It was tough getting out of Lowell, MI and heading North. I initially went South thinking it was North. Then I could not find the marked trail out of town. I ended up talking to the Oak Wood Cemetery care taker to find the right road. It got me to the trail marker. Instead of walking further down the road, I turned down the marked path and ended up back in Lowell. An hour had gone by and I was right where I had started…back at the cemetery. Had I turned left instead of right, as he instructed, I would have been on the right trail.
Ninety minutes later, I was on the proper trail, on the Lowell State Game land and in the quiet and solitude I cherish. Not a sound. Not even the crinkle of dry leaves as a chipmunk scurries away. My goal was to reach Fallasburg, at least it was a marked town on the map. What I did not realize was that it is a Ghost town. There are only about six remaining houses standing that has been build in the 1830s and 40s. At one time this place was bigger than Lowell and had a church, post office, three blacksmiths, a general store, grist mill, furniture factory, and saw mill. In the Spring logs were floated down the Flat River. It was thriving.
The main Grand Rapids to Detroit road went through Fallasburg. A cover bridge was built over the river, four of them, as they often got washed out in the Spring thaw and overflowing river. The present covered bridge was built in 1870 and still is in use. Total cost of construction was $1,500.
The railroad eventually was built and it went through Lowell. By 1940 Fallasburg was a memory. What remains is the covered bridge, a couple of picnic tables and a wedding party having pictures taken.
This was my first long walk (10 plus miles) in some time. Total miles completed on the North Country Trail is now 54.6 miles, only 4,546 to go. My feet hurt and I was needing water. Jan picked me up and we went to the Flat River Grill Lowell for a wonderful meal. I had Brussel sprouts with stuffed chicken breast. Then I phoned Ron and Dorothy. They joined us with their friends Armond and Jane. We had a great time, terrific conversation. The shower felt so good when we got home. Oh, did I mention we stopped at the Jamestown ice cream shop for a small hot fudge Sunday.
It is now Sunday morning. I am reading Soul Keeping by John Ortberg. On page 136 it says, “The space where we find rest and healing for our souls in solitude.” I read that this morning and I said to myself “Oh yea, that is what I did yesterday!” I love being alone in the woods.