Thursday, December 26, 2013


A while ago, I shared some of our goals for fall.

1. Finish sanding & staining our dining room table.
2. Get a fall CSA.
3. Take a trip to Columbus & hit the OH & IN highpoints.
4. Take a trip to the Smokey Mountains.
5. Go camping.
6. Visit & hike Devil's lake.
7. Learn how to make pesto, gluten free bread, and falafel. (Let's be real, this goal is for me. Kyle volunteered to help eat it all, though, so I guess that counts as his participation.)
8. Apply to the Peace Corps (!!!)
9. Go canoeing on the Milwaukee river.
10. Learn how to make a good cup of French pressed coffee.

Well, autumn is over now and winter has settled in, blanketing the world in a thick layer of snow.

We worked quite hard to accomplish our goals this fall - it was a busy season! We nearly accomplished them all!

1. Finish sanding & staining the table. Well, this one was a bit of a failure honestly. We did accomplish the goal, but we used an old stain and it did not turn out well at all! We're calling it our practice run -- so if anyone has an old table they are looking to get rid of, let us know - we really want to try again and hopefully succeed this time!

2. Get a fall CSA. We did this! We got a 6-week late fall/early winter CSA and our fridge has been bursting with root vegetables and kale for weeks!

3. Take a trip to Columbus & hit the OH & IN highpoints. We did this. Here's proof. and more proof.

4. Take a trip to the Smokey Mountains. We decided to switch this one up and take a trip to the south instead. We visited three highpoints: Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. We enjoyed the trip and also learned that the south is not for us!

5. Go camping. Done.

6. Visit & hike Devil's lake. Done!

It was soooo beautiful!

7. Learn how to make pesto, gluten free bread, and falafel. (Let's be real, this goal is for me. Kyle volunteered to help eat it all, though, so I guess that counts as his participation.) Pesto, check. GF bread, check. Falafel... I'm still nervous to try this on my own, so if someone wants to teach me or try to learn with me, holla at me!

8. Apply to the Peace Corps (!!!) DONE. AHH.

9. Go canoeing on the Milwaukee river. We were sososo close to getting this one. We made plans with some friends who own their own canoe to go one Saturday in October. Unfortunately, when we called the Urban Ecology Center to rent one we were two days too late & they had already stopped renting them out. We DID however, learn to play disc golf (Kyle already knew, but I had never played) instead, so I think that counts as an equally exciting first experience.

10. Learn how to make a good cup of French pressed coffee. This is done and I'm so happy about it!

Coming soon: Winter Goals!

Highpoint #6: Woodall Mountain, MS

We got up early the next morning and, after taking in this beautiful sunrise and trying (read: failing) to make a fire to cook breakfast, we were on the road again heading for Mississippi. Of course, a trip the the south is not complete without a greasy meal at a Waffle House!

Woodall Mountain was our next stop, and although we read that there was a road to the top, we wanted to hike it from the bottom for some exercise and fresh air. Unfortunately, we turned onto the tiny, abrupt road and were unable to turn around until we got to the top!
So, we didn't get our hike in, but we did make it to the highest point on Mississippi - our third one in three days!

It was a beautiful highpoint, though the sounds from the hunting club nearby were a bit alarming!

So, we did it! We have officially conquered six highpoints! Only 44 left to go...

Highpoint #5: Britton Hill, FL

I realize that this was nearly a month ago, but I haven't yet finished telling the tale of our Campsgiving Adventure! Our road trip to the south continued from Alabama to Florida for the next highpoint - Britton Hill, which stands at a grand total of 345 feet above sea level. Fun fact: the lowest points of 16 states are higher than the highest point of Florida! This highpoint was located down a narrow country road in a weirdly vacant little park.
Yup, 345 feet. Really.

Although this highpoint was less than riveting, we journeyed on and came to our campsite in Florala park, just a few minutes away from Britton Hill. Here we met a little girl named Sunday Grace and camped next to a couple whom we swear were running from the law and been camping there for three weeks already. It was a gorgeous place to camp, though.

This was Thanksgiving, so we had yummy hobo dinners over the fire after watching a splendid sunset!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Highpoint #4: Cheaha Mountain, AL

Campsgiving Weekend, Part 1

Much to the dismay of my mother, Kyle and I decided to make the most of the last time we will both be on school schedules and have Thanksgiving break by taking a road trip to the southern region of the US. We have been wanting to go camping this autumn (one of our fall goals!) but haven't had the chance; since Wisconsin is not camper-friendly for most of autumn, we figured that heading south was our best bet. Plus, we wanted to do some hiking and highpointing in a few new places.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature was not in the holiday spirit this Thanksgiving weekend. As we packed the car and left Wisconsin at 6am last Wednesday in the 10 degree weather, we hoped that the "near record lows" in Alabama and Mississippi would miraculously warm up. They didn't.


Of course, Kyle the Minimalist reserved us a primitive campground to which we arrived in the freezing cold darkness after driving for 12 hours. We used our headlights to put up the borrowed tent we'd never set up before.  Then, we quickly piled all of our blankets into the tent and hunkered down for the night. 24 degrees, you can't stop these crazies! 

We awoke to a frosty morning in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It was actually a really beautiful place once the sun peaked over the mountaintops. Our first real mountain highpoint lay ahead! 

After some navigating, we found the top of Cheaha Mountain. 2407 feet! 

We climbed the observation tower at the top for a better view. It was definitely the most beautiful view we have seen yet!

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