Week 1 Recap

Hello from the Dead River Coffee Shop in Marquette, Michigan! Shane and I are enjoying some coffee and WiFi while we upload photos, update the blog, and plan our next move. We've had an eventful first week, and I'm excited to share it with you. I also love lists, so here we go!

Places visited

  • Niagara Falls

  • Georgian Bay Islands (national park in Canada consisting of islands!)

  • Sault Ste. Marie State Forest Area

  • Hiawatha National Forest

  • Munising, Michigan/upper peninsula of Michigan

  • Marquette, Michigan (a cute little town)

Things I've Missed

  • Family and friends in PA, Virginia, and Chicago

  • Convenience

  • Coffee (but I don't miss this anymore! See the personal high list below...)

Things I'm Grateful For

  • Shane, of course! Most of the time :p

  • The friendly people in Canada and Michigan who have offered us tips on places to visit

  • The pleasant weather this week

  • My Rav4, our home away from home

  • The flexibility we have regarding time

  • The chance to see parts of North America that weren't even on my radar a month ago

Personal Highs

  • Seeing Niagara Falls at night - so beautiful!

  • Hiking on the Georgian Bay Islands and finding a rattlesnake

  • Exploring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Munising, Michigan. We hiked a very scenic 9-mile trail along the shores of Lake Superior. Spectacular views!

  • Being warm at night. I've been sleeping in shorts and a t-shirt so far - our sleeping bags and tent keep us pretty warm!

  • Using our cooking gear for the first time. Shane woke me up with coffee the next morning <3

Personal Lows

  • The bathroom situation for most of the trip, especially when the outhouse was close enough to our tent at one site that I could smell it when the wind changed direction… gross!

  • My cell phone's charging speed (speed of sloth). Even when I don't have service, I use my phone as a source of light and for taking pictures and navigating, so I prefer that it function

Animals Spotted

  • Frogs and toads

  • Snakes: 3 so far, including 1 rattlesnake

  • A turtle

  • A very friendly goose we befriended at one campsite and named Henry

  • 2 random birds by the side of the road, but I don't know what they were …

  • Deer, casual

  • Squirrels, of course, but they are smaller and kind of reddish around here

  • CHIPMUNKS - we counted 35 on one hike! They come up VERY close to us

Things I've Learned

  • what to do if a black bear attacks: hold your ground and try to scare it off/fight if necessary

  • what to do if a moose attacks: run! (NB: bear and moose count remain at zero, although I'm hoping we'll see both from a safe distance at some point. I don't think we'll have any problems with either.)

  • the largest organism is a fungus in Michigan - crazy, right? Go ahead and Google it!

  • Shane and I have enjoyed trying to identify mushrooms on our hikes using this book: Fascinating Fungi in the North Woods by Cora Mollen and Larry A. Weber

  • how to identify Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Bootes, Draco, Corona Borealis, and Cassiopeia in the night sky

  • the subtle difference between Shane's snores and a bear's growls ;)

Here are some of my favorite photos from this week:

Camping with coffee!

Shane at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Hiawatha National Forest

Henry the Goose!

Chapel Rock

Special thanks to my mom, Carol, for gifting us our cameras this past Christmas - they are getting some great use!

Thank you all for reading about our travels! Hope everyone is having a great week <3

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