The Quiet Area

Today we celebrated EJ’s birthday.

His official birthday isn’t until the end of March, but we have so many fun adventures on my birthday, which is in early October, that we decided we would take turns celebrating our birthdays throughout the year. I mean, seriously, why should we wait?

A trail map on the kiosk at the entrance of the park.

We have wanted to go to Sand Lakes Quiet Area ever since we moved to Northern Michigan so we decided to go today. “Quiet Area” sounds so appealing to us introverts who love quiet and nature! Sand Lakes Quiet Area is about a 3,000-acre tract that is part of the Pere Marquette State Forest. It has miles of trails through beautiful forests and around several lakes. Motorized vehicles are prohibited so it’s very serene and a great place to watch wildlife, hike, bike, or cross-country ski. The weather was in the mid-70s today and the autumn colors were beautiful. Some areas have more color than others, but we think the trees are at or near their peak right now.

We walked through the quiet forest for about 2 1/2 hours. We occasionally encountered others walking or riding their bikes along the trails and we all said a polite “Hello!” as we walked past each other. EJ and I chatted quietly with each other at times, but mostly we just walked silently together and absorbed the peaceful beauty. It was, after all, a “quiet area.” We pretended we would get “shushed” if we spoke too loudly–like at a library.

I love forests. I also love the beauty of the autumn leaves falling like a golden rain. I took several videos of the falling leaves, such as in this video:

When we saw a glimpse of one of the many lakes through the trees, we took a side path down to it. The water of the lake was very clear and rippled to shore.

We took a different path away from the lake and then we weren’t sure what path we were on. One of EJ’s superpowers is a strong sense of direction so while I was totally lost in the woods, he reckoned–correctly–that we were headed in the right direction. We made it to a seasonal road, which means that it’s not plowed in the winter, and walked along it for quite a way until we found the parking lot where we had left our Suburban.

I took several hundred photos. Here are just a few:

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After we left the Quiet Area, we had a few errands to do. We drove to TSC for poultry feed, straw, and some fencing so we can protect our apple trees from the deer this winter. Next we stopped at Joann’s Fabrics because I need a red paint pen to finish (finally!) my sign. We both love Joann’s Fabrics, but the perfumes and scents bothers EJ, so while I was in the store, he went over to the nearby Dunhams to window shop. Then we ate out at Culvers. Our final stop was at Goodwill because EJ needed some new sweatshirts for work.

It was a wonderful day.

Next time it’s my turn to celebrate my birthday! 🙂


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