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Old 07-17-2010, 11:39 AM   #1
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chipmunk Porky Pine Mountains and beyond....

Equill and I shared a great trip to Michigans Porky pine mountains.....
All except for one itty bitty moment when we feared for our lives clinging to the side of the mountain with a raging river full of waterfalls below waiting to suck us away
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:42 AM   #2
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Wow! You two sound fearless! Should we call you Thelma and Louise? j/k
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:43 AM   #3
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We created nicknames for the trip....
She (Equill) took on the name, Norman and I (Havalotta) became Ralph - To call attention to one other while out in the field...
"Hey Ralph, come and take a look at THIS!"
"NORMAN..... You forgot the pepper spray!"
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:54 AM   #4
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Ralph and Norman will work. We're not fearless.... trust me.... we're not. I was doing fine on that trail until.... Ralph baby there made some comments about maybe turning back or something since it'd been raining and was kinda slick and then she went and started pointing out the sheer drop. Whoa.... didn't notice that before I started following her OR I would have gone back the other way.

I don't like trails that give me an adrenaline rush anymore. That trail narrowed down to like 8" and that is no exaggeration. And it'd been raining for a few days so it was slick. It was supposed to be a shortcut to get out of taking the route up that didn't have much to hang onto. The route up wasn't that bad.... really.... it wasn't and the worst that could have happened to us is one of us could have ended up with a twisted ankle but we were sorta burnt out in the heat and it was getting late so we got half way up then snapped some photos and turned around to take the "short cut". It was like 90F and we were pretty sure the shortcut was the "lazy man's" route. Wrong.....

We took that short cut and half way to solid ground..... Ralph points out those raging river waters right after we'd read the sign about undertows. Not that undertows would have mattered much because our skulls and every bone in our bodies would have been broken bouncing off rocks all the way down to drown. Anywhooo.... we figured out neither one of us had enough room to turn around and go back and that was WITHOUT backpacks on our backs.

Both of us are pretty much deafer than doornails so we have to see each other's faces to talk. I thought she'd said turn back. What she'd said was we COULDN'T turn back. I ended up plastered against the rock trying. Sometimes you just gotta laugh.

Porky Pine Mountain adventures-dscf8504.jpg
This was the rout we chose not to take...
(Sorry Equill ,Your original photo wouldn't transfer so I entered one of the same trail)
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:58 AM   #5
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Gee Equill, You described that so well I feel like I just LIVED it.
As I sit here and think about it, I KNOW it was one of the most idiotic things I've ever done.....

The trail lead to another visible waterfall off in the distance upriver. It starts out real nice, level and wide from frequent use. In no time at all it peters out into like she said, an 8" trail. Up ahead I see an area where someone added a few boards to level part of the path...I tapped it a few times with my foot to see if it was stable.... Seemed to be. So far so good.

Right after the rinky dink repair the trail took a new twist..... We are now traversing on a 45 degree angle mountainside with a trail to match. We're literally sticking to it like a couple of mountain goats and then I see it!

Scritchmarks! Apparently some fool just like us had traveled that very same trail and SLIPPED in the glossy moist clay. That's when I said...."I don't know about this" and pointed to the river below....

Porky Pine Mountain adventures-dscf8516.jpg
There's NOT ONE tree on the downward side to grab should you slip and fall....down, down, down, into the raging river below. The trail was too narrow, slanted and slick to turn around on and head back...We HAD to go on.

I dread to think about the what ifs of that adventure... Neither one of us dared taking photos.
To do so would have been a sure tumble to deaths door...
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:00 PM   #6
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Thank God I never heard you say word one about the scritchmarks.... I saw those and decided no way did I want to think about them.... or point them out to you since I knew you didn't know how to swim. I figured if I ignored them we'd get them behind us faster.

There was a partial gym shoe print over to the right before you could see where the person went over and that definitely had me sweating bullets. There is no way that person didn't go over. There was NOTHING to grab onto unless they were with another person and that would mean two went over. I've seen where people survived worse without ending up in traction so who knows.... maybe they decided to push away and leap taking their chances in the water instead of ending up splattered down the rock.

I thought about what I'd do if you slipped which was why.... I took my camera from around my neck and started carrying it by hand. I didn't want it around my neck if I had to go in. What's done is done.... the trail was only marked moderate difficulty so how we were we supposed to know we'd end up on a slippery and sloped trail narrower than our rear ends for a 30' stretch? My husband had a few choice comments.... did yours?
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:05 PM   #7
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Thank God I never heard you say word one about the scritchmarks.... I decided no way did I want to point them out to you since I knew you didn't know how to swim
I know how to swim extreamly well. I practically lived in the water until my balance mechanism in my ears went out. I immediately go into Vertigo when I go under and cannot tell where the surface is. You kinda need that for breathing.....I know I could drown REAL easy. You could see my love for the water still exists.....You recall the incident?

Equill
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There was a partial gym shoe print over to the right before you could see where the person went over and that definitely had me sweating bullets.
I DID wonder if someone slipped and fell into the river below. We'll never know ....

Equill
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I thought about what I'd do if you slipped
I thought the same thing about you too. There was no way one could have made it down that steep of a hill without falling in as well.
About all one could do is turn around and hustle on down that treacherous trail to throw a huge log in for riding it out. I seriously think I would have drowned!

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My husband had a few choice comments.... did yours?
Don't recall mentioning that adventure to him... He did take interest in the Mysterious Paulding lights story though....
THAT, however is just another story in the adventures of Norman and Ralph......
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:53 PM   #8
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You two guys (Ralph and Norman) are a bloomin' scream! Good thing I wasn't along with my bad sense of footing, we'd all be swimming away!

btw, the Chamber of Commerce has turned down your application as tour guides!
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:06 PM   #9
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"I know how to swim extreamly well." And here I took my camera off from around my neck so I wouldn't get strangled if I had to jump in after you because I thought you said you'd drown because you didn't know how to swim. Let's face it.... your balance mechanism and mine are totally out of whack because we're not too great in the hearing department these days.... sheesh.... we can't even hear each other unless we're looking straight at each other. As far as I'm concerned.... I think it's funny. You have to admit we have some pretty good conversations replying to things we thought the other one of us said only to bust a gut when we find out the other one said something totally different and it's really a great thing in hotels because we can sleep through all the partiers banging and chugging away in the room next to us totally oblivious. You and me can ignore our kids really easily if we turn away.... now that's a definite bonus!!! You have to admit.... there are benefits and things could be a lot worse.... we could be in wheel chairs stuck on paved paths and level boardwalks whizzing away with all the good "stuff" to take photos of just out of our reach. Sage> Say whaaaaaaaaaaat.... define tour guide flunkie for me??? I thought we did a wunnerful wunnerful job getting over onto level ground. Why we should be elevated to five star tour guide status just for having mountain goat qualities... reminding self never to go on any trail that is narrower than my rear end or a slippery trail sloped toward an edge ever ever again in my life!!!
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:22 PM   #10
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Ski The Porkies, Porcupine Mountain State Park, Western Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Wow! I haven't heard of the Porky Pines for nearly 50 years! Brings back mem- oh- ries!
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