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Thread: Hiking!

  1. #1

    Default Hiking!

    Well, I think I mentioned recently how outta shape I was. I've been working out at school and doing cals and such at home trying to get back in shape.

    I went hiking yesterday for 6 miles and again today for 9. A whole new area to me so the new scenery was cool. The 6 mile was a walk in the park, but the nine kinda wore me out. Mainly it was my back and feet that were aching, probably from dragging around my big fat gut.

    But, anyway it was nice to get out after being cooped up. Not a whole lot to see. We have up to a foot of snow or more if drifted, but it's starting to melt. The trails are mud and many have turned into temporary creeks. LOL! The fields are deep with 1 to 2' of snow, yeah that's deep for my area. Up and down hills, through swamps, woods and fields, round a couple frozen lakes and ponds, crossed a few creeks and the river a few times too.

    The river here is 20 to 50' wide and only 2 to 10' deep. It moves pretty slow for the most part and there's no rapids to speak of. I saw lotsa clams buried in the moss and algae covered rock and gravel bottom, some were bigger than my spread out hand. although not very wide, fast or deep, it's one of the longest in the state and has many feeder creeks along the way. The water looks clean and clear, but I wouldn't drink it. An old abandoned bridge and road crosses it at one point. I don't think a car has been on that bridge in over 80 years. The road has been overtaken in spots by 2-3' diameter oaks and such. There is excellent smallmouth, trout, catfish and walleye fishing in parts of it, but I didn't see any fish in it today.

    I went thru a turn of the century gravel pit that also has long been abandoned. There are about 5 pit lakes back in there which are still guarded by the dinosaurs that used to dig the gravel with their rusty buckets, gears, cables and pulleys. Rust in peace! Every once in a while you can spot the old railroad ties from a railroad bed that's long since been covered by drifting sand and gravel. They pulled up the rails but left the dinosaurs and ties. I guess back then they brought the train to the gravel. Now they just truck it out for the most part. The pits are the closest thing we have to a desert and they all have at least one oasis which usually plays host to at least one species of unusually large fish. One of these has monster yellow perch. It's probably been 80+ years since this pit was mined, but it's still a wasteland of sand and gravel with a few cottonwoods and such straggling for life in the barren unfertile land. I suppose in another hundred years it might be a woodland once again.

    I saw my first robins of the year, a big group, yesterday. They looked like they just flew in. They were chirpin away saying "spring is coming". I thought, "yeah right, maybe in another month or two or three". This is Michigan, sometimes spring comes in March, but usually it takes it's good ole time getting here.

    Also, a lot of black cherry trees were oozing sap and I was wondering what I might use that for. It's something I haven't noticed before. I used Sarge's, or my knife, and gathered a bunch to bring home. As I cut and peeled off a big chunk a white, skinny, 1" grub of some sort was exposed. He was kinda slow like I just woke him up. He slowly turned his head toward me as if to say "WTF" and then fell to the snow. It had made a home in the oozing sap and I rudely awoke it. "Sorry dude". But, maybe it's the reason the tree was oozing sap in the first place. I don't know! I kinda felt bad for him, but waht was I supposed to do, pick him up and stuff him back into the sap?

    The snow was covered with snow fleas everywhere I went. I've never seen so many before. Little black specs, kinda reminded me of mashed potatos with lotsa pepper sprinkled on it. I was kinda getting hungry about the time I noticed em.

    I found some interesting looking rocks. Some were ceramic like, white, yellow and orange and appeared to have small swirls of silvery metal in them. No idea what they are, but they looked neat so I grabbed a few. I've been looking for knappable rocks, or rocks that will throw a spark, but haven't found any yet. I'm starting to think they don't grow here or you gotta dig for em.

    I marked off a couple stands of norway spruce, elm, BTA, cherry and Black locust trees for shroom season. Winter is a good time to get a lay of the land and spot tree stands that you might miss in the summer when all the leaves are on. Every time I ran into a stand of cherry and black locust I saw deer and turkey tracks. Also, you can spot small ponds and such from a distance. Some have real good bluegill fishing and bullheads too, if ya like them. I do!

