 220 in colorways 2442 Fog Hatt & 9406 Northern Landscape X


Also Knitting: A Shawl of My Own Design
A few weeks ago I took a class at the Madison Knit-In with Jen Lucas called "Design Your Own Sock Yarn Shawl." Well, this is my design! The first stitch pattern I charted and knit didn't look like much of anything so this is "take 2". Right now it's kind of hard to see if I'll like the design or not.
Pattern: (it's my own design)
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage in colorway 5618 Snow


Speaking of the Madison Knit-In, aside from a pattern and some needles, this is what I brought home. I intend to make an Autumn Leaves cardigan for my cousin's baby girl with the Wonderland Yarns March Hare in colorway Cabbages & Kings. (Green is her favorite color.) I don't think I will need both skeins but I don't want to run out either. That other beautiful skein in the photo - I WON that! It's Miss Babs Yummy 2-ply in colorway Joan of Arc. I'm not sure what I'll make with it - any suggestions?


FO: Madalynn Cowl
I finally finished my cowl made with the yarn I bought at last year's Madison Knit-In! Many yarns feel too picky on my neck but this Quince & Co. Yarn is so nice. I was going to buy more this year but no one was selling it. Boo!
Pattern: Madalynn by Leah B. Thibault
Yarn: Quince & Co. Chickadee in colorways 108 Delft (blue) and 150 Sabine (Gray)



 

3.25.2016

Friday Wake-Up


March 25, 2016 at 7:34 a.m.

Two days ago, all of our snow was gone. Then blizzard Cindy hit and our world is white again. This morning I watched a low cloud roll through and leave everything in it's midst covered in frost. What an incredible sight to see! The dogs and I headed out for a walk before the sun could melt the delicate crystals.




3.09.2016

Yarn Along: Gale to the Lost

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.


Knitting: Madalynn Cowl
The only thing left to do on my Madalynn Cowl is kitchener stitch the ends together. I'm waiting for a quiet moment when I'm home alone to tackle that project.
Pattern: Madalynn by Leah B. Thibault
Yarn: Quince and Co. Chickadee in colorways 108 Delft (blue) and 150 Sabine (Gray)

 
Also Knitting: Gale
I just finished the front panel on my tunic. I now I need some quite time alone for this project as well since the cast on is a tubular one.
Pattern: Gale by Alicia Plummer
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Chunky Tweed in colorway 670  



Reading: Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey 
This book follows Stella, an unhappy vicars wife, in 1940s England and Jess, a homeless young lady in modern day who stumbles on Stella's love letters from the past. A little bit of mystery. A little bit of love story. A little bit of historical fiction. A little bit of scandal. I am really loving this book.

 

What are you knitting/reading this week?