The North Country: A Day of Snowshoeing
Day Two of this trip was the best. After a hearty breakfast, we drove into the Nicolet National Forest. The roads were snow-covered and slippery. Julia's Subaru was up to the task, but there were a few challenging moments on downhills where all-wheel drive is inconsequential and at the trailhead's unplowed parking lot, where we nearly high-centered.
The parking lot was off of Fournier Road, which appears on the map to the left edge just above center. We were the first on the trail, and we did not see another human in the woods that day.
Like a lot of trails in the National Forest, this one was lightly maintained. We got lost a couple of times, and there were lots of downed trees to clamber over.
We took the Butternut Trail, continuing on Ash Meadow until it looped around to the Gulch. Our plan to take Gulch to the Roller Coaster failed when we couldn't find the continuation of Gulch. Eventually, we had to backtrack on Gulch to Ash Meadow again, where we retraced our steps to Butternut. It was a five mile hike through some fairly deep snow.
After a quick lunch back at the cabin,we drove across the Brule River into the Upper Peninsula. Our destination was Alpha Michigan Brewing, which proclaims that it's the smallest village in America with a brewery.
Interesting trivia, but how was the beer? I'm pleased to report that it was really good. After enjoying a stout and Christmas Wit on the patio (the temp was in the single digits), we took a half-growler of IPA home.
The tap room was closed due to covid, but true northerners don't let the cold interfere with a good beer.