We had numerous recommendations of places to see and stop at on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This was not one of our planned stops on this trip,, but we had a few extra days before needing to be home and I thought the weather would be fairly comfortable here. We’ve been trying to avoid the heat wave out west as much as we can and have done pretty well at it.
Our first stop was Porcupine Mountains State Park. We were able to get a first come first serve campsite, one of just two available. Our good luck again.
Upon arrival we walk the 2.5 mile loop trail that goes by 3 waterfalls. After being out west and seeing the beautiful blue water this just lacks that magical beauty.
The sky is dark and looks like rain but it holds off and later the sun comes out.
Friday July 23, 2012
We head out of the campground to explore more of the park. I wanted to visit the Lake in the Clouds area.
Saturday July 24, 2021
This morning we head to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Our first stop is Munising Falls. There is a light misting rain, but we are not the only ones here and others are putting on their rain gear for the short walk to the falls so we do the same. Berkley sits this one out preferring to stay dry.
We then head to the Pictured Rocks Lakeshore and are able to do some walking around in-between light rains. The water color is as amazing as it looks in the picture.
Sunday July 15, 2021
We are lucky again and are able to get a campsite at Tahquamenon Falls State Park for the night.
This was truly the waterfall that Jim enjoyed the most because there was a pub in the parking area. He never got past the pub! He just stayed right there.
Monday July 26, 2021
This was our last stop before heading home. The Soo Locks just before crossing the Mackinac Suspension Bridge into Michigan’s mainland.
The locks are located on the St. Marys River between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. I got us a spot at a campground that I thought you could see the locks from but all we could see was the large ships going by.
Thursday July 29, 2021
We spent the last couple of days traveling home and arrived back home yesterday.
We traveled through 22 states and covered almost 10,000 miles in just 8 weeks. With a gas bill of almost $1,800. It was our most expensive traveling expense.
Yes, Jim and I are still married after spending so much time together in that tiny van and I would do it all over again. It was an awesome trip and we got to do and see so much. Thank you, Babydoll for coming along with me.
It is crazy to enter a national park on a weekend. It is super busy. Especially this year after everyone was cooped up last year.
We need timed entry passes to enter the park and we don’t have them so we have to enter before 6am. I am up a 4am. Jim at 4:15, it’s a struggle for him. He had a very long day of driving yesterday and he’s tired.
We enter the park in the dark and arrive at the Avalanche Lake hiking area at 5:30am. The one good thing about entering so early is that there is no line to wait in to enter the park. When we get to our destination I clean and cut up a bunch of berries that we just recently purchased. We enjoy some fresh berries with yogurt and granola for breakfast.
It is cold outside so I linger before I set out to do my hike. Jim wants to stay behind and go back to sleep.
I did this same hike last year and loved it. It is a fun hike and the lake is beautiful. I am in long pants and a fleece and I never take the fleece off the whole hike. The temperatures are pretty cold in the mornings. So I never got over heated.
When I get back Jim is just waking up from his nap. We are parked in a great shady spot so I decide to cook us some black bean and corn quesadillas for lunch and then we can have leftovers for dinner on days that it is to hot to cook in the van.
We leave the park around 3pm to pick up some things at the grocery store and do some laundry. Then later return to the park to camp for the night. We do not have a campsite in a campground since they were all full. We are actually camping illegally. We camp near a boat launch. When we entered the park this morning we noticed a van that looked like it had spent the night there. So we decide to try it and it all works out fine. The next morning when we wake up we notice another van parked right next to us. I guess they had the same idea.
Sunday July 18, 2021
We are up before 5am and head out shortly after. We are headed up to Logan Pass on the Going To The Sun Road to hike to Hidden Lake overlook. It takes us almost an hour to get there and when we do the parking lot is already half full at 6am. It sure wasn’t like this last year. There are so many people out enjoying the parks and nature.
It is an amazing hike and I highly recommend it. Although I don’t think Jim enjoyed the few hundred steep steeps it takes to get there. And the worse part is that you can see that the trail keeps going up and up! I thought Jim was going to kill me. My only saving grace was the wildlife that we saw. There were three animals that Jim wanted to see that he hadn’t seen yet and we saw them all on this hike. We saw big horn sheep, mountain goats and two grizzly bears!
