Thursday, 23 August 2007
Near the northern end of the Old Manistique Road that wends its way along the south side of the Manistique swamp from Germfask down toward Lake Michigan is a lovely State Forest park at the confluence of Mead Creek with the Manistique.
Although all the road-straightening and bridge improvements have removed some of the winding woods-road charm, this route remains one of my favorites. We almost always make a short stop at Mead Creek to admire the river, especially the reflections of the treeline. Sometimes we can even find a few berries to browse on, too.
This week when we stopped we found the latest change. The tiny campground loop is barricaded and marked with red “CLOSED” signs, surely a casualty of the budget-tightening afflicting the State.
This clump of birches (etc.) remain mute witnesses to the days when campers built smokey fires on this bluff, waiting for the coffee water to boil so they could head out for some early morning fishing along the bank carrying a full thermos. See the peeled bark on the right-most tree? Evidence.
Water levels are low along these reaches of the Manistique, too, although the sprinkles we got yesterday and fogginess that continued this morning brought dew, a very modest relief. So, the sun hasn’t extracted as much from the plants and soil lately, but the deficit still means the UP is dry dry dry.
At the same time we hear about flooding in northern Ohio and in I believe MN/WI, which aren’t that far away.