My Aunt Mary passed away last September, and her wish was to have her ashes scattered at Cedar Lake, where our family has had a cabin for something like 100 years. (I had my first beer there, a Pabst, when I was six; Wisconsin was a different place back then.) It turned into a bit of a family reunion, with me meeting distant cousins I had never met before, including one who is a hiker in Sedona. (Small world.) Though she passed away four years ago, we scattered my cousin Dana’s ashes at the same time. (I had also never met Dana, but when I watched her memorial video the day before, I got choked up: She had the most amazing smile I’ve ever seen!)
As with every other trip I take, I make it a point to do some hiking. (Particularly a hike I can turn into a video. :whistle: ) I’m a natural planner, so prior to the trip, I plotted out several trips worth of hikes on the nearby Ice Age Trail.
As I planned the hike(s) it began to dawn on me that I had hiked this area before. 42 years before, to be exact. When I was (briefly) a Boy Scout, we had a hike that I remember heading south from a very small town. We were supposed to hike a trail, but as it was November, and thus the High Holy Days (deer season), the scout master thought it better to take the roads most of the way. Roads will tear you up. I don’t remember how far we hiked, but it lasted from first light until dark, and by the end I was dragging way behind with my feet absolutely killing me. (A problem I had even in the Army, years later.) Thus the caption for the Glenbeulah to Greenbush segment of the hike: “Boy Scout Death March”.
It may sometimes take a while, but I don’t like leaving unfinished business, so today I finished it.
Though there is not a lot of elevation in Wisconsin, I quickly found out the trail planners were not big on following contours: They go up and over every hill. (Granted, small ones, but it adds up, as my AEG shows.)
It was overcast, and despite being low 60s, quite chilly. All the greenery was soothing, but I’d love to do the hike in September: The colors would be spectacular!
The overcast played hell with lighting for my camera, particularly affecting the focus.
The trail crossed a number of small country lanes, and two highways. Other than WI-23, I only saw one car. WI-23, though, was very busy, and there was no tunnel or crosswalk. But I am Phoenix-hardened, and so made it across okay.
I was really stoked to find an old-fashioned well hand-pump, but then bummed that it seemed not to work.
Parnell Tower reminded me of rapelling towers in the Army. Nice views, but again affected by the overcast. Otherwise I would have been able to see Holy Hill, where I spent a sub-0 night in late 1973 vainly searching the sky for Comet Kohoutek. I could, however, clearly see the state prison.
GPS File: Glenbeulah_to_Parnell_Tower
Distance: 12.65 mi.
AEG: 1,591 ft.
Time: 4h 33m