Saturday morning, I headed up to the Kettle Moraine South Unit, planning on hiking an Ice Age Trail segment, camping, then hiking another segment the following morning. Didn’t quite work out that way, but I had an amazing day nonetheless.
The segment I chose was the Blackhawk segment, figuring at 14 miles (out and back to the car), it would be smarter to get that one done, then tackle the shorter (9 miles out and back) Whitewater segment the next morning.
Truly a beautiful day for hiking, cool but not overly cold, bluebird skies with a variety of cloud shapes. The Blackhawk segment itself is pretty tough, with lots if undulating hills, rocks, logs, and more to step on, around, or over.
The segment also contains one of the few shelters available, though it is reserved (and must be reserved by) thru-hikers. Much bigger than expected, it had a beautiful view, picnic table, fire ring and a private toilet, not bad.
The end of the segment cruises past a very beautiful lake, Lake La Grange, especially welcome after many miles of brown trail in the forest (though it must look quite different when everything is green). I walked with a local for a while, interesting in that he came from a totally different viewpoint than mine, looking for hunting and fishing opportunities rather than recreation. While he lived in the area, he had rarely ventured onto the Ice Age Trail, though he said that day’s hike had piqued his interest. Right on!
One of the things I was working on that day (besides building up mileage for Hell Hike and Raft) was testing out a new backpack mount I had built for my GoPro. It really worked pretty well, though not ideal, and I’m excited to see what the final edit looks like. Unfortunately, the camera mike didn’t pick up my pithy remarks and funny jokes, so I’ll have to try and recreate them via voiceover. Video coming soon!
After hiking the better part of the day, I was looking forward to camping and testing out my new Eureka! Solitaire tent, but when I got in the car, it just sort of drove itself home – it had gotten late and I just wasn’t looking forward to pitching a campsite in near darkness. That, and the fact that my old bones were cranky and wanted to be coddled, led to my decision to head home. Next time.