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Thursday, September 22, 2016

IATNL UltramaTrex Day 2: Molly Ann Gulch to Gulch Near Serpentine Valley

August 28, 2016
~14 miles

We awoke to a pleasant morning.  We didn't even need the rain fly during the night, but there was some condensation on the tent.

It's hard for me to think of a campsite with a better view.

Today's hike was all off-trail and unmarked. We began the hike over to Rope Cove Canyon with views of Molly Ann Gulch from different perspectives.

In some places we could see all the way to the ocean.

It was hard to leave such impressive views, but we knew there was going to be quite the spectacular contrast a short distance away at Rope Cove Canyon.

First views of Rope Cove Canyon

Rope Cove Canyon

We continued our trek through the Lewis Hills.

The terrain in this area is so unique!  We had a view back down the Fox Island River Valley.

We decided to go explore the Bud's Pond area.

More interesting rocks!

There were many streams and waterfalls along the route.

We reached our first views of Serpentine Valley.

There was an impressive waterfall pouring down into the valley.

Serpentine Valley

We could see the Serpentine River down below.

We could also see Simms Brook Gulch, which we would hike up the next day.

We climbed up for a great view of Serpentine Lake down below.

Serpentine River

We did have to navigate through some tuckamore at times.  Planning our route in advance helped ease the difficulty, but some bushwhacking was inevitable.

We reached another gulch (unsure if it has a name) and the route indicated that we would descend through it and then go around the edge of it to the base of anther gulch.

It was a significant descent but not that steep.

Looking back up the gulch

We did do a little scrambling at times.

There were some interesting flowers.

We reach the end of the gulch and trekked around it with a stretch of easy hiking.

This area had lots of natural oil.

By this time, it was evening and there were some reflections in some of the many ponds that we hiked past.

We reached the base of the next gulch and decided it was time to set up camp when we found a nice level spot nearby.

The stream from the gulch was quite nice and Andrew decided he couldn't resist it.

Continue to Day 3

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About Me

I've been born and raised in the great state of Michigan. I recently graduated from physical therapy school. I enjoy being active, playing sports, and running. Backpacking has become a great interest as it is a physical challenge that provides many rewarding views and experiences. I strive to make a difference in the lives of those encounter in every day life, on the trail, or even just on this blog. May God bless each of you. Now go find an adventure! It's only a few feet away!