Forget Trails - Just Bushwhack

Imagine finding a sparkling waterfall or rocky outcropping offering amazing panoramic views with no sign of human interference. You're not going to stumble on anything like that while following a groomed trail. To find the good spots, to get the real experience with the destination, you need to leave trails behind and get your bushwhack on.

Cedar forest near the Elm Creek swamp

Descent from Tortilla Peak

Last look back at the peak

Coming down the north side of Tortilla Peak was a hundred times easier than my climb up. A few simple hops over jagged rocks and then a long, clear chunk of bedrock sloped gently away. Man, this approach would have been a breeze. I looked back a few times at the peak, now bright under a rising…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 27, 2017
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Tips for Bushwhacking

Throughout many of my hiking posts I frequently use the word 'bushwhacking'. I learned this word from my dad when we would bust through the woods on a walk and was recently surprised to learn that it is actually had a legitimate definition. Honestly, when pushing my way through vegetation or…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 18, 2014
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Bluffs of Diorite - American Gold Mine

Bare springtime trees below

The trees grew thick and undergrowth tangled along my confused route. I had come a long way from Wolf Lake Road - along clear and exposed rock bluffs, several two-tracks, and through managed hardwoods - and this last stretch on the ridge was the worst so far. There was supposed to be some open views…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 14, 2013
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Waterfalls that don't Exist

A disappointing jumble of rocks and small drops

Waterfalls were my first love in the Upper Peninsula. I'd walk miles and miles searching out little known drops deep in the woods, guided only by rumors and intuition. Most of these quests resulted in discovering an unnamed wonder far from the beaten path, even if it meant returning several times to…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 18, 2013
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Mount Houghton in the Winter

Looking east along the Keweenaw shoreline

Near the southeastern end of the Keweenaw Ridge a series of named peaks rise up, one last push towards the sky before Lake Superior swallows up the land. Mount Horace Greeley is the highest point in Keweenaw County but is on private property, with an old Air Force base perched on its peak. Mt…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 9, 2013
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Lost in the Herman-Nestoria Swamp

A wide, grassy swath

Sometimes things go wrong. I have been very fortunate over the years considering the number of adventures and idiotic ideas I've had, but sometimes bad things can and do happen. Among the problems that have cropped up during hikes I've had to deal with car problems, injuries, exhaustion, and…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted October 18, 2012
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The Search for No Name Falls

Dull light along the two-track

Dull grey seeped into my tent signalling a long-awaited end to a miserable, sleepless night. I scrambled around in the frigid air, pulling on stiff clothes and grabbing prepared gear in a rush to start moving on a long hike. My campsite was less than ideal even though I had took pains to pick the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted October 2, 2012
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Goose Lake

Shallow waters of Goose Lake

North of Palmer and the sprawling open pit Empire Mine M-35 winds its way around Goose Lake. I rarely drive past it on my way to my usual hiking spots in the Huron Mountains, with 553 providing a more direct route to Marquette through the Sands, but when I do I always crane my neck around to check…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 11, 2012
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Panorama Hills - Western Peaks

Far up the river, looking at Yellow Dog Plains

A year had passed since I first found the Panorama Hills, located off of County Road 510 just north of the Yellow Dog Falls. My initial visit was a brief excursion, mostly exploratory in nature. I was more ambitious this time around with plans to hit up the far western peaks.

Parking once again…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 17, 2012
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Northern Boise Creek Valley Explorations

Bare trees and lonely tracks in Boise Creek Valley

Boise Creek Valley is an awkward, sand-filled depression just north of the Dead River Basin. There are four main creeks that flow through the valley: Clark Creek flows in from the highlands to the west, Wilson Creek seeps along the towering eastern cliffs, Deer Creek drains a large swamp to the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted June 14, 2012
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Activity Stream

  • Read The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1) by N.K. Jemisin.
  • Blogged about hiking | Across the Mazatzals: Over Sandy Saddle.
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  • Blogged about hiking | Shaw Butte.
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