Last week I shared the story of hikers who completed the Mammoth Hike 41 Challenge. This week I spoke with a couple who also completed the Challenge and who have a long history with the Ice Age Trail.
Dean and Jayne from Rock County have been volunteering with the Ice Age Trail for almost three decades. (Way to go, Dean and Jayne, and thank you!) Here’s what they had to say about their Mammoth Hike 41 Challenge: “We have worked and hiked on the Ice Age Trail since 1992. The Mammoth Challenge offered us motivation to get back on the Trail and revisit some old friend segments. We finished our 41-mile Challenge on the Gibraltar segment where we had helped on an MSC project many years before. It was great to see the log bridge is still in place and we found the original stone steps we helped install years ago. It is great to see so many people ‘discovering’ the Trail and the joy of walking it.”
When Jayne and Dean were asked what they got out of the Challenge they spoke of having a goal to achieve and a sense of accomplishment. “We brought our family together on some hikes. We hiked with our daughter, who also completed the Challenge in the Waukesha area. We even had our young grandkids share a couple of miles in Pike Lake State Park.” And it wasn’t just about the hiking; Jayne and Dean also said they “discovered the ‘Best Burgers on the Lake’ at Sunset Harbor in Okee.” Like Ellen and Bill, whose story was featured last week, Jayne and Dean found benefits that went beyond the physical benefit of hiking and they plan to keep hiking. “The more we hike the more we want to hike. No matter how crazy life is in the busy world, the Trail clears the mind and settles the nerves. The Mammoth Challenge is a pilgrimage to peace and serenity. We can’t wait to do it again next year.”
I’ve heard it said by numerous volunteers that being able to go back to visit Ice Age Trail segments that they helped build brings a special sense of satisfaction, a good feeling of having contributed to something that is enjoyed by so many others. My wish for each of you is that you experience the peace and serenity that Jayne and Dean described as you walk….Along the Ice Age Trail.
Patti Herman live in the City of Lodi with her husband, Bill Welch. A retired educator, Patti is glad to be living in the Lodi Valley where she is surrounded by so much natural beauty, including the beauty to be found along the Ice Age Trail.