Photo by Paul Haan
For a few minutes the sun broke through the overcast. It didn't last long but was nice to see for the time it was visible.
This is the 16th annual November GreatLakesHikes Gathering. The weekend before firearms deer season opens here in Michigan members of the GreatLakesHikes Yahoo email group and others gather at a former one-room schoolhouse near White Cloud, Michigan for a weekend of hiking, eating, chatting, and general good fun. This would be one of the smaller gatherings we have had but it was no less fun because of that.
The Gathering is an annual event that is organzied by members of the Great Lakes Hikes Yahoo email group. While the group isn't nearly as active as it used to be we still do use it to talk about hiking and other activities mostly within Michigan. Many of the GLH members are also members of the North Country Trail Association. The trails we typically hike when at the Gathering are maintained by the Western Michigan Chapter of which I am a member. If you enjoy hiking the NCT please do consider joining a trail chapter.
Here are the photos for the GLH Gathering.
We decided to do a shorter-than-usual hike compared to most of the long hikes of Gatherings of previous years. We hiked the North Country Trail from Condon Lake to Leaf Lake and at that point people made decisions about what to do. My group of 7 would continue along Leaf Lake before going off-trail to cross to the other side of the lake and return off-trail back towards Condon Lake and the NCT and either the cars parked there or further on to Highbanks Lake where the last of us (including me) would end our hike. The bushwhack would include a slog across an improvised jerry-built bridge of long branches and then a pause at this large beaver dam. Durning the afternoon wind whipped through the trees and it sprinkled on and off including a bit of sleet.
Photo By Paul Haan
At the end of September the Western Michigan chapter of the North Country Trail Association finished one of many trail projects. Here they built a bridge over this slow moving black as night water near the White River. It's a blustery afternoon sporting a temperature in the upper 30s. While the rain is north of us my rain jacket was nice to have to block the wind that got to us through the bare trees.