We have seen an incredible amount of wildlife on this trip and I feel so thankful to have seen all that I have. Most of it has been pointed out to me by Jim. He has an incredible eye for finding the wildlife.
We head east toward the east enterance of the park continuing on the Going To The Sun Road. This is new territory for me since I was to nervous to drive further than Logan Pass last year. There was a waterfall that I wanted to hike to last year, but I didn’t because I was so nervous about driving back on the very narrow road once the traffic picked up. So last year I just drove up to Logan Pass walked around some and once I saw how busy the the road was getting I decided to go back down asap. As we are heading east toward St. Mary the road really isn’t that narrow and scary. It is much scarier driving to Logan Pass from the west side, which just happened to be the only enterance that was open last year.
We arrive at the Virginia Falls trailhead around 10am and I hike to the falls without Jim. This mornings hike kinda did him in. It is a 6 mile round trip hike that goes by a total of three waterfalls.
As we are heading out of the park we see a pullout with a few cars parked and numerous people with cameras and binoculars out looking at something. Jim and I look and see something brown so he pulls over to check it out and it is another grizzly bear. What timing we have.
We exit the park and head south to the Two Medicine park enterance. We find a first come first serve campsite in the campground and reserve it for the night. I wanted to stay two nights here but it looks like tomorrow’s high is supposed to be 98 according to the camp host. Way to hot for a campsite with no electric so we may move on tomorrow after the morning hike.
Monday July 19, 2021
We hike to Aster Falls this morning and it was an awesome hike. We see a huge moose in a pond on the way to the falls and we got to see her again on the way back. That is a total of five moose that we have seen on this trip. Jim brought the binoculars along so we were really able to view her well. She was munching her way around the pond eating the grass growing on the pond floor.
We did make plans to move on this morning after our hike but we later heard that the weather was only going to be a high of 84. We don’t have service so we couldn’t check it ourselves. I am bummed about this but Jim is getting a little bored with all this nature. He needs bars, people and socialization.
On our way out of the park there is another waterfall that is a short walk. Of course I make Jim stop and I am so glad I did. It is an amazing waterfall named after a indian warrior woman.
Once we have cell service again I start to check the weather ahead it looks really HOT! We are headed across the northern part of Montana and North Dakota to the Great lakes. It is to hot to stop driving. Jim drives until 1am looking for cooler weather. It is at a Flying J truck stop in Minot, North Dakota where we finally stop and rest our heads.
The drive was not exciting. It was flat land covered in wheat. We are following the Hi-line Railway so we also saw a lot of trains.
Tuesday July22, 2021
Today was supposed to be a short travel day, but it didn’t work out that way. We leave the Flying J and it is more flat land again. This time covered in sunflowers, but the railway is still there. We run into some unexpected heavy smoke from fires in Ontario. We decide to keep driving until it clears.
We arrive in the town of Duluth, Minnesota around 7pm. We find an excellent public parking area directly in downtown and on Lake Superior. It is $10 for 24 hours- we’ll take it! The smoke is very minor here and there are breweries with in walking distance.
Wednesday July 21, 2021
I awake later than normal at 6:45am after a late night last night.
We are motivated to get moving quickly by the sound of the horn for the lift bridge. We are not only camped on Lake Superior but also by an shipping canel inlet to Duluth Harbor. The bridge is being lifted for a massive fuel carrier. You can even yell good morning to the crew on the ship as they pass by.
We take Berkley for a 3.8 mile morning walk along the Canal Park River Walk. It is a lovely morning with temperatures in the low 60’s.
We tour the shops around downtown then stop in a bar for a 2 hour lunch. Jim was in his happy place. We had great beer and good food.
After leaving Olympic NP we decide to see if we can take the ferry from Port Townsend to Whidby Island which will save us hours of driving, plus it will be a new experience. The reservations are all full, but we were able to get on by standby. I was a little worried about putting the van on a ferry. But after arriving at the port and seeing semi trucks inline to board I felt much better about it. I thought it was pretty cheap at less than $20 for us to cross with the van.
While we were waiting for the ferry to come in we took a short walk around the area. There were some pretty neat old building in the area.
Upon landing on Whidby Island we passed Deception Pass, unfortunately it was way to crowded for us to find a parking spot. That is another one of those spots that needs to be gotten to early in the morning. The state park was also full.
