Some people have a home on a lake, a rustic cabin in the mountain; we have a favorite place in Lake County.  It is called Rockwell Lake Lodge and it is located on over 600 acres on Hillsdale College’s G.H. Gordon Biological Station in Luther, Michigan.  You can swim, fish, hike, and last year we saw a black bear mom and cub.  The rooms are first class.  Breakfast and dinner are extraordinary prepared by a master chef.  One is treated like royalty.  And it is reasonable.  We spent Thursday and Friday evening there with friends.

On Friday, we researched how close the North Country Trail was to the Lodge, only 15 miles.  It took an hour of going up and down some roads to find it.  My friend, Ron, and I walked 3.2 miles from Five Mile to Three Mile Road, south, through the forest…and back.  Then I walked another mile to Loon Lake.  It was not until the next morning while fishing on Rockwell Lake that we saw up close, several Loons.

I wore a new pair of Cabala’s hiking shoes and came back with one of the most nasty of blisters on my right heel.  It might take a couple of trips to break in these puppies.

The first mile had an undergrowth of white flowering Service Berry Trees, then solid white pine and a lot of hardwood, Red and White Oak, still stark naked, limbs with no leaves and few buds.   It was so quiet in the forest.  There was absolutely no sound except our own breathing.  This is true lumber country.

During the logging boom of the mid to late 1800’s, timber taken from this area was transported to Manistee and Ludington on an extensive system of lakes and rivers.  Lake County alone has over 200 lakes, hundreds of miles of rivers, and thousands of miles of pristine forest…and mental health.  It is estimated the average distance a rural family in Africa has to walk to obtain their drinking and bathing water is one quarter of a mile and in the dry season sometimes as far as a good hour walking or 2-3 miles.

Until next time,


Note: Lou is hoping to walk 500 miles in 2016 and each year thereafter until completing the trail.  It is a way to remember the tens of thousands of women and children that have to walk long distances each day to obtain drinking water.  He is seeking to raise $100,000 annually for the delivery of water filters for clean and safe water to be provided in a sustainable business model to the most needy of the world.  Check out his blog at


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