Ice Age Trail - October 2021

Sat 12 March 2022

I felt like I needed to make up for my poor performance in May, and on top of that, Kristin and I wanted to get more practice in anticipation of our AT trip. We decided to do the same IAT segments I had done in 2020, except as an out-and-back from the west end to avoid the need for a shuttle. We worked out a roughly 65 mile hike, for 6 days/5 nights. The trip was really great, and we completed it with flying colors. We ended up going further than planned to Westpoint Campground, so completed 68 miles total. Weatherwise, we had sun, clouds, drizzle, rain and a thunderstorm with lightning strikes as close as a quarter mile. Nothing we couldn't handle, and we were able to stay mostly dry through it all.

I must say that this portion of the IAT is incredible! We loved the campsites at Sailor Creek and the north side of Lake Eleven - we could have spent several days and nights at each just relaxing and taking in the beauty. The eskers along the trail are also super cool, and we had fun imagining what the melting glacier landscape might have looked like ten-thousand years ago, how the waters would have been flowing, wondering if humans might have been present to witness it. As I write this 6 months after the trip, looking at the pictures again, I am drawn back to the place and the experience... and I will return.

Getting started on the west end of the Lake Eleven Segment
Beautiful gold, lots of leaves. Walking was LOUD in the leaves!
I believe this is Beaver Creek - no notes to confim!
Camp #1 on the south side of Lake Eleven. It was getting dark, and drizzling a bit.
Camp #2 at Sailor Creek. This is a great site!
Feeling good!
Sailor Creek and bridge from the campsite.
Camp #3 at Wespoint Campground on the west side of the Mondeaux Flowage. This is a very nice campground, with very clean pit toilets and a hand-pump well.
Settling in at Westpoint.
Starting day 4 from Westpoint. This, after a night of intense thunderstorms and rain.
A nice resting spot near Lost Lake Esker.
Crossing South Fork Yellow River. This was after staying at Sailor Creek Camp #4 once again. We took a lunch break here, firing up the camp stove for a hot meal.
The north side of Lake Eleven. There was a boat, and we couldn't resist!
Kristin adrift without a paddle! (Not really - we had rope, and the boat was tethered.)
I decided to do some work and try to gather cleaner water. We thought the water from the lake might be less leaf-brown than the creek waters we'd been drinking; it wasn't!
Filtering brown water. Color notwithstanding, the water quality was great, and it tasted great.
Camp #5 couldn't have been any prettier, and having a fire by the lake was a real treat.
An evening view across Lake Eleven.