Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Hiking the Estivant Pines

We have some big pine trees up here. And now that we have a hiker, we got to go to the Estivant Pines!

Saturday was pretty glorious, so B and I hopped on our motorcycle and pedaled up Manganese Road. We met our darling Esa at the beaver pond on the way up and pedaled the rest of the way together.

I wasn't sure how Braeden would feel in a new forest. Would he be intimidated by the trees or a new trail system? How would he feel about the terrain?

My worries were moot.

B sat on a log while Esa and transformed from bikers to hikers. "Ready to hike?" I asked the little guy.

"Yep!" he shouted and sprang up, leading the way. He was fully in charge like he built the place. What a little man.

He announced all the bridges and fallen trees for us. He told us which order we should walk in across the bridges. He is a true leader, but he can also be a bit bossy at times. Ha! We play along.

B picked the Cathedral Loop to the right, so right we went.

"Mummy, let's hug it!"

Inside a tree trunk!

I was hoping he would make it on his own two feet the whole way. He had a snack half way through the loop, but he sat down to play in the leaves a couple times.

We saw three other couples that day. What a treat! B made sure to meet the people who were not on a mission. (I am trying to teach him the difference between people who want to stop and talk and people who are busily on their way.)

People give him energy, so he carried on for a bit.

He even got to follow the leader!

Stretching like Esa!

Overall, he did pretty great, and we all had a good time! We were so grateful to be in such a sacred place in the fall sunshine.

But alas, the little man wanted a ride out of the woods. Luckily we were on the downward slope by then. Esa and I took turns giving shoulder rides.

It is pretty eye-opening to see how Breaden takes charge in new territory. I don't think it matters where we are... if we are hiking, he somehow knows the way and will announce the terrain changes.

I can see this roll over to other parts of his life. It makes my heart swell to see him be so bold and confident. Even though he is small in stature, he has a big heart, big ambition and a strong will.

Maybe he can offer nature tours someday. Hikes with Brady P... hmmm... sounds like a winner to me. As long as someone has snacks!

Here's to your next adventure!

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Wind and Waves

Boy, these past few days have been wiiiiiiindyyyyyyy!

But we did not get half a foot of snow like the forecast predicted. It's still fall!

When the wind is up, the waves are up -- when it blows from the north... which it did!

We had to go check it out. 

Where's a good wave watching spot? Hunter's Point!

We bundled up, found an elevated spot to perch on and stared in awe.

It was super sweet moment. I sat on a rock platform and B sat on my lap. We kept each other warm as the waves pummeled up -- sometimes even past us!

We shouted and squealed when we saw something really massive. I couldn't believe how high the waves were splashing out in the lake, even! 

It was quite a sight, and we were happy to be a part of it.

Here are some pics from our venue.

And of course, Mr. Explorer had to venture out to see if he could get a little closer. Luckily, he stayed dry!

Remember to breathe. And stay warm!

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Mountain Man

Last week we had a fiery tunnel, now we have a golden highway!

My pictures don't do justice

The trees up here are pretty spectacular... still! 

Brady P likes to kick the fallen leaves on the trails as he hikes along.

And he loooooooves to hike!

It started a couple years ago when he would start following a trail for curiosity's sake. The thought of what would be around the next corner intrigued him so much that he would not stop until he was bushed -- sitting in the middle of the trail until he finally threw his arms up and whined, "Carry me!"

If you've ever hiked in the Keweenaw, you know the trails are not flat -- terrain or elevation-wise. 

So during much of those couple years I tried to curb the places he could see because he would just take off. I would shout, "Nope!  Stop! Turn around! Remember, once you stop, you still have to walk all the way back. You are too big to carry that far!"

But he would go.

I had three choices: Carry him back from far away, chase after him and carry him home before he got too far or not take him by trails he liked to go on.

That is not the life we wanted.

But he got stronger, and so did his love for nature.

Now I just bring snacks and water, and we can hike off into the sunset!

Oh my heart!!!

I am now adventuring with my own flesh and blood! My little sidekick is really kicking it! Over the rivers and through the woods!

I think he could easily cover a handful of miles. I'm planning some new destination routes for us... hopefully we can get to a couple of them before it turns too wintery.

But, what a great hiking buddy!

When he looks up from the bottom of a tough climb, he'll make this grunting sound (like I do) and hold his hand back to me (cuz he likes to lead!) and say, "I'll do it by myself!"

You better believe he does! Sometimes he even takes the harder ways like over a tousle of roots or atop a rock spine.

When we get to the top of a gnarly descent, he'll take a deep breath and remind me that he can do it by himself. At the bottom he'll shout, "I did great!"

"Yes, you did, Dove!" I'll echo.

Getting down a steep bridge by himself!

He also likes to read the trail signs. Well, I often read them the first time past, but he sure remembers them. 

Yesterday we doubled back on the Red Trail. We passed a sign that said "Caution Brigde."

"That's right!" he said.

I laughed at his confirmation to the sign. Like, the sign just knew!

He loves watching the water as we cross bridges. He delights in bridge and rock features. He tells me all the animals he sees. He remembers the names of the trails, the lakes and the special places we name ourselves. Here he is having his snack on our newly dubbed P. Pie Peak.

P. Pie Peak!

I am so pleased that this little man's strength and stamina has finally matched his passion and curiosity for roaming in nature. I see a fun, adventurous future in store for us!

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Fiery Tunnel

Those maple trees are lit up!

This is from yesterday (10/3/2022) on my drive home.