Jim has a friend who lives in the area. We meet up with Keith for pizza and beers. Then follow him back to his house on Big Lake in Mount Vernon. The guys enjoy more beer from the back deck.
We enter North Cascades NP and head to the first campground near the Newhelem Visitor Center. We find an open site even though the enterance sign says the campground is full. We walk up to the visitor center and it is closed. We later learn that the sites are by reservation only and any sites not booked 3 days in advance are free for first come first serve. We were shocked to hear this. Talk about lucky! So we have a camp spot for the next two nights free.
After settling in and having some lunch we hike down to the Skagit River. We enjoy the views and watch some fly fisherman for a spell. They don’t catch anything while we watch.
Wednesday July 15, 2021
I sleep in until almost 7am. What a treat. Then it is up and out the door with Berkley. He is quick today. When I get back I make some hot chocolate for myself and some tea for Jim. Later we have a grapefruit half each then the leftover sausage hash with eggs.
Today we hike the Trail of the Cedars, full of old growth and large cedar trees.
Thursday July 15, 2021
We are up and on the road early to explore more of the park.
We exit the park today to the west since there is a fire up ahead and highway 20 is closed. It is gives us an opportunity to stop in and see a dairy farm.
Olympic NP has it all from snow topped mountains, lakes, rivers, lowland forests, temperate rain forests and coastal beaches. Truly an amazing place.
I started my day with a walk along Ocean City Beach, then visit a rain forest and later watch seals plays in the Pacific Ocean while sitting in the van at my campsite for the night. That is one hell of a good day.
Last night we stayed at a Ocean City State Park. It is on the beach but you cannot see the beach from the park. I take Berkley for his morning walk on the beach. It is a 10 minute walk to the beach, but takes us much longer with Berkley since he has to stop every 20 feet or so for him to pee on something. It is cloudy, windy, cold and hard to warm up at this slow pace.
I make myself a hot chocolate when I get back to the van. I am chilled to the bone. This area doesn’t usually get above the mid 70’s during the summer.😯
After a breakfast of fresh berries that we picked up from a road side stand yesterday, we are on our way to the Quinault Rain forest.
We do a short nature trail hike through the temperate rain forest full of lush terrain and old growth forest. This is a first experience for me and definitely a highlight.
We also see the oldest Sitka Spruce tree in the town Quinault. It is approximately 1000 years old with a circumference of 59 feet.
As we are passing through the edge of the Quinault Reservation, Jim sees a sign for smoked salmon. He has heard it is best to get it from the reservations so he finds a place to turn around and heads back to the store.
We never did make it to our final destination of the day. I saw a campground that was on the beach and I have Jim pull in. It is about 2:30pm and the place looks packed but there are 4 sites left. The place looks awesome so I decided this is where I want to camp tonight.
We settle in with a view of the Pacific Ocean. Jim later notices a couple of seals playing together in the surf. Then we notice another pair. I am fascinated. I watch them until I can no longer hold the binoculars up. They are still out there when we go to bed later.
Saturday July 10, 2021
I head out for a morning beach walk. It is cold and windy. On my way back I see an otter crossing the beach and heading toward the water. I watch him swimming in the surf and enjoying breakfast. Every so often he would pop up eating something. This is the first time I have ever seen an otter in the ocean.
Once we get back I make us some hot oatmeal. Trying to warm us up. The temperature is in the 50’s but the wind really makes it worse.
We then head to Ruby Beach for another very chilly walk. This beach has all kinds of rocks in the water and when it is low tide you are able to see all of the sea life attached to the rocks. It is like walking around under the sea. We were lucky to arrive during low tide.
We saw muscles, anemones, starfish, barnacles and I’m sure there were a bunch of other living organisms that we just didn’t know what they were.
The Ochre Starfish were as big or bigger than a dinner plate and we saw both red and orange ones.
There were a lot of Green Sea Anemones. Some of the rocks were completely covered with them. The WHOLE surface.
After leaving Ruby Beach we head over to the Hoh Rain Forest. It is almost lunch time when we arrive and it is almost an hour wait for us to enter the park. There is limited parking in the area so once the parking lot is full they only let you enter as someone leaves. I make us lunch while we wait. It is so convenient having the van. It’s egg salad sandwiches topped with olives. Delish!
