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2010 HIKE Parrish Hills Segment, Harrison Hills Segment May 28-May 30

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Jerry Lake Segment Hiked October 29, 2009

We began this trip a bit different this year.  We drove up on Wednesday night, the 28th and set up camp at the campsite on Jerry Lake.  The walk is estimated to be a 1/4 mile from the parking area, take the trail to the right when it splits.  Nice trail leading to the campsite.  Campsite is right on the Ice Age Trail  The Ice Age atlas has a toilet symbol by the site indicating there are facilities.  That is true, BUT what you get is a pit with a toilet on top.  If there ever were walls they are gone(we assume burned when someone got as cold of a weekend that we did).  So you get a good view of nature while sitting on the toilet.  But it is a seat and a place to use.  No complaints.  You must bring your own toilet paper.  The site is roomy, with a fire pit and a metal grill on legs (we used it as a table) and one bench to sit.  Very nice view of the lake.  Had some mice visit us, but no other animals that we were aware of. 
Thursday we began our hike by parking at County Hwy E Atlas page at this time is 23f and hiking southeast back to Jerry Lake campsite, at this time atlas page 22f.  The hike was planned at 15 miles, ambitious, but with our camp all set we just had to carry our clothing layers, emergency kits and food and water so we thought we could do it without a problem  We headed out at 9AM.  It has been a wet fall and we started the morning with a few sprinkles, but they ended quickly.  Cloudy all day.  The terrain we quickly found was wet, winding and tougher than we expected.  Much different than the 4 wheeler trails we hiked last year.  We were continuously turning ankles on tree roots and rocks and had to often tip toe a nd hop  through boggy areas.  With that being said this terrain was beautiful.  You felt like you were hiking as it should be.  Hills, kettles, eskers, beautiful views.  It was a great  hike.  The crossings of the Yellow river definetly were interesting.  The first one after Hwy E was on logs, definetly doable.   The first primitive campsite we hit was on the atlas located at the north end of a small lake.  On county maps that one is not listed, but it is definetly there and usable.   I am unsure how far the walk is from the parking area, but it is there, primitive.   We did not see toilet facilities.  This day there were fellow campers there we said our hellos to.  At the top of the loop that shares the trail with the Chippewa Lobe Loop Trail there are beautiful birches, which against the grey skies were quite striking.  We hiked on throughout the day, knowing that rain was possible.  We made it until about 2:00 without rain.  Then there were sprinkles the rest of the day.  The Hemlock Esker is very impressive and fun to hike on.   The campsite at the South Fork of the Yellow River is a nice campsite as well  up on a hill.  Shortly after the campsite we had to again cross the Yellow River.  Here it was flowing quite fast and probably thigh high.  There is a big tree laying over the river with two very long 2×4’s nailed up to "help" you across.  They had a tag that they were put there by the New Wilderness Group.  Thank you for trying, but honestly it is quite a challenge to get across.  If we would’ve had full packs, I am not sure if it would’ve been crossable.  Karie lost her water bottle and we had quite the laugh over that.  Always fun, we have lots of pictures of the many crossings.  Some honestly could use nice bridges (-:   We found out that this segment is a bit much for one day.  We returned to camp at 5:45 absolutely wiped with some aches and pains.  Maybe on a nice weather day when the daylight hours are longer?  But it was a long hike.  Beautiful, very interesting, always changing. 
The campsite was a welcome site.  We attempted to keep items dry although the rain continued through the nite.  This presented a bit of a problem as our stove broke, so we knew we had to cook on fires the remainder of the weekend.  But never fear, fire was started and a warm meal was had.  Throughout the night the wind and rain never stopped.  The tent though kept us dry. 
After a breakfast of oatmeal, we had planned out our day to be shorter than yesterday due to some possible lingering pain issues.  This also allowed us time to get a fire going for breakfast.  The rain had let up but it was still a little misty.  We parked at the trail crossing on Winter Sports road.  Luckily after a quick stop at the gas station the rain let up.  It was a very windy day, but we enjoyed being dry.  We walked northeast back to the campsite.  Within the first few minutes we again found a river crossing.  This one was quite wide again, and fairly deep.  The crossing consisted of moss covered logs, or another option was 4 rocks.  Karie took the rocks, the kids took the log.  They of course take these river crossings in leaps and bounds and are across.  We all made it with the aid of our hiking sticks, but it was questionable (-:  The hills on this section I think are a bit steeper than the last.  Some could use switchback, they were a bit difficult with the wet rocks and leaves.  Very intersting terrain again.  Today for some reason salamanders were out on the trail.  We spotted three of them.  It is always so interesting to see the different root formations and how trees and plants grow in such strange ways.  Many of them are depicted on our pictures.  We actually saw the sun today!  Yesterday and today we met two ladies that both days were walking the opposite direction of us.  Was fun to talk to them.  The campsite by Lake Eleven was a nice campsite.  Seemed like a very well used trail(used also by horses) leading up to it.  Once today and once yesterday we also saw people noting on the yellow markers other areas to camp.  This entire hike in Taylor County did offer numerous camping opportunities in County land and it would be very easy to set up just about anywhere in these woods.  Lots of cedar areas or other areas to find to set up.  This section also had many creek crossings.  This section took us just under 7 hours to hike.  We hiked at a slower pace than yesterday, but we still had to work hard on this trail.  We arrived back at the site at 5:00 to make a nice dinner.  The wind though made that a bit difficult, we dug the pit out a bit to get a lower fire going.  The wind during the day actually lifted our canopy and tent!  The canopy unfortunately put a rip in Kay’s rainfly.  Not in a horrible place and luckily did not destroy it… Bed was a bit early due to the rain beginning again at 7.  While Karie and I went to go get vehicles Rose and Danielle and Kay collected wood.  We now had a huge pile of wood, enough to last us through the rest of the weekend.  We were trying to get some bigger logs burned for coals.  We didn’t have anyidea how long it would rain.   But it continued, of course throughout the night.
Our original plan would’ve been to move today after our hike to a campsite along the Mondeaux Esker Segment so that we could use that as a base for tomorrows hike.  But because of the two nights of drenching rain we decided to keep camp set up in hopes of drying out a bit. 
As stated it rained throughout the night and as the night went on we could tell things changed.  It was markably colder and yes, we woke to snow!  Not just a little snow, there was at least 3/4 inches of snow on our tents, ground and trees.  After suffering to get dressed and warm, we could really appreciate the landscape.  The trees and lake were beautiful!  The wind had died down and it was fairly nice out.  Fire was a bit difficult as all the rain had frozen on to the branches.  We did through manage a breakfast of warm oatmeal.  We planned todays hike to be short also so that we could enjoy the Mondeaux flowage.  People have told us it is the nicest part of this hike.  We parked at the South end of the trail on both sides and hike south to north to the dam and then back south to the vehicle.  The west side of the hike is mostly on top of an esker.  Beautiful views of the flowage.  This year was interesting as the flowage was drawn down, it appears because of dam repairs.  Still was very pretty.  We saw lots of turkey tracks in the snow.  We stopped at West Point campground and laughed at the very detailed instructional signs they provide.  Nice, small campground.  The pump though was not in operation for water at this time.  We used the toilets and continued on.  We also ended up stopping at Spearhead for water.  Also a very nice campground up high with lookouts to the lake.  Lunch was at the dam which had a park.  We saw a few hunters getting ready and heard some hunting noise, but never ran into them.  The east side of the hike is mostly lower ground.  Part of the walk is right along the water.  This part was very wet this year.  Alot of standing water and very wet boggy areas.  The day stayed dry and calm.  The walk was very interesting, lots of variety again today both walking and things along the trail.  We ended fairly early today, the walk took us just over 5 hours.  This again was at a pretty relaxed pace.  We debated about driving and doing one of the ends of this trail, but decided we were good.  It was a great night for a fire – no wind, no rain and with all the wood we had, we had a great time by the fire.  We made soup and fried sausage, lots of hot chocolate.  It was a very nice time. 
This was the end of our hiking.  The next day Danielle had a soccer game, so we planned to pack up and leave.  Karie and Kay also decided the ankles, calves and body in general had enough.  We took a pit stop on Hwy M by the "chainsaw" guy.  They are in the picture – Danielle counted 21 telephone poles filled with chainsaws.  We took some fun pictures and headed home. 
Had some challenges this trip – rain/snow/wind no stove, but we really did well.  The rain was well timed and we had a blast!
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Taylor County Hike 10/29-11/1

