We spent two nights in Lodi with trail angels Joanna and Dale having great dinners and ice cream for dessert. Our hiker appetite seems to to be in full swing these days. Joanna was also coordinating a fun run and walk for the Lodi Chapter of the Ice Age Trail, and so Stacey and I helped where we could. We even spray painted arrows on the trail as we walked the Lodi Marsh Segment and arrived at the starting line just minutes before the race started.
Prairies along the trail have been common these days where plants such as Indigo, Penstemon, and Oxeye Daisy attracted bumble bees to pollinate them. Eastern Meadowlarks frequented these open spaces where Orange hawkweed, Yarrow, and sometimes Yellow Groundsel flowers beautified the natural neighborhood. Walking into Cross Plains Main Street area on our way to get to the dispersed camping area, the road was completely torn out where the village seemed to be receiving a total makeover.
Just before dawn I awoke to rain drops falling on my face. Stacey and I quickly set up the tarp and slept in while it rained and thundered in harmony to the singing of birds. With excellent coffee on Main Street and then a family style breakfast in our stomachs, we walked and talked to bicyclists who were training for an Ironman event. One women was especially excited by our hike since the Ice Age Trail was on her bucket list. It was fun to see the trail weaving between expensive properties and even next to a Madison Area Food Pantry Garden all showing how communities can cooperate and link themselves together in a positive manner.
Fred and Lynda for whom we met on the trail a week earlier then picked us up to give us a special tour of the city of Madison. It was actually quite amazing to see how big their University was with a vast collection of buildings of varying architectural style and ages. They also invited Tess to an excellent Quiche dinner who is also a Trail Angel, IAT volunteer, and who has completed hiking the entire trail. After dinner, it was fun taking a walk to their community garden where some strawberries were ready to be picked and eaten wholeheartedly.