Birch Grove School House

Author: Mike Hobig

The School House is a historic one room hostel that is off of the North Country Trail (NCT) near White Cloud, Michigan. Samantha Schafer organized the reservation. I had thought that I would not be able to make it and join the 10 or so folks that were on her email. It could have been the weather, rain or heat, but only one person on the original list was there.

I (Mike Hobig), Larry Mergentime and Laura James had a great time with max relaxing, some NCT miles and great food. I do like my edibles but Laura made up a meal that was SUPERB. We also talked about the advantages of a Ketogenic “diet” lifestyle. Who knew that folks who eat in that way are bit less by mosquitos?! I pressed the apostolate of Keto, Larry, for more info and to my surprise it has some tangible enticements – I mean, Larry does look pretty good for a “man of his age”!

Pictures that I am including are from at the school house, but also bridge the day prior and the way home from the school house.

I am now a promotor of Lowell Michigan! I had heard of others stopping in to the NCT office but I found that the NATIONAL NCT office is there as well as a National Parks office. Not only did I stop to see the staff but also found Luke “Strider” Jordan was in his NPS office (“Strider” is a past speaker at our SOLAR meetings). I also did a small city loop of the NCT as well as look around. Go to Lowell (just east of Grand Rapids) for a convenient and a fun place to stop.

Other pictures are of Sailors Pines (fairly close to the school house), which is a large stand of virgin pines. It is a grove of trees that were not yet large enough to harvest during the lumber boom in Michigan but now are the size that the lumbermen would have cleared. It is managed by the family of a 1920’s lumberman, Mr. William Sailors. I found the forested area a joy to walk through on the sun baked day, pine needles underfoot.

Rounding out our respective weekends, Larry was heading to Lake Michigan to possibly photograph incoming storms and Laura was going to play a round of golf to break up the drive home.

Missed the folks that couldn’t make this weekend. The wind in the trees, the rain (only at night), walk on the trail, good food, semi-warm shower, camp fire and good company made it a great summer weekend.

If you have an event or trip that you’d like featured on the SOLAR Ray Blog, please email solarcommunications@solaroutdoors.org

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