Monday, November 16, 2015

Connecting Route from the IATA Headquarters in Cross Plains to the Valley View Segment of the Ice Age Trail

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.

I showed up with my bike ready to do the approximately 9 mile (14.5 km) segment to segment stretch, and bike back to the car. After seeing the hills and narrow windy roads, I decided to walk. I am a strong walker, but on the bike not so much. I parked at the state park, labeled on Google Maps as the Cross Plains Interpretive Site, and decided to hike to the IATA headquarters and back, take a little break at the car, and then hike to Valley View and back.

My daughter called several times asking for Mama to come home. Despite the mommy guilt, the walk to headquarters happened, but the Valley View walk did not. Perhaps I should have accepted the shuttle from Jared, which would have afforded me time to complete the entire connecting route. When I got back to the car, I felt ready to call it a day. Today's walk out and back ended up 8.7 miles (14 km). It felt good to be on the Ice Age Trail again, even if only on a connecting route. I'm looking forward to more over winter.

Old Sauk Pass Road.

Old Sauk Pass Rd.

Mine at Lake Katherine.

Emu Farm on Hwy P.

Ice Age Trail Alliance Headquarters.

Road walking Hwy P.

The mine on Stagecoach Rd.

Making new friends on the trail.

Still making new friends.

Another quarry.
Map of the day's road walk.

Trail Conditions - A few blind spots due to narrow, windy, hilly stretches of road. Mostly good. Sunny and 53°F (12°C).

Distance Covered Today - 8.7 miles (8.7 km).

Difficulty - Easy with a few hills.

Location - Parked at the state park signs at the Cross Plains Interpretive Site.

Highlights - Views of surrounding hills and farmsteads, emu farm, IATA headquarters.

Total Official Ice Age Trail Miles Completed to Date - Total official Ice Age Trail distance completed 99.3 miles (159 km). Trail 48.2 miles (77 km), connecting route 51.1 miles (82 km).

Total Additional Backtracking Miles Completed - 84.5  miles (135 km). 

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