Friday, July 7, 2017

SW Michigan Lake country - Bearing up through the Trail Drought

Hat number eight at Lake George.  It's a long slog, all on roads, but scenes like this help me bear it.

I'm hiking my own hike to bridge a big gap in the North Country Trail.  I sorely miss footpath in the woods.  If I had chosen to follow the suggested trail route, the wait would have been longer, I think, and taking my way I got to pass through a corner of Indiana.

But now I'm in Michigan, and as soon as I reached the state line, Lake George was there to greet me.  It's a medium-small lake with classy, well maintained homes and cottages packing every available inch of the shore line except for the public access boat launch where I took the headline photo.

Close behind Lake George was Matteson Lake, where I perched Hat number nine.

But most of my time has been spent prairie walking.

Yes, they call this prairie.  Michigan does not come to mind when I think of prairie.  But it's undeniable.  And to help convince me there are road names like Snow Prairie and Prairie Lake, and towns with names like ... well ... Prairieville.

The prairies are known for more than wide open spaces.  It's tornado country.  Fortunately it's not tornado season any more, but I did have to take shelter from a nasty thunderstorm.

You don't want to be caught walking these fields in a thunderstorm when you're the tallest thing around.

Back in Fremont, Indiana, just south of the Michigan line, at their nice new library where I met a kid willing to pose with Hat number seven,

they have a prairie garden

which proves that natural prairie is far more than just grass.  Here's hat number ten with some butterfly milkweed.

Unfortunately, so far, I've seen no monarch butterflies, which are practically symbiotic with milkweed.  I may be between generations here.  I'll certainly keep looking.

Here are the screen shots of the GPS tracks of the days I wore hats 7 through 10.

And for more detail, you can zoom in to SW Michigan on my Personal Continuous Footpath overview map from Wikiloc:

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