Saturday, August 10, 2013

Training for The Way

Over the past few weeks we have switched to only walking dirt paths.  It has been easier on our feet and legs and has also provided new challenges and scenery.

Some of the time we have been on the Glacial Drumlin State Trail which runs from Milwaukee to Madison ~ about 52 miles.  It was developed on an old railroad line and is fairly flat.  The parts we have walked have been crushed rock and dirt.  They are well maintained but the bugs have been a problem and we have had to get some potent bug spray.

Some of the way has been through low ground with lots of sitting water, many filled with cattails.  Other parts there are miles and miles of huge fields of soy beans and corn which are quite pretty and quite healthy right now.  There are open spaces on the trail but much of it is under a canopy of trees.  

Today we walked twenty miles...a first for us.  There are 3-4 days when we will walk 18-19 miles on our trek across Spain, so we wanted to know by experience how that would feel.  We went from Sullivan to Jefferson on the Glacial Drumlin Trail ~ it took us a little over 7 hours to complete.  Even with ideal weather and conditions, it was challenging.  We took two nice stops for lunch ~ yes we ate two times! 

The other area we have enjoyed is Lapham Peak State Park which is just a few blocks (as the crow flies) from our home.  These trails give us a more realistic feel for what the Camino will be like ~ dirt, rock, and grass trails, up and down hills, sun and shade.  The Ice Age Trail is a National Scenic Trail and cuts through the park ~ when it is finished it will be 1,000 miles long, following the edge of the last continental glacier in  Wisconsin.

So far we have seen a variety of different butterflies, frogs, snakes, and turtles, lots of rabbits and a few deer.  Today a a couple of Sandhill Cranes were playing on the path, but they flew off as we got closer to them.

The little brick building is the nicest, cleanest most modern outhouse I have ever used.
It is in a little park just outside the little town of Helenville, WI!

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