Making the trek down, then back up, Pyramid Point

Who is ready for a road trip?! Quarantine has us reminiscing on our summer trips. We are ready for sunshine, warm weather and a new destination to explore!

I cannot believe that our engagement trip to Traverse City, MI was 8 months ago! The day after Michael popped the question, we visited Pyramid Point located in Glen Arbor, MI.

Can you even believe that view?! Michael was planning on diving in Lake Michigan to check out a sinking ship. The trek down and back up was not for the faint of heart. We heard stories of people having to have a helicopter come rescue them from the bottom. Seeing as this was vacation and all, I opted to stay at the top with a book. Michael on the other hand, well if you know him, he was going to the bottom, no matter what.

The incline was steep. Many times, Michael had to basically scoot down the sand while sitting. Once at the bottom he hiked a bit down the beach to the location of the ship.

Unfortunately, it was too far off shore to safely swim out and back. I am happy that Michael used his common sense and decided against swimming out there. Typically, he is stubborn and will take the risk for the adventure. Regardless, he was able to fly his drone and captured some aerial images of the ship below water.

Finally, it was time to make the trek back up to the top of Pyramid Point. What I forgot to tell you is that Michael had a large duffel bag with all of his diving gear. Once wet, the weight significantly increased. So not only did he have to get himself back up the steep incline, he had to get the large duffel bag full of wet diving gear back up to the top.

Michael took many, many breaks on the way back up. The beauty could not be surpassed, no matter how out of breath he felt.

This is another one of my favorite photos. The colors just pop! It really captures how perfect the weather was that day. You can also see this similar scene in the video below. It was a spot where Michael rested.

Would you brave the trek down and back up Pyramid Point? Once quarantine is over, where is the first destination that you want to visit? We would love to hear from you.

Come along on our winter hike at Turkey Run State Park – Trail #3

Michael and I have been itching to get out of our normal, weekday routine. We both took a half day on a random Friday and packed up Able and Kloe to head to Turkey Run State Park for a winter hike. Michael bought us both new hiking boots, cozy wool socks and a winter hat to keep warm. Thank goodness because it was a freezing cold day! Unfortunately, he did forget to buy me a pair of warm gloves. It was a repeat of our first day trip together to Cataract Falls where I could not feel my fingers until Michael was kind enough to give me his gloves. For this hike, he gave me his gloves right away, knowing that I would never admit to being too cold. 

We set out to hike trail #3. Since it was such a cold day we only saw two other small groups of hikers on the trails.

202′ Suspension Bridge

To access trail #3, you first have to cross the Suspension Bridge. Michael was really hoping for some drone footage over the bridge, but unfortunately, his drone would not connect. It was such a serene walk with the subtle water flowing and not another person in sight. Able loved running back-and-forth as fast as he could.

102 year-old suspension bridge

Able and Kloe spent some time off of their leashes running around and gather sticks. Of course, Able found large stick that he carried for most of the hike.

Both Michael and I have previously been to Turkey Run State Park, but never in the winter months. Usually it is much drier, but the rocky areas were filled with running water. This is where our waterproof hiking boots came in handy. The logs and rocks were frozen over, so of course I ended up in the water more than a few times. Able enjoyed the endless supply of water to drink.

Ladders

Abbi starting the trek down

We reached the ladders. There were only two ways down. The steep ladders or a path covered by a large tree that had fallen. Michael cleared the brush so that the dogs could pass through. Since we were quickly losing daylight, we had to ditch the trail and take a route that would get us back to our car faster. 

Kloe at the bottom of the ladders

Ice Box

The last stop on the hike, before heading back over the Suspension Bridge, was the Ice Box. The Ice Box is a circular, glacial enclosure of rocks. Inside it was quiet with just the faint sound of trickling water. What a peaceful way to end our winter hike.

Our quick hiking trip to Turkey Run was a perfect, cold, dreary, winter day spent together. A winter hike is a wonderful way to escape the mundane day-to-day tasks and visit a state park tucked just a couple of hours away. 

Once home, Michael set out to create a hiking video that captured our adventure. I may be bias, but this is his best video yet. We hope this video inspires you to get outside for a winter hike. Just don’t forget your warm gloves!

