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People You Meet on the Trail

One of the many good things about being involved with the Ice Age Trail is the people I get to meet on the Trail. This week I had the opportunity to meet a few folks from outside the Lodi Valley area. I thought I’d share a bit of their stories here.

A couple from Fox Lake came to our chapter’s full moon hike on October 20th. Despite it being a cloudy evening – which meant that it wasn’t likely that we would have the light of the moon to guide our steps – they drove the 45 miles to be part of the hike. As we talked I learned that the very first hike they did on the Ice Age Trail one year ago was on the Lodi Marsh segment. They decided to come back and hike it again as a way to celebrate their discovery of the Trail and to add more miles to their Mammoth Hike 41 Challenge total. This couple spoke of the many good people they’ve met and hiked with on the Trail over the past year and how some of those casual meetings have developed into friendships. Although it was dark I could picture the smiles on their faces as they talked about their experiences on the Trail and it made me smile as well.

A few days later I volunteered to shuttle a group of three women, which meant they left their car in the parking lot at the end of their hike and I gave them a ride to the starting point for their hike. In our brief time together I learned that they had travelled from Delafield that morning to hike on the Lodi segments, adding more miles to their Mammoth Hike 41 Challenge. They were also working toward completion of their Glacial Drifters award, which is the award for doing all the miles within the Lodi/Baraboo Hills segment. We talked about the hike they were planning for that day as well as their plans to return to the Lodi area for additional hiking, including bringing their book group to hike the Gibraltar segment. As they explained, the book group had recently read a book about a woman’s hike of the Appalachian Trail (Grandma Gatewood’s Walk) and decided that a fitting follow-up to this book would be to have the group hike on a trail together. What a fun idea!  I look forward to assisting them with a shuttle when they return to hike more of the Lodi Valley segments. 

Both of these were relatively insignificant encounters but for some reason they made an impact on me. I think they served as a reminder of how much people appreciate our local Trail segments and how fortunate I am to live in the Lodi Valley. They also reminded me that the Trail is about so much more than tread and beautiful scenery, it’s about the people who walk on the Trail and the stories they have to share. I’m glad that I was able to witness some of these stories and I will think about them as I continue my own journey…..Along the Ice Age Trail

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