I met Stacy for the first time today, but I'm sure it won't be the last. She hiked about 3 miles with me, after helping me put my car at the end location.
I tried to keep people posted about my progress on Facebook, but service out in the forest is spotty, so the uploads were usually a bit after the actual event. Anyway. Some modicum of proof I was out there hiking.
With rain and warm temperatures, we've moved into a new set of wildflowers. This is starflower- now blooming everywhere.
I'm pretty sure this is oyster mushroom, but not sure enough to eat one.
About 9 miles (10 actually) in, I crossed the Pere Marquette River. There's a latrine at the parking there, which was nice. Also a picnic table, but I was determined to go farther in order to make it past halfway before lunch.
Made it to the little unnamed creek. Perhaps I've never been there at this exact time of year. There is northern maiden hair fern.
And oak fern.
The bench at Bowman Lake was my next goal. Wanted my afternoon snack in a pretty location. At that point, I had 6.3 miles to go. I was really wishing it was more like under 5. But I rested a few minutes and had a good drink. Got going again, and I was fine.
Swamp buttercup in a little wetland. I knew if I made it to a small bridge there wasn't far to go. Last rest there, only 2 more miles. When I hit the Melendy and Danaher logging RR berm I knew it was only another 0.6 miles. First lupine of the year!
Made it to 76th St Trailhead at 5:35. Serious hiking day tired, but nothing hurt more than expected. I had stashed a bottle of pop in a cooler with ice in the car. Yes! And sandals to drive home in. Yes!
It was hotter and more humid than I like, but it sure could have been worse. The day stayed partly cloudy, and it mostly hung around 83 degrees in the afternoon. Not pleasant, but I'm adjusting fast, and it was tolerable. Now I'm showered and fed and happy. Bed soon, I think.
Thanks to all who supported me. I raised $1375. In the top 100 fundraisers!
Centerline Road, west of the trail to the North Country Trail, and NCT south from Centerline to 76th St. Lake County, MI. 21 miles
North Country Trail miles for 2021 is at 309.
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