Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shingle Mill Pathway

 (Pigeon River Country continued)

The main reason I decided to visit the Pigeon River area was to hike the Shingle Mill Pathway.  A loop trail, it has 5 loops from 3/4 of a mile to 11 miles.  I had heard great things about the area and so had chosen to camp here for a day or two.

The trail head is at the back of the Pigeon Bridge campground, where I was parked.  In my previous post, I talked about the 1 1/2 mile loop I had hiked that evening.  This day I was planning on the six mile loop (see highlighted area in map below).  My heart longed for the 10 mile loop, but my head told me that I had been sitting at art fairs most of the summer and that I was in no condition to be walking that far, especially by myself.  So I decided I would do the inner loop next time and settled on the 6 mile jaunt.

When I woke up that morning I could see stars winking between the leaves.  By the time I left the RV, at around 8:30 am, thick fog had rolled in.

It was utterly delightful.  The fog gave a depth to the forest that you just don't see on a bright, sunny day.

Everywhere I looked was a breath-taking scene.  Fog had begun to condense on the leaves and needles and drip gently to the forest floor. It was just about the only sound save for the occasional peep of a near-by bird.  Not a breath of wind stirred needle or leaf.

This was the scene at the meadow where the day before I seen the little bluestem.  This morning found it draped in a grey cloak.

But the color was there, some of it hard to miss.  The leaves of this red maple were glazed and glowing.

 From thick forests to meadows to glades edged with poplar, the scene seemed to change with every step.

As I came up a short rise I saw red pines towering over me.  I stopped and looked up into the canopy, and found if I squinted my eyes just right I could imagine I was in a redwood forest somewhere on the Pacific Coast.

But I was happy to be in this most beautiful state of Michigan.

Next:  2nd leg of the hike

No comments:

Post a Comment