We had a fantastic backpacking trip during the Perseids meteor shower. Negwegon at Night is a two-night trip in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan, near Alpena. The first day, we walked the short distance to our campsite and got settled in. The sunset was fantastic, and we enjoyed the night's campfire after dinner and a great dessert. As the sun set, we saw a bat flying around the camp and the owls started up. I've never heard so many owls chatting for so long; it was a really special experience. The clouds did not cooperate for stargazing, but no big deal.
At night in my tent, about to fall asleep, I heard the pitter-patter of little feet. A mouse? I turned on a light to look and saw an astonishingly large spider watching me on from outside of the tent. A spider so big I could hear it walking! Naturally at that time I realized I needed to go use the bathroom. However, the spider was so fast I didn't dare open the door until it decided to go on its way. I'm not particularly afraid of spiders but wow, what an experience!
The next morning after breakfast the whole group went on a short walk to another beach with a view. Scarecrow Island, the outline of Thunder Bay, and the city of Alpena including the water tower were all visible. The beach was rocky, and had many interesting fossil specimens. After that, the two teenagers (twins) were ready to relax at the beach by the campsite while the rest of us went on a longer hike.
I intended to have us do a loop from the campsite, but a portion of the trail was closed for bald eagle nesting, so we did a long out and back instead. There were no grand views, but plenty of interesting things to look at. Wildflowers, various mushrooms and of course trees. Being a midweek trip, the experience of solitude and quiet was also notable. Negwegon is rich with history, and we did see some of the artefacts from pioneer days. Older structures, likely of Native American origin, are deeper in the woods, well protected by poison ivy.
When we left the shade of the trees and returned to the campsite, it had gotten extremely hot. I like to be barefoot but the sand was hot enough to burn. We had lunch of cheese, salami, dates, snap peas, and crackers. Pavan wanted to go grab some wine, so we all walked with him to the parking lot to get a few more miles in. After that, some of us cooled off in the water; Lake Huron's temperature felt great. Pavan's daughter Sahana and I spent some time scooping up rocks and looking for fossils. So fascinating to see the remnants of a different time.
We watched another amazing sunset over the water, and did a little stargazing. This time the sky was clearer and I did spot one meteorite. The moon was quite large in the sky and set around 3AM. Others woke up around then and were able to see a few also. In the morning, we packed up and headed back, packs a little lighter. Fritz, Amanda, and I walked one other loop of the park before heading out.
It was a great trip, and a wonderful group of people! If you'd like to be notified of upcoming trips, please join the mailing list, at the bottom of the page.
Here are a few more photos from the trip, some with captions: