Day 2 – approximately 10 miles.
The second day of the 33.5 mile hike was probably the nicest day of the three. The weather was in the 60’s and we saw a bit of sun throughout the day. We spent a comfortable night at a work friend’s home in Gobles and was ready to get a ride back to the trail the next morning. Surprisingly, for someone as out of shape as myself, the only aches and pains were in my shoulders from carrying a backpack and a headache because I thought this would be a good time to cut back on my caffeine addiction. Otherwise, I felt great. Maureen, being the woodswoman that she is, was amazing, of course.
What a view to wake up to. This private lake is called Little West Lake, although, in my head it will always be known as Martha’s Lake, in honor of our wonderful hostess .
Admiring the color while waiting for our ride into town and back to the trail.
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I think this is my favorite photo of the trail in the early morning light.
We’re deep into farming country now.
A cow, checking us out as we passed. It was quite a pastoral scene with the beautiful trees behind them.
An old, abandoned barn.
We discovered a wonderful growth of British Soldiers moss on a log.
Reaching Bloomingdale, the halfway point, around 11:00am. Unfortunately, the Depot Museum was closed.
Van Buren County maintains the Kal-Haven Trail and they have stations set up every couple of miles consisting of primitive latrines, water pumps and picnic tables or benches. We took a break every time we came to a station. With all the water we drank to keep hydrated (and to overcome the caffeine withdrawal), we needed to make these stops.
The trail goes ever on.
At our lunch stop…I had to take a picture of some beautiful red oaks glowing in the sunlight.
We moved into a swampier part of the trail with lots of standing water. I tried to capture the look of the murky pools with fallen leaves floating on top. Not too successful.
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A golden afternoon.
This is also the spot where I stepped on a stick, hidden under some leaves, and took a spill. I scraped up my knees and the palms of my hands. I think I pulled a muscle along the side of my foot, because from this point on, I began having foot problems. We reached our destination, a cottage called Meeker’s Haven on Saddle Lake in Grand Junction at 2:30, 3 hours earlier then I originally planned. By then, I was in a lot of pain.
I forgot to take a photo of the exterior of the cottage so I’m borrowing this one from their website. This is where we spent night #2.
The house, built in 1907, is currently owned by the great-granddaughter. Can you imagine a house being in the same family for 200 years? It was charming, with a large enclosed porch facing the lake and a working fireplace. This is my kind of house. I could totally live here.
Because we arrived early, we could relax, drink some hot tea and read for a few hours on the beach. The view was great! Dinner was delivered by Maureen’s husband, Steve, and we spent a few hours with pleasant company.
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A beautiful sunset…
and the end of a lovely day.
Unfortunately, I was left with some large and painful blisters that would challenge me on tomorrow’s hike.