New year brings a fresh start and a snowy hike

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Russ Helwig | January 7, 2014

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a great holiday season to culminate the old year and are welcoming the New Year with anticipation of more great adventures, whether it is some fabulous trekking adventure far away from home or exploring our wonderful nearby trails.

 Before writing about the walks this week I want to bring up a recurring error that is often made about Lapham Peak. Most recently I am sure that some of you noticed that my Weekly Walk column for Dec 29 had an error in both the labeling of the photo and reference to Lapham Peak in the text. The column was basically my walk report for Dec 11. In the newspaper column the copy editors substituted Lapham Peak State Park for Lapham. That error also was also made last year and I wrote a correction in a walk report explaining that Lapham Peak is not a state park. It is technically the Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, South Unit. We now also have the Mukwonago River Unit of the KMSF, S. Unit. It is not a state park. Like Lapham Peak it has some of the characteristics of a park but it is part of the state forest, not a state park. If you want to verify this please check the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources web site for listings of state parks and state forests. I fear that because of this error it will perpetuate.

Tuesday walk:

I did not expect many, if any hikers on New Year's Eve day. It was beginning to snow. The temperature was three degrees when I left home and by the time I arrived it was eight degrees according to my trusty car thermometer.

Ed Rynko was the only one besides me to show up for the walk. As is always the case with Ed, he would hike alone if no one was there to hike with him so that his long drive from his home in William's Bay would be worthwhile. I was happy to hike with him because I had not had much exercise since the short hikes we had last week.

We decided to repeat the hike from the week before walking counterclockwise around Lake LaGrange. It was a beautiful hike with light snow falling. After brushing the snow off our cars we found traffic slow because of slippery roads.

Wednesday walk:

On New Year's Day I also expected few if any on the walk, especially since our local Ice Age Trail Chapter had a competing walk at the Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy in the afternoon. I knew this and encouraged others to take that walk which was followed by a potluck at Eileen Harris' home. I had talked to Ellen Davis before leaving for the walk and she was not able to go to lead any short distance hikers. I told her that if any showed up I would lead the short hike.

As it turned out on this day no one except me showed. It was a cold morning and with no one to hike with I decided to cancel the hike. I was tempted to hike in the afternoon at Kishwauketoe but roads were slippery; others who I was carpooling with were only going to the potluck afterwards, so I chose to do that. Reports were that the hike/snowshoe at Kishwauketoe was very nice and we all had a great time at the party.

Happy Trekking,



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