Rochester Hills PCT Bike & Hike Club

February 3, 2007
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Saturday February 3, 2007 was another perfect day for a winter hike.  It was a cold day, a very cold day.  Matter of fact I believe this may have been the coldest weekend day of the winter thus far.  The temperature was an even zero degrees with a wind chill of -10 deg F when we started.  Needless to say it would be important to dress warm for this hike.  

Since we have been hiking so much lately we officially changed the name of our club from the Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club to the Rochester Hills PCT Bike & Hike Club.  Who knows, we may have to do another name change in the future to some how incorporate the kayaking we do as well.  But, for now we are officially know as the Rochester Hills PCT Bike & Hike Club. 

Joining me again this day were Bob, Pete and Steve.  Since we went out to Stoney Creek for our last couple of hikes we decided to something a little different this day.  Our plan was to end up at the Sage Brush Cantina for lunch so we decided to hike around the Lake Orion area.  I missed my son Maxís basketball game last weekend so I needed to be sure and finish this hike and get home in time to take Max to his game in the early afternoon.  I planned out this hike down to the minute to make sure I was on time.  Pete was supposed to pick us up at 9:30 am.  I wasnít taking any chances and I called Pete at 9:00 am to make sure he was awake and moving.  Lucky I called or we would have been starting right off the bat late, Pete sounded like he was still half asleep when he answered the phone.  

Pete drove and we parked the car in a small lot right next to Paint Creek Trail (PCT) off Clarkston Road.  This way we could hike north on the trail into Lake Orion and walk around town before stopping for lunch and then do the short hike back down the trail to Peteís car after lunch.  These small parking lots are purposely located next to the trail so people that donít live close to the trail can still easily access it for their enjoyment.  We are lucky to live close enough when we are riding our bikes to get to the trail without the use of a car.  But, on days like this where we are hiking, it is nice to be able to drive and park so close to the trail. 

Again, Steve brought his camera, so needless to say we have many pictures and videos to share.  Matter of fact we have enough pictures and videos that if you take the time to look at them all you will feel like you did this hike and had lunch with us.  I have created a separate page for all the pictures.  I will put the link to the pictures at the bottom of this page.  Quoting the famous Yogi Berra, ďThis is like deja vu all over again.Ē 

We walked straight to the Sage Brush to see what time they opened.  They were already open at 11:00 am when we showed up.  We all agreed it was still too early for lunch so we kept hiking.  I put on an extra layer, a wool sweater for this hike.  I was plenty warm and actually feeling comfortable up to this point.  After leaving the Sage Brush we walked across Lapeer and toward Lake Orion, not the city but the actual Lake.  Based on our experience last weekend out at Stoney Creek Lake we knew this lake would be completely frozen over. 

When we got close to the lake Bob kept going and hopped right down onto the frozen surface.  Pete took a seat on a bench and was hoping for a rest.  Next I jumped onto the lake and Steve was right behind me.  Now Pete was the only one not out on the lake.  With some coaxing we convinced Pete to follow us and keep moving.  Our club had crossed over into a new area, we had officially become Lake Walkers.  A Lake Walker is some one who goes out and walks across lakes when they are frozen.  Since this was the second weekend in a row we had walked across a frozen lake there was no question we had become Lake Walkers. 

Once we got out into the middle of the lake the wind chill took on a new level.  Without anything to break the wind it was really cold out in the middle of the lake.  Earlier in the hike I had started to warm up and just a few minutes before going onto the lake I had unzipped my top layer jacket a little.  I quickly zipped my jacket back all the way up and was glad I had brought a second hat to wear over my thick hood I was already wearing, for this time out on the lake.  We cut across a short section of the lake, but it felt like we were out over the water a lot longer than we really were due to the cold wind.  Once we cut across we got out at an area that Bob and I are familiar with because it is where we have launched our kayaks during warmer weather earlier in the year.  While we were out on the lake there was a guy zipping around on a snowmobile.  He was really moving, it looked like he was going 50 or 60 mph.  The snowmobile guy got off the lake in the same area as we did and Steve stopped to talk to him for a couple minutes.  He asked Steve how thick the ice was, you would think a guy out riding his snowmobile would be able to tell us the thickness of the ice.  Steve said the guy was going home because his face was too cold.  He wasnít wearing any kind of mask so I can only imagine how cold his face must have been in this frigid weather while traveling at such a high speed. 

Once back on solid ground we headed straight for the Sage Brush.  We still had a nice walk to get back to the restaurant.  Pete went on the website and retraced our entire hike from this day.  See the picture below for a satellite view of this hike, click on the thumbnail for a larger view or go to this link.  

My daughter Melissa had come home from college the night before and she made a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  I bagged up a few cookies and brought them with me for desert after lunch.  Pete found out  I was carrying the cookies in the small backpack I was wearing and he bugged me for some during our hike.  I had to keep telling Pete the cookies were for after lunch.  Pete asked me to note in this story that he was officially filing some sort of complaint about me not sharing the cookies while we were out hiking.  Iím not sure who Pete is complaining to, but at least I mention his formal complaint, for what ever it is worth.  

At lunch we all ordered our own version of the super burrito.  The Sage Brush is famous for its super burritos.  They are huge and delicious.  You can order your burrito dry or wet.  When you order it wet you get cheese and sauce spilled over top.  Steve was the only one who ordered his dry and he actually ate his burrito with his hands.  He picked it up and just started taking one large bite after another.  He had to use two hands, there was no way he could balance and eat this monster with one hand.  Steve is a monster when it comes to eating, I think he would have eaten the whole thing until I reminded him about the cookies for desert.  He stopped with about 80% gone to save room for cookies.  I ate almost half of mine and I was totally stuffed.  Everyone enjoyed the cookies as desert and everyone wanted me to pass on thanks to Melissa for making them.  We each ended up with our leftovers in a carry-out box in a bag on the way out. 

We were quite a sight, all four of us carrying our white plastic bags containing our burrito leftovers as we walked back to the trail and then down the trail to where Pete had parked his car.  Our timing was perfect.  I made it home just in time to take Max to his basketball game. 

Here is the link to the many pictures Steve took on this day.  Again, I edited out a few of the duplicates to make it a more manageable quantity.  Iím sure you will agree we still ended up with enough pictures to get a good feel of this hike.   This link is for the videos. 

Following are the statistics from this hike, exactly 4.07 miles before lunch, 1.77 miles after and 5.83 total miles thanks to Pete taking the time to re-create our entire route and come up with this accurate statistic.  
David Lindquist 

Satellite view of our route
pete03.jpg (1043 bytes) Please don't forget to visit Pete's Excellent Home Page -
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