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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Manistee National Forest Challenge Hike #4

After the horrible humidity of yesterday, I wasn't sure I was looking forward to a 10 mile hike today. However, there was a great breeze and it cooled down a little too. Seemed like a perfect afternoon! We started with 10 hikers, but finished with 12. Instead of having people dropping like flies we were manufacturing them!

hiker group

Since I'm the leader, I've been staying at the back of the group to be "sweep" (the person who makes sure no one loses the trail or has problems of some sort). That has worked out really well for me, because it turns out we have several really fast hikers in this group. They just want to move down the trail and never stop. As you probably know, one of the joys for me is seeing many of the interesting little beauties along the way. So, since I'm last, I can just stop and take pictures and then catch up to the last people. I don't think most of the hikers even saw some of these.

Today, I found two treats. These are the tiny pinwheel mushrooms. I like them a lot.

pinwheel mushrooms

And here's a flower that isn't really rare, but I don't see it very often. Racemed milkwort, Polygala polygama. It likes sandy soil.

racemed milkwort

The hike today was part of what I backpacked last fall. We passed this burned and downed tree again. I really like this tree. And it looks so different from the way it looked in October.

burned tree

Sue and Sophie were also on this hike. Sophie sure likes climbing trees. This was the second leaner she walked right to the top of. The first one was skinnier and higher, but I didn't get a good picture of that. She has to check for possible chipmunks, you know.

dog climbing tree

Here are Laura and Sue at Tank Creek. We have two people who regularly walk with us who are 10+ years older than I am. Laura is one of them. I think that's pretty remarkable.


A number of peaceful small wetlands dotted the final miles.


And I liked these cedar trees singing in harmony at Tank Creek.

cedar trees

And, a final parting shot at technology. Sue was using the Nike mapping app. Laura had RunKeeper, and I was using Map My Hike. There was a huge discrepancy in recorded mileages. Nike said 10.39 miles. RunKeeper was something in between, and Map My Hike said 11.93 miles. That's 10% error in one of them. NCT online maps say about 10.6, so that suggests Map My Hike was the most wrong. Not making me happy.

Anyway, here are most of us at the end, proving that everyone was still standing and smiling.


Got a picture of a really neat bug, too. And it's cuter than the last one. Saving that for another day.

North Country Trail, Newaygo County, 6 Mile Road north to Nichols Lake boat ramp.

See MNF Challenge Hike #3
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Ann said...

Sophie is quite the hiker. I know quite a few older people who are more active than most people half their age.

The Furry Gnome said...

I'd be at the back of the line too, stopping to see things.

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