March 2015 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance

Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

March 2015

Chapter Meeting Monday March 16

IATA Chippewa Moraine Chapter members will meet at 6:30 PM Monday, March 16, at the Chippewa Falls Public Library. We’ve been occupied with other things over the winter, and this will be our first opportunity to review our calendar and projects for 2015. There have been some interesting developments over the winter, and we will want to hit the ground running as spring arrives. If this is the year you have resolved to play a bigger part in making the trail a better hiking experience for all, then your first stop might be this meeting.

Register To Attend IATA Annual Conference at the Dells

The annual IATA Annual Conference and Membership Meeting is coming up on Thursday through Sunday, April 23-26 at Wintergreen Resort in Wisconsin Dells. It’s not too early to think about your registration and room reservation, as those deadlines come up soon.

As usual, the conference will feature a variety of hikes, keynote speakers, nuts and bolts information sessions, and time to renew acquaintances with trail friends. The full schedule of activities, information, and reservation/registration links, are available online.

Among the highlights of the conference are presentations by two authors, Jerry Apps and James Mills. Apps’ Friday evening talk will be a look at his relationship with his Waushara county farm, and a call to preserve wild and rural places and leave them in better condition for future generations. Mills Saturday evening talk will be an exploration of the reasons why minority citizens are less likely to seek adventure, recreation, and solace in the wilderness spaces we have traditionally enjoyed, and look at some successes.

We’ll also celebrate the accomplishments of our IATA members and others as both the Alliance and the IATA award volunteers for their leadership and service. The annual membership meeting is everyone’s chance to participate in setting directions for the Alliance on Saturday afternoon.

A new feature will be the Saturday morning “Chapter Leadership Summit”. Chapter leaders (that  doesn’t just mean elected officers!) will gather for a brainstorming and idea-sharing workshop all morning, and the breakfast is free to participants! If you are an active chapter leader or are interested in this, this session is for you (don’t be shy). You need to sign up on the registration form.

The important deadlines to note are April 1, the date the Wintergreen Resort releases any unclaimed rooms, and April 3, the registration deadline for the conference.

New ColdCache Sites Added In County

Three new ColdCache sites have been added to the two existing sites in Chippewa County! The new sites are located near Firth Lake, near the Deer Fly Trail, and at the Obey Interpretive Center. ColdCache sites make learning about the glacial geology along the Ice Age Trail fun, especially for those who’ve already gotten a taste of geocaching. While ColdCaching is not exactly like geocaching (there are no boxes and trinkets), it is similar in that you find the location using your GPS device, and in this case, you read about the location and answer some questions about it. As you find and identify the sites, you qualify for program badges. There are ColdCache locations all along the Ice Age Trail.

One of the new sites is located on the trail just west of Firth Lake, and features some groovy ridges. In fact, the site has been labeled “Groovy Ridge”. It’s an example of a type of ridge formed by a crevasse in the ice that was unusually wide, so that the debris did not completely fill the opening but rather stayed on the two sides of the opening. Another site highlights an enormous glacial erratic. The third site is of a feature that is unique to our part of the trail.

See the list of local sites, links to the descriptions and locations, and links to all the ColdCache sites here.

If you’re not yet familiar with ColdCaching, see this article from Mammoth Tales.

Hats off to Dolly McNulty for her research and work in creating all of these sites!

Coming Up

Looking ahead to April, please add these dates to your calendars:

Saturday, April 18: Trail Improvement Day (Get the trail in gear for the Ultramarathon)

Thurs - Sun, April 23-26: IATA Annual Conference and Member Meeting

Sunday, April 26: Outdoor Expo

Sunday, May 1: Sunday Hike, 1 PM