Day 29 – IAT Mile 489.7 to 511.4

It was nice sleeping at the Iola winter sports club shelter last night.  Staying at a shelter means no putting up a tent, and more importantly, not having to find time to dry it out the next day.  On the trail, Brianna falls asleep about an hour before me.  I looked out the open side of the shelter at Mars dipping across the black horizon for a while, my legs spasming after the long road miles.  A critter was scratching the wall next to Brianna’s head, eventually making it onto the roof of the shelter, but she did not stir.  I could also hear several hornets nests in the rafters, but they did not bother us.

Debbie, our local trail coordinator for this segment, picked us up at 0700 as planned.  She greeted us with a smile and a bag of fresh grapes.  It’s clear to me now after these brief encounters with Debbie that she has a busy mind and is a hub of whose who in the local IAT community.  In the short period since dropping us off, she had reached out to several people who might assist us later.  Thank you for everything, Debbie!  You are a rockstar.

Our hiking day began where it had ended, the Rosholt Dollar General.  I’m not a fan of dollar stores and their ability to shut down local businesses when they come into town, but they seem to be everywhere on the trail we need them to be.  We shop locally whenever possible.

Today was a much better day than yesterday!  There was more road walking, of course, but we had a breezy overcast kind of a day.  New Hope & Iola Ski Hill segments were pristine.  Fresh wood shavings lay about the trails, evidence of recent trail work to clean up after the storms.  These central trails have some challenging hills, short and dry, well traveled and easier on the feet.

We found and reserved an AirBnB apt for tonight in the little village of Scandinavia,

Wi.  The best part, other than showers and laundry, is we didn’t even need to add extra miles to make it.  The village has a population of about 263 and is one of the oldest established villages in Wisconsin, probably no more than a couple square miles in size.  

Somehow, as small as it is, Scandinavia is easily one of our favorite places to have passed through so far.  Every business and many houses fly various Scandinavian flags in honor of the original settlers.  Brianna & I both got 1/2 pound burgers from the Norway Bar & Grill before retreating back to the luxury of our $125 a night AirBnB apt.  It doesn’t take much to make us happy these days, this place is above and beyond.  Newly renovated loft style bedroom with locally made beer and caramel candies in the fridge.