We are lucky enough to see two Roosevelt Elk laying creekside. They are far away so the picture it’s not the greatest.
Sunday July 11, 2021
I start my morning off with a hot chocolate because it is 47 degrees outside.
Then we are off toward Rialto Beach. This beach is pretty famous and I was told that this should be a place that I stop at, but we didn’t feel it was as nice as Ruby Beach.
Jim may be getting sick of seeing waterfalls, but not me. I love them. He describes them as just water flowing over rocks. Which should clue me in that he is tired of seeing them, but I just let him sit it out or come with me. I’m still going to see as many as I can.
Monday July 12, 2021
We did our last hike in Olympic this morning up Hurricane Ridge. It was a short hike of 3.4 miles and a paved path, but don’t let that fool you into to thinking it was easy. It was 800 feet of elevation gain in 1.7 miles. And the mosquitoes were HORRIBLE! You really had to stay moving to keep their damage down to a minimum.
I was amazed at the paved walking path. Jim and I were wondering how they completed this job. It didn’t seem like an easy one.
Although the walking surface was flat the walking was not easy. I started with a jacket on and that was quickly taken off.
We see a deer and her fawn as we are hiking up. They cross the trail a little ways in front of us. We also see a few marmot and chipmunks but that is it.
We are now making our way over to the North Cascades.
Happy 4th! After a delicious breakfast burrito made by Jim. We’re on our way up to see the Emmons glacier, the largest area glacier in the lower 48, on Mount Rainier.
The road up to see Emmons Glacier is only open 3 short months of the year: July, August and September. We venture up on day 3 since opening.
It is a steep, rough road with some pretty scary drop offs, especially when sitting in the passenger seat. I’m sure I was stressing Jim out with grabbing the dash and my gasps, but we made it without any issues.
While we are walking around the Glacier Visitor Center, Jim hears two rangers talking. One of them is remarking on a seed pod that he sees on a plant, he is shocked to see it so early in the year.
The northwest area has been getting some record high temperatures in the triple digits starting at end of June. This is something they don’t usually see until August. Unfortunately we have heard some reports of farm animals dying from the heat.
It has also made it challenging for us, living in a vehicle and trying to stay cool. We are always looking for shady areas to park and being mindful of where the sun sets. I never expected it to be so hot while we are here. Luckily the area surrounding Mount Rainier has plenty of tree cover for shade and we have found a good USFS campground to spend the last couple of nights.
After visiting the glacier area and getting back to camp I laid down to take a nap while Jim goes fly fishing. He comes back all excited because he caught 14 fish, 2 Char and 12 Brook Trout.
Seeing Mount Rainier with all the snow cover is pretty spectacular. The whole area surrounding it is amazing with areas of tall pine tree forests, lush green meadows with wildflowers and beautiful lakes and rivers.
Monday July 5, 2021
Today’s plan was to do some hiking in the Mount Rainier area, but first we wanted to see if we could change our campsite reservations. We have reservations inside the park for the following two nights but not tonight. So we wanted to see if we could move it up to tonight and tomorrow night. Unfortunately we couldn’t change our reservation, but we were able to get a reservation for tonight here.
It turns out to be a an awesome site right on a teal colored river. This has to be the most beautiful campground I have ever stayed at. Ohanapecosh campground in the southeast side of the park. I told Jim I think I could live here for a few months.
We hike to Silver falls and the Grove of the Patriarchs, a grove of trees that are over 1000 years old.
The trail starts a short distance from our campsite and the weather although warm for this area is cool under the tree cover and shaded for most of the hike. It is beautiful and I am loving it. Jim is behind me and I don’t think he is enjoying it. He has had a lot of pain on this trip from an inner ear issue that is really painful for him when he is not at sea-level. Plus there is the whole exercise factor he is not fond of.
The path is mostly free of roots and rocks and easy walking. The beautiful lodge pole pines provide plenty of shade and keep the temperatures cool. I start the hike in a light fleece jacket, but soon take it off on the uphill climb.
The falls are spectacular, but maybe I am just biased. I love waterfalls. Jim describes it as just water flowing over rocks. He can really kill a moment.
We continue on to a grove of tree that are over 1000 years old. They have bases that I can’t even guess how big around they are, other than really really big!
At the campground where we are staying there is a cross-section of a tree that was 670 years old before it was cut down by a paper company back in the 1960’s.
