17 Miles Hiked Today
6 1/4 Hours Hiking Today
2 Phone Calls Regarding My Mother
2 Surprises Involving Nieces
333 New Total of Connected Miles on the Ice Age Trail
Today my goal was to finish the segments of the Ice Age Trail (IAT) in/near Devils Lake State Park (DLSP) in Baraboo, WI. On Mother's Day, Dave, Nate and I did the big loop around Devils Lake, so I chose not to do the challenging West Bluff section again today. The first people I saw on the trail were trail runners on the East Bluff, who burst out with smiles and laughter on seeing my shirt (see picture #1). :) Seriously, people may say I'm nuts, but this couple was RUNNING on the EAST BLUFF at DEVILS LAKE! And I swear I saw them again on the way to Parfrey's Glen.
Found the sign in picture #2 at a non-descript place on top of the East Bluff. No rock near the sign. There was a smallish rock - maybe 2'x2'x1' across the trail. Odd. Of course, I thought of my "Happy Rock", Michigan family. :) Side note to non-Yoopers, "Happy Rock" refers to Gladstone, MI.
Niece Surprise Number 1 - I meet an 11 year-old doppelganger for my niece Megan. The only apparent differences were the age (Megan is 13), hair length (Megan's is shorter) and Megan smiles. :)
Niece Surprise Number 2 - or The Six Degrees of Separation From Hannah Game. Except the degrees of separation in this case is 1. Backstory - there were a lot of school groups at DLSP today. I see a bunch of middle schoolers learning how to rock climb - some have Roscoe Middle School on their sweatshirts. I'm thinking, it can't be that Roscoe since we are way up in central Wisconsin. There must be a Roscoe, WI school group here. Then I see an adult with a Hononegah basketball shirt on. Really? Really! When I lived in Loves Park, IL and worked in the Roscoe area, the only middle school was Kinnickkinnick. I met up with several other groups from RMS - even asked if some of the kids knew of Hannah - many hands were raised. Small world! :)
I saw lots of late spring/early summer wildflowers, including the wild geraniums in picture #3. I thought of you and the . I have a similar picture of short white flowers cascading down to the Rock River along the IAT segment on the way to Devils' Staircase in Janesville, WI.
I saw my first butterflies of the season! :)
Future plans: Finish the IAT in Sauk County. :) Work on any IAT road or trail miles I can on the way up to visit my brother Pat's' family in Algoma. :)
This is were my IAT hiking ended last year - the Eastern edge of DLSP. There is a great trail sign on the IAT just 225' south of South Lake Drive that explains with pictures how Devils Lake was formed, why it is so amazing.