August 12, 2022 — After work on Monday, I took Sonny on a needed walk for both of us. We walked the mile-deep strip of land between Little Traverse Lake and Lake Michigan. Closer to the east, the lowland terrain starts to lift in small steep irregular hills that make no directional sense. And when you add all the low swamps zig-zagging every way possible, it is a recipe for getting totally turned around, which in most instances is what happens nearly every time we break trail.
This time, we started on a trail and after a short while stepped off into the dense wet and somber woods to make our own way to Lake Michigan. We hiked along a grassy swamp full of babbling ducks until we saw an opening in the swamp to cut through. We walked across a patch of pine and oak forest until we ran into a thick cedar swamp. We walked to the west of it, went up and over a hill or two, walked along another swamp and after 45 minutes of walking, came very close to the point on the trail to Lake Michigan, we had just left. “Sonny, that is the last time I am following you,” I chuckled. We walked the well worn trail through light sprinkles to Good Harbor Bay.
Lake Michigan was stirred with big waves, and Sonny and I walked the beach for a while. I took my wet shoes off and buried my toes in the sand and surf. Lake Michigan felt silky and light against my skin. The big warm waves were gentle like a hundred rolling Swissies jumping one last time and then disappearing on the beach. I went for a swim while Sonny snacked on a few dried alewives. We walked the trail home while I thought of natural ways to subtly mark these wild woods with direction.
“I don’t know”, I shared with Sonny. “Don’t we like the sense of wonder we get from being totally spun around in these beautiful woods?”