I love Michigan — its seasons, its climate and its diverse landscapes. Before 2018, I was so bombarded with work-related obligations that my opportunities to sashay into The Great Outdoors were regrettably limited and often just last-minute solo outings. With my late-spring employment transition, my options have opened considerably. Not only did I finally earn Wilderness First Responder certification, but I joined both the Fortune Bay Expedition Team as a guild member and the North Country Trail Association.
- I used to do a ton of cycling (mostly on the paved Kent Trails system around Millennium Park, or along the rural dirt roads of eastern Ottawa County). Not so much, anymore, although I still have the bike in storage; it’s much harder to get good cycling time in, now that I live in an urban area and never invested in a bike rack for my sedan.
- I use an Aqua Lung Dimension i3 BCD, an Apeks XTX-50 regulator and a Suunto Zoop computer.
- Open-water certified, with experience within Michigan’s inland lakes.
- I grew up around horses — my family had four of the majestic beasts, which I helped to care for — and although I haven’t done a ton of riding, I have done some. Including a bit of equestrian-trail riding.
- In the summer of 2017 my friend Jason took me up for a flight in a Cessna Skyhawk. Loved it.
- In the summer of 2018, I took a formal discovery flight at West Michigan Regional. Loved it. Got to engage in a detailed pre-flight inspection and even take the controls for parts of take-off and straight-and-level flight.
- In the autumn of 2018, I ordered a self-study course from Sportys and am “flying” through it in preparation for working with an instructor.
- My favorite trip was probably the four-night off-season solo to Isle Royale National Park that I completed in 2013.
- I try to make at least a few section hikes section hikes of the North Country Trail in central Michigan, with or without overnight camping, each year.
- I’ve enjoyed day hikes in places like Red Rock Canyon (Nevada), bayou country in southern Louisiana, the Gatineau Hills of southern Quebec, and an ascent up Mt. McLoughlin in south-central Oregon.
- Check out my gear list for a reflection on my approach to risk management, from a provisioning perspective, on the trail.
- I own a flatwater kayak and relevant safety equipment and try to get out at least a few times each year, mostly on inland rivers like the Grand and the Flat.
Always advance to the next adventure!
As of mid-2018, my goals include:
- Complete two overnight loops this summer (Jordan Lake, Fife Lake) with my brother, who keeps finding excuses to not head out despite his enthusiasm to plan. I’ll go without him, if need be!
- A goal for 2019 is to get a touring kayak this winter and take some swiftwater rescue courses early next summer. Lots of cool hike-slash-kayak opportunities that my current boat really cannot accommodate.
- By the end of 2019, earn a divemaster certification.
- Begin study for a student pilot certificate.