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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jordan River, Day 1- June 15


Landslide Lookout at Jordan River Valley

Yesterday was just too topsy-turvy to get a post up. I got up at 3 am to do the paper route. It was Marie's last day here, and she got up too, and went with me. When we got home we decided to deal with all the recycling stuff that has been waiting for months for be sorted and delivered. We did three car loads and made a real dent in the piles in the shed. But at last Marie had to leave. I know we've been together for a month, but I think she's the one person that I could live with and never want to be away from. We really seem to be like adjacent pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that just seem to fit.

I think she found one way to make the parting less painful. By then I was so sleepy that I could hardly stand up, and just sort of fell onto the couch after she left. I'm glad she was only driving a couple of hours that afternoon, since she hadn't had much more sleep than I did!

Even though I'll be home for the next month, I will take you through the last hike, day by day. Several people enjoyed that last time. If something stupendous happens at home, I can always break into the "story."

So, on June 15 we hiked into the Jordan River Valley Pathway. Of course, that's the one in northern Michigan! There are two major overlook spots, and this is the view from the one near the south end, called Landslide Lookout. The JRV is all in the Mackinac State Forest, and is preserved for hiking. You can only even camp at one location. This hike would not have been impossible to backpack, but the planning would have been more difficult, so we ended up base camping and walking each day as a day hike. It was just too rushed to get all that figured out between the two hikes.

trail in the Jordan River Valley, Michigan

Just after leaving the overlook, the trail headed down into the valley on beautifully benched trail. This picture is actually the trail on the opposite side of a gully, but we were standing on trail just like it.

large-flowered bellwort

I saw a new plant, or a different stage in the life of a known plant almost every day. The one for this day was the seeds of Large-flowered Bellwort. See how the stem seems to grow through the leaves? There's another bellwort that does that too, but it doesn't grow in Michigan. The seed case is that triangular "bead" near the middle of the picture.

Jordan River, Michigan

The Jordan River winds through the valley, and here the trail crosses it on Pinney Bridge. It is not navigable within the section which contains the Jordan River Pathway. The area is also closed to bicycle use, so hikers can have a great experience. The one drawback is that there is only one allowed campsite. In most Michigan State Forests, dispersed camping is allowed. This restriction makes a thru-hike difficult. Since we were day-hiking, we camped instead at Graves Crossing... a State Forest Campground covered in poison ivy. We were very, very careful!

Although there were some days with annoying mosquitoes, the bugs weren't nearly so bad as on the UP hike. Marie wore her head net a few days, but I never did, and we actually sat outside the tent for a while some evenings!

North Country Trail, Antrim County, west side of Jordan Valley Pathway, Landslide Lookout to Big Marsh Road

See Jordan Valley 45- Chapter Campfire
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Reanaclaire said...

hi...first time coming by.. for a moment I thought it was Jordan river in Jerusalem.. :)
Nice nature shots over here...


* Michael * said...

Nice hike!

RNSANE said...

It looks beautiful, were away a whole month almost!!!

Ann said...

It's great to have someone that you can really connect to like you and Marie.
Looks like another beautiful place for a hike.

Sharkbytes said...

Hi reanaclaire- glad you liked what you saw, and I hope you'll come back.

Michael- the hike is always nice!

Hi Carmen- yes, it was a long time with only a couple of days at home. It all feels very rushed.

Ann- Northern Michigan really is a forest-lovers dream.

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