Tree that looks like it has a face on it, near Rockford on the North Country Trail.
I was looking forward to today’s hike into Rockford. The route started with some trail hiking, then some road walking and, finally, taking a recreational path into town. I’d also be hiking through a natural area behind my motel, the new Holiday Inn Express in Cedar Springs. A bonus: the weather was predicated to be nice. Not too hot or humid. Excellent!

I drove to the 20 Mile Road parking area, then began hiking around 8:45 a.m. The first stretch of trail was criss-crossed by mountain biking and other trails, so you had to keep an eye out for trail markings. There was also a stretch where someone painted various faces onto trees. It was funny. There was also a regular tree that looked like it had a face on it. Cool!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (among regular links) to products I own and like, or which I think you might like. This means that, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Toward the end, it got buggy and the trail was overgrown in spots. I’d grabbed my hand clippers today, so I clipped down a bunch of plants.

On the Road to Rockford

The road segment was mostly on quiet, country roads. But there was one spot, near my motel, where I had to hike on a busy road with no shoulder. That was not fun.

Near my motel, I segued back onto trail again, eating my lunch in the shade of a tree. Soon I was on the recreational trail.

Reaching Rockford

The temps were warming up, but I didn’t notice. I’d downloaded the popular podcast S Town. Its heyday was several years ago, but I’m just listening to it now. It’s excellent! Podcasts are great for connecting road routes or urban hiking, Hiking trail winding through short least for me.

Tonight I’m back at the great, new Holiday Inn Express in Cedar Springs. The forecast for tomorrow calls for rain much of the day. Rats. 

Nancy was going to shuttle me again, but she can only do it at 7 a.m. I don’t mind waking up early, but I’d rather start later and try to hike fewer hours in the rain. So she gave me the name of a couple who may be able to help.

You know, there is so much to be depressed about in the world today. But go out hiking, and you’ll meet so many wonderful people who are willing to help. It really restores your faith in humanity.


NCT Miles Today: 18.7 (30.1 km)
MI NCT miles to date: 920.3 (1,481.1 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 1,669.3 (2,686.5 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 2,930.7 (4,716.5 km)

Chain link fence gate telling hikers to go through, but then close.

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved