Shaky knees. Weak heart. Faint breath. Fearful spirit. All at once as we stand at the line between comfort and risk. You're going to have to take some great risks. Whether that's free climbing across metal bearings, jumping from a forty-foot drop, sitting on the [literal] edge of mountain cliff, or simply having the courage to wake up in the morning. Life is full of risks. But I'm here to tell you this - what you risk, you gain. Even if you scream the whole way down, you gain. Even if you fall, you gain. Even if you crawl across the finish line, you gain. Even if it takes your whole life, you gain. Risks are worthy of your heart's ambition. Risks are worthy of your soul's fight. So don't run from risk. Don't hide from the challenge. Don't fear the drop. Cross the line.

a UP delight.

"This graffiti needs to be in my room. How perfect? Right outside of 5th & Elm coffee in Houghton this art is a happy place for me! I believe we explore three coffee shops yesterday. Some sweet shops. Books stores. Parks. Bridges. Waterfront. & lovely, lovely people! Happy day for sure!"

"We went hiking up to Canyon Falls to go cliff jumping. I survived! But not before first slipping and eating rock on the way up. Turns out my phone is waterproof and survived with a few dents. But I stuck it in rice later that day to get some water out of the camera. Well, then a piece of rice got stuck in the charger which is now broken. So. Great day, just not for my electronics.
Oh, I also bought a cinnamon roll the size of my head! Pretty great!"

"First we stopped for some coffee at Cafe Rosetta, for the only coffee drinker on the trip (aka, me). Climbed into the dredge, stopped for pasties at Connie's Kitchen, went to Eagle River Falls, stopped at the Jampot for some yummy treats and wandered Jacob Falls, then off to Brockway Mountain, Copper Harbor, and some very adventurous slash sketchy driving down a no name road at the end of 41 and last Horseshoe Harbor, then after all that we hiked (very tiredly) Bare Bluff, and then walked to Montreal Falls for an almost sunset experience! We drank from Lake Superior, stumbled up steep cliffs, adventured abandoned buildings, tried to stand up straight in a sinking mine dredge, are peanut butter sandwiches off the tailgate, and experiences so much beauty that is here. But that wasn't the end! We ended our night with ice cream, pizza, and Man of Steel."

"While on a hike I picked my wedding bouquet. Love me some wildflowers."

"On our way up, up and up (and back down) we stopped in Green Bay and I fell in love yet again with a warehouse style coffee shop full of unique souls and good vibes! Oh how happy it made me! Plus the coffee and baked goods were delicious!"

You can either let the rain ruin your adventure or you can let it push you into a better one. -- There's a life metaphor in there somewhere.

in the havens

My final school year was starting soon and I was becoming restless. Just weeks after my first trip to Michigan I decided to head back for another one to visit my best friend from high school.This time towards Traverse City.

Alone again.

Solo road trips teach me a lot about myself. Sometimes it's that I I'm not a heart that is meant to be alone, and sometimes it's that I could never understand why I wouldn't just pack up and live alone on the road. 

This trip was a little of both. Nonetheless, it was great.

Despite long hours on the road, unknown side streets, freak rain storms, and draining my bank account, it was exactly what I needed. Days spent in coffee shops, hours spent wandering, minutes spent on piers. Swooning over the newest addition to the "cutest babies in my life" list. Beautiful sunsets reflecting the mountains over the lake. Strangers telling stories with just the way they walk. It was all there, all that and more.

There were no steep mountain treks, or life-risking jumps, but there was a lot of serenity. 

It was a great adventure to end the summer.