Today’s trek to Saylor’s Landing was so interesting, on so many levels. Last night, the forecast called for rain and 25 mph winds (40.2 kph) – with gusts up to 50 mph (80.5 kph) – until about 11 a.m. After that, the winds would die down to “just” 15-18 mph (24-29 kph) for the rest of the day. Rain and/or snow was predicted from about 2-4 p.m.
I heard the rain and wind start up in the middle of the night, and when I awoke at 6 a.m. it was rainy and windy. I’d pushed back my shuttle via trail angel Terri until 9 a.m., hoping to lessen the hours I’d be hiking in the rain and wind. It rained all the way to our rendezvous point, and all the way back to my starting point at Jackson Street. And then, the minute I stepped out of Terri’s car, the rain stopped and the wind died down. Incredible.
Making My Way to Saylor’s Landing
I headed out southbound along the Kalamazoo River on a nice, blacktopped path. The wind was at my back – yay! At first the scenery was nothing much, but then it became very pretty, offering a lot of scenic views, There was a very cool statue at one spot; I didn’t see a description, but it seemed to be something about freedom for all.
Terri pointed out the original Kellogg spa facility. Coincidentally, I’d recently written an article for HowStuffWorks, one of my clients, that included info about the Kelloggs. So I knew their back-story concerning the spa. So cool to see that.
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Leaving Battle Creek
After winding through Battle Creek, the trail goes through Ott Biological Preserve. This is a great trail that meanders through woods while passing swampy wetlands. There are some boardwalk sections, namely the Helidrop Bridge, where I stopped for lunch with Flat Stanley, my travel companion.
After Ott I wound through Kimball Pines, and then it was back onto the roads until the end, with one really cool exception: Historic Bridge Park. This park is home to all sorts of old bridges that were moved here when they were being replaced in their original spots in Michigan. The trail takes you past some of the bridges, and also across one. I loved it!
Tonight I’m staying at the Hampton Inn in Marshall. It’s a nice spot close to the trail.
NCT Miles Today: 19.8 (31.9 km)
MI NCT miles to date: 1,058.1 (1,702.9 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 1,865.3 (3,001.9 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 2,734.7 (4,401.1 km)
Book your stay at the Hampton Inn Marshall here.