In December, I traveled ten hours north to the Porcupine Mountains with friends. The Porcupine Mountains are in the far west corner of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, north of Wisconsin.  We left early on a Wednesday, loaded into the car at 3:30am, and drove north. We made it to the Mackinac Bridge before sunrise and ate our breakfast as light colored the sky. We then drove three more hours to the town of Munising where we spent the day. We explored the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, which is ridiculously gorgeous, and hiked ten miles while doing so. That night we went to bed early and the next morning drove the remaining three hours to the Porcupine Mountains. We parked our car at the base of one of the hills and backpacked the five miles into our yurt-- our home for the next few days. While there, our focus was only on the essentials in life, staying warm and eating, eliminating the stress that comes with busy schedules and technology. We spent each day from sunrise to sun-down hiking and at night we huddled near our wood-stove, played cards and told stories. This was one of my favorite trips that I've ever been on, made so by the great company we kept and the remoteness of our location. There was no cell phone service and we didn't see a single person besides ourselves while we were there. The trip was beautiful and refreshing and looking at these images just takes me right back to it.

Then it was time to head to the Porcupine Mountains. We encountered snow almost immediately after driving through Christmas, MI. Fitting, right?

One of the days we hiked to Lake of the Clouds, an amazing lake tucked between the hills four miles from our yurt. Such a beautiful hike.

The last morning, we woke up to a fresh new 8 inches of snow.