We hike a lot in winter because I tend to get antsy. When I’m not shooting outside much and the kids aren’t doing outdoor soccer and we’re not spending time at the family lake house my world gets really small. Our house, the studio, C’s work, the kid’s school, the grocery store I frequent, etc. are all within a ONE MILE radius and I can go DAYS without leaving that one mile. It starts to wear on me. So does all the extra computer time when my shooting schedule slows down. And the cold, gray, dreary weather. It all wears on me so as often as I can I want to get out and hike. Mostly I also want to drive an hour or more to get to our hiking destination so that it’s almost a mini road trip.

The fresh air (even cold), the long trails, the open space (even in the forest it feels open b/c there is no foliage), the quiet, the exercise, the laughter, the exploring and the sun when it’s out truly make me feel alive again after a long, sometimes boring week. It wakes me up. It makes me feel creative again. My soul has room to spread out and breathe – that’s the best way I can describe how it makes me feel.

SO because we explore our state so much I thought I would do better about blogging the images in case it inspires other families to go play in the woods too!

This is Amidon Memorial Conservation Area and it was a bit remote but SO SO AWESOME! The directions we found to get there (because it wouldn’t come up on our GPS) was like take this tiny highway to this gravel road and then turn left at that other dirt road! HA! Because of the little roads it took longer to get there than we were expecting but it was a nice drive.


We started the hike but almost immediately came to the water so we detoured to climb on the amazing boulders! The rocks look so much like the ones at Elephant Rocks (pink granite?) but the river is very much like Johnston Shut-Ins! A really cool mix. I’m obsessed with the pink rock and pale green moss.

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Anyone want to do a photo shoot here? I’d die to capture a family! It’s amazing!

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This is when it all started to go downhill. Chris got to the other side with one huge leap and for a while he and the kids tried to get everyone across.

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Contemplating their moves.

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The attempt… which lead directly to the MAJOR FAIL when Bailey fell into the freezing cold water up to her waist. She was cold and crying so we had to immediately cut the non-hike short and head home b/c of course I didn’t think to pack extra clothes. Total disclosure – we never even hiked the actual trail which means we will head back here sometime to try again!

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She dumped her boots out at least a dozen times and because her pants were so wet the water just kept filling her boots back up – it got to be really funny and I was proud of her for laughing about it!


All in all the place was amazing – what we saw of it at least. I would be excited to see if the trail takes you above the river b/c there were some neat bluffs I think. This is one we will definitely go back to again!