Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Kettlebowl Segment - Ice Age Trail

Embracing my adventurous spirit, Charlie and I embarked on our longest hike of the year on Monday. Having taken a "mental health" day from work, I decided my time would best be served spending an entire day exploring a new trail.

Realizing that I have only done one other segment in Langlade County, it seemed only natural to head in that direction.

An hour later, we arrived at the trail head for the Kettlebowl Segment at the entrance to the Kettlebowl Ski Area; now closed for the season, but with a tiny little area to park outside the locked gate.

The sign on the tree behind Charlie says, "Sled Dog Trail"

It was 11am by the time we started hiking and the mild morning temps had risen to close to 80 degrees. A nice breeze joined us along the trail and the hilly terrain propelled us forward as we immersed ourselves in this new landscape.

By the time we reached Big Stone Hole, I realized that Charlie was slowing down quite a bit and probably wouldn't make it as far as the Kent Fire Tower as I had planned.

I let my inquisitive nature take over and bush-wacked my way back into the spur trail toward Big Stone Hole, which apparently no one had explored in a long time based on how overgrown everything was.

I was a little nervous climbing down into the hole filled with tons of moss-covered boulders, some as big as small cars. Rotted tree logs disguised themselves as rocks and I had to be careful where I stepped so I didn't end up falling down into a pit or crevice and getting myself stuck.

Being in a true wilderness area away from civilization where you can't get cell phone reception and no one would hear you scream if something happened is invigorating, albeit a little nerve-wracking as well.

I stood in this Big Stone Hole for a while, marveling at the quantity of rocks that the glacier deposited here thousands of years ago, imagining the distance that they traveled only to end up in a big hole where no one ever goes.

Charlie hopped from rock to rock, exploring the crevices and trying to figure out what this place was all about.

Once my curiosity was satisfied, we back-tracked and enjoyed a slow, leisurely pace on the return hike to the parking area.

Charlie practically fell asleep the minute she got in the car. I watched her content little face all the way home, feet twitching to good dreams about hiking. We stopped for some ice cream and had ourselves a little mid-summer treat on our special Monday outing.

And once again, because of time spent in the woods, I can feel my heart and mind slowly healing.

This is a little video footage of a moment spent in Big Stone Hole... unfortunately it just does NOT do this place justice! Enjoy!