I walked out of the office today, took a look at the forest and thought that we should get our maple buckets and taps ready as the day had the same feel as a late winter day. Except one look at the calendar and it shows that today is January 10, not March 10. This is not a good thing when one has not yet put on the snowshoes, or the cross-country skis once this winter.
I am a lover of winter and winter weather, but it appears that Mother Nature is disappointing us once again. The one benefit of the sunshine and the mid to upper thirties temperatures makes it enjoyable to be out and is a good preventive against Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). A hike in the forest today with a small group was great for both the body and spirit.
The one good thing about long winter nights when you can’t get out to snowshoe, is that the mind turns towards future expeditions and planning for those expeditions begins. I have not done as much backpacking over the last couple of years due to other things happening in my life, but for 2012, I am dedicating part of the year to the planning, preparation, and commencement of a thirty-mile backpack at the Porcupines Mountains Wilderness State Park. Not as much mileage as I did in 2009 at Isle Royale, but this should be a great hike in the “mountains” of the western Upper Peninsula and on the shores of Lake Superior. I hope to have great companionship on this trek and not only will we do a little tent camping, but also stay at a few of the rustic cabins too. Talk about swanky accommodations. It will be the Ritz of backpacking!
Backpacking the Porkies is just one of the plans I have for 2012. I chose not to make any grandiose New years Resolutions this year as I tend to have a tough time keeping to them. So instead, I made one resolution:
“I resolve to hike a little more; to kayak a little more; to camp a little more; to play my banjo a little more; to write a little more; to give a little more; to love a little more; to live a lot more.”
On that, I am planning on going to the Midwest Banjo Camp in early June, my first intense banjo study since the John C. Campbell clawhammer class in 2010. I love playing the banjo, but am not exactly dedicated to practicing, so my skills are still quite limited.
And one other big plan for 2012 is to do more writing. I am embarking on a possible book on Michigan’s lumber history and whether I get a publishing contract this year or not, I am going to write this book. This is my chance to be more of a research historian again as opposed to just a museum administrator. If no contract comes my way in 2012, I am confident it will still happen.
All of the rest will fall into line after these.
–Rob aka the “Hiking Historian”