I've been home for 5 days, now, and I've struggled with why I failed, why failure isn't the right word, and what I managed to do.
Over the next week, I'm going to do a write up of my trip, both to help myself further digest what happened and to share the pictures I took with all of my friends :)
For a little tease of things to come:
I sent my bucket out to Muir Trail Ranch with the expectations of being there 3 weeks from yesterday. That will be my approximate halfway point on the JMT, and I'll be leaving there with about 15 lbs of food.
One more resupply to set up and mail out to Red's Meadow (which I'll be doing this evening).
I got a new piece of gear -- a GoPro camera, and I'm slowly trying to figure out exactly how to use it.
This next week is going to be about trimming gear to get lighter practicing setting up my tent (using rocks & extended guy lines) as well as packing my pack a few times, and getting out once or twice more for some short hikes with my pack on.
No pictures for this one, but I'll have another prep post soon.
On Saturday I did a short 7 mile jaunt around Lapham Peak with my sister and her boyfriend. They were camped overnight on the Ice Age Trail backpacking campsite and I wandered down and met them there.
After which we proceeded to hike the IAT south until we joined one of the wide cross-country ski trails. Wandering the black section of ski trail, we encounted some pretty big rolling hills.
If you're one of the people who actually ski it... more power to ya.
Once we completed that loop and wandered back up to the tower, I drove my car out to the west side of the park while the other two of my party wandered West down the Ice Age Trail. I wanted to show them the little-seen meadow section of the IAT in the park.
While I wandered back towards them from the West end of the park, the long grasses and wild flowers were amazingly pretty. The breeze kicked up compared to when we were in the woods and the air felt less like breathing sticky water, and more like actually breathing air.
The coolest part of the hike for me, however, was definitely the gigantic Monarch butterflies which were flying around. Sadly, I forgot my good camera and couldn't snap a decent picture of them with my phone.
After the hike, we went over to the Delafield Brewhaus for a beverage and a burger. Delicious food and good times were had.
I ran into some of the locals while I was cruising along, getting used to my new PacerPoles and had to stop and take a picture or two.
About a mile in, the trail splits, and I decided to wander the "nature path" which was much narrower (compared to the wide-open ski trails) and gave me a bit of a better workout.
A half mile after that, the nature trail rejoins the wide open loops. My time cut short, I beelined for the observatory tower to snap a few pictures from the top.
Another mile and a half later, I was back at my car and on the road... a little over an hour, 3 miles of walking, and happy I'd gotten outside.
Took a brief jaunt on Tuesday after work, wandered 3 miles in the Pike Lake segment of the Kettle Moraine State Park. Lots of nice little hills, narrow nature trail walking and a beautiful observatory tower which gives a great view of the lake and gives you a peek at Holy Hill to the south.
There are quite a few loop trails in the park, ranging from 2.5 miles up to a 5 mile loop. A portion of the Ice Age Trail also runs through the park (and overlaps these loops).
Post Sunday Tailgate, I went out with a couple friends for a late afternoon hike. We did just shy of 6 miles, starting near North Lake, WI and hiking the Monches segment of the Ice Age Trail.
We trucked the nearly 6 miles in just over 2 hours. We were moving at a pretty good clip (considering we had 2 dogs, and numerous stops for photos).
The segment spent most of the time along the darting in and out of view of the stream running between a couple of millponds.
A couple really pretty boardwalks kept our feet dry, as did a really nice log bridge.
The trail was amazingly peaceful as the sun was setting, and we didn't see anyone else hiking that evening. Once we crossed the highway intersection, we slowly climbed up onto the ridge, and then dropped down to the river again.
After zig-zagging around some farmland (the Ice Age Trail has a ton of private lands which gracious people have allowed the trail to go through), and a short roadwalk we found ourselves walking up on a ridge, with a great view of Holy Hill.
I snapped a couple of pictures, wishing I had a better camera, as the sun on the church looked absolutely spectacular. We made it back to the car just short of darkness, split ourselves an ice cold Hamms (left over from the tailgate) and then headed our separate ways.
Kid A is an avid hiker, backpacker and outdoors enthusiast located in Milwaukee