Before this summer, I had never heard of the Ice Age Trail. We were going to a party for Jerry’s mom–in celebration of her life in her 90th year. Afterwards, our whole family (minus Rebekah’s husband, John–and, of course, AnnaLeah & Mary) spent the better part of a week at a cottage in Wisconsin–some of us stayed longer than others.
In preparation for such a detailed endeavor, Naomi mentioned that they would be camping and hiking enroute to the party. They also hoped to do some additional hiking during the week. So I asked the cottage owner if she knew of any trails in the area and she mentioned the Ice Age Trail: http://www.iceagetrail.org/.
Sam & Naomi left the cottage early most mornings to check out the trails. Before they left to go back home they had covered 28 miles of the Ice Age Trail. I was privileged to join them for 3 1/2 miles.
Because I did not have a dog to keep track of on our hike, I was able to take photographs here and there as we walked–though not with the professional quality which would have been achieved with photos taken by Sam and Naomi. Once I got home, I put together a short video to help me remember the day and the memories it brought of AnnaLeah and Mary and the ways that they found to enjoy nature.
Sam & Naomi invited me to take a Karth Trek hike on a portion of the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin. Sam took Mary’s stuffed toy St. Bernard, Gertie–along with the 3 Karth Trekking dogs (Django, Miles, & Billie). I think that Mary & AnnaLeah would have enjoyed the adventure–joining Sam on the big rock, walking through the woods, fields, & hilly terrain, and playing Pooh Sticks with me on the bridge over the creek.
Before we began, Naomi made sure that I was informed on the proper way to react if we saw a black bear (vs a grizzly bear). She was — at one and the same time — hopeful that she could add a bear to the list of things she’d seen and edgy about the possibility. I, for one, was definitely more jumpy than if we had not had that particular conversation. It wasn’t so bad in the wide open areas of the trail, but the spots which had lots of trees and undergrowth — and thus low visibility — were more nerve-wracking.
All in all, we saw a great variety of interesting things on our hike. Lamb’s Ear, which Naomi tells me can be crushed and then applied to mosquito bites. http://www.homemade-by-jade.com/blog/wooly-lambs-ear-natures-bandaid Burnt branches. Many varieties of wildflowers, including Indian Paintbrush. Tiger (Orange Day) Lilies. Ferns. Tall pines & lots of short oak “trees.” Yarrow.
The terrain also varied greatly–with pebbles on only some parts and a big rock which Sam climbed up on in another area. One time when Sam was in the lead, he quietly called back to us to look ahead at the rafter (or muster) of wild turkeys walking along the trail.
In fact, we found quite a few feathers on the ground: turkey, hawk, seagull, and bluebird.
A Karner Blue Butterfly: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/factshee.html.
Thanks, Sam & Naomi, for sharing with me your love and knowledge of God’s creation.
Youtube video of Mary with Django (October 2012, Warsaw Indiana): https://www.facebook.com/464993830249803/videos/574678849281300/
Tiger Lilies on the trail and in the altar flowers (May 3, 2015 in memory of AnnaLeah & Mary) and at the cemetery: