Today, Loren and I hiked another section of the North Country Trail that we know needs re-blazing.
The dogs went along too, but they were tearing through the woods at this point.
The treadway in this section is fairly worn-in and sunken. Nevertheless, after our adventure last week, we are trying to insure that nobody will get lost. We knew the blazing in the first part of this section was probably the worst of any in our chapter's 80 miles of trail. So we took some flagging tape and added in quite a few pink tape confidence markers. Blue would have been really good, but I've learned that if you want blue flagging tape, you have to order it. Next Amazon order.
We also cleaned up several places like this. The trees stayed weighed down with wet snow for so long after the storm two weeks ago that some of them were not able to recover. The witch hazel is very flexible- see two branches extending across the trail, but sometimes it can't stay pulled down for two weeks.
Some of them finally split along the trunk. When this happens, we just have to cut them back. Thankfully, there is an abundance of witch hazel in the woods, so I don't feel too bad when we have to do it.
I just like this picture. This is maple bark starting to break up from the smooth gray of a young tree to the furrowed bark of an older one. For some reason, it often forms these circular patterns.
We hiked two miles in and two back out for a total of four. We weren't going very fast, because of clearing and marking the trail.
North Country Trail miles for 2020 is at 273.
When I got home, I acted on a really brave (for me) idea. This idea is actually what got me practicing the accordion this season. I wanted to play outside one of the stores in Scottville, just for fun. And I had received permission. Today was going to be the day. However, it was raining when Loren and I finished, and I drove through several waves of heavy rain to get home. But there is a covered area in front of the store. I checked to see if it was dry, and it was. The issue turned out more to be whether it was protected from wind so my music wouldn't blow away. It was all fine. I used some clips and plastic clamps to hold the music. Today it was 45 degrees. Tomorrow it is going to be 23 degrees. I wanted to do this today! And, I did. I stood outside the store and played Christmas music for 30 minutes, took a little break and did 30 more. Not many people in town, but I'm glad I did it anyway.
As a final send-off for the day, this is the view EAST at sunset. The alpenglow was really bright!
This is all the news. It's really windy right now. I guess that cold air is blowing in.
North Country Trail, Manistee County, Skoceles Road north two miles and back