Skunk and Foster Lakes and Waupaca River Segments

Another day, another hike on the Ice Age Trail! This hike was just north of where we hiked yesterday. Jared dropped Penny and me off at the parking lot of the Skunk and Foster Lakes Segment, which is within the Skunk and Foster Lakes State Natural Area north of highway 10 and east of Amherst. Today was cooler than yesterday, so I wore pants and I had my fleece on as we waited. I worked on taking some pictures for the weekly photo challenge. I’m in a photography group that has a 52 in 2018 photo challenge with a different themed photo each week. The challenge is to go out and photograph the theme rather than going through your photo collection and finding something that fits. This week is transmogrify, so I was taking pictures of some new leaves.

The Skunk and Foster Lakes Segment makes a big C through the natural area. The highlight of the hike happened 10 minutes after we started. Jared spotted something in the tree and as we got closer noticed it was an owl. I was able to get a few pictures of it before it flew away. This owl is one of the reasons I wanted to get a better smaller camera. I was able to zoom in and get a good shot. We were too far away for my phone to get a decent picture. I’m not even sure if I would have gotten this good of a shot with my old DSLR camera.

The Skunk and Foster segment is split into to sections of trail with a road walk in between. Overall it was a nice area to hike. Penny found a few spots where she could take a quick dip in the lakes. The section ended and we had another road walk to do. This portion crossed the railroad tracks and highway 10. We had to stop at the tracks and wait for a train, this has never happened to me before while hiking the Ice Age Trail! We had to cross four lanes of traffic at highway 10. We got over the first two lanes and then was waiting in the median for the second set to clear out. Some lady decided she would stop on the highway so that we could cross. I hate when people do dangerous things like this. Yes, we were crossing a highway, but it is the suggested route and we were not in the way of traffic. People seem to do dumb things like this when I’m riding my bike too. I’ll be at a stop sign and they will stop to let me go across. This is a big danger for me because the traffic from the other direction isn’t going to stop.

After getting across, we walked a bit farther and then came upon a road closed sign. The road was closed for logging, so we just continued through. It was a huge mess, but not that big of a deal for us. We only walked maybe 200 yards until we got to the Waupaca River Segment. We stopped for lunch here and gave Penny a break. She was doing well on day 2. After lunch we traveled a little farther and then came upon a shelter. We stayed at this shelter two years ago when doing another segment. That time was my very first hike on the Ice Age Trail!

Penny found a few more places to get into the water. We were following the Waupaca River, and it was moving pretty quickly. Penny attempted a few spots that were a bit too deep for her. This segment is also split into to parts, so after awhile we had another road walk. This one got pretty warm after awhile, but Penny continued to do well. We stopped at one shady spot to give her some water and she seemed to perk up a bit. I put on sunscreen about three times, so hopefully I didn’t get burnt today. The last section of the trail runs between fields, including a strawberry field, that is behind Turner’s Market.

I felt tired today, so I was glad to be done. In total we did 9.31 miles, so I’m not sure why I felt tired. Now that we have completed this area, all that we have left is parts of that are farther up north with about a three hour one way drive. I think we have three or four weekend left, and next weekend we’re going for three days!!

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