Great Lakes Hikes December 2005 Gathering

by Ken Knight | by Julie Nietling

Great Lakes Hikes December 2005 Gathering at Waterloo Recreation Area, Michigan

Quick trip report while the kids are asleep. Very personal perspective, lots of info missing...

I'm not sure we've ever packed so much stuff for one weekend before. We had the diapers, sleeping bags, camp stove, ax, food, layers and layers of clothing, etc. Ate and drank well Friday night. Note there was no mustard, though. :) Abigail was warmly welcomed and played with by the kid-loving campers and even fell asleep with Elwira that night. They were beautiful. Talk about a village! A tribe even! I was a happy mama.

But something was missing. People kept looking out the window all night saying, "I think I see Josh!"

We filled the wood stove with wood and closed it up as much as possible to try to burn it slowly through the night. It burned fast and hot and we got really warm for a while there. I woke up dried out.

For Saturday morning I had packed oatmeal but John brought bagels and there were eggs and fruit crisp so there was enough food. And there was Grandma Soule!!! She couldn't stay long but was looking great and we were very happy to see her. But something was missing. She was looking for Amy.

We took our time leaving for the hike and then walked about ten miles over many good hills. The walk had a great variety: woods, water, fields and country roads. And hills. And snow. Less snow than I had prepared for.. I'd brought along neos but knew before leaving the cabin that I wouldn't need them. Still there was enough snow under me and enough toddler over me to wear out my hips. I didn't really notice this until the next day's hike. Got to talk to newbie Danielle for a bit. I hope she comes to another gathering. Abigail was a little crabby at times and it was a fight to keep her mittens on, but Andy warmed up her hands regularly with his breath. That evening, she and Adam played very nicely together. Cutiepies.

Potluck was amazing, of course. It was served in courses, beginning with chocolates plus brie and hummas on breads and crackers for an appetizer, chili, pialla (sp??) and cheezy pitas for the first course, Jeff's sheep for the second course and his wife's merange (ugh! I just can't spell food.) pie for dessert.. then smores.. and hot chocolate with kaluha.. and whatever else folks were drinking and eating... Then some people, including brave, sleepy little Adam went on a four mile night hike. They came back looking like snowmen. It was really coming down while they were out.

Next morning I again ate everyone else's food, including Nancy's left over cornbread with Steve's honey. (Very nice getting to know Steve, by the way.) Then we cleaned out the cabin (took me forever to get my stuff together) and John swept while most of the others started a game of kickball with Adam's ball. Finally we took off for the final hike which was again full of variety and beauty. I was happy it was shorter, though, since Abbey was in the mood to do some of her own hiking (slow!) and as I said, my hip was starting to bug me a bit (not too bad). We brought back an Osage orange.

I am still putting our crap away and trying to get through the smokey smelling laundry. No I'm actually avoiding it by getting online, but you know what I mean. Thanks for a great time everyone!!!!! So what's next?


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Copyright © 2005, Kenneth Knight (reprinted with permission of Julie Nietling) Last updated: December 9, 2005