Manistee River August 2004

Trip members: Joe (Trip Leader), Anna

Left campus about an hour and a half late due to bad traffic on the way home from chicagoland. I drove late into the night to get up to the trailhead campground. We found it with little difficulty and saw a raccoon and some
deer on the way. Got in to the campground at about 2 am. Anna decided to sleep in the back seat of the car while I, knowing there was one of the biggest meteor showers of the year, opted to roll out my sleeping bag and crash under the stars. This was probably not the best of ideas since I was so amazed by the display that I watched shooting stars for another hour before falling asleep.

We got up around 6 am (I did, Anna got up closer to 7). We packed our bags and headed up the Manistee River Trail. Being relatively flat ground we made good time and decided to enjoy the beautiful blue sky and cool, dry weather by going off trail and having lunch by the river. I tried my hand at some fishing but had no luck. All the while Anna was most amazed by the numerous Kingfishers along the river and ejoyed watching them. We hiked the rest of the ten miles and got to the north end of the loop and our campground for that night by around 2pm. So we killed the rest of the afternoon by wading in the river trying to catch the crayfish, standing on the bridge watching the trout in the river, taking a nap and trying some more fishing (still no luck). As evening started to approach we decided it was time for dinner. Anna made her
mac and cheese while I prepared my meal of spaghetti with rehydrated veggies and spaghetti sauce and a bit of wine. She was most impressed and jealous! As the evening wore on we built a campfire, had hot chocolate and talked. Once
it got good and dark we dragged our air mattresses out onto the swinging bridge and fell asleep watching the shooting stars!

The next day we were up bright and early again, packed up our gear and hit the North Country Trail. We headed back to our vehicle with astonishing speed rarely stopping for breaks. The return 11 miles only took about three hours
to do since there were very few scenic overlooks and the hills were very gradual making it easy to keep up a continuous fast pace. We did however encounter several annoying mountain bikers who barely slowed down when they
passed us. It was just before noon by the time we got back to the car at the trailhead. So we took a few minutes to wade around in the beautiful Michigan river one last time to cool off and soak out feet and heads, then it was back in the car and back to the real world. 

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