Great Lakes Hikes 2002 NCTA School House Gathering

November 8, Camp Newaygo Wetland | November 9, NCT: Echo Drive to 3 Mile | November 10, NCT: 3 Mile to 6 Mile

GLH Gathering, November 9, 2002. NCT: Echo Drive to 3 Mile Road

This is being written long after the annual gathering at the White Cloud Schoolhouse. I believe I wrote a trip journal at the time of the gathering in November, but I cannot locate any trace of the journal now. A lot of the flavor and some of the detail will no doubt be lost in this document due to the passage of time. But, I hope you still enjoy what you read.

While yesterday was generally sunny though tending towards coolness today has been pretty much unrelentingly gray. Fortunately for us the rains did not start pouring down until well into the evening. But, I am getting ahead of myself.

We decided to do a fairly short, about 6.5 miles, day hike along the North Country Trail. We would start at Echo Drive and hike to 3 Mile road. To be honest I don’t really recall any stand out features of the hike itself. We traveled through rolling hills of forest (oak, maple?). I don’t recall seeing any lakes or streams but I am sure they were around. Perhaps the gray weather acted as a downer but it is more likely that I just spent more time paying attention to the people I was hiking with than the terrain itself. For instance, Dave’s venison jerky was a hit with everyone that had some.

When we reached 3 Mile road there was some discussion of pushing on to the School House but that faded. The weather was not making us want to go further and we had had a decent day already. The last bit of car shuttling was taken care of and soon everyone was back at the Schoolhouse. It was mid-afternoon. Everyone had time to chat, eat pasties, and start preparing for the potluck that night. We ate well.

I had decided to set up my Hennessey Expedition hammock and I did that as people were chatting around a camp fire. With a little help I managed to get the thing set up properly. Clearly there is a learning curve that needs to be climbed as far as proper pitching of the hammock goes. I think Nancy was among the first to get in it and when she sagged practically down to the ground we knew we had work to do. Andy and I futzed with it. I know someone else gave suggestions. We eventually got it to a point where the hammock didn’t sag quite so much. But, I never did actually use the hammock.

As the evening wore on it began to rain. The rain was steady and at times quite strong. It turned out that I had not completely covered the hammock with the tarp/rain-fly and when I was ready to go to sleep I found small pool of standing water in the hammock. With that discovery made I decided that sleeping inside would be prudent.

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