We left home around 6pm, and stopped in Hart for a delicious dinner at La Fiesta. Fresh authentic Mexican food and great service, as usual. After that we went to the cabin for the night.
The first morning, after sleeping in until 9!, we went for a hike on the Manistee River Trail starting at Slagle Creek.
We walked about 4 miles north to the waterfall.
Every chance we got we went to the river's edge to look for wildflowers. Mike is very patient and looks around for all interesting things. He spotted the Indian Paintbrush first.
Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea) Figwort Family
Wow, that is a very cool plant!
Then we walked the 4 miles back to Slagle Creek, 8 miles in 5 hours.
This is Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) Dogwood Family.
We also found Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) Saxifrage Family
Orange Hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum) Composite Family
After our hike we stopped by the Dublin General store, then back to the cabin for dinner. It is still different not having Tilly (our dog) with us but her last walk on the Manistee River trail was a 10 mile hike! That was a little too much for her (and me).
Anyhow the next morning we poked around the cabin area, along the creek, through the Manistee National Forest. It was beautiful.
We decided to go some place different. Mike chose a section of the North Country Trail, starting at the Freesoil trailhead in Lake County. We walked north, and at the start of the trail you walk through a swampy area with several footbridges.
We walked to a boardwalk overlook ~4 miles to the northwest. Mostly passing through some wonderful woods.
I saw this kind of bug more than once but never
These two have been identified as Six-Spotted Tiger Beetles.
This is the trail marker, blue paint on a tree with a butterfly. We made it back to the car without to much moaning (from me), I'm sure we walked another 8 miles on this hike, it took 3 hours so we were moving along.
We did make a quick stop at a place called Elbow Lake.
Back to the cabin. I brought the Truth Cam along and we sent it up along the creek, all we got were pictures of a northern raccoon.
The next day we left the cabin bright and early and drove south on M-37 to Baldwin then west to Bowman Lake, a glacial depression. Here we walked the 2.5 mile trail around the lake and more.
Bowman Lake near Baldwin Michigan.
Several families were camping around the lake, some kayaking, some fishing.
I took this picture of an unidentified dragonfly. I didn't realize until I put the pictures on the computer that the delicate, empty, larva case was in the photo too.
We saw lots of lupine.
After Bowman Lake we went south on M-37 to Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary which is part of the Manistee National Forest.
"Glaciers were important in forming the landscape around Loda Lake. The area is part of the Lake Border Moraine, a set of hilly areas formed about 12,000 years ago by the Michigan Lobe during the Wisconsinian glaciation. Loda Lake itself was likely formed when an ice block broke off from the main glacier and became stranded, melting slowly, afterward, sandy material collapsed into the depression left when the ice block melted."
Below are photos of Pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea).
We drove home after Loda Lake, got home around two, unpacked, and got busy with things here at home. What a great few days away.