My sister-in-law, Paula Moore, was my crew today. It was great because we'd been at Paula's lake house this past 4th of July, and hiked part of the Monches segment. Today I started at Monches. All I remember of it during the 4th weekend was that it was really hot out (90s), and the trail was full of mosquitoes. Today I saw it in a different light. It's a gorgeous trail with great woodsy sections, water features and bridges.
Lowe Lake was another beautiful segment, containing everything from pine forests to lake views to prairies. I wanted to love Holy Hill, but I have to admit it was just O.K. The first portion was quite brutal, with very steep up and downhills. You only caught glimpses of the basilica's towers twice, and the trail seemed to go on forever, crossing streets and turning into farm fields and all sorts of unusual paths. Pike Lake got a bit confusing, because all of the markings were a yellow wrap around a post (along with wraps of other colors for other paths); no consistent blazing or traditional IAT markings. It was quite hilly, too.
The walk through Slinger was fine, and the Cedar Lakes segment was pretty. I ended doing about 2-3 miles at the start of West Bend -- I enjoyed it quite a bit so far.
Tonight I'm staying with high school and college friends Bunny and Tim Collins. They've been so welcoming, and I feel like I'm at a posh B&B. Speaking of posh B&Bs, last night I stayed at Cold Spring Inn, a beautiful B&B in Hubertus, quite near the IAT. Hosts David and Kari are warm and welcoming, and you can't beat the wine and cheese spread they lay out for you when you arrive (nor the great breakfast parfait in the morning).
Tomorrow, when I'm not so comatose, I want to talk about the importance of FOOD while doing an epic adventure like this.