Yankee Springs…and North Country National Scenic Trail (Again)

Got the word a week ago that I have a torn meniscus. Surgery needed, probably close to Christmas. You know doctors and their far-out schedules. So what did I tell Jeff I wanted to do on his day off last Friday? HIKE! It had been so very long since we spent any time on a woodland trail, not just a boardwalk hanging onto a walker as precaution. I told him if I took pain medication and bound the knee really, really tightly, that I’d like to try a trail. He misses the woods, too. And I’m always in search of settings for my books. (Great excuse.)

So off we went, an hour north to Yankee Springs State Recreation Area in Michigan, between Hastings and Grand Rapids-ish; 5,200 acres with over 30 miles of hiking, biking, and horsey trails, plus a beach, and more. It’s very popular during the summer; not so much after school starts.

Oh, the marvelous quiet and smells of the woods. We didn’t meet a single other person on the trail. It was our private forest adventure. Granted, it took about twice as long as usual to hike the Hall Lake loop. I wasn’t sure I would make it all the way around, and before getting out of the van thought I’d be doing great if I just made it to the lake and back. But we did the entire loop! (90+ minutes vs our normal 45 minutes)

Can you tell what made this white streak down the middle of the trail without looking ahead?

If you guessed rain water which had eroded the pine needles and other leaf debris on its way downward, you would be correct.

There’s something to be said about walking at a snail’s pace. It had rained as we were leaving our driveway in Battle Creek for the hike. (Did I mention we were desperate to get into the woods?) But we remained thankfully dry for our entire hike (not counting the glowing perspiration and squished mosquitoes). The anticipation of rain in the woods probably kept most people away. Yay for us.

About 50 yards into the woods, I commented to Jeff that because of the recent rains, we might spot some mushrooms. I looked down, and there at my feet were mushrooms a-plenty. Ha! And more to come over the entire trail length. Ha and ha!

I knew that the North Country National Scenic Trail ran through the park, but how delightfully surprised I was to find we actually walked over a section of it. In fact, we had done so many times before because we’ve hiked this trail often.

I thought to stop to rest on a log a couple of times, but three things prevented me from doing so: ticks (been there before), becoming a mosquito fest, and a wet bottom. (From the earlier rain!)

The NCNST is about 4,600 miles. I’m sure we won’t cover it all. I don’t think we’ll cover it all. That would be an interesting happening to have on a bucket list. If I kept a bucket list. But maybe, just maybe after my knee surgery…





4 thoughts on “Yankee Springs…and North Country National Scenic Trail (Again)

  1. So like reading your posts, Sandy!Nice adventure and perseverance. Know what a torn meniscus is! Tore my knee on a downhill skiing probably 40 years ago. The surgery should be so much more progressive now. Julie

    • Thank you for your kind words, Julie. After my doc appt this morning, it seems knee replacement is in my future. I’d better get started on a new novel or something to keep my mind busy while I’m down. At least I have lots of settings to choose from.

    • Thanks, Janet. We love winter hiking, but it’s not in the works this year, I think. ASAP would have been sooner had I not asked for a steroid shot, which gives no relief. But because of that shot, I now must wait 3 months. Pain for 3 months pre-surgery. Pain for 3-6 months post surgery. I’m thinking of doing a winter NaNoWriMo.

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