Westfield to Montello

Another gray day and another road walk on the Ice Age Trail! There was possible snow in the forecast, but luckily we only saw a bit of something icy on the drive to Westfield.

Today’s hike was another hike where Jared and I hiked against each other. Jared dropped me off in Westfield near the interstate and I headed southwest to Montello. Jared left the car at Kwik Trip in Montello and walked to Westfield. I met up with him after I had walked 8 miles.

This hike was all road walk, and there really wasn’t anything neat to look at. About two miles in I passed the Westfield School Forest. It’s too bad that the Ice Age Trail hasn’t gotten an agreement to have the trail go through the forest. Maybe it’s in the works, but that would be a nice place to get off the road and hike through some pine trees. I saw a couple turkeys along the way.

I came upon a view of a lake with some tamarack trees in the distance. Tamaracks are a new favorite tree of mine because they turn yellow in the fall. My other favorite tree is the red maple. This was really my only scenic view of the day. Today was a very limited photo day. Later on I passed a house with some colorful old farm equipment. About half a mile later I met up with Jared. After that there wasn’t anything interesting to look at.

After about 9 miles I started to get low battery warnings from my iPod. I was listening to Ask Me Another podcasts, which are really fun to listen to. I’m the lady laughing to herself and shouting out answers as she walks alone in the middle of nowhere! If you’re never listens to Ask Me Another, I highly recommend it. The podcast has a bunch of trivia games that they refer to as nerdy games. My iPod ends up dying around mile 10 and my phone didn’t have a lot of battery either, so I didn’t want to use that for music. I have a portable battery pack, but haven’t been bringing it along. My phone has been doing well if I put it on airplane mode while Endomondo runs, but sometimes I turn off airplane mode to check stuff. This is such a bad idea because it takes a lot of battery power to get reception and check things online in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know what happened to my iPod, apparently I needed to charge it more often.

I walked for a bit and then felt really bored. I decided that I should run and that would give me something to do. I started running slowly and it really helped to loosen up my legs. They were starting to get their normal long hike stiffness and I felt better after some running. I came upon a boat landing and noticed a pit toilet. I decided to run over and see if it was open, unfortunately it was locked, but for anyone hiking in the summer, this would probably be a place to go to the bathroom. The sign by the road said Marquette County Moon Lake Access. I continued to run off and on with one mile of almost constant running. I had mile paces of around 15 minutes, 10 minutes, and 14 minutes. I got pretty hot, but just kept going. My legs felt good the entire time and I didn’t feel all that tired. It definitely kept me busy and the time passed quickly. Considering that I felt this good, I think I may train for a half marathon next summer after I finish the Ice Age Trail.

The route followed hwy 23 right into Montello and I noticed that the lake had ice on it. Jared had parked the car at the Kwik Trip in Montello which is also near a small park with a couple waterfalls. I used to drive through Montello to get to La Crosse when I was in college, but had never stopped at this park, so it was nice to take a look at the waterfalls. I had stopped at the Kwik Trip in the past, and the bathrooms used to be one stallers and they apparently did an addition because the bathrooms were stalls. (Has anyone noticed that I talk a lot about bathrooms?)

My final mileage was 14.36 with a time of 3:57:09. Jared took around 4 hours and 40 minutes, and he usually walks fast when he’s by himself. My average pace was 16:31, so the running definitely made a difference.

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