It’s hard to believe that I’m halfway done with my MPH – the first year went by too quickly, and the end of the year stress (finals, final projects, etc.) helped it to fly by even more quickly. After finals ended, I noticed something strange – the snow was gone and the weather was gorgeous (lows in the 50’s, highs in the mid-70’s… while winter is brutal it is hard to dislike MI in the spring). Given the nice new weather, I decided to explore MI a bit with another epidemiology student, and we found two nice hikes that were good escapes from Ann Arbor.
One thing that I miss in MI are the hills – I could see mountains from my undergrad and hometown, and when I worked in Germany I was in one of the hillier regions, so MI is oddly flat to me. Since I was used to this terrain, I just assumed that hiking = walking around in hills and mountains, and that hiking around a flat plain wouldn’t be all that much fun. Needless to say, I was wrong. We found a bog near Kalamazoo (yes, that’s a real place name) and decided that it would make for an interesting adventure, seeing as how I’d never seen a bog before. It was a nice change from the hills and mountain streams that I was used to – all of the plants were different, there were more birds, and there were a few snakes and frogs to keep things interesting.
However, the trail was probably the most fun part of the hike. It went right over the bog (I’m not sure how they did it, the plastic boards didn’t seem to be anchored to the ground but they were very stable) and if you moved too quickly you could get a bit wet. We didn’t expect that the trail would fight back, so the first few steps were a bit wetter than we had anticipated, but after getting adjusting for the surprising squirts it was a nice way to cool off and it always made for a nice surprise.
I’ll be heading off to Malawi for my summer internship soon (more on that later), but when I get back to MI I’m looking forward to exploring more of what the state has to offer – especially since I’ll only have one more year to take advantage of it.