When Starting the outdoor company I was about 10 years removed from hanging out in the woods. On a impulsive decision on a late afternoon in 2007 I decided to go camping. I live in Detroit so the closest trail of substance was the Potawatomi trail in Pinckney State Recreational Area. Home to some great mountain biking trails as well.
I searched on the internet and found that they had a little rustic campground near blind lake that was around 10-12 miles in. I got to the ranger station about 3pm and got a camping permit and was off on the trail. I had to make decent time to get to the trail by nightfall. All told the trail was 17.5 miles.
This is the only 2 day hike with walk-in campground near Detroit. I headed off walking through swamps and wooden bridges, catching glimpses of the occasional crane. It was very quiet as it was a weekday. I crossed a few back roads, a yurt, before making the final hill climb to the site
I set up camp with an hour of daylight to spare and cooked some dinner after setting up my tent. Besides myself there was another group of campers, a guy my age with two teenagers looking for some excitement. We bonded over a fire and I took my new collapsible fishing rod out to give it a shot a blind lake. I came up dry but my new friends caught a few going the fly fishing route. I settled in that night and read a book before waking early at 3am to some loud howling noises.
As day broke I wadded out into the lake and watched the sun rise and tried my hand at fishing. I was again unsuccessful but will not forget the peace and solitude I felt watching the morning fog roll over the lapping waves of the lake.
I was gifted some concentrated eggs from my fellow travelers and set off back to the car on the last 7 miles of the trail. I hung with the team of 3 and talked with the guy my age about how I ended up here and how I was close to finding my purpose but could not quite grasp it yet.
One thing I knew for certain was that hiking was inside me again and although I sleep horribly on the trail, I love the simplicity and peacefulness.
All the best,