Literally one year ago (same time and everything) I was on top of “towering” Mount Arvon, Michigan’s highest point, which of course made me the highest person in Michigan.
This was my second attempt to find the “peak” (I’m using quotes because at the top there’s really not much to look at other than trees, you can’t even really tell you’re at the summit of anything) by myself. If I did it again, I definitely wouldn’t go alone, but I didn’t freak out about that until I was on my way back down. You have to take various unmarked logging roads through the bush to get to the base of Mount Arvon, and then it’s another 1/2 mile or so hike up to the top. Here is an excerpt of the instructions to get to the base:
“At 0.7 miles, fork, go straight; 1.8 miles, pass through gravel pit; 2.0 miles, leave gravel
pit at a fork, go straight; 3.0 miles, fork, bear left; 3.4 miles, fork, bear right; 4.0 miles, 4.5
miles and 4.7 miles, forks go straight; 6.1 miles. T-intersection, main road goes left, turn
right, 6.3 miles fork, go left; 6.4 miles, steep incline at the point, fork, go right; 6.8 miles,
fork, go right 7.2 miles go to right. At this point there is a parking lot and there is an
approximately 1/4 mile walk to the summit. A USGS benchmark and mailbox containing
a register will be found on the summit. Return down the mountain the same way.”
So yeah, pretty clear. NOT! The first time I went I got to probably the fork at around 6.8 miles, where I found the road to be impassable due to mud, and was also alarmed by the sound of logging equipment nearby. Not that I’m scared of loggers, but I was alone in the woods, and I was nervous to leave my car where it was in case a logging truck came through while I was hiking. My first attempt was just that, and attempt, but I was happy to at least have tried. So last year I got into geocaching, and I saw that there was a cache atop Mount Arvon! You had to be a premium member to gain access to this cache, which I did because I was like “Holla! This will just GPS me right to the top!” In theory, it would have. But I wasn’t using a GPS device, I was using my phone, which shockingly did not get service in the back woods of L’Anse. Still armed with those great directions above (that I had hand written down) and the knowledge of my first attempt, I ventured on, happy to note that there didn’t appear to be any logging activity on this day. I passed some familiar places (like the gravel pit) watching for the few and far between blue signs pointing toward the base of Mount Arvon. I kept trying to use the GPS on my phone to no avail, but eventually I found myself at the base of the “mountain”!!! I was so excited I did a little happy dance (I was alone in the woods, don’t judge!). But then I had to climb up. According to the directions, it’s a 1/4 mile hike but I swear it was longer. I was quite winded by the time I made the final turn and saw that blue sign:
You better believe I RAN, Amazing Race Pit Stop Style, all the way to that sign, which was actually busted off it’s post, giving me plentiful photo ops (I left it where I found it, hopefully it got repaired). I danced around a bit more, rested on a bench, checked out the fire pit and picnic tables, admired the lack of view, took pics of flowers and a spider, and signed the log book. Then I got down to the business of finding the geocache. I wasn’t expecting to be able to find it, since my phone hadn’t been able to find a signal for quite sometime, and I was honestly just tickled to have found Michigan’s high point at all, but lo and behold a miracle occurred, and my phone got a signal!! I’ll be darned if my caching app didn’t fire right up and lead me to that cache. I guess the highness of the high point was all it needed. I was so excited to find the cache; I happily signed it, wishing all future signers a very happy day, and I left some swag (Stuff We All Get, geocachers leave swag in caches to trade with one another) in exchange for this awesome whistle, which I plan to blow commemorative-ly at the approximate time I found the cache (which is the approximate time this blog will publish):
I just wanted to revisit what I was doing exactly one year ago. This year, today will be spent working, but I will be thinking of my great Mount Arvon adventure and hitting that high point!