After returning from the hike we enjoy some drinks while sitting down by the river. Although, the high for today was 88 degrees, it felt like it was in the low 80’s in the shade with no humidity. We have been sleeping great at night with the temperatures droping into the 50’s.
Jim does try fly fishing in the river but the river flow is fast and he doesn’t have any luck.
Tuesday July 6, 2021
We are up and out early again and headed to the Paradise section of the park. There is a lot of hiking in this area, but much of it is still covered by snow and they are advising floridians to avoid those areas. We heed those warnings and just hike some of the snow free areas. I’m guessing Jim is very pleased with this decision.
We are able to see 2 of the waterfalls that I wanted to see today. The third one involved to much climbing over snow. I’ll save that one for next year.
While we were on our way back we pass 4 groups of about a dozen hikers each. They look like guided trips and judging from the boots, packs, clothing and ice picks I would guess they were climbing to the top of Mt Rainier.
Tuesday July 7, 2021
We had a chill day at the campground. We slept in then took a long walk around the campground.
Later after taking a nap. I hiked back to Silver falls. It is a short 2 mile hike.
We spent the last four days in Big Timber. Jim has a friend that lives there, Mark, who took him fly fishing and also is the same friend that hooked me up last year with a great camping and hiking spot in the area.
We scored a last minute spot at a local campground with hookups so we could run the AC. The campground was right on the Boulder River. We spent two nights tucked into the back of the campground in a shaded spot, then one night right on the river.
Jim and Mark spent two days float fishing down the Yellowstone River and one day wade fishing. Both of which Jim has not done before, but really enjoyed. He had a smile on his face like a little kid when he would come back to camp each day. Of course with tales to tell.
I spent the time in camp just relaxing and taking naps. The trip has been busier than my normal travel mode and I was grateful for the down time. With the heat the way it has been out here it is hard to be energetic.
Luckily the campground we were in had a laundry facility so 5 loads of wash got done at a super cheap price of 2.25 per load.
I also cooked a few large meals for us so we could have some leftovers in the frig. It has been so hot out here I hate to cook dinner. It just heats the van up to much. So I would cook them in the early mornings and we could just warm them up later or I would just make an instant pot meal. We have also been eating salads atleast every other day. It’s healthy, easy and doesn’t heat up the van.
We wake up to chilly temperatures again. We leave camp early to beat the crowds and to hopefully see some wildlife.
We do see a lot of wildlife. There are buffalo everywhere. They are walking down the road, crossing the road, crossing parking lots and in the valleys. There are many young in the herds with very large mommas close by. We also see elk.
We spend most of our time today walking around the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. It is roughly 20 miles long more than 1000 feet deep and 1500 to 4000 feet wide. The highlights for me were Upper and Lower Falls.
Upper Falls towers over a 100 feet and is pretty impressive with a massive amount of water flowing over it.
Lower Falls is impressive with over a 300 foot drop.
Monday June 28, 2021
We are out early again today and head to Grand Prismatic Spring, but we are to early, if that is even such a thing in Yellowstone. It is so chilly out and the spring is so hot that there is so much steam that you really can’t see anything. It is a total whiteout in 40 degree temperatures with hefty wind! I’ll come back later today and hike up to the overlook once the sun is up more and things warm up.
Old Faithful is never a disappointment with its predicable eruptions. We get there about 30 minutes before the next eruption. Jim goes to get a hot coffee from café while I make myself a hot chocolate, which is actually a healthy tea that Jim found for me online. I don’t think it has any sugar in it, which allows me to enjoy it more than I normally would. Together we walk down to the staging area with cups in hand.
We spend so much time walking around the geysers here that we see Old Faithful erupt a second time.
We also see Riverside Geyser and White Dome Geyser erupt.
It is 10am now and we head back to the Grand Prismatic Spring overlook. There is a traffic jam just trying to get into the parking lot and there are people everywhere. Luckily for us someone is pulling out as we enter. Great timing!
It is crazy with people everywhere. Jim decides to sit this one out and he was smart to do so, but I didn’t go to the overlook last year and I really wanted to see it. So I head out alone.
The climb to the overlook was a little steep and parent’s were dragging screaming tired kids up by the arms. I rushed in, weaved my way past all kinds of groups waiting to take group photos with the spring in the background and took some pictures and left. Opting to get the hell out quickly. I hate crowds and like kids even less.
