It’s Hammock Time!

Northwoods Journal

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Psych!  There’s no time for hammocks in the northwoods!!

Okay, I did get maybe 10 or 15 minutes in the hammock.

We had a nice breakfast with the kids.  Mark fired up the Coleman stove and cooked bacon and sausage while I made blueberry waffles in my new (bought at a garage sale) waffle iron.  Using fresh-picked blueberries of course!  Yum!

Before we could do any other activities, Mark had to run into town to gas up.  Katy and I took Milo, Daisy, Ruby and Schnitzel for a short walk up the road toward the lake.  It was dusty walking whenever a vehicle or ATV went by.  They need rain up here desperately.  The plan was to go do more berry picking this morning but it was so sticky hot and the deer flies swarming so bad that I decided to wait.  You can tell I’m a lot older.  Three years ago nothing stopped me from berry picking and I would crawl around on my hands and knees for hours, no matter how much it hurt my back or how hot the weather.

So instead of berry picking we decided to go do some off-roading.  We headed over toward Lookout Ridge and ended up coming across a young guy on Meaford Rd. with a broken down ATV.  Pete got the tow chain out of the Jeep and they hooked the 4-wheeler up to the FJ and Mark pulled him off onto a two-track where it would be out of sight and then we drove the guy back to his cabin where his friends were.  He was so thankful and appreciative of our help!  It would have been a long trek for him back to his buddies and of course there is no cell reception over there.

Waiting while I reconnoiter the first big hill.

Waiting while I reconnoiter the first big hill.

We had a blast going up and down and across the ridges over there.  We ended up on Adventure Trail – a trail I named years ago because it goes down a pretty steep hill and then you have a blind curve at the bottom before going up another hill and then it goes through a very narrow passage of two trees.  The two trees have grown since the last time we went down there and there was no going through them anymore – we had to cut around.  The trail dead ends so we had to turn around and take it back up.  (Well, there is a trail out but it was impassable with fallen trees.)  We had to do a lot of stopping and reconnoitering, due to the fact that that there are often a lot of fallen trees over the trails and the woods are so thick it’s impossible to turn around.  We finished off by driving the trail that goes across the top of the ridge.  We have hiked this trail many times and it is very beautiful.  At one point it breaks out onto the loveliest view in the county.

Are we in the mountains?

Are we in the mountains?

(Click on any photo to see a larger view.)

The trail down is pretty steep and Mark didn’t think we could make it down but Pete was un-phased so after they reconnoitered to make sure it was passable, we let the Jeeper lead the way.

Jeeps lead the way!

Jeeps lead the way!

 

(Not the best photo.  I was so worried I would miss him coming down that I took the shot too early and cut off his back end. LOL)

After our fun we headed into town to the Northwoods Gallery/coffee house for fruit smoothies.  Back at the cabin Mark made a small campfire and we roasted hot dogs for lunch.  (This is about the time I got my 10 minutes in the hammock.)  The kids had to start packing up to head home but Katy wanted to pick blueberries one more time before they left.  We headed up Stevens Spring to this trail where we’ve had good berry picking in the past and found a nice big patch of the plump ones.  I was wearing a ball cap to ward off the flies and had sweat literally dripping off my face.  We picked for just an over an hour.  It becomes a compulsion.  All three of us would say it was time to stop but then we would see another bush and think, “just a few more” and just keep going!

Our second big bowl of blueberries.

Our second big bowl of blueberries.

The kids pulled out just after 4:30.  It seemed incredibly quiet after they left.  Of course there was a mound of dishes to be washed and a few other chores needing to be done.  Since we ate a late lunch and it was so hot, neither Mark nor I was hungry for dinner so we waited until about 7 and took the dogs for a hike.  I told Mark I wanted to go over to Blue Jay trail.  Mark pulled into the front of this long rye field and we walked the trail through.  Up out of the rye pops a big coyote!  He trotted to the edge of the woods, just into the ferns and turned to watch us, as if he was trying to decide if he wanted to fight us for the dogs.  (We always hike with our side arms so we weren’t the least bit concerned.)  After a few moments – and before I could get my camera up – he turned and disappeared into the undergrowth.  He was a very odd color for a coyote – very reddish brown.  The dogs didn’t even know the coyote was there!

We turned up the hill where the power lines run.  There is a patch of these wood lilies growing there.

Wood lily

Wood lily

I don’t think we’ve seen these flowers anywhere else we have hiked, only in this one spot.  The small power lines intersect with the bigger power lines and we were able to make a loop back to our vehicle.  We saw one deer bounding through the ferns.  It wasn’t a very long hike but about all Milo could handle in the heat.  We found a small patch of blueberries so drove back to pick them – which the dogs were not all that happy about.

The plan was to leave the dogs at the cabin and go do a bit more berry picking but I was hot and sweaty and really just wanted to wash up.  Cheese and crackers and leftover bacon for dinner.  We ended up getting an invite from our up-north friends to come over to their place for a campfire and hobo pies.  We didn’t go over there until 10 p.m.  We saw one deer on our way.  We had a great time and shared lots of laughs.  The hobo pies were good, too!  It was well after midnight before we headed home.  In the area where they logged this spring we saw a coyote, his eyes glowing red in the headlights.  Then a porcupine in the road.  To bed at 1 a.m.  Guess we wanted to make our last full day here last!

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4 Responses to It’s Hammock Time!

  1. It’s funny, I started going to the Pigeon River Country because of all the great trails for off roading. I was ticked when the DNR closed almost all of them off, now, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But, I do miss trail riding some times.

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  2. The trails we were on are not sanctioned ORV trails. They aren’t kept up – which is why we had to keep checking to see if the way was clear. I think they are ridden by a lot of locals. Mostly when hubby and I go out riding, we are just on the ORV/ATV routes looking for wildlife. Normally we aren’t thrill seekers, but now that our son-in-law has a Jeep, he wants to find big hills to climb!

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  3. Jesse says:

    Did someone say bacon? 🙂

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  4. Hahaha, I though you would be more interested that someone said Jeep! 😀

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