Ice Age Trail Warm-ups

Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail.  With less than 2 weeks left before heading out to the ‘Enhanted Circle‘ of Northern New Mexico, a trail was rediscovered that is perfect for conditioning and preparations.  The ‘Ice Age Trail’ traverses across the State of Wisconsin, in close approximation to the Glaciers southernmost descent during the Wisconsinan Glaciation about 50,000 years ago.  

This past hike brought me to the Lapham Peak Segment of the Ice Age Trail, a section that was frequently run in 1997 when a monk at ‘The Order of Julian of Norwich’.  To think, I used to run this stoney and twisting trail in the middle of winter, praying I would not stumble or hurt myself.   I didn’t.  On this day, the three hour hike was both invigorating and appropriately challenging.

With new Timberland Hiking Boots and a rugged day pack, I headed out at 915A before the sun could get too hot.  Being mostly in the shaded woods, I didn’t wear the new fishing hat.  The first section with it’s uphill grade proved to be sufficiently challenging.

Even though it had been 20 years since enjoying this trail with exploratory hikes and snowy forest running, the gentle and familiar sound of the babbling brook and ever-present cool pine scent were transformative, providing a deep peace and release from the past week’s tension and stress.  At one time, this was  a form of stress management and it’s now proving to be just as powerful for helping to reclaim healthfulness.   And to think, this particular section of the trail is only 1.5 hours away from my home in Oshkosh, WI.  

 

As I neared the Lapham Peak State Park, I came across more and more people out enjoying the beautiful forest, trails, and weather.  Soon after climbing to the top of the Lapham Peak Tower (elevation of 1300 ft.), a boy and girl excitedly ran the last few steps followed by their slowly moving Dad (with baby).  It was great to see kids getting out and exploring; something Ivan and I will do very soon.

With five ‘Solves’ sketched out and the help of brother Steve enlisted, I feel well prepared to begin thoroughly vetting the locations initially chosen.  All of the chosen locations are in the ‘Enhanted Circle’ are of Northern New Mexico, they all seem to coincide with the imagery continuing to prevail in mind’s eye.  A small splinter canyon with a creek (cold and possibly deep) and narrow walls opening to a grove of pine trees.  All of this just adjacent to a parking lot. I believe I will have to wade upstream and that a flashlight will be useful.  I still do not think that recovering the chest will require miles and miles of hiking but I will be prepared.

Next week Friday, I plan to stay at Holy Hill in Hubertus and complete a 4 hour hike taking me to Pike Lake in Hartford.  Holy Hill has always been a source for quiet reflection and I look forward to beginning my final week of preparation in this sacred spot.  

With a newly renovated Guesthouse and a perfect place to rest afterwards, Holy Hill is the best place for next week’s adventures.