We left little Switzerland this morning for a 12 mile walk north. Rather than go far out of our way to pick up the Ice Age Trail, we plan to get on the Badger Trail after a 4.5 mile road walk. No sooner did we get on the road and stick out our thumbs, than a car pulled up to offer us a ride. Christianne, from England, was on her way to church, knew right where the trail was, and brought us up to the trailhead. Another Nice Person of Wisconsin!
Now our walk was only 7.5 miles. The Badger Trail is also a bike trail, and we encountered several cyclists out on a beautiful Sunday morning. For a while we walked between walls of corn on either side, so high that we can’t see the farm buildings and silos.
By early afternoon we reached the Cameo Rose B and B, the very nicest place we’ve stayed. Here are some pix of the gardens where we relaxed away the afternoon, looking at gold finches and wild turkeys strutting through the yard, while listening to the waterfall:
Our hosts Dawn and Gary really love their place, and it shows. If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is!
7/19 – today is our day to take in the sights of New Glarus. You may think it strange that on our day off from hiking, we walk around town. What else should we do?
Since the Pet Evaporated Milk plant closed in the 60’s, New Glarus has been all about tourism. Originally settled in 1845, 193 courageous souls left the poverty of Glarus, Switzerland, and formed a new community here. We started the day touring a Swiss village attraction maintained by the historical society, with old buildings, tools and furnishings, including a really big pot used to make cheese.
For lunch, we finally visited Culvers, a Wisconsin food chain that specializes in Butterburgers and frozen custard. We’ve seen them in every town. They have an app so you can keep track of the frozen custard flavor of the day!
And then there were the painted cows… some commercial, some inspirational, all done by different artists. We walked the whole town to make sure we saw them all! Which one is your favorite?
7/17 – today we start a nice, flat 18 mike walk on a Rails to Trails multi-use path along the Sugar River, that the Ice Age Trail shares with the Sugar River Trail. We will break this walk into two days, camping out overnight, as the only town enroute (Monticello) does not have any lodgings. The young and strong would do this walk in one day, but I am the old and not-so-strong, and I want to test out the healing of my foot.
We encountered a retiree bicycling group from Madison, and the riders walked with us a while and took our picture. They hadn’t encountered hikers on their bike trail before!
We have food for the journey, but the map doesn’t indicate a place to refill our drinking water today. A challenge! Jim has been carrying his water filter, and today will be his first chance to use it. By mid afternoon, we were hot and thirsty, so at the next bridge, Jim scooped up some Sugar River and squeezed it through the filter to refill our canteens. The Sugar River is not sweet, but the water was very welcome. We each carry two quarts of water (adding 5 lbs. to our packs) plus Jim fills a collapsible water container with another two quarts for supper and breakfast during our last water stop of the day.
As you can see by Jim’s fashionable outfit, the mosquitoes were out in full force today. Not only did we need our net suits plus Deet, we had to zip the suits all the way up to our necks. Walking along like this makes me feel like an astronaut in a space suit, viewing the world from a distance. Eating reminds me of watching the females in Muslim countries eat wearing their veils. You can do it, but it’s no fun… Joggers and walkers stopped to ask where they could get suits like ours. Answer: Amazon!
7/18 – in the morning we broke camp and walked the last 5 miles to New Glarus.
This town was settled by a group of Swiss immigrants in 1845, and they turned their town into a little Switzerland. Chalet architecture and painted cows everywhere!
Even businesses not trying to attract tourists express the Swiss theme:
After checking into the Swiss Aire motel, we ate an authentic Swiss pub lunch of Brats and local beer at Puempel’s Olde Tavern. Tomorrow, we will check out the tourist attractions!