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Langlade County Trail County S – Kettlebowl Ski Area

The next 4 blog entries contain information from 10/30/08 – 11/2/08
Langlade Trail from South of Kettlebowl Ski area to Forest/Bass lake Road.
2006 Companion guide segments, Kettlebowl segment(nothern 1/2) through Highland Lakes Eastern Segment. 
Because of the drive we had to take two vehicles as family was not close enough to come get us.  We do not do this one specifically south to north, or north to south, we change it up becase we decided to be a bit wimpier this year and leapfrog our vehicles so that we had fresh water close to each nights stay. 
Day 1  10/30/08  County Hwy 2 Parking area – Kettle bowl ski area parking(Hwy 52)
2006 Companion Guide  Lumbercamp Segment 
Est 6-7 miles  60 degrees. 
Much of trail is ATV/snowmobile trail.  Flat area, not much for hills to climb.  Scenery mostly forest. Near Baker Lake trail turns to a hiking trail(that is my definition of a trail that one person at at time can walk, through forest, up hills, etc)  Much more like the Kettle area we last hiked.  Camped at Baker lake, had rock fire ring already there. Could’ve handled longer hike due to ease of trails, but this was our travel day, so we planned a shorter one. 
Things to note:
Norem Lumbercamp walk in opening and check out the root cellar – nicknamed hillbilly hilton.  There was a website listed, but I could not access it.  We were able to get in.  All set for someone to stay there.  Very cute and an awesome thing for whomever is keeping it up.  We loved it.  Would’ve stayed if there were not 5 of us.
Many bear tracks seen, along with scratched trees- pictures will show that.
Moths – we still have not found out what kind were like little fairies flying around us and being blown by the wind around us.  Very fantasy land like.
Enjoyed the end of the hike once we were imersed into the woods.  Lots of huge hills, boulders, ravines.  Very scenic. 
Baker Lake – beautiful little lake.  Has a canoe ramp.  We ended up driving truck down the drive for easy access to our water and extra supplies.  Big boulders around lake make awesome picture ops.  Able to have fire. No privy.
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Langlade County Trail Veterans Memorial Park – County S

Date hiked 10/31/2008
Veterans Memorial Park south to County S
2006 Companion Guide Old Railroad Segment and into Lumbercamp segment.
Est. 8-9 miles
We parked one vehicle on the Southern end of Veterans Memorial Park.  Left our 2nd vehicle at County S. Plan was to find county land near S to camp or head back to Veterans if no good camping site was found.  The trails at the Park led right to the Ice Age Trail.  We headed south toward the Game Lake campsite.  The campsite was an awesome primitive campsite.  Three three sides of it was surrounded by a lake, it is on a penninsula, site include wood toilet and a canoe!  We took note of this and decided if we had to we would camp there for the night.   The first part of the trail was through a forest with a lot of trees down because a beaver chewed them down, others showed partial beaver damage.  We did see the beaver hut, no beaver though.  To get across the marsh you have to go over a VERY sketchy board walk, some of it was rotten, but we all made it with no issues.  Beautiful scenery, even though you were watching where your feet were going the whole time.  The trail changed over to ATV trails again but we didn’t even see a single ATV, noone hiking either! The walk was easy again today, fairly level, not much for hills.  Hiked through Peters Marsh.  Pretty, map shows possible water, we were hoping to have lunch near a lake.  None were visible from the trail.  Shortly after the Marsh we kept our eyes out for a potential camping spot, but there was no real evident area that would supply us with a spot to have a cozy fire.  The last portion of the trail could only be described as  VERY ugly.  It was being logged, clearcut would be more of a description.  The big logs were piled up, the tops were laying all over.  The trail was heavily rutted by big machinery.  One can only hope the end result will be worth it.  Because of this and our love of Game Lake campsite we took our vehicle from County S and drove back to Veterans Memorial Park and set up site at Game Lake.  It was so worth it.  Very beautiful, peaceful.  Stars were amazing.  Fire kept us warm.  Got cold – below freezing, we woke to frozen water on puddles and water bottles. 

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Langlade County Trail Bass Lake/Forest Rd to Veterans Memorial Park

Date hiked 11/1/08
Bass Lake/Forest Rd to Veterans Memorial Park
2006 Companion Guide Section Highland Lakes Eastern Segment and Old Railroad segment
Estimated 13 miles
We had camped at Game Lake Primitive Site at the Veterans Memorial Park.  Woke up to low 30’s – heavy frost and frozed water on puddles.  We drove to Bass Lake Rd and found an access to the Ice Age Trail on Forest Rd.  This is where if you hike further north you havek to hike a 4.5 road connector starting on Forest Rd.  We parked a vehicle just off the road and headed out via a ATV trail.   We quickly hit an intersection and had to consult a map.  We headed in a northerly direction.  This took us on a forest trail, past an old house foundation.  It became a beautiful sunny AM.  Shortly though we ran into Bass Lake Road and confusion.  A friendly neighbor explained there were two access to the trail, one on Forest Rd and one on the corner of Bass Lake, so basically we did go the wrong way at the intersection.  We backtracked and quickly got on our way.  The ATV trail led us to 4H Camp Susan and part of the tree identification trail.  The camp looked like a nice place to stay.  The kids played some basketball.  Once through the camp area the trail continues for over a mile on the road/driveway that leads to the camp.  A boring stretch, walking on a gravel road.  Golf course nearby, heard dogs and a golf cart.  Kay and Danielle found quartz stones along road.
Crossed Cty B and followed a trail that followed high power lines.  Our beginning of our hike was troubling us.  Shortly though we turned off, still on snowmobile trails, but much better scenery and variety.  Lots of new forests, small trees.  Shortly after Cty B we saw a snowmobile map that stated Jack Lake Trails 5 miles.  After much hiking, a short lunch in the pine tree area we got the the Jack Lake Trail map and that stated Veterans Memorial Park 5 miles.  So we did estimate the day at 13 miles. 
Much of the hike was on the old railroad segment.  Could see remnants of that.  Easy hiking again, gentle grades and ATV trails. 
Trail connected with Veterans Memorial Park and took us right past the 2nd primitive campsite – Loon Cry Outpost.  Very open to the trail, but also a nice site.  Has sand beach, benches, wood.  We decided we liked the privacy of Game Lake Site better, but this one would be great in swimming weather.  Trail led us easily back to Game Lake Site.
Saw lots of grouse today. 
We loved hiking today and not having to set up camp as we stayed another night at Game Lake.  We did some canoeing – seats are broke on canoe, takes a bit of balancing.  But water was like glass. 
Squirrel decided it did not like us there, but we were not afraid (-:
Warmer night – 40’s  Great fire.
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Langlade County Trail Kent/Burma Rd – Kettlebowl Ski Area

Kent Rd/Burma Rd north to Kettlebowl Ski area
2006 Companion Guide Northern part of Kettle bowl ski area
est. 6 miles.
40’s  rain threatening. 
After some discussion on what we wanted to to do our last day, hike needed to be a bit shorter due to our drive home today.  We decided to find where the trail meets Burma Rd and hike north to Kettlebowl.  It was in the direction of home.  Finding the trail was a bit difficult.  Kent Rd on the map turns into Burma Rd, which in my definition is not much more than a ATV trail.  A firelane I presume.  We did not want to travel much further, found a place to park and started walking the road.  Hoping we took the right fork.  We did finally hit up on the trail, figured we walked a good mile down the road before we did.  
The trail quickly went off road and hiked up some good hills.  Terrain was single trail, very scenic, nice variety.  Well marked.
It soon went back to following firelane/ATV paths.  This section was probably the most dramatic.  Deep ravines, beautiful forests, awesome granite/quartz/other rocks and boulders.  Some boulders one has to wonder how they are just sitting in the middle of such steep hills.  Much of the hike was noted to be on private land – we extend thanks to the owners of that land.  Group seemed to be in a very giggly mood.  Must be the hike getting to us. 
The sign Big Stone Hole caught our attention and we had to investigate.  Not marked well, one sign post knocked down.  Area was being cleared of trees, many tree tops laying around.  Not sure why.  Unfortunately many tree tops were laying all around Big Stone Hole, so the hole was hard to see.  It is an awesome geological area, now scarred by downed trees.  One hopes it is again for the good of the area?
Had lunch here. 
We met one truck, I think other than talking to the resident yesterday we met – no other vehicles or people.
Danielle decided we could easily buy some of this land and just keep busy finding new and interesting rocks.  Many pictures taken of plants/oddities to be identified. 
We ended the hike at Kettlebowl ski hill.  Nice shelter, looks like nice local skiing.  Rose decided after one mention that she wanted to run up the hill and roll down it.  Not sure where one gets that ambition except from being young.  She did it.  Big hiking boots and all.  She rolled so fast, it looked dangerous.   
1:30 we headed for home.  Tired and ready for some fast food! 
Photographs from this trip compliments of Kay and Karie. 
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Southern Kettle Moraine Trail Whitewater Rec. Area – Shelter 3

New Hike Summary Southern Kettle Moraine Section from Whitewater Lake Recreational Area to County Rd C, just north of Pinewoods Campground.  Shelters 1-3. We did this segment South to North. At this time prior to Whitewater there is a 5.5 mile road segment so we chose to start the trail at Whitewater. 
October 25, 2007- 10/28/2007
October 25, 2007
Whitewater Lake Recreational Area north to Shelter #3. 
8.2 miles
2006 Companion Guide sections Whitewater Lake Segment and beginning of Blawkhawk Segment.
62 degrees
Dropped off by Dave.  This is the first time our group officially became 5 and will be 5, as long as we are able to have it that way!
Hike along the trail through the Kettles is always tough, but wonderful scenery.  Hills and ravines.  Great overlooks.  We stashed water ahead of time at the Duffin road intersection right before Shelter # 3.  That worked well, not much of a hike after that until we hit the shelter.  More leaves on underbrush than our last October hike.  Lots of oaks still had over 1/2 of leaves on yet.  Saw lots of wild asparagus olong trail.  Made hills and ravines a bit harder to see. 
The boardwalk honoring Bill Knickerhem is fun to walk on. 
We got to a point in the trail that we suspected shelter 3 to be close to.  There was a big post near the trail but no sign and a very thin trail straight up a hill.  We walked on a bit further to see if shelter was evident.  It was not.  One of us braved the hill and YES found the shelter.  Tough hike straight up a hill was hard after a long day on the trail.  Hopefully by the time I write this the shelter sign is hung. 
Shelter has skinnier benches than others we camped at so sleeping on the benches did not work well.  A bit uncomfortable of a night.  Had a picnic table and fire ring.  Not alot of wood, but we did stay warm by the fire.  Rose and Karie made a goal of sawing firewood.  Karie almost incapacitated herself by jumping on a piece to break it.  Luckily she was able to continue. (-:
Biggest full moon of the year this weekend.
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Southern Kettle Moraine Trail Shelter 3 – Shelter 2

Southern Kettle Trail
Shelter 3 north to Shelter 2
2006 Companion Guide Sections end of Blackhawk Segment and Blue Spring Lake Segment 
est. 10.5 miles
We left at 8:45 knowing this would be our longest hike EVER at 10.5.  We did previously decide on this trip no tents, we would just sleep in the shelters.  So that lightened us up some. 
Passed and saw Oleson’s cabin shortly after Shelter 3, did not stop there, we were not much into the hike to stop yet.  We did stop after the hike up Bald Bluff – the highest point in Jefferson County.  Very nice overlook.  We watched as in the distance 2 turkey vultures circling quickly became about 20 as they were called in by the prospect of food.  Was joked about that by the end of the day they would be circling the 5 weary hikers.  We hope not. 
This segment was a tough hike, lots of up and downs.  Lots of drumlins to walk, ravines, kettles.  Makes for a beautiful hike.  We did stop to visit the Stone Elephant, couldn’t pass that up.  We could not quite decide why it was seen to be an elephant.  Kay left an offering just in case it was needed.  Karie took pictures that appear she is being eaten by it.  We enjoyed lunch there.  Signs do depict the rocks history.  It is not far from the trail and worth a look. 
Along the trail in this area Kay picked up literally dozens of ticks on her pants.  We were wary after that but did not run into more.  It was like we went through a tick haven. 
Trail took us right by the Horseriders camp.  Has garbage dumpster and toilet.  Amazing how many sites this camp has.  Very nice.  Campers were beginning to fill it up for the weekend. 
With about 4 miles to go the terrain became much less severe, which was a nice break for us.  Hiking north definetly is easier on the body at the end.  Of course the Shelter 2 was up a big hill as well.  We are wondering about the cruelty of the shelter builder.  BUT the overlook was great.  Overlooked the creek and prairies.  Someone has left some wood – thank you.  We collected some and left some behind as well. 
Shelter 2 in good shape – skinnier benches, dirt floor. 
Lynn wore a pedometer this trip – steps to date are 45,909!
From shelter we walked to the ranger station for water.  Down the hill and just off the trail. 
We had arrived at shelter at 4:45- 8 hour day.
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