I hiked the Valley View Segment of the National Scenic Ice Age Trail and the connecting route to the Madison Segment on a brisk November morning. The Valley View Segment meanders through woods, prairie, and oak savanna, while the road walk on the connecting route is residential for the most part. Although I had planned to push forward onto the Madison Segment, I decided to back track to the car turned back by the penetrating effect of the cold wind.
Greeted by snow frosted trees and fields, I returned to finish the connecting route between the Cross Plains and Valley View Segments of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. This stretch of road offers views of fields, farms, and lovely homes on
streets with stone gates announcing stately neighborhoods - Pheasant
Point, Grand View, Noll Valley and the like. A week's time made quite a difference as last week's unseasonably warm and sunny start gives way to this week's icy finish.
After a wonderful season of camping, backpacking, and canoe tripping, signs of winter approach and I find myself back on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT). Having walked my last road miles in May, and having enjoyed quieter wilderness over the summer, I had nearly forgotten the feel of a road walk. Two time IAT section hiker Jared Wildenradt kindly stopped to offer me a shuttle. I caught myself telling him the cars were scaring the heck out of me. He laughed and said you won't eve notice once you've got a few thousand miles under your belt.
On a cold, wet October Friday night we arrived at High Cliff State Park in the Village of Sherwood, Wisconsin for a weekend Halloween celebration. We reviewed our plan for staying as dry as one can when setting up camp on a dark, rainy night, and due to the steady rain it looked like setup and to sleep early for us. But not so fast.