Wednesday, June 29, 2011

hiking in Michigan

I never did write about my hiking trip in Michigan.  My sister Diana and I took a two-day trip (that was all she had off from work) and went up to Mesick/Wellston, MI.

We didn't have a shuttle, so did things creatively.  First, we drove up to Seaton Lake Campground and set up our tent, then 10 miles south to the Red Bridge and left our car there.

So, Day 1, we hiked on the North Country Scenic Trail, from Red Bridge to the Little Mac Suspension Bridge, the second longest suspension bridge in MI (any guesses as to the longest one?)  :).  We'd done this section last year at Memorial Day (except that we went up to Hodenpyl Dam instead of the Little Mac) so were familiar with it... except that I didn't remember the long climb at the beginning that left me a bit winded... probably because we walked the opposite direction last year.  ;)

We left our car at 4:45ish and pulled into camp around 9, so it took us around 4.15 hours to hike 12 miles (or so... calculating mileage is difficult).  We just had a basic map, but I was unsure of the last part of the hike where I didn't have a map (leading up to the Little Mac).  At one point we were unsure of the trail... had seen some teal diamonds but the information I had said to follow grey markers.  We ended up by the dam, I pulled out my mini compass someone had given me years ago, we followed a dirt road, and eventually found what we hoped was the path... and it did lead to the campsite!

Seaton Creek Campground was great... HUGE campsites, jack pine all over the place, and a pretty nice pit toilet.  Our neighbors (the only other people in the campsite) had a generator, though, and we could see flickering lights throughout the night.  Generator, really?  Why did you choose a primitive campsite, then?

Day 2: headed back to the car.  This time we walked the Manistee River Trail, which follows the Manistee River pretty closely.  Last year we'd canoed the same section of river, so I've been up and down it four times... Diana thinks she's done it at least six.  Diana's favorite phrase: "we can rest when we get to the next bench."  Except this isn't a state park with benches on the trail! 

This was a pretty trail... the river views were very nice, but I still prefer the hardwood growth of the NCSC to the MRT.  Plus, I wasn't feeling well the second day, so it took us a long time (almost five hours) to hike the 10.5 miles.  The only people we saw on the trail was a couple backpacking... and Diana thinks it's the same couple we saw the night before.  :)  Supposedly teh MRT had mile markers, but we only saw two.

There was one point that had a great view-- a big beech tree had fallen directly across the trail, and it was impossible to walk past it without stopping to sit.  When you looked out over the river, you could see a bit of a field/peninsula, with smallish whispy trees that had fallen into the water, all the same direction, at the edge.  Beyond that were hills... it looked like a smaller version of pictures I've seen of Montana.

Overall, it was a great hike!  Diana is the perfect hiking companion because we have similar paces (except up hills, when I slow waaayyy down and she powers up).

Monday, June 27, 2011

yo, still around

Looks like I'm on a month-long sabbatical or so.  Between graduations, weddings... it's a busy summer.  What can I say, my family's growing up!

Went camping last week... hiked 38 miles.  I went to McCormick's Creek State Park, Shakamak SP, Cataract Falls, and Cagle Mill SRA.  I camped at McCormick's Creek and they have some nice trails (although no warnings about fording creeks on the map).  At one point, I was trying to pick my way across a creek but got stuck in the middle.  I didn't want to just push through and get my shoes wet, so I went back.  Then, a guy with a one-year-old (or so) baby on his back comes bounding along and crosses within 10 seconds.  He got his shoes wet.  :)

Shakamak SP was nice-- they have a 4-mile trail that goes all the way around the lake (um, Shakamak Lake).  It's a great trail that follows the shoreline pretty closely and is mostly wooded.  I saw 3+ pileated woodpeckers, all in one area... couldn't tell how many there were because they kept flying about.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm still here...

just gone a lot.  ;)

I had planned to post bentos this week, but this week is my week off (once I get my grades submitted today), and I'm planning to camp... even though the weather is planning to rain and storm.  Lots of plans... we'll see what happens.

I do have a few bentos I can post.  However, I'll also be m.i.a. for a while next week...should I just take a month-long vacation, or post sporadically?  I suppose this is what summer does to a bento blog.

Monday, June 6, 2011

bento #98

Just a heads-up... I won't be posting bento the rest of this week and most of next week.  I have family stuff (graduations, birthdays) so won't need to pack lunch, and the week after, I'll be helping at my church's girls camp and eating there (because I'm helping with the cooking!).

I'll still be around, just won't have bentos to post.

Behold, a brilliantly beautiful bento!  Oh, wait...
- Grilled cheese sandwich
- baby carrots
- pickles (an American school lunch "vegetable")

Actually, this reminded me of a school lunch.  I think it was the pickles.

Friday, June 3, 2011

bento #97

Breakfast bento!  Mostly white... maybe I should have chosen a different color of box.

- toast points
- hardboiled egg
- strawberries... with a little sugar.  ;)  I'm loving strawberries this year!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

bento #96

Ya know, I was going to write a post last night, but I was too tired to get the camera and download pictures.  Either that or too lazy... I'm guessing the latter is true.  ;)

So, what do we have here... I like this bento because it's microwaveable, so nice if I want to warm up something.
- leftover Chinese... garlic chicken and rice
- corn
- baby carrots
- strawberries

I like the yellow-orange-red progression here.