Today and Saturday was spent entirely on the road in the middle of nowhere. On Saturday we hiked 15 miles in Taylor County. We started out north of Stanley and hiked east to the start of the Lake Eleven Segment on highway 64. Jared left me at the Otter Lake Bait Shop while he did the shuttle. I sat in the shop and drank a $1 cappuccino and talked a bit with the owners and a guy who had a cabin on Otter Lake. The owners mentioned that other hikers had stopped by on their way through and they had a few questions about our hike for the day. It was a decent place to wait. The day was nice and we had a bunch of random conversations, none of which I can remember. We didn’t talk about lottery winnings this time.
The alliance was also selling the new atlas and guide book, so I bought the atlas! My old atlas was from 2011, and I was really tired of it. That atlas does not have the segment names or start and end points on the maps, so I always had to look at my guide book or the state map I have.
Today we hiked 9 miles mainly in Chippewa County and ended in Taylor County at the bait shop. It was grey and overcast, and luckily it only sprinkled for a bit. Jared left me on some random road and as I waited I checked our route and realized it would be faster to go north of Otter Lake past the county park (which has bathrooms, not sure if they would be open though) rather than south. The official map says the road walk goes south of the lake, so we did that. Some hikers choose different routes because the road walk isn’t official trail, it’s just the suggested route to the next segment.
At the end of the hike we were on highway 29 headed towards Eau Claire, saw a mileage sign, and started talking about how they come up with that number. I found more information on the Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office website. Go see if what you thought was right!