Rochester Hills PCT Bike & Hike Club

March 25, 2007
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Sunday March 25, 2007 after having done an indoor mall walk the day before Bob and I were looking forward to getting outside this day.  We decided to hike Paint Creek Trail (PCT) this morning.  The weather was much nicer than the rainy day before, matter of fact it was an absolutely perfect day for a hike on the trail.  Sunny and not hot, but not cold, just a nice temperature in the high 50s to low 60s. 

Bob drove and he picked me up around 9:45 am and we went to the parking lot off Tienken right next to the trail.  Once we got out of the van our next decision was whether to head north or south.  We thought about it for a minute and started north.  We figured we would just go north how ever far we felt like going and then turn around and head back to the van for the second half of our hike.  Knowing there arenít any places to eat along the trail unless we go all the way into Lake Orion we figured we would just drive somewhere for lunch at the end of our hike. 

When we got to the Gallagher Road crossing we happened to notice a Subway fast food place off to the east.  Because the trees donít have leaves yet we can see stuff off in the distance we normally canít see when out on the trail.  We had been walking for a while and I was ready to eat lunch.  We both agreed to hop off the trail and head over the short distance to the small shopping center across Orion Road where we saw the Subway.  When we got there it was open and without hesitation we decided to stop in for lunch.  This way we wouldnít have to drive some place for lunch after we got back to the van, we could just head straight home.   

Subway has a new menu item they call the healthy fresh combination.  You get a small sub of your choice, and bottle water or low fat milk to drink and raisins or apple slices.  We both order a healthy fresh combo.  I got mine with a ham and turkey sub, apples and milk.  Bob got a vegetarian sub, apples and water.  We didnít have to wait when we showed up, there wasnít a line.  A young couple showed up a few minutes after we sat down to eat.  They had a one kid, a 3 or 4 year old boy.  I think they ordered the boy a kidís pizza because the girl working behind the counter started making some sort of pizza.  For some reason the sauce she used for this pizza really smelled bad to me.  I was glad we were close to being done when she started making this pizza.  I couldnít sit in there any longer with that smell.  

I was surprised how tasty and fresh the apple slices were that came in the small sealed plastic bag.  They must put something on these apples to keep them from going bad, they werenít even turning brown, quite amazing.  I should check in the apple bagging process to see how it is done. 

After our lunch we headed back to the trail for our return trip south to where we parked.  On the way back we noticed how high the water level seemed to be in the river that runs along side the trail.  Must be the last of the winter snow melt and the recent rain showers have increased the water table in the area.  In addition to the level being on the high side the current flow also seems faster than normal.  Maybe these two things go together, level and current flow.  We talked about what a nice river this would be to kayak on if it wasnít for the frequent amount of fallen trees and large branches that block the entire width.  We have kayaked in places where you spend more time pulling your kayak out of the water and walking around the obstructions as you do actually floating in the kayak.  The river in this area has obstructions quite often in many locations. 

About half way back to Tienken I noticed a couple small woodpeckers in a tree right along the trail edge.  They were Downey woodpeckers which seem to be more abundant the past couple years.  Or, maybe I am just noticing them more because I have been outside a lot more often the past couple years.  Either way it is nice that a bird as unique and pretty as the Downey woodpecker is so easily sighted in the Rochester Hills area. 

I wasnít sure how far we had walked this day so I went on the old web site and mapped out our route to get the distance.  We did 5.5 miles total from start to finish, not a bad hike at all.  I did take a couple pictures with my phone this day and they are posted below.
David Lindquist 


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