Opt Outside

Happy belated Thanksgiving to all my readers. I hope you’ll join me and many others today and #OptOutside for Black Friday. I’m so glad REI started this trend and I hope it continues to grow in the years to come.

Spent my morning exploring Minnesota, where I’m currently visiting family for the holidays. Lots of sunshine and a few lingering colored leaves made for a lovely early morning excursion.

Happy exploring!

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Eastward Bound (part II) – Indiana to Ontario

At the end of my last post, my mom and I were wading in Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Day 4 of our cross-country excursion, however, was the one I was most excited for. Our destination: Niagara Falls!

We left Indiana early in the morning, continuing across the northern edge of the state and crossing into Ohio. By lunch, we were just outside of Cleveland. Coincidentally, earlier that morning my mom and I had been discussing national parks and the fact that there aren’t any in Ohio. She grew up there so I didn’t have any reason to doubt her. However, when I pulled out the map to find us a suitable picnic location, I spotted the small green area labeled Cuyahoga Valley National Park just south of Cleveland.

And so our picnic spot was chosen. Continue reading

Eastward Bound (part I) – Montana to Indiana

August 10, 2012: Moving Day.

I don’t think it had hit me yet that I would be spending the next few years of my life in Connecticut. I’d never been there before. I’d never been anywhere in the northeast. All I had was warnings from various people that northeasterners are rude and everyone has a Boston accent. And though people do tend to drive like total jackasses here, I quickly learned that most people are friendly and the Boston accent is pretty well confined to Boston.

Anyway, the point of my story is that I hadn’t quite realized what I was getting myself into. It didn’t really hit me until I was sitting in my new house in Connecticut and my mom was on a plane back home. My roommates hadn’t yet arrived and my grad school advisor was on vacation. I was alone. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t the best day I’ve ever had.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Continue reading

Christmas in Ohio

For our final trip of 2011, we headed to Ohio over the holiday break to visit some of my mom’s side of the family. They live in the Cincinnati area but the nearest airport is actually located in Covington, KY, so this trip was also the first time I’d ever been to Kentucky. It’s not much, but my feet touched the ground in the state. In my book, that counts!

Ohio gets its fair share of winter but this particular Christmas was very moderate. Sunshine, a bit of rain, but no snow. Seeing as I grew up in Montana, having a white Christmas every year was basically a guarantee. It’s always weird to me when Christmas comes and there’s no snow to be seen. I don’t imagine that feeling is ever going to change. Continue reading