Day 35 – IAT Mile 595.8 to 626.4

This is the stage of the game where the IAT begins to change.  Northern Wisconsin had challenging trails with plentiful camping, towns and resupplies were few and far between.  In the south & east, the trails are more flat and we will walk through at least one town on the daily, but camping options are extremely limited.  We have light packs and tight timelines for our tracks.

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that we will be creating our own more efficient connecting routes, that starts today.  Instead of taking the long roads further west, Brianna and I walked 7.5 miles south on Highway 13.  It was a bit hairy at times, some drivers have a tendency to angle over the white lines as they look at us and wonder, “WTF are these people doing.”  Fortunately for us, there was a big shoulder for us to walk on with flattish grass if we needed to sidestep. From Highway 13, we jumped on 13th ave and continued south on a less busy road for a while.  There are gas stations and other random businesses if we had stayed on the Highway, a trade we were more than willing to make.

If you’ve ever looked at a map of the IAT, you may have noticed that the trail has a big circle loop thing the middle.  This weird thing in the middle is what they call a bifurcation.  Hikers who arrive at the Bifurcation can go west to and through the Wisconsin Dells or go east through some sights related to John Muir’s childhood.  We chose to go west.  I have never seen the Dells before and that seemed like a good enough reason to pick one over the other.

Arriving to the Dells today, a city with this many people, this many stores and restaurants, is both cool and unsettling.  On one hand, we have so many things within walking distance and could Grubhub/DoorDash any food that is not.  On the other hand, there are people everywhere… I feel fortunate to have arrived in on a Monday.

Truth be told, this city is almost exactly like Gatlinburg, TN, and I love Gatlinburg.  Well, I love the memories I have with the people I love in Gatlinburg; hiking, drinking beer, eating trout balls.  Being at the Wisconsin Dells feels like I’m hanging out with a person who looks just like one of my best friends, but isn’t.  It’s like losing your favorite jacket of ten years and buying a new one to replace it.  Gatlinburg and the Wisconsin Dells look so similar, still so different.  Being here one night is not going to help me know the Dells any better either.  The last thing I’m going to do after a long hiking day is check out the local hikes, I promise you that.

Weather reports said the day was to be full of rain.  We got a little drizzle and nothing more.  The real weather worth watching was the sun, and I forgot to put sunscreen on, so now my arms are burnt up.  Feet are doing well, shoes smell like a dog’s butt.  New shoes are on the way and due to arrive on Friday. 650+ miles is far enough for these walking cow patties.  Seriously.  When we are walking and there is no breeze, we can smell our shoes.  It’s bad.

One Reply to “Day 35 – IAT Mile 595.8 to 626.4”

  1. I feel compelled to leave my general sentiment of life here because I can.

    Ew. People.

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