Mid-September 2013 Update

Ice Age Trail Update

Mid-September 2013

Chapter Meeting Reminder: Monday, Sept. 16

Our chapter will meet this Monday, Sept. 16, at 6:30 PM at the Chippewa Falls Public Library. While it is tempting to forgo the meeting due to everyone's participation in the Harwood/Nawakwa project this past week, we really do have some important business to attend to, including our upcoming Parade of Colors Fall Hike (October 5), and other fall trail activities. We need to discuss next year's calendar, as our official Annual Member Meeting is our very next meeting. Also, we'll report on the results of the Harwood Nawakwa project itself, and what's ahead for it. Come, help us sort this all out, and assuming we're all in a celebratory mood, we may just celebrate down the street!

If it is any consolation, we've not scheduled a work day in September. We've all worked quite hard enough for many months!

Thank You!

On a personal note, I will repeat what I said at the closing of the MSC Harwood/Nawakwa project Saturday night: I couldn't be more proud of the Chippewa Chapter members for their hard work, support, and robust turnout for the project. You baked a river of cookies, you welcomed and greeted the participants from at least three states and one foreign country. You cooked, served, cleaned up, and did it all over again and again. You hauled tools, used tools, and learned how to use all those tools safely and correctly. And you created a lot of new trail, including one part that has already been opened. You were just spectacular, and I can say little more than simply, "Awesome job".

Jerry counted around 22 of our members who directly participated at the event, and said he'd never seen such a robust turnout from a host chapter. His list didn't even include additional people who baked and did other behind-the-scenes work to prepare for the event.

There'll be more information forthcoming, but come out to the chapter meeting Monday, and we'll all celebrate together.

Check Out The Newly Constructed Segment and Primitive Camp

The "Blazing Babes" (sorry, but that's what they call themselves) worked very late Saturday afternoon painting the last blazes on the trees, putting up the signs on the new brown posts, and removing the old yellow tin markers from the old segment, and the new segment from Hwy E to the first bridge was officially opened and the old route retired. The new route is about ½ mile, and maybe 90% of it features views of either Picnic Lake or another smaller lake. As if on cue, a soaking overnight rain came on Saturday evening to soak down and stabilize the new but very powdery trail surface. 

Further on down the old trail, a spur trail was marked leading a short distance to a new primitive camping area, complete with benches made with natural materials and a new trail down to the lake. The campsite is available for use by backpackers.

In addition to the trail section and primitive campsite, a major down payment was made on much of the remaining mile or so of trail to be completed in 2014. When completed, the new trail will be nearly entirely on public or Girl Scout land, and permanently protected with a conservation easement.

When you have a chance, stop by the trailhead on Hwy E and hike in and check out the new trail. Make a point to admire the incredible rock work done to stabilize some of the steep slopes, and don't forget to keep your eye on the lake. See if you don't agree with the Girl Scout leaders who told us on Friday night, as they welcomed us to our new home, that the dirt just smells better here.

Coming Up: The Parade of Colors Fall Hike, Saturday October 5!

Be sure you have saved the date for the Parade of Colors Fall Hike on the Ice Age Trail on Saturday morning, October 5. Don't miss this annual celebration of the Ice Age Trail at the Chippewa Moraine. As always, our volunteers (that could be you!) shuttle the hikers to their starting point, from 1 to 6 miles away. They hike back, enjoying the fall colors and clear blue sky reflected in the 21 sparkling glacial lakes the trail weaves past. At their return to the Interpretive Center they're greeted with refreshments. If you'd like to volunteer, let us know; otherwise gather some friends you'd like to introduce to the trail and come join us as we take a walk through time.

See you on the trail,

Richard Smith

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Chair