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I was excited about today’s itinerary, which called for hiking from the pine plantation to the outskirts of Petoskey. Why? Several reasons. First, I’d be camping at Petoskey State Park, where there were showers (!). Second, I’d get to do laundry in town and hopefully enjoy a juicy burger at a nearby brew pub. Finally, I hoped to catch a beautiful sunset on Lake Michigan, as the park sprawls along its shore.
I’d slept pretty well last night, lulled to sleep by the sound of coyotes yipping. I love that! I was off in the morning by 9.
The first section through the pine plantation was lovely. There was nothing too strenuous, plus it was scenic. It’s hard for me to keep the sections straight after that. Suffice it to say that some featured big climbs, but overall the trail wasn’t too difficult.
One section contained a bog, and I was glad I hit it today, after several dry days. It featured lots of boardwalk, but also lots of muddy spots. I can’t imagine how bad they’d be after a rainy day.
Leaving the Pine Plantation Behind
Speaking of boardwalks, the Harbor Springs Chapter of the NCT, which is in charge of the area I’ve been in, often has old roofing shingles on the boardwalks to keep them from being too slippery. Good idea! Also, I have to say again that this chapter is super organized with their trail segments. There are mile markers along every segment (decorative, too!), information at the end of every segment regarding what you’ll face ahead, trail logs for hikers, etc.
I reached my car around 3 p.m., dumped most of my heavy pack, then texted trail angel Shari that I should reach town by 4. She met me there and introduced me to some other chapter members who she happened to run into (they were out biking). She shuttled me back to my car, and I drove to the state park and set up my tent, then showered.
Now I’m waiting for my laundry to be finished. I’ll soon be putting in an online order for that fat, juicy hamburger, plus onion rings, from Petoskey Brewing, then taking it back to the campsite with me. Can’t wait!
MI NCT miles today: 18 (29 km)
MI NCT miles to date: 570.2 (917.7 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 1,337.7 (2,152.8 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 3,262.3 (5,250.2 km)
Whenever I’m backpacking, I carry Tide packets for the days I’ll be doing laundry in town. They’re a lot cheaper than buying detergent at a laundromat or motel. Get some here.