Beam me up, Scotty!

snowsandals.jpgHiking with the North Country Trail Hiawatha Shore to Shore chapter folk is always a riot. Today, we met at Castle Rock. Stop and climb, it’s still a dime! Or maybe a quarter. Or even a dollar. Or two. I dunno what it costs to climb Castle Rock any more. It wasn’t open today. But we met there and then we regrouped at the Castle Rock section trail head to muck around with all the vee-hickle spotting, et al, that goes with a group hike.

We had a large, enthusiastic group of people and dogs today. A number of people chose to do a short version of the hike, either because of time constraints (i.e., some people actually have a life :-)) or concern about how strenuous the entire hike would be. Four groups, us included, did the entire 8.4 miles. It *was* strenuous. If I have it right, we were hiking on forested sand dunes. In a couple of places we could see the tops of the Mackinac Bridge towers and hills in the Lower Peninsula in the distance. At that point, I answered emails from Karen and Uber Kayak Woman on my iPhone. I didn’t say much but I couldn’t resist. Beam me up!

I walk a *lot*, six miles a day at a minimum. But most of my hiking is urban stuff around my neighborhood. I am not conditioned for a lot of steep up and down. I *loved* it but boy oh boy, was I tired at the end. Got back to The Commander’s house and took a nice hot shower.

One bit of misfortune at the very end of the hike. Some of the dogs were sniffing around a North Country Trail post and suddenly there was a lot of barking and screaming. One of the dogs got its foot stuck in an animal trap. The dog’s owner immediately went to its aid and ended up with a lot of bites on her hand because the dog was in such great distress. A hiker in their group was (amazingly) able to open the trap and free the dog. In the end, it seemed that both owner and dog were not mortally wounded but trips to urgent care were in store for both. I think this was an unusual event and I do *not* think that any responsible trapper would deliberately set a trap near a hiking trail. But it served as a sad reminder that it’s always wise to keep an eye open for whatever hazards may occur on a hiking trail. My first thought is to beef up our (the GG’s) first aid kit.

I’m tired and I’m gonna quit while I’m ahead. Click here or on the pic for a very lightly captioned slide show of our hike. Sayonara, KW.

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