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 10, 2002. NCT: 3 Mile to 6 Mile

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.

I wish I had run to my Sil Shelter instead of sleeping inside. I probably would have slept better. But, what is done is done. After a decent breakfast that included, as I recall, pancakes, coffee (and lots of it), Krispy Kremes (in honor of Dave), and yupper toast those of us who were left got ready for our final hike. Some people, were heading home early today while others had left the previous night. We decided to hike from where we had left off yesterday to 6 Mile road. Like the day before we would be heading north along the North Country Trail. The day was gray and it was drizzling on and off. It would not be the best hiking day, but it was again among the warmest we have had. It was also the first rainy hiking day I believe we have had during one of these gatherings.

The trail wound up and down hills, past little wetlands in kettle type valleys, and skirted private lands. I believe I saw even better examples of lichen marching down the trail today than I did the day before. I always enjoy seeing these green highways of lichen or moss. Sometimes they are a deep green while other times the green is a lighter hue. I don’t know if that is because some of these highways are denser than others or represent different lichen or moss. Whatever the reasons are they remain pretty and something that I only see on trails in Michigan.

While the rain was, at time, a bit more than a mere drizzle I don’t think any of us really had any complaints. The trail was enjoyable and, as usual, the company was quite good. I certainly had an enjoyable time. After the hike was completed, in early afternoon, people slowly packed up and left the Schoolhouse. John and I were among the last to leave as we did our bit to help Julie and Paul (who were probably the last to leave) clean the place up (I am not saying we were the only ones to help, just among the last to leave.) The Schoolhouse Gathering was, is there any doubt, a success.

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