Today runner friends John Selbo and Ann Heaslett were my crew members. We had a great day! Most of the day was spent on the trails, which is always a good thing. I had John or Ann with me on almost every segment.
Valley View started in between two enormous homes; it was quite easy to miss the trail if you weren't looking closely. It ran up into some prairie, then wound down among more homes. Parts were overgrown, and being early morning and dewy, I got pretty wet from the waist down.
The Madison segment took us around University Ridge Golf Course; signage was a tad confusing at some points. Luckily John was with me, as it's easier to find blazes with two people looking.
I'd been on portions of the Verona segment before, and that was well-maintained and scenic. I even got to use a bathroom, a rarity while on the trail.
The Montrose segment began on the Badger State Trail, and I have to say it was awfully nice to be able to run on a rail-trail for a while -- a flat, even surface. We made up a bunch of time on that one. We emerged at a spot I'd been looking forward to for a long time: Dot's Basement Bar in Basco. At the 2013 Ice Age Trail Annual Conference, lots of thru-hikers and section hikers talked fondly of stopping in for a cold beer at Dot's. Alas, when we arrived it was about 1:30, and Dot's doesn't open until 3:30 daily. I fished a lukewarm Leinie's out of the cooler and had two big gulps in front of Dot's just so I could say I had a beer there.
The Brooklyn Wildlife segment had some overgrown spots, but was mostly a beautiful combination of woods and prairie. John kept reminding me to stop and enjoy the views, which were pretty spectacular all day. We really do live in a gorgeous state.
Tonight I'm staying at Albany House in Albany. What a lovely B&B in a historic home. I'm in the Birdseye room, which has a great clawfoot rub for soaking tired feet, plus a comfy bed.
Oh, can't forget to mention that one segment had a sign saying the Eastern Terminus was 376 miles away. I hiked/ran miles past that, so I'm guessing I have only about 360 miles to go. WOO HOO.
One more thing. While on a connecting road segment, we passed old IAT signs for the Exeter segment. I don't have that one on my maps, and have never heard of it. I'm guessing it was a segment that ran on private land in the past, and the current landowner doesn't want hikers on his/her property.