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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Manistee National Forest- Challenge Hike #11

 
Today there were nine hikers. Several of our regulars had other commitments, but we've added some new faces as we've gotten farther north so the group size stays about the same.

group of hikers

Warning- there are a lot of pictures in this post. Enjoy or skip, as you wish. It just seemed like there was good variety in today's experiences.

I'm always looking for the miniature scenes. Is this a condo for tiny elves?

mushrooms on log

Everyone who hikes the section through Udell Hills has to find This Is It. The outfits change with the seasons.

This is it

It was nice to have a picnic table for a break midway (and a latrine). Sara, Kevin and Ed shown here.

group of hikers at picnic table

Cedar Creek is a lovely little stream that meanders until it flows into the Manistee River.

Cedar Creek

Right in the middle of the second half is a 3 mile roadwalk that we haven't been able to find an alternate route around. I just get a kick out of it. The two roads are Michigan Avenue and Chicago Avenue. Seems rather pretentious for two ordinary dirt roads.

dirt road corner

Fall colors are just starting, but in a few places they were lovely.

fall colors

The trail crosses the road to Blacksmith Bayou campground.

blacksmith Bayou

I had forgotten what a pretty piece of trail this final section of we did today is. Because of that roadwalk, I don't do this piece very often. Most of it is on benched trail high above the marshy edges of the Manistee River.

trail on bluff

Then it drops down on a set of long switchbacks almost to river level. The willows were starting to look autumnal as well.

willows

At last we reached and crossed the Manistee River. Our cars were just on the other side.

Manistee River

11.2 miles today. It was pretty hot- high seventies, but also cloudy so it wasn't brutal. By the time we finished it had started to cool down a little.

The joke of the day? For me it's this picture. I was going to make some sort of comment about the new polypore replacing the old, but clearly, instead I've caught a grinning shark coming around the edge of a reef.

smiling polypore.

Just a great day.

North Country Trail, Manistee County. Skocelas Road to Highbridge. 11.2 miles



See Challenge Hike #10
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3 comments:

Ann said...

Looks like a good day. That does resemble a shark in the last picture

Secondary Roads said...

Love that grinning reef shark.

Sharkbytes said...

Ann- It sure was a nice hike

Chuck- can't believe I didn't see my cousin quicker, but must have subconsciously known

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