Saturday, September 24, 2016

Parrish Hills Segment ~ Ice Age Trail

A couple of weeks ago, on September 11th, Charlie and I were going through our normal lazy Sunday morning routine... coffee and breakfast while watching CBS Sunday Morning and snuggling on the couch. It was turning into a beautifully sunny, blue-sky day and I definitely wanted to get outside to enjoy the sunshine!

Everything on t.v. was filled with images from September 11th fifteen years ago... a lot of sadness and disbelief; still after all this time. And with that, memories of my dad started surfacing. As anyone who has ever lost a beloved friend or family member knows, you miss them every day, but some days are harder than others.

I believe it's important to remember these tragic events and take a moment to honor lives lost, but I also didn't want to get mired down in sadness for the day, so I figured we'd head out to a brand new segment of the Ice Age Trail that we had never been to before and ignite a sense of adventure in honor of all those who are no longer with us. This was the kind of day my dad loved and I'm sure there's no place he would have rather been than hiking on a trail just like this.

We took a leisurely hour-long drive up to Langlade County to take on the Parrish Hills Segment, parking at a small wayside next to Townline Lake where the trail began along the steep banks of the lake amidst towering pine trees.

Recent rains had left large puddles and lots of mosquito-breeding grounds along the trail, but with a quick and constant pace we were able to avoid too many bugs. Charlie had one small tick on her after this hike, but that was to be expected with all the tall grass she was running through.

The variety of trail types available on this segment ranged from single-track dirt trail, 2-track dirt trail and wider gravel trail that was most likely a well-used logging road or ATV trail. Butterflies flitted about occasional meadows of wildflowers and the distinct sound of cicadas filled the air.

Towards the end of the hike, where the trail turned into a large puddle making it impossible to proceed, we took a short side trail that revealed a beautiful hidden lake filled with migrating cranes and geese. It was so rustic and wild, it took my breath away.