Tuesday, June 3, 2014

03June2014 - Whitewater Lake to Clover Valley

Jumping ahead to the end of the southern Kettle Moraine State Forest for a solo 3-day hike of the Rock County Segment of the IAT.  I'm planning on continuing two threads this summer; one with Dale from the eastern terminus and the second, from here west.  This way I can still hike with Dale and continue longer sections at the same time..

To make the logistics work I made arrangements with the campground host at the Kettle Moraine East Campground to store my bike.  Leaving the smurf mobile at start of the Albany Wisconsin section I road my bike the 42 miles back to Whitewater Lake Recreation Area in the Kettle Moraine State Forest.  After leaving my bike with the campground host I was on trail by 6pm.

Great beginnings!  On my first step onto the Ice Age trail I encountered a sign for a Scenic View.  The Whitewater Lake Segment was a nice section of trail with wildflowers, green forest, and wonderful bog bridges.  Very nice trail out of the Kettle.

From here I followed a series of back roads with more flowers, woods, fields and farms.  Very pretty area making the road walk pleasant.  Soon I came to the "Flowing Well".  Dug by hand in 1895 it was been flowing steadily since and made for a nice stop and water resupply.

Following dirt roads past another farm I noticed a cow in severe distress laying on the ground.  Groaning in pain the other cows started herding around her and I was worried she was dying.  I jumped the barbed wire fence and was planning on hiking across the field to a farm house to warn the rancher but the cow looked to be in such distress that I decided I didn't have time and went closer to see if I could help.  To my surprise the cow got up and immediately gave birth to a baby calf right in front of me.  Wow, that was unexpected.  I watched as the mother licked the baby clean and then noticed I was making the other cows uncomfortable and got my butt out of the field.  Some excitement for the start of my hike!

I ended the day entering the Clover Valley Segment where the Ice Age Trail followed an overgrown pathway through mushroom laden forest and bog bridges.  Finding a quiet spot to camp tonight.  Not a bad little 8-mile hike considering all the logistics to get onto the trail today.  Did not pass any brew pubs this day so I took my queue from the famous "Whiskey Gang" and had a little after dinner sip.

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