Report to Hikers: week of Oct 12-Oct 18

Hello Hikers!


Wednesday Oct 14

Stevens Suspension Bridge, Park Park, and Cornell golf course and horse fields, Forest Home

Stevens Suspension Bridge, Forest Home 006

First time I ever selected a hike to accommodate a dog. Maybe you recognize Yoda — if you look at the hike photos regularly, you know he goes on just about every walk we do —  he’s crazy about hiking  —  the kind of dog who starts to nag you to get going the minute he arrives at the trail head.

Stevens Suspension Bridge, Forest Home 247

He faced the prospect of staying home for this hike because his owner, Brenda, is recovering from minor surgery — he lives in a lovely house in Lansing, but which would a hike-mad dog rather do on a Wednesday morning, lie on this soft couch, or be out with our group?

Stevens Suspension Bridge, Forest Home 161

Theoretically we shouldn’t have done this hike because we just recently did it — but it’s very convenient to Yoda’s house and Tiger and I could easily take him to and fro —

Stevens Suspension Bridge, Forest Home 087

In fact, the hike worked out great — there’s actually a good variety of trails to take, and we walked in the opposite direction from what we normally do, and also ventured into a new area we hadn’t known about — in short, the walk seemed completely fresh, and it was delightful

Stevens Suspension Bridge, Forest Home 133

Official head count: 19 hikers, four dogs

You can see 11 more photos by me online here.

You can see Annie’s photos online here.

You can see Jack V’s photos online here.


Saturday Oct 17

Arnot Forest, with breakfast beforehand at Freddy’s Diner, Newfield

Arnot Forest 140

In the announcement for this hike I sent out last week, I said we’d managed to figure out the trail through this huge and remote forest — well, we may have managed last spring, but we bombed really badly this time — maybe we were confused by all the summer growth since then, but we got lost in a maze of overgrown and brambly old woods roads — not technically lost, because we knew where the cars were — but it took a major bushwhack and a long time to make our way out of the woods

Arnot Forest 043

One of the hikers wanted to join us at Freddy’s for breakfast but he had a conflict — so he hiked on just two cups of coffee — I had a three-egg omelet, home fries and toast in my stomach, and I really needed all that energy — this turned out to be one of our most rugged and challenging hikes ever — we finished up almost an hour late, which is unheard of for our group — on the last leg when we were bushwhacking, a lot of the way was on steep slippery terrain — I fell down once, soft landing  —  my legs and ankles were fully stressed at the end, though I recovered after I was home for a while
Arnot Forest 111

So it was a real adventure, and I had a great time. The scenery was beautiful everywhere.
Arnot Forest 069

We were pretty high up and we saw our first snow of the year coating some leaves — I remind you that you can click on any photo in these postings and you’ll see a full-sized, high-resolution version — click once more and you get a big enlargement — if you click this shot twice, you can clearly see the snow  —  and a close-up of Norm’s beard if you’re interested
Arnot Forest 147

There are no good maps of this forest — Tiger created a very crude one of her own by tracing the old road network from Google Maps on our computer monitor — Norm had some kind of crude map of his own — we kept trying to make sense of them, unsuccessfully — Annie has GPS on her phone but the reception was spotty so that was of limited use. Two small groups of people headed off on their own after we’d been floundering around for a while — both groups beat us back to the cars by a good margin.

Official head counts:
Arnot hike: 17 hikers, two dogs
Freddy’s: Nine hikers

You can see nine more photos by me online here

You can see Annie’s photos online here. The Newfield countryside on the way to and from the trail head is extremely lovely, and she got some shots of it as well as shots in the forest.

You can see Jack V’s photos online here.


Sunday Oct 18

Six Mile Creek, Mulholland Wildflower Preserve to Potter’s Falls

Six Mile Creek wildflower preserve 099

Fantastic walk along this picture-postcard creek — chilliest morning of the season so far (by a hair — one degree cooler than Saturday) — lively snow-sleet squall for a little while on the return leg — fall colors finally in full swing — everybody energized and cheerful — great fun!

Six Mile Creek wildflower preserve 242

It seemed like every other hiker had some kind of camera and they were all snapping away energetically — you can see what the excitement was about by checking the links below — we had three of our regulars at work taking shots and together they’ve provided extensive photo coverage of the scenery

Six Mile Creek wildflower preserve 156

The main group of us didn’t make it as far as our usual destination of Potter’s Falls — ran out of time — I can usually count on getting a decent photo of the creek there — here’s the next best thing — very picturesque beach much closer to our start point — water level quite low but the creek still looked wonderful

Six Mile Creek wildflower preserve 198

Our group often fragments on this walk — we really broke into pieces this time, as various clusters of people took different trails — at one point I was shouting to try and pull everyone together and voices were answering from all over the creek gorge. When we turned around to go back, a sub-group of daredevils kept pushing ahead to the upper reservoir on a narrow trail I regard as a death-walk. Our photographer Annie was with them and she has some shots — see her link below.

Six Mile Creek wildflower preserve 220

The snow and sleet squall was fabulous — I’m sure we’ll all be completely sick of snow way before our bad-weather season ends in April, but it sure was fun in mid-October.

Six Mile Creek wildflower preserve 160

Official head count: 32 hikers, five dogs

You can see 10 more photos by me online here.

Even more photos:

Jack V