Saturday, October 25, 2008

Presque Isle River

One of my favorite areas in the Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the Presque Isle River. When we were here before I had hiked the lower stretches of the trail along it. This trip I decided to hike part of the upper portion. I had Henry drop me off by the top fall and I was going to meet him down at the picnic area.

I really enjoyed most of the walk. I got a good look at the Nawadaha Falls which was an easy walk from the upper parking lot, but there were too many trees and tree trunks in the way to get a good photo. I started down the trail. I enjoyed watching flocks of small birds dart from the trail up into the trees as I approached. The forest was beautiful. The trail led me high above the river. Most of the trail wasn't bad, but first I came up on a stretch where I ended up laying my tripod down and using hands and knees to get up. Then the trail had a few more ups and downs. I was doing OK. And then . . . right before I got to the much easier boardwalk . . . I looked down on . . . this:

In general, I go uphill much easier than downhill. Yes, I may get winded, but my footing is much more steady and sure going uphill. Perhaps it is because when you are going up if you fall, you are likely to fall forward with not such a great distance to go or that you can catch yourself with your hands. It might be that my center of gravity is more balanced when I'm going uphill. Whatever the reason, I don't trust myself going downhill and take it very cautiously. So when I looked at that stretch from above, I knew I was in trouble. I didn't take long to decide that going down sitting down was the best course of action. And, it went pretty well. But when I got to the bottom, I realized that I had somehow lost the water bottle from my pocket as well as a small amount of money. There was no way I was going back to the top for that.

Fortunately, another family came along. I casually mentioned that there was an unopened water bottle and some money up there. A very nice young man soon reappeared with my lost possessions. Last time I was at that spot, someone else rescued my lens cap that had fallen where I did not have the agility to rescue it. Seems like I need to be more careful at that location since I keep losing things here. But so far, they haven't stayed lost.

As I was taking my last looks before heading on down the boardwalk, I noticed as sign that warned: Steep and rough terrain ahead! Now they tell me!

The rest of the walk that evening was beautiful. Here are two of the shots I took. I made it back to the car and Henry about ten minutes after sunset, before it got to dark to see the path out of the forest.

The fall colors were gorgeous!

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