By the time I get back to the van I feel like I just completed a clandestine mission with zero collateral damage.
It is exactly like it is pictured in the magazines…beautiful and colorful.
Yellowstone has been crazy after 10am. The parking lots are full and things are so crowded. I tried to plan the things that I thought would be the most crowded first thing in the morning, but today I couldn’t get enough in early.
We have seen so much wildlife here and today was super special because we saw a wolf. It was running across a field. When Jim and I both saw it we were amazed. We never thought we would see a wolf. It was miraculous timing.
We exited the park this afternoon and immediately the temperature rose about 15 degrees. It was a beautiful day in the park at 73 degrees with clear sunny skies with a breeze, it was HOT outside the park.
We had toward the Grand Teton NP after spending the afternoon in Jackson. The skies looked dark so we decided to make sure we could find a dispersed campsite and head there rather than tour the park.
The first area we go to is already full so we continue on and are able to find a spot with a great view of the Tetons. We relax and watch the dark clouds around us. It eventually rains.
Friday June 25, 2021
It is 55 in the van when I wake up this morning and 39 outside. I roust little man from bed, but he doesn’t seem to happy about it. I take him for his morning walk, but I think he would rather be in bed.
The Tetons are surrounded with ground fog. It’s a beautiful morning walk with the sun shining on the mountains. By the time I get back to the van Jim is up and has a hot chocolate ready for me. We sit and enjoy our hot drinks before heading into the park.
Just after entering the park we see a very large heard of elk. A lot of them were still laying down. They had the same idea as Berkley…stay in bed!
We stop at many of the overlook areas and take a hike along String Lake.
By 10:30 things are really getting busy, there are people everywhere and parking is getting scarse.
The skies are turning dark and we head to our campsite. We have a reservation in the the park on Colter Bay. We arrive just after noon and the rain starts. Perfect timing.
I am a little sleepy so I lay down and take a nap. When I wake up we take a walk around the campground which turns out to be very big. Jim is not happy with my decision to weave through every road. The poor guy, but I showed no mercy.
I eat a simple dinner of collards, corn on the cob and a baked potato. It is delicious.
I relax the remainder of the evening, planning tomorrow’s adventures and reading before falling asleep early.
Saturday June 26, 2021
We decided yesterday that we would keep today pretty mellow.
Which involved me sleeping in, Jim taking the Berkley for him morning walk then coming back and making me a hot chocolate to enjoy while he cooked breakfast. 💜
After breakfast we hike the lakeside loop. A short easy 2 mile hike. Then walk to the visitor center to use the wifi. I had a system update that need to load and Jim wanted to download some books. It was super s l o w, but we accomplished our tasks.
I think we checked out about a minute before checkout time. That’s a good mellow morning. We head out of the park making one stop along the way for lunch, before entering Yellowstone NP.
It is cool here, in the 60’s. We get some fire wood and check into our campsite in the park at Grant Campground. The weather is perfect and we are going to grill a stake and corn on the cob for dinner and add a small side salad.
RMNP is now requiring a timed entry permit to enter the park between the hours of 5 am and 3pm to control the crowds. Since we didn’t have one we couldn’t get into the park until 3pm today.
So I lounged in bed this morning and Jim made me a hot chocolate to sip while he made us a sausage and potato hash with eggs. Yup, I’m spoiled!
Again we had another half a mile line to get through before entering the park. Luckily this one went much laster than the last one.
Shortly after entering the park we see a mule deer then two moose. At the same spot later we see two more moose there. These two were closer so I was able to get some pictures with my cell phone camera zoomed out to the max.
We do one short and easy hike to Horseshoe Falls. This one had a nice smooth path that I could wear my sandles and Jim his flip flops. Jim is happiest with his flip flops on.
Saturday June 19, 2021
The alarm goes off at the god awful time of 3:45 this morning and we are out of camp and on the road by 4:15am.
We don’t have timed permits to enter the park so we have to go in before 5am. It is pretty dark and we see deer twice that we have to stop for. Jim is shocked at how many people most likely don’t have permits and are entering the park this early with us.
Today we hike to a few of the lakes off of Bear Lake Road. In some areas crossing snowy patches.