Took a friend to one of my favorite hiking spots....
Had a wonderful hike with my friend Mo and her furry friend Manny through Lion's Den Gorge...
On a warm(ish) winter Sunday, I finally got my butt back out on the trail. Thankfully had 4 wonderful companions, one of whom was an energetic little dog.
I guided my companions out west of Milwaukee, to the Emma Carlin trails, which, during the summer months, are flooded with mountain bikers. We only saw one fat-tire biker heading into the hills at the trailhead, didn't see anyone else the rest of the time.
It was great to see this little spot without the trees, the views peeked as the mountain biking trails took us up and down ridges.
We walked the Emma Carlin trails for about 3 miles, then cut cross country (hooray, off trail!) and linked up with the Ice Age trail, hiking a mile or so of trail I'd hiked this summer.
Watching Artie (the dog) rushing around between our group, making sure none of us got too separated was a good time. He'd tear off through the brush, spot one of us, then rush back to the rest of the group to let us know everything was okay.
All in all, it was a good, relaxing day.... a short hike that really satisfied my need to wander.
With this amazing Wisconsin weather (for December), I decided to get outside and wander today. My friend Amy decided to join and the two of us had an amazing little 4ish mile wander into the woods near Holy Hill.
As we wandered through the Holy Hill area, we climbed up on one of the blue-blaze side trails to the "Glacial Errata" This trial took us high up onto a moraine and gave some outstanding views. It's one of my favorite sections of the Ice Age Trail as a result.
We wandered through the woods and had a wonderful time just being outdoors in the beautiful weather. As we wandered down from the high point of the hike, the trail became very smooth and just wandered through the trees. It was the first time I'd hiked this section without leaves covering everything up and it allowed for some spectacular views.
On the walk back, we took the Yellow Blazes and wandered by a small frozen pool of water... I was a bit surprised that anything was iced over. Clearly it was colder there than it was in Milwaukee the last couple days!
All in all, the time outside was needed. I didn't really realize it until I was out there. A couple quiet and beautiful hours spent outdoors.
Spent Sunday morning/early afternoon wandering the ~7 mile segment from the Emma Carlin trailhead to Bald Bluff with my buddy Rick.
It couldn't have been a more perfect day to hike, upper 50's and a crisp, beautiful blue sky, and I was hiking a completely new segment of the Ice Age Trail for me.
While most of the trees were still mostly green, the Ash (I think) were a stunning golden.
We kept walking, up hills, down valleys, spotting a neat little pond, completely green with algae.
It was such a bright day, even being beneath the trees, everything was bright. It was a difficult thing to capture in pictures, but it was almost as though the woods were dancing with the sunshine.
Every time the breeze blew, the shadows seemed to disappear and the sun peeked through even farther. It was clear to me, I needed this day to wander... and even though my calf started bugging me midway through the hike, it felt so good to be outside.
We came upon a knife-like ridge as we wandered up, a really cool feature you don't see much in Wisconsin, and the trail wandered along it for a couple hundred yards. Looked like a lot of trail work had been done there, and it was a really cool little stretch of trail.
Of course, right after this stretch, there was another amazing golden Ash tree, and I couldn't help but snap a few pictures of it.
As we passed the halfway point, and the horse campground, we came upon the world famous Stone Elephant -- although I have no idea how it got that name, and I doubt it's world famous.
After searching a bit online, hoping to figure out the origin of the name (no luck on that, but it apparently used to be an important spot for the Potowotomi Indians), I will say it's amazing how different the spot looked than even 5 years ago, the amount of undergrowth is crazy.
We continued walking enjoying the scenery, and finally slowly began to climb up a long stretch of trail. Suddenly popping out from the woods and finding ourselves on Bald Bluff, with a very pretty view to the Southwest.
Kid A is an avid hiker, backpacker and outdoors enthusiast located in Milwaukee