    I found one such pond, which I believe at one time, prolly 80 years ago, LOL, was used as a rearing pond by the DNR. It was frozen over and covered with slushy snow. Around the perimiter it was fed by tiny almost un-noticable springs. Just a trickle rising up from the earth and rolling off a foot or two into the pond. The only giveaway they existed was small 1 yard or so open areas of water at the shore. As I went closer to investigate one the water exploded. The tiny 3 foot area was loaded with sunfish, bluegills. Many were dead or dying and they ranged in size from 1" all the way up to 6 or 8". The dead ones were pale and white eyed, but the living ones were brightly colored like blue-green chrome changing color with the angle of the sun. They sparkled in the sun as they lay dying on their sides in the shallow water. There were hundreds and as I looked further I noticed every inlet was like this. I could have easily reach in a net and scooped up hundreds at a time from all 5 or so inlets. Only thing I can figure is they were coming to the open water and fresh water inlet for air because the snow covered pond was lacking oxygen. The inlets were so small they couldn't swim up or down, but stayed in the open water of the pond. A small creek fed into the river a hundred yards away, but it was frozen solid. Coons, opossums and such were having a field day as there were fresh and old tracks, and fish bodies, or heads and tails anyhoo, strewn all over the snow and ice. Bad for the fish, good for the critters!

    I saw a few squirrels today, but I believe season ended Mar.1 so they get to live another year. I came out onto the railroad tracks and walked a good mile or two down the edge. I could hear crows sqwawking in the distance and wondered what all the fuss was about. As I got closer I saw 6 crows around what appeared to be a black mesh garbage can. I thought "that's weird, what is a garbage can doing way out here in the woods?" the weird thing was the crows didn't fly away as I approached. They just stood there eating and skwawking. Just as I was about ready to bumrush them a guy waved to me from the bush. He was in white camo and was hunting crows. LOL! First time I ever saw someone set up hunting crows, mechanical decoys, boombox and all. I saw the biggest hawk of my life too, don't know what kind it was, but it's body was as big as a great horned owl.


  2. #2
    Senior Member BENESSE's Avatar
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    That's a nice post, rwc.
    Felt like I was going along for a walk as well.

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    Great Post !! I Am/Was an avid hiker,, There are lots of good places to hike here by the river,, Havent been for awhile, I think you have inspired me ! Thanks

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    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    Hey RWC. thanks for taking us along. It was a nice hike. My kind of pace to explore.
    Karl

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    Voice in the Wilderness preachtheWORD's Avatar
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    Sounds like you had an awesome time! I absolutely love hiking, though I'm fairly out of shape myself.

    I am trying not be jealous sitting here snowed in behind a dumb computer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by preachtheWORD View Post
    Sounds like you had an awesome time! I absolutely love hiking, though I'm fairly out of shape myself.

    I am trying not be jealous sitting here snowed in behind a dumb computer.
    I Have no excuse,, sunny and 75 degrees here today,, Want to come visit ? I will show you the sights ! Everyone's Invited !!

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Thanks for that, you tell it well.

    Goes to show you that you don't need to be 240 miles from anything to enjoy what there, and wonder, "What over on the other side?"
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    Senior Member 2dumb2kwit's Avatar
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    I went for a hike, in wal-mart, this morning. I did pretty good from the parking lot to the grills and smokers. They had some on sale, but not any of the models that I was interested in, so it was on to the sporting goods section. Yes...sporting goods is all the way in the back of the store, but I still had no problem getting there. I didn't see any different guns than normal, in the case, and ammo was still really limited, so I made a pass by the bikes, (I've been thinking about getting one.) and headed off to the food side.

    Now the food is all the way on the other side of the store, and I was getting a bit winded, by I continued on.

    Ooooohhhhhh...so many kinds of bacon......piles of taters......oh look, a long stick of pepperoni for $5. Well I managed to convince myself, that I had to leave, so I headed out to the truck. When I got there, I was tired and give out, but it felt good. I may do it again soon.
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  9. #9

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    2D2K, Before I hiked thru the woods I hiked into meijers and bought as pair of polarized sunglasses and an air filter for the car at the auot parts store.