We cannot wait to get back to the hiking trails! What are some of your favorite, local trails to hike?

Friday Photos – Fishtown, MI

We’re back and happy Friday! After getting engaged, Abbi and I stayed in one of the coolest towns we have ever been; Fishtown, (Leland) Michigan.

The History

Best Dam view in Fishtown
Best Dam view in all of Fishtown

Fishtown (Leland) is located on the Leelanau Peninsula in Northern Michigan. Fishtown was originally inhabited and fished by Native Americans and by the 1850s, European settlers. As we explored you could really see and feel the history beneath our feet.

Smokin’ Fish

Smoked Fish
Fish ready to smoke

As we explored the shanties we came across a local fisherman getting ready to roll his catch into the smoker! When he opened the door to the smoker we were greeted such amazing smells!

Fishtown Harbor

The Fishtown canal ends at the Harbor and flows into Lake Michigan. The above pictures of the Harbor and the beach are some of my favorites of the trip. They really don’t do the water clarity justice.

Blue Boat Coffee

After a very short walk to Blue Boat Coffee Shop, we took in the beautiful morning views. There’s something to said about the soothing sounds of a roaring river.

The Best Dam Lodge.Period.

This has to be one of the most unique Lodges in Michigan. The water literally flows right up to the first level of the Lodge and has a bridge to cross over the dam.

Check out our Fishtown Video

Happy Weekend! Go on an adventure. Make some memories. Seek the unScene.

Friday Photos – Unique Bridges

Happy Friday! Bridges are most often unique and full of history. Today, we want to share with you a few bridges we have come across during our travels.

Noblesville, Indiana

Covered bridge at sunset over water
Potter’s Covered Bridge – Howe Truss Structure

Potter’s bridge was built when Ulysses S. Grant was our President or 148 years ago! I really like how the sun shines through the bridge window and onto the cold river below.

St. Louis, Missouri

Train tracks and bridge
Martin Luther King Bridge – Cantilever Truss

While filming the Arch, I decided to take a drive up river and came across the MLK bridge. As it would happen, a train happened to be headed my way so I quickly took my drone out and started filming.

Owen County, Indiana

Cataract Falls is one of our favorite places to visit. For our third date I convinced Abbi to visit the falls with me. It worked, but not sure how! Cataract Falls is Indiana’s largest waterfall by volume.

Greene County, Indiana

Fall foliage trestle bridge
Tulip Viaduct (Trestle) – Beam Bridge

Constructed in 1906, it was the longest trestle bridge in the US at 2,295 ft. The price tag on it was $246,504. In today’s dollars that’s roughly $7.2 million or $3,100 per foot of track. Amazingly, one-hundred and thirteen years later, trains still scoot across.

Smoky Mountains, TN/NC

Clingmans Dome Smoky Mountains
Pedestrian “bridge” to the top of Clingmans Dome

While it’s not technically a bridge, I wanted to include the dome. On a clear day you can see out 100 miles, making North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia visible! It’s also the highest point in the Smoky Mountains at 6,643 feet.

Happy Weekend! Go on an adventure. Make some memories. Seek the unScene.

Friday Photos – Red Rock Canyon & Turtlehead Peak

Happy Friday! While I was Las Vegas I decided to hike around Red Rock Canyon and summit Turtlehead Peak. In case you missed it, check out my first Las Vegas hike here.

View of Red Rock Canyon from a car
Headed to Red Rock Canyon – West of Las Vegas
Looking up at turtlehead peak
The peak of Turtlehead poking out at the top

Where to Hike?

As I got my bearings, I didn’t have an agenda in mind on where to hike through the National Park. Furthermore, I didn’t have any water or food with me; a rookie mistake. I saw a trail head sign to Turtlehead peak and decided I would head that direction.

feet hanging off cliff overlooking red rock canyon
Taking a break from the hike

It should be noted that the winds were steady at 35+ mph, making the hike even more interesting.

