Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sylvania Wilderness 2017 Part I: Loons, Lakes, and Love

Time in the wilderness is good for our family. It brings us closer together, and closer to nature. For our first wilderness adventure of 2017, we headed north to the Sylvania Wilderness in the Ottawa National Forest in Upper Michigan near Watersmeet. What a luxury to get away from the distraction of work, school, homework, electronics, and evening conference calls. On this trip, I showered my family with attention. I don't care if the mosquitoes bit or how much it rained, I enjoyed every minute with my family in this wonderful place, the Sylvania Wilderness.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Delafield Segment of the IAT

I felt the warm April sun and delighted at the smell of  bacon frying as I walked through downtown Delafield, a charming historic trail-town along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT). I found downtown Delafiled to be a wonderful spot to relax and click a few photographs. The new route along the Wisconsin Veterans Memorial River Walk (in place of walking along Main Street) proved equally delightful. The river walk provides a stretch through a marshy area as well as a walk through history with the war memorials along the Bark River.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Lapham Peak Segment of the Ice Age Trail

The Lapham Peak Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT) is not far off the beaten track, and along much of trail the rumbling of traffic is heard in the distance. Part multi-use trail and part footpath, this segment carries the hiker through forested areas as well as restored prairies, with the majority of this segment within sight or earshot of civilization.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hiking the IAT through Rock County

Smell honeysuckle's sweet orange scent along urban bicycle trails. Take in the colorful, ornate architecture in small town Wisconsin. Spot turkeys along quiet country roads. Hear warning honks as mama geese hustle goslings away from passersby along the shore of the Rock River. The Ice Age Trail through Rock County awaits. With each season the trail renews itself, with sections I've hiked in the past made new by the change in seasons.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hiking Walworth and Jefferson Counties on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail

The hills, eskers, and kettes of the Southern Kettle Moraine area drew me in. I hiked over slippery ice, through rain and fog, and on days with frigid temperatures...I couldn't get enough. The quiet enveloped me. Winter in Southern Wisconsin is truly a magical time.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Clothing System for Winter Hikes in Southern Wisconsin

The information and video featured in this post show my layered clothing system for winter hikes in Southern Wisconsin. Footage was shot along various segments of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT). Warmer clothing than shown here is required for camping or extended periods time in the outdoors, this clothing system is what I wear for active winter day hikes.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Waterville Segment of the Ice Age Trail

On a gray March morning, I parked at the UW Waukesha Field Station and stepped from my car to hear sandhill cranes for the first time this year.  As I stepped from the car to hike the Waterville Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT), I noticed the signs. Unauthorized parking from sunset to sunrise is not permitted at the field station. Shortly after I began to hike, the sun  slid over the horizon. Problem resolved. With the Glacial Drumlin trail and IAT meeting at the field station, the area at the field station tends to be very busy with dog walkers. I felt happy to head South to the IAT for a quieter walk.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Footwear for Icy Winter Hiking


So many choices, where to begin when selecting footwear for winter hiking? Consideration of the terrain and weather conditions take priority. Lately I've been section hiking the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT) in Southern Wisconsin. Icy hills, temperatures between F(-18°C) and 32°F(0°C), and hard-packed ice with snow (typically of less than 6 inches / 15 cm deep) comprise the main considerations when day hiking the IAT in this area. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Scuppernong Segment of the Ice Age Trail and Connecting Route to the Waterville Segment.

Since the temperatures hovered near freezing, I waited for the downpour to slow to a light rain, before heading up the Scuppernong Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT). By the end the hike, a brand new day had appeared with blue skies and sunshine for miles. Geese flew north. Their cacophony disarmed me after the miles of silent winter hiking, a welcome clamor nonetheless bringing with it the promise of springtime.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Eagle Segment of the Ice Age Trail

After parking in the Ice Age Trail trailhead parking area on State Highway 67 just north of Eagle, Wisconsin, I headed up the Eagle Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT). An owl hooted as I hurried down the trail trying to warm myself against the cold. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Stony Ridge Segment of the Ice Age Trail

Snow fell softly as I hiked the Stony Ridge Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. A cold, quiet day, I had the trail and my thoughts to myself, but did see campers at the backpacking shelter.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Blue Spring Lake Segment of the Ice Age Trail

Greeted by cold stillness, I headed up the Blue Spring Lake Segment of Ice Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT) early one cold January morning. Just when I felt enveloped by silence, the hoot of an owl startled me raising my heart rate to about double. No matter how many hikes and camping trips I take, I don't ever seem to lose my jumpiness at sounds in the darkness.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Sylvania Wilderness 2016 - Part 2

Mama's Basecamp proudly presents the second and final part of our Sylvania Wilderness 2016 video series. With summer in the distant past, it feels great to relive the moments and dream of paddle trips to come. Part 1 of this series documents our time at Eagle 1 Campsite on Loon Lake, and Part 2 documents our paddle to Birch Campsite on Clark Lake.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Blackhawk Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail

Bundled up in a down parka and fleece, I headed out on a cold January morning to explore the Blackhawk Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. After parking at the Highway 12 trail head near Whitewater Wisconsin, I headed down towards Lake La Grange where the trail opened up through a relatively open area. I put on Yak Trax over water proof trail runners and used trekking poles to prevent falling on the hard-packed ice.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Syvania Wilderness 2016: Part I


Yes, I know. It's taken me entirely too long to find the time to put together our canoe tripping videos from last summers outings. I'm excited to present the first of these after long last, part 1 of a two part series focussed on our 2016 camping trips to the Sylvania Wilderness. In this video, we put in on Clark Lake and paddle and portage over to Loon Lake. I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Whitewater Lake Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail

Looked forward all week to the weekend photographing the scenic vistas along the Whitewater Lake Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail (IAT). Thought I'd get some excellent sunrise photos, and arrived early to make it happen. As things go, the weather had other ideas. Overcast skies made for a gray morning. That said, this lovely stretch of trail thrills the senses even on the grayest of days.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Connecting Route between the Clover Valley Segment and Whitewater Lake Segment of the Ice Age Trail

On a glorious, sunny December day, I hiked the connecting route between the Clover Valley and Whitewater Lake Segments of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. This connecting route runs 5 miles (8 km) through Walworth County near Whitewater, Wisconsin.