    Hunter, it seemed like I was about 240 miles out at mile marker #4 of 9. I had to stop and think which would be better in my situation, snowshoes or skis? I had neither so I just kept walking.

    I don't think I've been anywhere in this state where I was more than 3 miles or so from a road if that.

    I can't wait for spring because there will be a lot more to see and do. Fresh greens, etc. I didn't even see any rosehips on my two trips out. It made me realize why some natives resorted to eating trees.

    Good thing is I probably burned close to 5000 calories between the two days. No wonder I was much skinnier as a kid. I walked everywhere I went.

  10. #10

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    Rivers are awesome Justin. As I walked along the edge of the many creeks and the river I started thinking "canoe trip". Start near the headwaters and take it all the way down to where it dumps into Lake Erie.

    I've taken off huge chunks a lil bit at a time, but never the whole thing.

    I planned on doing something along those lines this spring, but decided to go to summer school instead. Maybe I can get in a few weekend outings and cover some sections I missed.

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    Senior Member 2dumb2kwit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwc1969 View Post
    No wonder I was much skinnier as a kid. I walked everywhere I went.
    LOL...same here. If I wasn't walking, I was running.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwc1969 View Post
    Rivers are awesome Justin. As I walked along the edge of the many creeks and the river I started thinking "canoe trip". Start near the headwaters and take it all the way down to where it dumps into Lake Erie.

    I've taken off huge chunks a lil bit at a time, but never the whole thing.

    I planned on doing something along those lines this spring, but decided to go to summer school instead. Maybe I can get in a few weekend outings and cover some sections I missed.
    This Is 8 miles from my house, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_rrJ1TVm8A

    I think a bunch of you guys should get together and come on down, the water is fine, I am only 90 min from Las Vegas, Flights are CHEAP ,, Think about it, I will give you the tour
    Last edited by Justin Case; 03-03-2010 at 01:55 PM.

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    Senior Member Ole WV Coot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2dumb2kwit View Post
    I went for a hike, in wal-mart, this morning. I did pretty good from the parking lot to the grills and smokers. They had some on sale, but not any of the models that I was interested in, so it was on to the sporting goods section. Yes...sporting goods is all the way in the back of the store, but I still had no problem getting there. I didn't see any different guns than normal, in the case, and ammo was still really limited, so I made a pass by the bikes, (I've been thinking about getting one.) and headed off to the food side.

    Now the food is all the way on the other side of the store, and I was getting a bit winded, by I continued on.

    Ooooohhhhhh...so many kinds of bacon......piles of taters......oh look, a long stick of pepperoni for $5. Well I managed to convince myself, that I had to leave, so I headed out to the truck. When I got there, I was tired and give out, but it felt good. I may do it again soon.
    It's a shame your Wallys didn't have those electric carts like I ride in. You otta try them sometime. I can make a couple of trips around the store before I make a pit stop.
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    Senior Member 2dumb2kwit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole WV Coot View Post
    It's a shame your Wallys didn't have those electric carts like I ride in. You otta try them sometime. I can make a couple of trips around the store before I make a pit stop.
    LOL...actually, a couple weeks ago, me and a friend of mine were talking about grabbing 2 of them, and racing each other, around the store!
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    What a neat trip. If those old dinosaurs are abandoned you might see what kind of steel is laying around. Just sayin'....

    Coot - I don't believe you. Your cart would have to have a bucket on it for aerial work. Maybe we can talk to the HoverRound folks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rwc1969 View Post
    I saw a few squirrels today, but I believe season ended Mar.1 so they get to live another year.
    Is that a threat?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Is that a threat?
    Nope.


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    Quality Control Director Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    Nope.


    Ranching.
    An accomplice, I presume?
    “Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.”
    W. Edwards Deming

    "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."
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    Cool Mmmmm!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    An accomplice, I presume?
    I smell Squirrel in the pot! Yum! Yum!
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  20. #20

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    Gotta leave a few for next season. They're making babies now I think.

    It was kinda funny as the one was playing peek a boo around the side of an old oak. One of my favorite shots. Peek a boo to you to. No need hiding squirrel cuz I ain't got a gun.

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