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      A trip to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

      A trip to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge - Wild Routed

      Paper Maps & Coffee


      Andrea and Ryan love to travel and we’re sharing one of their trips!

      Back Bay - National Wildlife Refuge | Virginia



      Andrea grew up with her family moving a lot because of military duties… so, this love of travel started early.

      “We love seeing new places and wanted to show our children unspoiled lands like Back Bay in Virginia.” Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge was established on June 6, 1938, as a 4,589-acre refuge to provide feeding/resting habitat for migratory birds. It is also home to sea turtles. 

      Andrea and Ryan’s travel notes:

      • this is an uninhabited expanse of beach that is non-commercial (no swimming or sunbathing here)
      • if you plan a visit, think of this as more of a hike (the beach is less than 10 miles long)
      • there is a minimal fee to enter (Nov 1 to Mar 31st is free)
      • Park Rangers patrol the beaches regularly
      • Most surprising was the “how pristine the landscape is” 



      What do the Outdoors mean to you?

      “Life can be so busy. We wanted our kids to know that they could find these “pristine” places… these out-of-the-way spaces and enjoy the expanse and variety travel affords. If you see the same things every day, you can tend to think the same things.”


      Where do you enjoy the outdoors when you’re not traveling?

      “Black Partridge Park in Metamora, IL - We love to hike, mountain bike, and just go for walks. Maybe someday we will have a garden too.”


      Do you have a family motto?

      “Not a motto, but Ryan always says the secret to life / All the things you need to know:

      • Slow down
      • Think things through
      • Be a part of something bigger than yourself.”
      • Take day trips :-)   Places like Montfort, WI to get popcorn or just take the long way home from wherever you’ve been…work or errands. Just hop in the car and go. 


      We love this advice! 

      Andrea and Ryan can be found on Instagram @papermaps.and.coffee - be sure to check out more of their travels to get ideas and information for your next wander to the great outdoors.

      Oh, and one more tip from Andrea … “ When traveling… get to know your hotelier and ask where the locals hike or eat.” Great tip!

      A Passion Project

      A Passion Project - Wild Routed

      Welcome again to our passion project... Wild Routed!

      Our hand-drawn illustrations printed on super soft graphic tees, rad stickers and bandanas.

      Our latest video  :-)

      Thanks for helping us give back to the National Parks!

      De & John


      Road Trip Part Two: Badlands National Park, SD

      Road Trip Part Two: Badlands National Park, SD - Wild Routed

      Custer State Part


      The Badlands of South Dakota. What a wide-open and cavernous landscape. June 2019.

      The Lakota people dubbed this region “mako sica,” or “badlands,” long ago because its rocky terrain, lack of water, and extreme temperatures made it difficult to traverse. It stretches 244,000 acres with sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires.

      There are many trails to hike (be mindful of snakes) and enjoy beautiful flowers and quiet spaces. Bighorn Sheep, Bison, Butteries, and Black-Footed Ferrets live there and some are visible from your vehicle. People enjoy camping in the Badlands... it is really quiet, but be mindful that Bison that roam the land. 

      Near the Badlands is the Minuteman Missile Silo Museum and Mt. Rushmore. If you have the time, both were interesting. Although, Mt. Rushmore seemed to be more touristy and the was a parking fee. The Minuteman Missile Silo Museum offers tours of one of the underground silos, but be sure to get your reservations in advance if that's top on your list. 

      We stayed in an Air B & B in Sturgis that was an hour from the Badlands and Custer State Park. It was a two-hour round trip, but a beautiful drive and we appreciated the open road. Sturgis has a nice grocery store that we took advantage of to grab sandwiches and drinks on our way to the Park. We packed the cooler for most of the five-week trip. It saved a lot of money and was way easier than finding a place to dine after a long hike.

      We loved the Badlands and ventured there again in October of 2020. The weather was much different tha when we visited in June of 2019. In October, South Dakota weather can be sunny and warm one day, but snow-filled and windy the next. Pack extra cold-weather clothes and water.


      Badlands flowers