Looking down from the top of turtlehead peak
Towards the center, you can see the tiny outlines of the cars in the parking lot

Half-Way There

As I stumbled my way higher and higher, I realized I might be in over my head. This was about the HALF-WAY point! In total the trail was 9.2 miles and it was steep with lose rocks and cliffs.

panoramic view of red rock canyon from turtlehead peak
The views were worth the risk

Along the several mile hike to the top, I passed by what I would call experienced hikers. They had plenty of water and proper hiking gear. I had on my trust Nikes, a pullover, sweats and my drone. Their looks provided just the right motivation I needed and a chuckle to ease my unquenchable thirst.

Ammo box and canister full of goods at the summit of turtlehead
At the summit there was a cache of goods

The Summit

Maybe a small stroke of luck, but in the ammo box was a bottle of water and a protein bar! After 4 hours of hiking, gaining 2,000 feet in elevation without any food or water, it was much needed! Thank you to whomever placed it there for a total amateur like me.

Happy Weekend! Go on an adventure. Make some memories. Seek the unScene.

Friday Photos – Mt Charleston, NV

Happy Friday! Michael here – A few months back I flew out to Las Vegas for a work conference. I had absolutely no idea that Las Vegas is practically surrounded by mountains. I decided to spend all of my free time exploring and hiking. One of the places I decided to hike was Mary Jane Falls, which is a part of Mt Charleston, about a 45 minute drive Northeast of Vegas.

Stopped and took a drone picture on the way up the mountain

What I found interesting was when I left downtown Vegas it was 78 (unusually cold for May) and by the time I reached the trail head for Mary Jane Falls it was a balmy 45 degrees.

Drone view from above Mary Jane Falls – Part of Mt Charleston

It was a 3.1 mile out and back hike in total with an elevation gain of 990 feet. The trek up was full of switchbacks and fairly loose boulders, which made it even more exciting. The view from the falls was amazing.

This cave was beautiful, unexpected and a great place to sit while I flew the drone

I couldn’t believe it, but it started to snow! I thought the view was spectacular before, but with the snow falling, it was something out of a movie.

It snowed on my hike back down the mountain

Overall, hiking Mary Jane Falls was one of the coolest experiences I have had. I am working on a video, which I will post to Youtube as usual. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed these pictures.

Happy Weekend! Go on an adventure. Make some memories. Seek the unScene.

Top 3 places to visit in Madison, IN

We spent 24 hours in the small town of Madison, IN. In that short time we found 3 local places that are definitely worth a visit.

  • Mad Paddle Brewery – Mad Paddle brewery is a must-visit even if you’re just driving through Madison. The brewery is an old feed mill that was built in the late 1800’s. The historic building was unique and rustic with exposed brick, industrial lighting, a canning station and old mill elevator system. The staff were friendly, attentive and knew the beers well. Our favorite beer was the Wicket Blood Orange. We ordered a Crowler can of it and Michael captured the canning process.

  • Red Roaster Coffee and Eatery – A family owned coffee shop that offers a variety of specialty coffees and a breakfast/lunch menu. We just grabbed a cup of coffee and sat in the corner window. This is the spot we started to plan our trip to Traverse City, MI. Little did I know that this trip would change our lives. Michael pulled up our budget spread sheet and we brainstormed ways to make that trip budget-friendly. My favorite part was sitting in the window and experiencing the feel of a small town. It was nice to escape the suburbs.
I am smirking because we were planning out our “trip to Traverse City.” Little did Abbi know I had already bought a ring and we were really planning out our engagement trip!

  • Lighthouse Marina Restaurant and Lounge – We found the Lighthouse Marina after our day-long creek hike. The name is a bit deceiving because there is not an actual lighthouse, but don’t let that deter you. This is the place that all of the locals go; everyone seemed to know each other. The food was your typical bar-food, which is exactly what we needed after our long hike. Michael and I both ordered a burger and the Wicket Blood Orange beer from Mad Paddle.
Post 8 mile hike to explore Clifty Falls

OUR THOUGHTS: Explore the local places when you visit a new town. Chain restaurants are the same everywhere. Meet the locals and find out where they like to go. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the locals, you can learn a lot about the town. Lastly, do not let the outside of a new place deter you, step inside and you may be surprised what you find. Even if it’s not great, you’ll leave with a story.

