What I am Grateful For (2017 Edition)

*If you’d prefer not to read a peeing in the woods story please skip to the 2nd paragraph*

New Years Day 2017, Shawn, Niko, and I drove down a dirt road, when the road ended we got out and hiked. It was a beautiful cold sunny day. At one point, I had to make a pit stop in the trees, and as I was peeing in the woods, for what was probably the 3rd time in my life, I thought to myself “Yep, this is how this year is going to be.” And it really has been. I can’t even count how many times I’ve peed in the woods now!

2017 has been a grand adventure.

I am so very thankful for the people that are in my life. I am blessed with a loving family, boyfriend, and best friends who love the outdoors as much as I do. I joined two awesome groups this year: Women Who Hike and Mountain Chicks and met some bad-ass women. I started (and in a couple weeks, will have finished) my first #52HikeChallenge!

I am so very thankful to have been able to visit so many beautiful and unique places this year. 2017 set a new record for the number of National Parks I have visited within the course of a year – 5 that I had never been to, plus 3 that I revisited. I hiked in snow at 13,000 feet elevation and in a dessert all within 24 hours. I walked on the beaches of 2 Great Lakes. Drove through 18 states. Hiked in a cave. Learned there were mountains in Alabama, but even better ones in Glacier National Park. Saw wild horses for the first time ever. And a bear!

I am so very thankful for good food. I ate picnics in Ohio, pasta in New York, fancy french toast Kentucky, and yummy pizza in North Dakota.

I am so very thankful for this blog and for you who read it. I started writing it back in May and have greatly enjoyed sharing my adventures. It is a fun way to preserve all the memories.

These are the places I explored this year (will be updated on December 31st). An * marks places I visited for the first time in 2017.

National Parks

State Parks:

Nature Preserves:

National Forests:

Below are some of my favorite photos from this year:

9 thoughts on “What I am Grateful For (2017 Edition)

    1. Theodore Roosevelt National Park really surprised me! It has the wildlife of Yellowstone without all the people and the landscape is gorgeous too! Glacier National Park, of course, is a favorite. Cuyahoga Valley National Park was a surprising one. Shades and Clifty Falls are probably my two favorite state Parks in Indiana. Starved Rock is my favorite in Illinois (but I’ve only been to four of theirs so far so it’s still early to say). Monte Sano State Park is neat if you’re ever in Huntsville Alabama.

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