Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Adventure – Day 1

25 Comments

I’m home now. It feels kind of comfortable here. And warm, not to mention dry. Still…the memories of five days in the woods remain. Want to see a little bit?

The first day and night was spent with a friend at Pigeon River State Forest Campground. It turns out there are several campgrounds there, each of them small, many remote. We chose to stay one night at Round Lake which has ten sites. Only one other site was occupied. We had this beautiful place pretty much to ourselves.

Our campsite among the ferns on the shore of a small lake.

Our campsite among the ferns on the shore of a small lake.

Pigeon River is in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, about thirteen miles east of the very small town of Vanderbuilt. A couple of the campgrounds are set up for horse people, so if you love riding your horse through the woods, this might be the perfect place for you!

But I guess you’d like to take a tour, right? We did just that, taking a walk on what we thought was a trail marked on our map. We were very careful to pay attention to where we were, given we both have a propensity to lose track of things when we’re busy talking and catching up.

Turns out this wasn't the trail at all.

Turns out this wasn’t the trail at all.

We enjoyed beautiful blue skies and tall trees and soft ferns and lots and lots of wildflowers.

Indian paintbrush and daisies.

Indian paintbrush and daisies.

We even made a new friend while we were admiring an iris. As we hovered over the purple beauty at the side of a swampy ditch we heard a low growl. Startled we looked closer. Turns out we had ventured into the territory of this guy.

This is MY place ladies!

This is MY place ladies!

We moved on, enjoying the sunshine on the bright green ferns…

Just beyond the trees the sun made the ferns glow lime green.

Just beyond the trees the sun made the ferns glow lime green.

…and the towering pine trees.

Tall trees made us feel tiny.

Tall trees made us feel tiny.

I bet you didn’t know there’s a herd of elk living in the region! I didn’t either. But our map (and the park ranger) pointed out a few places they like to hang out, especially at dusk. So as the sun got lower we jumped in the car and went ‘elk hunting.’

It was good we had a map. The roads back there are primarily unmarked dirt one lane tracks. We weren’t always on the road we thought we were on, but we could generally keep going in the direction we intended. Good thing we had a compass though because it was very easy to get turned around in the deep woods.

Wonder where this road goes?

Wonder where this road goes?

We laughed as we sorted out our directions, heading to a place on the map that had an elk image. “You know, just because they put an elk on the map doesn’t mean they’re going to be waiting right there for us.” “This is probably a wild goose chase.” “I don’t think we’re actually on the right road.” “What are the odds we even see any?”

We came upon a break in the tall trees – a large open meadow. My friend said “You’d think this would be the kind of place they’d hang out.” as we both turned to look out the right side of the car.

And there, at the back of the meadow, were three of them.

They stared at us. We stared back. “You have the long lens! Quick get the shot!” she said to me. “I can’t figure out how to roll the window down!” I replied in a panic. (It was her car.) Somehow she got the window down, I got the camera up, and this is what we saw:

What you looking at ladies?

What you looking at ladies?

Seeing the elk was the highlight of the first day of my adventure. But we also enjoyed building a fire and sitting around it talking. I loved the way the trees turned into art as night overtook us.

Navy trees surround the lake.

Navy trees surround the lake.

A serenade of frogs woke us early, and after a night sleeping under the stars we enjoyed watching the sun touch the tips of the trees above us while we were still snug in our tent. It was a gorgeous new morning.

Good morning!

Good morning!

The lake mirrored the blue sky. We spent some time just sitting and enjoying the peace and beauty.

Round Lake.

Round Lake.

We sat and listened to nature all around us. The frogs. The birds. The wind in the trees. And we commented that all of this would continue after we were gone. That when we were stressed by life we could remember Round Lake and smile.

I loved this visitor's shadow.

I loved this visitor’s shadow.

Peace at Round Lake. Definitely a good start to my adventure. Day two coming up!

The zen of a campfire.

The zen of a campfire.

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

25 thoughts on “Adventure – Day 1

  1. What a glorious place!!! Just beautiful and our weather has been just perfect (as you well know!) I have never seen Elk out in the wild, beyond cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I passed through the area where you were yesterday on my way to Grayling and I saw the Elk Herd sign on I-75. It looks and sounds like you had a lovely time. Thank you for the tour. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elk!!! What a find! Thanks for getting a photo of them. And what a beautiful place for an adventure. I just know the princess missed you while you were away, but even princesses have to learn mamas need time off now and then!

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    • It doesn’t seem that she missed me all that much. She and her dad got along just fine, so they tell me. And the elk were amazing! I don’t think she would have been that excited…just a big deer to her.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Looks like a lovely escape out there in nature’s world. I’m looking forward to day 2.

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  5. Ahhh . . . even from my perspective Pigeon River country is restorative. It smells good. The sandy two-tracks beckon. I will probably manage to misplace myself entirely one day, but there are many worse things that can happen to a person. Thank you for taking us along on the adventure.

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  6. I am so excited you saw elk!!! I think you’re going to show us even more adventures on your latest trip…

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  7. I had never heard of the Upper Peninsula until I discovered a writer by the name of Jim Harrison and then I happen on your blog. Such a pretty region of the US. Full of surprises and serenity. What a beautiful post. Makes me want to go camping again.

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  8. what a wonderful place to stay and seeing the elk just made it perfect

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  9. Great photo of the elk. Love how u described the scene in the car having difficulty opening the window. Lol

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  10. Pingback: Adventure – Day 2 | Change Is Hard

  11. Pigeon River is a gorgeous place! And a good place for morels in the spring 🙂 If you ever get those roads figured out, let me know 😉
    Also: ELK!!! 😀

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  12. Love the pictures! Tent view is awesome.

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  13. What a beautiful place to have an adventure! And to see elk too! How exciting! (Have I used up my quota of exclamation points for today? lol!)

    Like

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