Jared, Penny, Todd, and I braved the 40mph wind gusts and hiked near Elkhart Lake and Glenbeulah today. Originally I wasn’t going to take Penny because it was forecasted to rain for part of the day, but then I felt guilty about leaving her home. I packed her raincoat and a bunch of towels and took her along.
We started at the north end of the La Budde Creek Segment (east of Elkhart Lake) and headed south. Jared and I had done a mile of the segment last year. I’m pretty sure it was in the spring because parts of the trail were icy and we had to start at a different spot than planned. The rain had stopped right around the time we arrived. I had Penny’s raincoat strapped to my pack in case it started raining again. The trail was a bit muddy in spots, but not too bad. The La Budde Creek Segment has a bit of road walk in between its two sections. We had to walk up a really big hill and it was into the wind. I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere! On the way to the parking lot we had taken this road, and a guy was on his bike just at the top of the hill. He had looked like he wasn’t moving either.
After that segment, we took the road and walked by the ritzy looking Quit Qui Oc Golf Club. At one point we had to keep Penny away from a dead possum. As we continued on, we counted a total of 4 possums dead on the road. Jared started to make stuff up about why there were so many possums together (he’s always talking about something). He said that when a possum dies, the another one will lay down with it and wait for it to wake up and then it gets hit by a car and dies. I decided to look up possums and found an interesting article on Grammarly. I learned that possums are in Australia, New Guinea, Sulawesi, New Zealand, and China and are related to kangaroos. The animal in North America is the opossum and a lot of people shorten it to possum, but it is a totally different animal than the real possum. The opossum and possum are in different orders. It’s been a long time since high school biology, so I don’t remember what that means other than it has to do with the kingdom stuff. Then I went back to figuring out why there would be four opossums together. I found a FAQ about them, one question was “Can I keep an opossum as a pet?” Why would you want to keep that creepy looking animal as a pet? (If I’m going to keep a wild animal as a pet, I would choose the red panda.) The only thing I found was that opossums are solitary animals and only travel in groups during breeding season or a mother with her young.
Soon after it started to rain and I decided to put the raincoat on Penny. It didn’t rain too long, but by then we got out into the open field area and the wind really picked up. The forecast said 20-30 mph winds with 40 mph gusts. We had to walk into the wind on one road and it was really hard to walk. We turned the corner and had some relief with the wind coming at us from the side. A few gusts blew in and I was really leaning into it, then it would quit and I was weaving all over the place. I was glad to get back to the trail and the Greenbush Segment. This segment was very rocky and for a good portion of the time it felt like we were on an esker. There were a lot of ups and downs. This would definitely be a good place to come with a full pack and practice for the Appalachian Trail.
The trail then travels along part of the Old Plank Road Trail. We once again had to deal with the wind. We were only on this bike trail for .6 of a mile. The Ice Age Trail traveled up into the woods, but we continued to the parking lot where Jared’s car was parked. This was a parking lot for the bike trail and lucky for us, it had a pit toilet! When we left Jared’s car there this morning, I asked if we had been to this parking lot in the past. I didn’t think we had because I would have remembered that bathroom!
The total mileage for the day was 10.99. I was so annoyed that I didn’t walk a few more steps and get a nice even 11 miles. We got lucky that it didn’t rain more and only had the wind to deal with. Penny was a bit muddy, but I wiped her off and more mud should have wiped off on the blanket as she rode home. I have no idea though because she went home with Jared and I went to my parents’ house to stay over night since tomorrow is Easter.