April 2018 Trail Dispatch

Ice Age Trail Alliance
Chippewa Moraine Chapter

Ice Age Trail Dispatch

Early March? Late April 2018

Trail Cleanup Day, Saturday, April 21, Is Cancelled

The April 21 Trail Cleanup Day has been cancelled. The access roads are still closed to traffic making access extremely difficult to do the job we need to do. We hope to gather some willing hands to go out on Wednesday, April 25 if the conditions warrant. If you would be available for either Wednesday or Thursday, please click on the big yellow button.

Trail Cleanup Makeup Day

Cal Kraemer, One Indomitable Trail Maintainer

Cal at June 7, 2007 National Trails Day Event

Cal Kraemer died on Monday, 4/17/2018 at the age of 88. The Leader-Telegram obituary is linked below. The funeral service is at 11 AM Monday, April 23, at 11 AM, at Trinity Methodist Church in Chippewa Falls.

Cal was a regular volunteer on the Ice Age Trail and at our chapter events along with his wife Donna Kraemer since 2002. In 2006, the chapter chose him for the "In The Mud" award for his volunteer service. 

Shortly after the chapter obtained the DR field and brush mower, Cal stepped forward to adopt the section of trail from Firth Lake to Hwy CC, and mowed it frequently for many years. It is a difficult section of trail to mow, and takes multiple days to do it. It includes an extensive stretch through shoulder-high hayland along the edge of open farmland. Often Donna joined him for moral support and to clear the branches that would hinder the mowing. 

Not limiting themselves to just mowing, Cal and Donna took on other tasks on their section, including minor adjustments to the trail route when required. On one occasion they hauled in posts and marked a section of trail where logging had left it unnavigable. After health concerns dictated that he turn in his mower keys, Cal continued to volunteer in other ways until one day he announced that he was ready to resume mowing, which he did for another two years. In later years, Cal would always come to the Parade of Colors to offer his services driving hikers to their starting points, while Donna would offer refreshments. When they couldn’t help at a recent MSC project, they turned out to check things out and bring a load of cookies.

Cal was also a valuable contributor and moral support to chapter decision-making. His experience as a former county staff person helped us to develop our relationship with county staff. He participated at chapter meetings, offering seasoned wisdom. He always had a twinkle in his eye and yet was ernest in his opinions. He was a great mentor.

Cal’s family has suggested memorials to either the Ice Age Trail Alliance or to the Trinity United Methodist Church. You can make a memorial gift to IATA in Cal’s honor online here.

We all miss Cal Kraemer, and appreciate all that he has contributed to the trail, the chapter, and as a friend. Thanks, Cal.

Obituary: Leader-Telegram       Chippewa Herald

Blue Hills Trail Improvement Day, Thursday, May 3 Also Cancelled!

Unfortunately, the May 3 Blue Hills Regional Trail Improvement Day has also been cancelled. We assume the snow may be gone, but it will be too wet and muddy to accomplish our goals for that day. We are currently working on an alternate date.

Trailbuilding Event Opportunities Still Available

A small trailbuilding event has been announced for June 6-9 with a focus on replacing the Mudbrook bridge and boardwalk. In addition to the structures, an unknown amount of new tread may also need to be constructed. This is an IATA Mobile Skills Crew project, and will include the usual MSC features: food and campsites are provided at no cost, learn as you work under the eyes of experienced MSC leaders, lots of camaraderie and entertainment capping off a day of hard work.

The event is identified as the Harwood Lakes Segment project, and registration is now open. The catch is that due to the circumstances caused by much of the activity being on a boardwalk and bridge, the registration is capped at 40 participants. Registration is open, but there are only a few slots left and we hate to leave you out. If you are still hoping to come, you should register now.

Harwood Lakes MSC Info & Registration

Camping and meals will be at the Chippewa Moraine - Old Girl Scout Camp site that was used for the Wayward Beaver project in 2004.

Help IATA Win $5000!

Did you vote yet today? Remember to vote for your favorite trail and help IATA win! It’s the Gear Junkie’s “Fastest Known Time” contest. One of nine “Iconic Trails” will win $5000, and all will win something. You can win something, too (a guided hike, a pair of trail shoes). Vote early and often — daily if you wish — and even get bonus votes each time you upload a photo taken on the trail. Vote often between now and May 31.

The IAT is doing quite well right now with double the votes of its closest competitor, the Superior Hiking Trail. One suspects they are planning a stealth attack when our guard is down, so don’t be lulled into complacency!

Set your reminders app to remind you to vote every day. (Note: The new days starts at 7 PM).

Vote Now!

Coming Up In May: Sunday Hike, Trail Improvement Day, Chapter Meeting

Mark your calendars for upcoming events in May: 

Sunday Hike: Sunday May 6 at 1 PM, Hwy CC Trailhead Parking Lot

Trail Improvement Day: Saturday, May 19 at 9 AM, Meet at Obey Center

Chapter Meeting: Monday, May 21 at 6:30 PM, Chippewa Falls Library

Where to Find IATA and Chapter Event Information

The go-to place to find current information about all our chapter events and IATA events everywhere is the calendar at the IATA website, www.iceagetrail.org. The Calendar link is in the menu, or bookmark www.iceagetrail.org/events/. To find our chapter-specific events, either choose Chippewa Moraine from the dropdown menu under Event Category and click the “Find Events” button, or just bookmark this button:                                 ⬇︎

Chippewa Moraine Chapter Events

See you on the trail,

Richard Smith
Chippewa Moraine Chapter Chair


The Ice Age Trail
A Walk Through Time