A Profoundly Grateful Blog - 2020

Camping, Hiking and Backpacking Plans for this Year

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It's been a crazy year and I'm eager to get outside and spend some time with mother nature. I sure I'm not the only one. There is probably going to be a giant swarm of people at the big popular spots. I just hope that they practice good leave-no-trace practices. There's quite a few places that I want to check out near my home state of Michigan. Right now, its rather cold though, so it's almost too early to start camping. However, once the weather gets to be a little nicer, I'm planning on hiking at least one overnight trail a month. I'll probably have to start in late March, in the more southern parts.

Consider this post part planning, part gear discussion and part message to take care of our backcountry areas.

Travel Plans

Most of these places are in Michigan, or close to Michigan, but these are my rough hiking plans for 2021.

Morth Manitou Island

This is a pretty short hike overall. Only 14 miles, but the location makes up for it. This is supposedly a great location for stargazing, since you're in the middle of the lake with not a lot of artificial light. Really looking forward to this. Probably going to go in June or so. Campsites here book super fast.

Porcupine Mountain Wilderness Loop

This trail is way up in the Porcupine Mountains, or the Porkies as some call them. There's a beautiful view of Lake of the Clouds. I want to hit this in the fall. Probably September or October.

Potawatomi Trail

I would like to hit this trail earlier in the season. It's much further south, so it should be less snowy sooner. I've done this one a few times, and mosquitos are fucking brutal here in the Summer. This is looking to be my March or April hike.

Lakeshore Trail at Pictured Rocks

This is probably the hike I'm most looking forward too. It runs for 40 something miles right along the north coast of the UP and goes right through Pictured Rocks. The only downside I hear is that there are an incredible amount of mosquitos and biting flies. But, you have to embrace the suck a little to get that view. This will probably be in late summer. Campsites here book very fast as well, so I need to schedule something now.

Manistee River Trail

Instead of hiking this, this is actually going to be an overnight canoe trip. Basically we put in the north part of the manistee river, then paddle downriver, camp overnight one night and wrap it up. This is gonna be very chill. Moderately looking forward to this. Early Summer or so.

Gear and Kit

Leave-no-Trace

Tue, 02 Mar 2021 21:08:19 -0500

A New Year!

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Hello everyone, wishing you a happy new year. It's the year of the Ox, lets all try to be a little more Oxish this year.

I've been rather negligent for posting here, but it is what it is. This past year has been absolutely crazy, but I've found my own ways to thrive in a post-COVID world. Regardless of your stance on what should be done, its important to take care of yourself the best way you can in times like this. I've been rather lucky and have the ability to work from home, so its like I've been on a pseudo-vacation these past several months.

I'm excited to start the new year. This year I'd like to work out more. I picked up the hobby of cycling this past year and I'd like to continue it. I've set a small personal goal of trying to hit 100 miles cycled each week, once the weather gets a little nicer. I used to rock climb, but its rather difficult to get practice in for that since all the gyms are closed. With cycling all you need is a road, and you don't really have to worry about ~social distancing~.

I've also gotten a new digitizer tablet, so I've started practicing digital art again. I like to draw manga style figures and psychadelic landscapes. It's a learning experience, since I never really studied how to draw during my time at school. I needed a hobby to keep me busy this winter and as I get older, I find that I'm less and less able to enjoy just sitting around playing video games. The personal development is more satisfying to me. I've been ocasionally tossing my practice work up on Pleroma, but I'm nowhere near good enough to actually put out a real piece of art yet.

I suppose picking a physical hobby to focus on and a mental hobby to focus on will help balance my chakras out or something, but who knows? Mental health is important, especially with all the isolation that people are going through right now. Sun, 03 Jan 2021 21:07:58 -0500

The Wendigo: Algonquian Folklore

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I recently read Dangerous Spirits: The Windigo in Myth and History so I'm in a mood to talk about it. There's a lot of flak in modern culture about the Wendigo. I was interested in more historical, non-hollywood accounts of interaction with Wendigo. I think this book is a good place to start.

In popular culture, the Wendigo is a gaunt, hungry, canibalistic creature that consumes and consumes until there is nothing left, then it goes to look for more to consume. I discovered that the wendigo tales told for centuries by the Indigenious Peoples of North America provide a much more varied story.

Some wendego stories were scatological, sexual or simply difficult to interpret. They often had aspects of sexuality or even sexual violence, sometimes obscured by symbolism.

The stories were ostensibly about transformation by (and into) cannibalistic spirit being. Madness, and the fear of madness was as important a motif as cannibalism.

What ultimately results is the breakdown of the family and social order, of which women were an essential part. WOmen were absolutely integral to these traditions, but the scholarly and hollywood interpretation of these myths have not always made this apparent. Women were not always the focus of these narratives, but they were sometimes depicted as successfully destroying wendigos after their husbands failed.

Pretty solid book. Oddly funny at times. Would reccomend. Sun, 03 Jan 2021 20:54:57 -0500