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Mammoth Hike 41 Challenge Stories – Part 3

This week I’m pleased to be able to share the story of three friends from Waukesha County — Cindy, Pam and Karen — who decided to take on the Mammoth Hike 41 Challenge together. I met these women when I provided a shuttle for them during one of their hikes in October.  I appreciate their willingness to talk about their time on the Ice Age Trail. 

In response to my asking them what it was about the Challenge that made them want to do it, Pam, Cindy and Karen had the following to say: “Our group of three women started hiking together at the start of the COVID shutdown as a way to get together and stay healthy, both physically and emotionally. When we heard about the Ice Age Trail (IAT) hiking opportunities we immediately ordered the Guidebook to plan our adventures, along with the wall map to track our hikes, and we became members of the IAT.” Once they got connected to the Ice Age Trail Alliance it didn’t take them long to find out about the Challenge. “Following the IAT on social media alerted us to the Mammoth Challenge. The hiking mileage requirements to complete the Challenge seemed very doable and we loved the idea of visiting three Trail Communities, since our philosophies are to patronize small businesses whenever possible. And we get a badge…we love our badges! This event was a perfect match for our hiking group!”

When I asked Karen, Pam and Cindy what they thought they got out of doing the Challenge they gave an enthusiastic reply. “The Challenge is just pure fun! We love exploring parts of Wisconsin we would have never considered hiking, being unaware of so many beautiful trails! Laughing, singing, dancing, teasing and wonderful conversations are a natural part of our hikes, all while being immersed in our state’s natural beauty.” While the Lodi segments were only part of their Challenge they commented that “the farmlands of Lodi offered not only visual beauty but wonderful sounds and smells! We love our Wisconsin cows!” Being able to hike in different communities across the state was a definite highlight of their Challenge.  “The diversity between areas is amazing and each hike offers something unique! We have pushed ourselves to do some tough trails, testing our endurance while always enjoying great camaraderie.” Karen, Pam and Cindy also commented on the time they spent in the Trail Communities. “Visiting some of the small businesses along the way has enticed us to return to communities to spend more time at the local establishments and to delve more into the history of the area. Trail angels like Patti always give us great local information and suggestions of businesses to patronize.”

Not only did the Wisconsin trio enjoy the Trail during the October Challenge, they brought friends from Illinois out on the Trail with them. “A Naperville book group joined us as we completed our 41 miles at Gibraltar Rock – a segment that we intentionally chose for this group as we knew it offered our new hikers a taste of Wisconsin’s beauty. They were inspired to join in a hike after hearing about our Trail adventures and reading the book Grandma Gatewood’s Walk. Afterwards, we celebrated with food and wine at the beautiful Wollersheim Winery, where they graciously accommodated us around our hiking schedule!” Like some of the other Challenge hikers whose stories I’ve shared, Cindy, Karen and Pam are looking forward to doing the Challenge in the future and spoke of returning to the Lodi Valley. “We would definitely do this Challenge again. All three of us have other friends we want to bring to the Lodi area as it is truly a Wisconsin gem…even the connecting routes were a pleasure.”

The Mammoth Hike 41 Challenge was designed to get people out on the Ice Age Trail and to encourage people to visit Trail Communities. It’s clear from the story told by this group of hikers that both goals were accomplished. I look forward to seeing Cindy, Karen and Pam in the Lodi area again as they continue to hike….Along the Ice Age Trail.

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