Tulip Trestle – Longest in U.S.

Happy Monday! Even though it’s hard to say goodbye to the weekend, I hope you found some time to get out and enjoy the fall colors! I wanted to share an early morning adventure Kloe and I took to Southern Indiana.

Kloe and I departed from my apartment in Noblesville at 5:45am to head to a town I had never heard of to see a bridge I didn’t know existed until the day before. Needless to say, Abbi was still snoozing and Kloe was bright eyed and bushy tailed, me, not so much. Once Kloe sees my grab my EarthPak, she knows it’s time to explore!

After about a 2 hour drive Kloe and I arrived at the lookout point for the bridge. Oh, I forgot to mention that we left so early to catch the sunrise over the bridge. We were probably about 10 minutes late, but we made it none-the-less. To add to the mishaps I broke out the Mavic Pro and my three batteries each good for about 20-25 minutes of flight time. Of course, that’s if they are charged. Which, by now you have probably guessed that they were not. One was dead and the other two were at 53 and 55%. Further insult to injury, I left my portable battery charger at home.

Despite the challenges, I was able to capture some pretty amazing footage of the bridge (click here to learn the history of the bridge). I will say that knowing I had limited flight time, it really forced me to plan out how I wanted to capture each aspect of the Trestle. In the past I usually just show up and over film everything, which in the end makes editing the videos a lot more time consuming. Speaking of editing, I thought I would share the editing sequence for the video at the bottom. It’s something I am still learning, but learning to enjoy the detail and intricacies that come with it.

One of my absolute favorite thins about Kloe is her willingness to participate in my shenanigans. The GoPro flattens out images, so it’s hard to gather the depth and height of objects, but in the below picture, Kloe is a good 6′ off the ground on a beam that has an “X” pattern. She easily could have fallen through, but she climbed up anyways! The end result was the thumbnail picture of her licking my face, totally worth it.

Looking up (157 ft) to the bridge

It was an adventure-filled early morning for us; I was exhausted and running out of GoPro battery so we decided to head back to the car. Me to warm up and Kloe to dry off!

2,300′ of track – into the abyss

Looking back, spending the morning with Kloe was totally worth the early alarm and two hour drive. If I can offer any advice and this will come as a total shocker to you, but pack the night before and charge your batteries.

Hopefully you enjoy this video and be sure to like and subscribe! Abbi and I are trying to build up our subscriber base. We truly appreciate all of your support!

As always, Seek the unScene and have a great week!

Friday Photos – Our Family

Happy Friday! This week we want to share a few photos of our family.

“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues… are created, strengthened and maintained.” –Winston Churchill

Left to Right – Abbi’s parents – Mike and Jane, her sister Hannah with her boyfriend Erich, Becky – the bestest family friend, Abbi’s brother Brandon with his wife Erin and their beautiful Daughter Jillian.
Buckle up for this description: (L-to-R; F-to-B) – Abbi and me, my Mom Karen, My Nieces Lexi (Pink shirt), Gabby and my Nephew Beckett (in the tree house), Robin (My Brother’s Step-Mom), My (Half) Brother Chris (Black shirt), Tom (Chris’ Dad), Ainslee – we call her Bug, My Sister Jenny holding Bri – her third Daughter, Dominic (Dom/Nici) sitting atop the monkey bars, Jessi – My Sister-in-Law (Chris’ Wife) and FINALLY Josh, Jenny’s Husband. That was a doozy! BUT there’s more… Chris and Jenny are full Brother and Sister, my Half siblings. We have the same Mom (Karen, but different Dads). Gabby, Lexi and Bri belong to my Sis and then Dom, Beck and Bug belong to my Brother Chris.
(L-to-R): My Step Sister Keara, Step Brother Lou and Step Sister Keeley – Circa 2005 lol
My Nephew Blaine, his Dad Brian, my Niece Chandler with Keeley – Such a beautiful family picture!
Bug, Lexi and Dom having fun under the wind of the drone!

Happy Weekend! Go on an adventure. Make some memories with your family and welcome to ours! Don’t forget to Seek the unScene.