Sixty four miles is the official distance. Filling out the paperwork will make it official, but I now have hiked the entire width of Rock County on the Ice Age Trail(IAT). The county IAT chapter lists the distance as 64 miles. The hike was done in bits and pieces starting last year. Yes, there are some short two and three mile hikes but I also had distances of 18, 12, 10, and 10.
Before going further, I must express my love for Jan who isn’t simply supportive but actually enables this behavior. Farmer and Rock County citizen, Kirk Leach also figures into this as he provided a couple of key angel lifts. Then a shout out to Dennis James and Dean Paynter and the rest of the Rock County IAT. The chapter has been at this a lot longer than I and have helped turn hiking in Rock County into a wonderful experience.
For the curious, the 18-mile hike was roughly Evansville to Janesville. I had an average speed of 2.5 mph and it took me six hours, 45 minutes with a total elevation accumulation of 1,025 feet. The most recent 10-mile hike took four hours, 12 minutes with a 2.6 mph average and total elevation accumulation of 583 feet carrying me from outside Milton into Walworth County to the east.
Experiences? Yes. Walking thigh deep in water on a flooded section at Storrs Lake is memorable. Especially the muck part. The first time through the Devils Stairway was a thrill; narrow and steep and not much to hang onto. Visiting with a pair of deputy sheriffs on a county road is always adorable. A Mr. Smith who invited me onto his property to show off where an under-glacier river deposited a most wonderful white sand distinct from everything around. And Janesville. Who knew, right? Wonderful parks, a downtown that’s perking up, historical sites like the Croak Brewery, and a network of walking/biking trails as well developed as anywhere.
The immediate goal is to make it on the Ice Age Trail past Delafield. There’s the entire Kettle Moraine ahead of me.