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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

North Country Trail - Kent County

Today I got a little anti-lockdown treat. I had volunteered to take a lady to Grand Rapids for a medical appointment. While she was getting chemo I was hiking. That sounds a little crass, but we both got something we wanted. She's determined to beat her cancer, and I got to hike.

I hit several pieces of off-road North Country Trail in Kent County. First I hiked through Middleville State Game Area (and back- had to do both directions of everything today). This was all on an old road, but still very inviting (and hilly).

trail in a road cut

Here, I found hepatica blooming. My first for this year! I was about 70 miles south of where I live, and there it's just about to break out into real spring. It was very welcome to enjoy the advance treat.


I also saw sandhill crane tracks. Heard some too, but never spotted them. I did see a pileated woodpecker, but no pic. They are very shy.

sandhill crane track

Then I hiked along the Flat and Grand Rivers on the south edge of Lowell. I thought I wasn't going to be able to get through. Very wet wetland! But the trail is fine. A little muddy in spots, but not flooded.


A railroad bridge across the Grand River.

railroad bridge

Skunk cabbage there is already growing its leaves.

skunk cabbage

And the crayfish are busily creating chimneys for their burrows.

crayfish chimney

After that, I hiked another section by the Flat River. This is the same piece I hiked two years ago (link at bottom). I liked this spot that is high above the river.

Flat River

And I got my Hike 100 Patch and Certificate for 2020!

NCT Hike 100 patch

In other news: There is no other news. I couldn't get to sleep last night till after 1:00, and then got up at 5:30 to make this trip. Got home after 7 pm. Wonderful day, but I'm going to bed soon. 6 miles walking. A lot more driving.

See Good Times


Ann said...

That was a full day on little sleep. Nice that the weather cooperated for you too.

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J.Q. Rose said...

Beautiful photos. Weather has been cold. Hiking must keep you warm. Enjoyed your post.

Sue Teeters said...

Very enjoyable to read about your hike, Joan. You are good about making wonderful adventures and great memories!