Two of my favorite people. Two days on my favorite trail. What more could I want? (To leave everything behind and just go on hiking with them.)
Sunday was gorgeous. About 70 degrees and sunny. We hiked the beautiful section of North Country Trail from Mesick to Hodenpyl Dam. This has got to be one of the prettiest 8 miles of trail in the Lower Peninsula. The Grand Traverse Hikers chapter created these new miles just a few years ago, and I am still in awe of their great work.
You can see that everyone was still smiling when we got to Hodenpyl Dam. About 8 miles. We went out to dinner and then settled in at the Fletcher Primitive Campground.
This was Dan and Ruth's first day out of this year's adventure. They will be hiking until September, with just a few days off to go to a wedding in July. I feel so honored that they like me to hike with them, but they insist they feel that way about me. We all go at about the same pace which makes it work out well.
Today was a different story. The sunshine was liquid. We began at Harvey Bridge on the Manistee River. The trail doesn't actually cross the bridge, but the parking is on the other side. This a a road bridge that is seriously one lane, but still open to vehicles. Dan & Ruth make their way across.
Most of the hike today was along the Manistee River, above the Hodenpyl Dam Pond, which it feeds. This is another beautiful piece of trail, and although everything was gray today, it was still beautiful in its own way. And we were still smiling. We all have a bad infection of the hiking bug!
The Manistee is lazy and full of horseshoe bends.
And just before we returned to Mesick, the trail follows a section of very old Tuscola and Saginaw Bay rail road bed.
We did 10.4 miles, and were done at 2:30 in the afternoon. Great timing, because just after we finished, while I was driving home, the sky let loose with serious rain! I hope Dan and Ruth were snug in their van/camper by then!
Tomorrow it's back to work. I'm not really complaining, but I sure would love to keep hiking instead.
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