Midwest Journeys

Life's journeys and the adventures along the way.

Ozark Trail – Guy’s Trip 2016

Back in October, my friend John organized a backpacking trip for four of us to hike part of the Current River section of the Ozark Trail.  We would start at the Peck Ranch trailhead on October 14th, and end up at the Powder Mill trailhead on the 16th.  Although we did face a few difficulties along the way, I think that we would all agree that we had a good time in the end.

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Motivation and Momentum

I often find that when I begin to make a positive life change, it often flows over into other aspects of my life.  For example, when I start eating better, I then have more energy to exercise, which then gives me more energy at work… and so forth.  However, I have also found the opposite to be true as well, and can quickly spiral out of control.

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Flashback – National Parks trips

Over the past several years, many of our vacations have been with my parents, brothers, and their families.  Of those, many have been to National Parks, and the surrounding areas.  Here is a brief glimpse of some of those trips.

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MidwestJourneys… take 2

It has been a long while since the last time that have written anything.  To be honest, there was a point in time within the past couple months that I believed that I was finished with this blog.  It took a bit of self reflection to realize that I had forgotten why I started MidwestJourneys in the first place.  Originally, I created this blog as a way to help those who are going down some of the same paths that I have been down, literally and figuratively.  I also wanted it to be a place where I could reflect on my thoughts.

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The Moving Adventure

850thSome of the adventures we face in life do not involve being alone in a wilderness area or trying some new “extreme” activity.  For the most part, our lives provide the adventure without us needing to find it elsewhere.  Our current adventure has been the saga of selling our home and moving to a more suburban setting.

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Jamaica in pictures… (and video)

Once a year, we typically plan a vacation that takes us outside of the midwest.  This year was originally going to be our year to go backpacking in Yosemite.  Since we also decided to put our house up for sale this year, we figured that the planning involved for the Yosemite trip would be too much.  We pushed that trip out to next year and decided to try an all inclusive trip to the Caribbean.  We wanted to do a joint vacation with my parents and after some research, we decided to go to Iberostar Rose Hall Suites in Jamaica.

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Van Meter State Park weekend

Van Meter State Park is a special place for me.  As a child, we would take day trips down to the park to hike the trails and enjoy the outdoors.  Trips such as these helped foster the love for hiking and the outdoors that I have today.  Strangely enough, since Tammy and I met, we have never returned to Van Meter.  There have been several times that we have considered it as a weekend camping location, but every time we chose another option.  This past weekend we finally made it back to the park that I remember so fondly.

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Flashback – Hiking Boundary Waters

After our first backpacking trip, we decided that this was definitely something that we wanted to continue doing, and we needed to start planning our next trip. We typically take a trip somewhere for our anniversary in September, so we figured that would be a great time for our next backpacking adventure. While looking for destination ideas, I found an article in Backpacker magazine that stated that September 2012 was supposed to be a good time to try to see the northern lights. It also stated that northern Minnesota was the best bet for seeing them in the lower 48 states. Since seeing the northern lights is on our bucket list, we decided on the Angleworm Lake Trail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area near Ely, MN.

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The First Trip

Back in 2012, Tammy and I decided that we wanted to start backpacking. For years we had enjoyed hiking and camping and had been intrigued by the thought of combining the two activities. We talked about it for a while, and finally decided to take the leap.

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The Pursuit of Comfort

In today’s world, the goal of most consumer products is to make us more comfortable.  Even in the outdoors industry, it is all about making the outdoors as comfortable as our living rooms.  I am beginning to question if comfort is what we should be pursuing.


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