Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail ~ Part 9

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In Wausau, Gail and Bob spoiled us with wonderful food and good company. We managed to stay out of the rain for two nights, but as soon as we got back on Route, it began to dump rain for over four hours. A segment Hiker named Jared found us dripping wet and soggy on the road as he was beginning his journey home and invited us to drop on by when we came into his region. It was such a torrential downpour while we walked upon country roads that Stacey had the nerve to knock on the door of a farm house. Shiela, who smiled at us as she saw us through the window completely drenched, invited us wholeheartedly to enter her home. We slipped into other clothes as our wet gear went immediately into the dryer. We then drank hot cocoa and cider as we all shared stories of adventure. Fresh Asparagus was offered and eaten raw. 

After a few hours of drying off, we headed out again into some light showers soon entering into the Skunk and Foster Lakes Segment. Eastern Phoebe's often swooped down from perches to catch insects near us. Three goslings eagerly escaped our curious views of them. Today we even witnessed a baby rabbit chasing a Robin and juvenile mourning dove in a demonstration of rambunctious play. But what was especially fun for us was to spend the night in a cabin along the trail in a loft stocked with candles and a small battery powered radio that we listened to classical music with for the evening. 

The Waupaca River was brimming with water as morning showers kept us cool as we made our way into Hartman Creek State Park. The nature of the soil shifted from rocky to sandy, thereby offering us new plants such as puccoon and lupine to enjoy while birds such as the eastern towhee scrapped through the leaf litter to glean their meals from the abundance offered up by the forest floor. At the end of our 27 mile day we were picked up once again by the newest of our trail angels, Jean. Again, we have had such a good time getting to meet new friends, that we will be spending a second night, allowing us to absorb more fully this bountiful region. 

In today's outing, we explored a family run mill, an organic farm, and were witness to many Amish homesteaders working their fields by hand and with horses.

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