Hiking into your Nature.


It is strange how a blog post can just take off on it’s own.  I sat down the other day to write a post about hiking and it turned into something totally different.  It is cathartic to just let my words come right out–brain to fingers and allow the filter off.  It is my favorite way to write but also a little scary.  The guard comes off and opening up comes with that vulnerability.

So my plan is that this post will be about hiking…. let’s see if my brain agrees.  🙂  Spending over half of my life with James, we can look back over our relationship and see how much we’ve changed.  Our interests and thoughts on life have both grown apart and together like a vine climbing up a tree in the forest.  Sometimes swirling up one side and splitting apart to join on the other side…. sprouting another little vine or leaf.  We are still a part of the same vine but our growth adds to the strength and complexity of the whole.  I just made that up.  I think in analogies like that all the time.  It is probably weird but I like that I can compare myself to a hamburger or whatever.  Anyway, we’re talking vines.  Now that we’ve been climbing up this tree for some time, I couldn’t have imagined how it would be to look down and see all the twisting and twirling below, filled with little offshoots and leaves.  I love it.  I love the natural change and growth we have gone through.  It may not have been all comfortable growth but the end result is usually worth the means.  Our interest in hiking is one of those unexpected little offshoots.  Never would I have expected either one of us to be into hiking.  I have always loved the woods and exploring but usually not one for physical activity or exertion. More of a Thoreau type sitting by a pond reflecting.  He wasn’t all that interested in nature.  Somehow we’ve both converged on this point and would like to add hiking adventures to our new hobby list.


Beginning a new hobby is thrilling.  We started walking more trails last year and it has made us want to explore more.  We would love for it to be a family activity but we’ve found we need to only do short hikes with the kids because one of our children complains quite a lot and doesn’t make for a fun outing.  Hopefully we can cultivate a love of outdoor exploration in them but forcing isn’t always conducive to that.  I have been researching some good places to go hiking here in Michigan.  I’m not exactly sure where to start.  After researching, I came across hiking groups that do Moon Hikes… Now that is exciting too!  I’m not sure I want to do group outings but I like that idea.  Here in Michigan is finally becoming weather for comfortable running and outdoor exploration and I’m ready to just take off!

If you are in MIchigan, where would you suggest to explore?  Not in Michigan, any tips on places to add to our list, I would love the suggestions!





We didn't realize one of the trails would take us to Lake Michigan...so we walked along the shore for quite a while.

We didn’t realize one of the trails would take us to Lake Michigan…so we walked along the shore for quite a while.

Had to throw this one in from one of our nature walks.

Had to throw this one in from one of our nature walks.  Eli with his nature journal.  🙂


7 thoughts on “Hiking into your Nature.

  1. gracieed says:

    Your photos are amazing. I don’t live in Michigan but I’m wishing I did. Beautiful scenery and I love that you ended up at the lake. And I love that your son has his nature journal with him. What kinds of things does he record in his journal? It’s a great idea to do with younger kids. I’m sure it helps to keep them occupied and a little distracted from the ‘long walk’. 😉


    • Mandy says:

      Oh thank you! Yes, Michigan can be quite beautiful. The winters are rough but the summers and plenty of lakes makes up for it! He records wildlife that he finds. Snakes, turtle, deer. He learns about different types of birds in his science program at school so he loves to identify certain birds and keep track…definitely helps give him something to do when it feels like it is too long. Something to do besides make weapons out of sticks and stones he finds. 🙂 Thanks for reading!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lindsey says:

    Great post and beautiful family! My family loves hiking up north. It’s so beautiful up there. When we get a chance to stay at our cabin (near Gaylord), we always plan out new places to explore. So fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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