Weekly Walk: Wet weather doesn't dampen these hikers' spirits

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Ellen Davis | November 3, 2016

The Weekly Walks for Oct. 25 and 26,  2016

The  4 p.m. Tueday hike,  reported by Jake Gerlach:

Five regular hikers appeared for the Tuesday hike; this week we headed for Bald Bluff.  From the parking area on County Highway H, we started up the connector trail, then turned right onto the Ice Age Trail. The leaves under foot were crunchy and rustled as we walked. At “Confusion Point” we took a left onto the horse trail. As we descended the hill I heard comments about how pretty the trail was with the new leaves on the trail and the colorful trees overhead. We quickly reached the sandy part of the trail. There is something about walking in deep sand that just saps the strength out of a person. We did stop for a brief rest when we crossed Young Road for the second time, then it was another long trail through the sand till we got back to the woods.

At the intersection with the Ice Age Trail we turned left, eventually climbing Bald Bluff from the back side. In this section I noticed two different sets of branches that were lodged just high enough so hikers did not hit their heads. The view from Bald Bluff was spectacular. After another short break to take in the panorama we descended from the bluff down to our cars.  Several participants said that it had been an excellent choice for a hike.

The 10:30 a.m. Wednesday long and short hike, also reported by Jake Gerlach:

Wednesday morning was definitely not ideal hiking weather. It had started raining during the night and was still raining. I showed up just because I had the sign-in sheets; I wasn't sure anyone else would brave the conditions.  

When other hikers started arriving in spite of the rain, I put on my poncho, got my clipboard with the sign-in sheets, and started to get out of my truck. I had not unfastened my seat belt.  Once I got out, the sign-in sheets came out of the clip board and ended up on the wet ground.  Andy came over and helped me pick up some of the sheets that had blown all the way to the other side of the truck. Someone commented that this was about the eighth Wednesday out of the last nine that we have had rain.

By hike time there were five sturdy experienced hikers. Since I was the only short-hiker to appear, we all agreed on a hike on the Ice Age Trail across Highway 12. The trail was wet, the rocks were slippery, and newly-fallen leaves were covering up a lot of rocks and roots. I soon noticed that these long-hikers were going much faster than I usually go. After about a half mile they slowed the pace to about what I usually do.  

About a mile into the hike a halt was called. The Ice Age Trail is maintained by volunteer “trail adopters,” and Andy marked the tree indicating the end of one person's responsibility and the beginning of another's. Next we came to a 10-inch diameter tree fallen across the trail; some of the shorter hikers had a little difficulty getting over it. Later we found a smaller tree across the trail and Andy just picked it up and moved it out of the way.  

We took a break at Esterly Road. The long-hikers must have been feeling sorry for me because they decided to return by the horse trail. The total hike was only three and a half miles, about what I usually hike. I had dressed a little too warmly and even though the rain gear was water repellent, I was quite damp by the time we got back to the parking lot. It was an interesting and rewarding hike on a very wet day.

Happy trekking.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Davis

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