Cold weather is no deterrent once these hikers get going
Cold weather kept the numbers lower than normal on our walks Jan. 22 and Jan. 23. On Tuesday only four of us hiked the white-blazed Muir trail under a waxing gibbous moon. This trail is well protected from the west wind, so we warmed up rather quickly after being a bit cold at the start. It was a great hike, but I left my camera home because I knew it wouldn’t work well in near zero temperatures.
The next day 17 adventurers split up into two groups. Ellen Davis with the shorter distance hike and the fewest numbers hiking reported the following:
“Five of us chose the short hike today and carpooled to the John Muir Trails on County Highway H. After adjusting ice cleats, gloves, hand-warmers, headgear and hiking poles, we set out for a three-mile hike on the white trail. The temperature was in the teens with light wind, so we moved quickly into the shelter of the woods.
Once into the pines, the trail narrowed and we began to encounter occasional patches of ice under a light film of snow. In open areas the ground had thawed and re-froze, retaining the imprinted tracks of hikers, animals and bicycles.
On the far side of the kettle lake the patches of ice were larger and more prevalent. Though by now we were warm, the air was till cold and the snow was slowly beginning to fall. Our small but experienced group was well prepared, and we completed our hike with no mishaps.”
In the meantime the remainder of us started out hiking the same trail, but split off on the rainy dew to the orange, blue and green trails to the extended white trail to add a couple more miles to our adventure.
The thermometer was a few degrees warmer than the evening before and we did warm up faster. We stopped a couple times to munch on chocolates and nuts while reminiscing and relaxing. It was really a nice day for a walk. The trails were strewn with tips of spruce and pine boughs, showing evidence of squirrel activity in the treetops. The scenery was beautiful.
There were a few patches of ice but one could easily walk around them.
When we arrived at the parking lot, I discovered that I had locked my keys in the car and did not have a spare with me. By that time the others had left. A fellow by the name of Pete who was just finishing walking his dogs gave me a ride to the LaGrange Country Store, where I joined the others for lunch. Thank you, Pete! In the meantime I called Karen, my wife, who rescued me with my spare keys. Thank you, Karen!
Happy trekking, Russ
Snowshoe/hike at Beulah Bog, Feb. 16: Meet at 1 p.m. at the parking lot on Stringers Bridge Road. Contact: Vince Lazaroni, (262) 248-8247.
Ice Age Trail Alliance Chapter Meeting, Feb. 19: Meet at 7 p.m. at U.S. Bank, Elkhorn. Guest speaker: Jerry Ziegler, The Nature Conservancy. Contact: Carol Prchal, (262) 495-8502.
Trail Work, Feb. 23: Meet at 9 a.m. at the U.S. Highway 12 kiosk five miles east of Whitewater for trail maintenance, including cutting back honeysuckle, berry bushes, etc. Contact: Gary Klatt, (262) 473-4973/
Weekly walks: Meet each Tuesday at 4 p.m. and Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the U.S. Highway 12 Ice Age National Scenic Trail crossing located about four miles east of Whitewater, about a quarter mile east of the intersection of U.S. 12 with Sweno Road. Two or more walks of different distances are offered on Wednesdays (and Tuesdays when desired). Note that a current state park pass is required to park a car at the U.S. 12 meeting place. A daily or yearly pass may be purchased at trail head.