Girls Gone Michigan

North Country Trail
                  

Almost every summer I go visit my dad and family for a week in Michigan at their house on Gun Lake. The lake is surrounded by Yankee Springs State Recreation Area, which has enough trails to host a trail marathon. The North Country Trail also runs through the park. I only became familiar with the North Country Trail a few years ago, when dad and I were looking for a new trail to run. It passes through 7 states: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota and is the longest of the 11 National Scenic Trails at ~2,800 miles. After discovering and running it a few years ago, I have wanted Susan to come visit Michigan and run it with us. 

Susan, dad and me trying to do a selfie

Susan has become part of our family, so convincing her to come wasn't hard. My step-sister, Gretchen spends the summer at the lake with her 2 sons, Alex (12) and Jake (8). My dad and stepmom being like most grandparents have done a good job of spoiling the boys, so the house and lake are a haven for boys. We knew Susan's son Leif would be right at home. Leif hit it off with Alex and Jake, but especially Jake, who had fun being a big brother to Leif. With built in baby sitting it made it easy for us to sneak off for a few trail runs with Dad and Gretchen. 

After our rainy run with Gretchen
We ended up running around 35 miles while Susan was visiting. We got lost the first day, ran in the rain twice, laughed at the Michigan "hills", and got too many mosquitoes bites to count. 

Gretchen's new tattoo
We also got the chance to drink some good Michigan beers, check out the food scene in Grand Rapids, help Gretchen design her new tattoo and spend time just hanging out at the lake. I sure hope Susan and Leif visiting becomes an annual tradition. 


One of the trails in the park

Dad photobombing me
Stop, watch for oncoming runners
North Country Trail marker

North Country Trail Log



We had to sign the trail log




Scenery changes

Scenery changes again
Leif and Jake

Running shirt at Founders Brewing

One of many wooded foot paths in the park

Trail markers on the North Country Trail






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