My hike tonight from the Jordan River to Pinney Bridge will hopefully be the start of a three-week hike on the NCT and some 400 more miles down. But we’ll see. After tackling the Natchez Trace in April, I developed some kind of tendinitis/inflammation in my right leg that keeps reappearing. So I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.
I drove up today from home, which is a 7.5-hour drive without stops. Plus I lose an hour going from CT to ET. After some delays on the Mackinac Bridge (construction) and a very busy gas station/convenience store stop, I got to the Pinney Bridge trailhead around 4:30. Within minutes, trail angel and Jordan Valley 45° Chapter chair Mary Campbell arrived for my shuttle.
Striking Out for Pinney Bridge
The plan had been to hike the short 4.5 miles (7.2 km) from just north of the fish hatchery to the Pinney Bridge campsite, then camp here tonight. However, the forecast called for rain starting around 9 p.m., and I didn’t want to start a three-week hike with a soaking tent and lots of mud. So I booked a cabin at the Kalkaska RV Park and Campground for tonight.
The hike was lovely. It was mostly through the woods, with only a few small climbs. A lot of times the trail passed near the Jordan River, and there were some really sweet campsites right next to the water. It would have been amazing to pitch my tent there if the weather was good.
The bugs were annoying on and off, mainly deer flies. I had a head net with me, and bug spray, but I didn’t stop to use either because I was intent on finishing this little chunk and driving the 30 minutes or so to the campground before the office closed for the day.
Home Sweet Cabin
The Pinney Bridge Campground was quite spacious, with several designated campsites and plenty of space to pitch in a big, grassy area near two pit toilets.
I finished the trek (about 5 miles / 8 km) to my car, then hit the road for the campground, getting there around 7:45.
I’m now settled into a cabin that can sleep 8 (!). It has a fridge, electricity and AC, and there are super clean showers and toilets down the road. The owners are nice, too. I highly recommend this place if you need a spot in the Kalkaska area.
MI NCT miles today: 5 (8 km)
MI NCT miles to date: 629.3 (1,012.8 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 1,396.8 (2,247.9 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 3,203.2 (5,155.1 km)