Overflowing Sand Lake near the ORV Lot and Log Lake on the North Country Trail.
I was up half the night, listening to the constant rain and wondering what my hike to Log Lake would be like today. But I shouldn’t have worried, as it was lovely.

I got up extra early so I’d have plenty of time to pack up, clean the cabin and strategize about what to take on the hike and how to dress. The rain was supposed to stop in the early morning, and the day was supposed to be cloudy and cool. And that’s exactly what it was like.

Around 8 a.m. I met Ellen at Log Lake County Park, where I dropped my car. She then shuttled me to the ORV lot. Before she left, she recited a beautiful haiku she’d written:

After the rain falls
Earth seems to breathe more deeply
therefore, so shall I.

Heading Out for Log Lake

The first 7 miles (11.3 km) were wonderful. The trail gently rolled along through woods, and past lakes and ponds. Although it wasn’t raining out, the vegetation was wet from the night’s long rain, so I got soaked from the knees down.

I’d planned to camp near Mac Neil Pond last night, but there would have been no place to camp. Much of the terrain so far has been very inhospitable for tent camping, as there is so much thick underbrush. I would have had to have walked at least one or two miles (1.6-3.2 km) to find a suitable spot if I had been camping last night.

When I hit Pickeral Lake, the trail ended and I had a road walk of 11.5 miles (18.5 km). It wasn’t bad, though, as the “road” was all soft Kalkaska sand, Michigan’s official state soil. Just one car passed me, plus about a dozen ORVs and dirt bikes. That was it.

There was one, huge hill just after leaving Pickeral Lake, but that was the only challenge.

A Curiosity

Oh, at one point on the road walk I passed two different pastures with signs warning about how yaks can be dangerous, and please don’t feed them. But there were no animals in the pastures. White angel bell sitting on a tree stump.And yaks … well, they’re from Tibet originally, and normally found in East Asian countries at high elevation. What are yaks doing in Michigan?! Maybe Ellen knows.

The last few miles the NCT shared a path for a while with a hiking/equestrian trail. At one point, I missed a hidden marker and got off on the other path. Rats. Oh well, I found my way pretty quickly.

One other fun thing: I found an angel bell sitting on a tree stump near the end of my hike. Yes, I rang the bell! Good luck, I figure.

Hunkering Down in Camp

I got to Log Lake around 4:30, checked in, showered and ate dinner. My hubby, Ed, comes tomorrow, plus friends Amy and Bruce Eckert. They’ll be hiking with me for a week. I’m excited! We’re supposed to have some nice weather, at least for the next three days. Life is good.


MI NCT miles today: 21.2 (34.1 km)
MI NCT miles to date: 667 (1,073.4 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 1,434.5 (2,308.6 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 3,165.5 (5,094.4 km)

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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