March 2013 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

March 2013

Jim Brenner's Appalachian Trail Adventure Is Featured At March Chapter Meeting        -- This Monday, March 18!! --

The story of Jim Brenner's completion of the Appalachian Trail last year will be the highlight of our March Chapter meeting, along with a conversation with IATA's Director of Trail Operations, Tim Malzhan. The meeting will begin at 6:30 PM on Monday, March 18, at the Chippewa Falls Library in downtown Chippewa Falls.

Jim Brenner arrived at last October's Parade of Colors Hike overflowing with stories of his just completed adventure of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. It seemed appropriate for us all  to get a chance to hear about his travels, and ask questions about his methods, preparations, and surprises. Jim's a long-time Chippewa Moraine Chapter member, but may be the first to have successfully completed the AT.

Tim Malzhan, known to most of us as the Trail master of the Mobile Skills Crew Program and more recently as Dean of the Ice Age Trail University, was recently re-monikered as IATA's Director of Trail Operations, in recognition of what had become his role for the past few years. He's joining us to fill us on on the details of the April Ice Age Trail University, which will be held here at Camp Nawakwa, and more importantly to outline the plans for the September Mobile Skills Crew Trailbuilding project at Camp Nawakwa, and our chapter's roles in that project, before, during, and after. He'll be fresh from a day of field work on the new trail. 

Bring your questions for Jim and Tim, and plan for an interesting program about long-distance hiking and our role in bringing the AT experience right here every day with our work on the IAT.

IATA Annual Conference At Nearby Dresser

It is said that the IAT is 1000 miles long, and this year the annual conference is going to be held at OUR end of the trail. So check on the registration information soon so you can mark your calendars and get your registration in. 

Whether your tastes run toward hiking, stimulating and entertaining presentations, or nuts-and-bolts sessions, this year's conference has you covered. You might just want to take it ALL in, and overnight accommodations are listed on the registration as well (but their special group rates are only good until March 29). You must register to attend any part of the conference, except for the Annual Member Meeting, which it is possible to attend without registering (although your membership status will be verified for voting purposes, of course).

The headline speaker for the event is Juan Martinez, National Geographic Emerging Explorer. His mission is to inspire others by focusing on the transformative values of nature rather than formidable environmental concerns. He'll be speaking on Thursday evening at 7 PM. Friday evening will feature the premier showing of the third Discover Wisconsin TV program on the Ice Age Trail, and entertainment. Saturday will be focused on IATA awards, but also a NPS presentation on the St Croix National Scenic Riverway.

Don't miss this opportunity to dig in and really enjoy an Ice Age Trail Alliance annual conference.

The full schedule and registration information is online.

Ice Age Trail University

There's a great training opportunity right here at Camp Nawakwa on April 24-28 for those who matriculate at IAT-U. The headline course is the crew leader training, where you can learn everything form soup to nuts involved in leading a trailbuilding crew. You need to apply for that, and participation is limited. You can get details online.

Another great opportunity is to sign up for chef's training. You will then be qualified to help out with food preparation at our September event and other MSC events you might wish to participate in. Donna Pachaud and Carol Johnson have helped out at numerous projects over the past several years and can fill you in on that great way to help build the trail without ever lifting a McLeod. It's got to be fun, as they keep coming back!

If you are interested in learning more, be sure to attend our chapter's March meeting at 6:30 PM on Monday, March 18, where IATA Director of Trail Operations (and Dean of the University) Tim Malzhan will be on hand to describe IAT-U and its offerings in detail. The meeting will be at the Chippewa Falls Library.

Spring Trail Cleanup

Our first regular trail improvement day of the season is Saturday, April 20, and it's an important one! It's our day to sweep the trail clean of debris, trees, and other obstructions that may have dropped over the winter in preparation for the Chippewa 50 trail run the following Saturday. We'd like to have enough people to really cover the western part of the trail where the trail run will occur, so consider joining us for that day. The work will be more walking than usual, as we try to cover a lot of trail.

We'll meet at 9:30 AM at the Chippewa Moraine Interpretive Center near New Auburn. Bring your lunch, water, your favorite tick technique, and you may as well plan for a shower during the day. If you plan to come, please confirm via email.

Outreach Help Needed!

We're getting more and more requests for presentations to groups and participation at events such as exhibits. If you'd like to help, there are some great opportunities we need help with.

• Outdoor Expo, Sunday, April 28: This is an all day affair (with travel) at the Outdoor Adventure Expo in Minneapolis. We share staffing this venue with the other northwest chapters, and we'll be there on Sunday again to tell outdoor enthusiasts about the opportunities that await on the Ice Age Trail. 

• Outdoor Ed-Venture, Sunday, April 28: We've been asked to staff a display at this outdoor-themed event in Cornell from 11-2. It'll be an opportunity to give out maps and answer questions about using the Ice Age Trail. It started around fishing, but has grown to encompass all sorts of outdoor recreation pursuits, and hiking ought to be among them.

If you'd like more info or wish to help out at either of these, please email!

Companion Guide Trail Segment Field Editors Needed

The Companion Guide is being revised and re-imagined as the 2014 Guidebook, but the usual tasks of checking out segments of the trail and verifying or updating the nuts-and-bolts of the segment is always necessary. The request is out for field editors to field check these segments, perhaps here or perhaps in other parts of the trail you'd like to become familiar with. 

If this interests you, contact Gary Hegeman, 414-217-7626 or by email. A general announcement will appear in Mammoth Tales, but you can lay claim to your favorite segment by acting now! Editing packets will be available at the Annual Conference, April 11-14.

Where To Find Information

Here's where to look for IAT and IATA information:

IATA Information:

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Information: AND AND (subscribe!)

Calendar of Chapter and Alliance Events:

Chippewa Mammoth Trackers (informal hike announcements):

Hiking the trail: (check the options under the "Hike the IAT" tab). For Chippewa County:

National Park Service Information about the Ice Age Trail:

Newsletters and information are also available at the chapter web site: