May 2012 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

May 2012

First "Sunday Hike", Sunday, May 6

Our wildly poplular "Sunday Hikes" return on Sunday, May 6. We meet at 1 PM at the Chippewa Moraine Interpretive Center. Sue Bauer has volunteered to be the "leader" of the day, but she'll appreciate your input and company on this hike. It's just a beautiful time of year to hike with wildflowers, birds, and emerging leaves in abundance.

No RSVP necessary for this hike, but feel free to connect with Sue in advance of the hike:

Honor Your Mother At Trail improvement Day on Saturday, May 12!

Your mother will be so pleased that you spent Saturday, May 12 working on the Ice Age Trail in her honor. And the trail will appreciate it as well. We've made great progress with our work days so far in cleaning and brushing out the trail for the season, and we have reached Firth Lake, the site of this month's Trail Improvemnent Day.

We'll meet at 9:30 AM at the Chippewa Moraine Interpretive Center (8 miles east of New Auburn on Hwy M), and plan to work till about 3. Bring a lunch and water, and wear long pants and shirt, socks, sturdy work shoes, and work gloves. Also keep in mind the weather. The ticks are out, and as usual, tucking pants into socks is the best defense. While mosquitos are scarce so far, no one is betting they won't be here on May 12.

Please RSVP if you plan to make it to this work day as it sure helps with planning. Just send an email for this workday to Jerry Sazama who will be our leader for the day:

Cameron Middle School Students Return on May 4 

We expect to host 51 middle school students from Cameron on a trail workday this Friday, May 4. Eight of our volunteers will join four of theirs to guide the students in cleaning up a section of trail in the 245th St area. It was wonderful to work with these students last year, and we're hoping for a great day again. Thanks to all the volunteers who will make this opportunity for the students memorable. Also, thanks to Tony Schuster for taking the lead on this day.

Chapter Meeting, Monday May 21

Our last formal chapter meeting this spring is Monday, May 21, at 6 PM at the Chippewa Falls Library. Come and help us plan our June Trails Day event and our other summer activities. 

Hwy CC Footbridge On The Move

The beautiful footbridge that our volunteers crafted along Hwy CC a few years ago has been sent packing. The bridge spanned a dry ravine that presented an obstacle to hikers as they emerged from the trees while hiking the beautiful Chippewa River segment alongside the river.

To quote Mike Rivers, "last fall Chippewa County made significant renovations to County Highway 'CC', including adding several thousand feet of guardrail in order to reduce accidents. This morning someone exhibiting remarkable driving skills managed to evade all the guardrail, go part way down a steep embankment, and then continue along that embankment for a couple hundred feet and wipe out one of our Ice Age Trail footbridges." 

In the short term, you may need to scramble up onto the Hwy CC shoulder to get over the ravine. 

Join Hands Day: Thanks JoAnn!

For several years, JoAnn Parks has quietly led a small group from her home area in a work project on the trail. It's part of a national program called "Join Hands Day", that connects kids and adults in service projects. This year, JoAnn and her crew will sweep clean the section of the trail along Hwy CC and south to Hwy Z. Another big help, showing how you can move a mountain one grain of sand at a time.

Thanks, JoAnn, and your volunteers!

National Trails Day, June 2

We've celebrated National Trails Day in a variety of ways, and this year we have decided to do a special work project. It's still a surprise (to even us!), but come to the chapter meeting on May 21 and learn the secret! Otherwise, just put the date on your calendar and plan to join us that day.