Thursday, July 6th, 6:05 a.m. – Departed from Bloyer Field (Y72) in Tomah, Wisconsin.
The Atmosphere’s Mood
Morning Conditions – Temp – 63 with high humidity / Wind – SW at 5 mph / Skies – Clear but hazy. High cirrus clouds to the east, anvil tops from thunderstorms to the north and northwest.
Afternoon/Evening Conditions – Temp – Reached a high of 92* with very high humidity / Wind – Westerly but variable / Skies – Clear with cumulonimbus clouds beginning to build up to the north and northwest by 5:00 p.m. Severe thunderstorms began passing through the area at around 9:00 p.m.
6:30 p.m. – Arrived at the Edge O’ The Woods Motel in New Lisbon, Wisconsin, 20.3 miles, 53,400 steps, 113 miles remaining.
- The Early Start – I love the early mornings in the country. The air is heavy and sweet, and smells of clover, freshly mown alfalfa and soil made damp by the dense morning dew. Especially in the peak of summer when things are really heating up, it’s the best time of the day.
- Mill Bluff State Park – This park is just a few miles west of Camp Douglas. By the time I arrived there, it was late morning and the temperature had already climbed into the upper 80s. Within the park and immediately adjacent to the road I was walking on, there lies a small pond with a swimming beach. By taking a slight detour and walking to the other side of the pond, it was possible to sit in the shade of giant oak trees and feel the cool and refreshing breeze that was blowing across the pond. It felt like a little piece of paradise. I’ve never been to a desert oasis, but imagine that arriving at one must be a similar experience to the one I had at Mill Bluff.
- Edge O’ The Woods Motel – Opting to stay at small motels can be a bit like buying scratch-offs: lots of times you lose, other times you win a little, and every now and then, you win big. I felt like I won big at Edge O’ The Woods. This little motel had touches of home, and it was obvious that the owners care a lot about its condition, sustainability and making guests feel at home. Because the owners couldn’t be there at the time I arrived, provisions were made for me to get access to my room in their absence. I didn’t talk to anyone at the front desk until the next morning. More on that later…
Amazing Storms – There’s nothing quite like the power of a large thunderstorm. There were some very impressive ones passing through the New Lisbon area between 9:00 and 11:00 in the evening. Copy and paste the link below into your browser to have a look!
- Feeling the Time Crunch – More and more as this walk has progressed, I’ve been feeling like I made a critical error in planning it. There simply wasn’t enough time built in to stay for very long at any of the the places I’m passing through. Especially now, as its end is drawing near, I regret making that planning error. The next time I do something like this…:-)
- Melted Gummies and Burned Lips – It got so hot in my pack today that the gummie vitamins carried inside of it all melted together into one, big multi-colored blob. Also, the metal water bottles hanging on the outside of my pack were exposed to the sun for so long that the water inside them got scalding hot. I burned my lips trying to drink it. Not going to do THAT again!
A special note to: Jovanka (pronounced Yovanka) – Owner of The Edge O’ The Woods Motel – It was a pleasure to talk with you for a few minutes before I left, Jovanka. Your hard work makes a room at your motel feel less like a room, and more like home. Thank you! You and your partner are welcome at our home in Duluth anytime. Jill and I would love to have you…:-)
Lessons Learned – There are certain things that are simply beyond our control. Accepting that fact – and even embracing it – makes an adventure like this one so much more enjoyable. I don’t really seek out danger, but if it comes my way, I’m going face it head on, and be better and stronger coming out the other side!