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.
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?
Everyone who hikes the section through Udell Hills has to find This Is It. The outfits change with the seasons.
It was nice to have a picnic table for a break midway (and a latrine). Sara, Kevin and Ed shown here.
Cedar Creek is a lovely little stream that meanders until it flows into the Manistee River.
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.
Fall colors are just starting, but in a few places they were lovely.
The trail crosses the road to Blacksmith Bayou campground.
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.
Then it drops down on a set of long switchbacks almost to river level. The willows were starting to look autumnal as well.
At last we reached and crossed the Manistee River. Our cars were just on the other side.
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.
Just a great day.
North Country Trail, Manistee County. Skocelas Road to Highbridge. 11.2 miles
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