Denali and I headed south on the North Country Trail. We worked it out so she could "slack-pack." That means she did not have to carry her full backpack for most of the day.
This is a particularly attractive group of Gaywings, aka Fringed Polygala.
I don't want to tell you exactly where she is, but you've seen this tree before. However, please notice (fresh wood chips) that the beavers are actively working on taking it down. They are just obsessed with this big tree!
We ate lunch with a nice view. Not quite enough sun yet to color the water, but it did get nicer in the afternoon.
Wild strawberries in bloom already. Spring is on a mission now.
I love how the understory is greening up- this is mostly Vaccinium pallidum, hillside blueberry, beneath the red pines. It's so wonderful to have a colorful world again! Especially one with a blue blaze on a tree.
And finally, we had to say farewell for this trip. You can conclude from our head coverings that the air remained chilly, but it was a nice temperature for hiking. She shouldered her full pack and hiked on.
We'll definitely be staying in touch. We have a lot in common and really hit it off. We both had a blast. I loved being able to help another hiker- so many people helped me.
So at 6 miles, I turned around and hiked back to my car. Then I drove her pack around to the last road crossing before she was going to stop for the night. And I walked out to meet her and back to the car again. I walked a total of 15 miles, and I'm not the least bit stiff or sore! Yippie!
North Country Trail, Newaygo County, MI. 96th St south past Highbanks Lake and back. Then north from Pierce Drive 1.5 miles and back
Tomorrow, I'll probably show you more from today- there are some pretty pictures from after the sun came out. I even did a favorite thing coming home- just followed my nose on back roads. I may have seen a couple of new ones. Definitely some I haven't been on often.
North Country Trail miles for 2021 is at 261.
|See Dinner with Denali
See Not Seen for Five Years