Day 40 – IAT Mile 713.9 to 743.7

This morning started early.  I had my eyes set on another 30ish mile day, my feet and I had a long conversation last night and it was unanimously decided that running would not be an option today.  If running was out, I’d have to keep a consistent pace throughout the day with shorter breaks as needed.  Brian was more than happy to get up before sunrise and cart me back to the IATA HQ building for starting my day.

Walking all these road miles has given me the opportunity to see how this area of Wisconsin has changed and is changing.  There are old country roads with old farm houses on one side of the road and huge boxy shaped modern houses on the other side.  We saw a lot of these different architectures at Lake Wisconsin, which is kind of expected on waterfront property, right?  Seeing large amounts of money go into property development in the farm area from people not farming has been an odd thing to see.

Weather since Brianna’s injury day has been the best hiking weather we have seen in over a week.  Ironic, annoying or lucky?  Highs in the low 80s with zero chance of rain have really helped me put on the big miles.  Even so, today’s Valley View trails & road walks left me exposed to large amounts of sun all morning.  I spent most of the day with the sunbrella out and made sure Bob brought one out for his afternoon hike with me.  This is my first hike with a sunbrella and I wouldn’t go on another without it.  Too much sun ruins a good day, ruins a good body.

Today’s approach to the miles was a little different than normal.  Instead of starting at point A and hiking to point B, we did a sort of ‘flip-flop’.  I hiked from IATA HQ and into the city where our hotel is, Verona, and had Brian pick me up.  From there, Brian drove Bob and I to the south end of the hike and dropped us off so we could hike back into the city.  A day hike like this was a convenient way to hook up with Bob and not make Brian drive 20-30 minutes to pick us up at the end of the day.  Also, Bob only wanted to hike 10 miles and this approach let me map out what that would look like a little easier, have fewer road miles.

Bob & I’s 10 mile hike through the Brooklyn Wild Life Area & Montrose segment was mostly flat and enjoyable terrain that ended with a 3 mile ATV/bike path.  The journey took us around 5 hours as we walked and talked the whole way.  We cherish alone time together and are never short on topics, particularly those related to family life and adventuring.  It was precisely this kind of Bob & Marty conversation that got us joining the Air Force together 23ish years ago.

A Horsemen visit wouldn’t be complete without some kind of video game experience, particularly when my predicament robbed my friends of some planned arcading, so the boys took a drive to the I/O arcade bar in Madison.  My feet hurt and it was hard to stand, neither of which prevented me from having a beer and getting down on some Dig Dug, Frogger, Guitar Hero, Mortal Combat and NBA Jams.  It was past 11pm by the time I got to bed.  No regrets!