Before I get into today’s hike/run, I promised to discuss food. Food is critical to long-distance efforts. Everyone develops her own system as to what works. I like to start off my day with peanut butter and jelly on toast, plus coffee. During the day I eat mainly energy bars and similar products, with a pre-packaged peanut butter and jelly “Uncrustable” for lunch (great source of protein, carbs and fat). But that alone won’t cut it. I need treats, too. My favorite? Seroogy’s meltaways.

Seroogy’s is a +100-year-old candy maker in De Pere. Ironically (and sadly), I never heard of them during my four years at St. Norbert College. Years later I learned of the company, and quickly developed a fondness for its meltaway line. Then, after purchasing a bunch of these candy bars during a fundraiser, I packed them when I tackled the Camino. They were magical. Whenever I didn’t think I could make it to the next town, I’d tell myself I could have a big bite of my candy bar when I got there, and somehow my feet kept moving. One of the saddest days was when I eagerly unwrapped my bar, only to find it had melted in my pack (it was in the 80s). I’m not embarrassed to say I licked the wrapper clean. So I’ve got a boat load of Seroogy’s chocolates with me (mint, chocolate and mocha, if you must know). And whenever I start dragging, or get cranky about all of the rocks hurting my feet, I take a big bite of my candy bar when I next see my crew. Oh, and when the day is done, I eat a dinner worthy of a lumberjack.

Now on to today. I was a bit of a Miss Crabby Pants to start. My feet were feeling pretty good, but the West Bend segment was so rocky, it caused them to ache immediately. Then I got them pretty wet during the Southern Kewaskum segment, which caused all of my bandages to slip off and around in my socks. It was also very warm out for the gazillionth day – temps topped out around 80 – and I began dumping water over my head early in the day. I was not happy. But things improved.

The Kewaskum segment was quite beautiful, especially some of the parts in the open prairie that topped the rolling hills. At one point I popped out on top of a ski hill and ran down, which was pretty funny. I was able to walk the brand-new section of the Milwaukee River segment, which was also very pretty and had great footing to boot. And then I entered Northern Kettle Moraine, baby! Yes, another landmark.

Unfortunately, much of the Milwaukee River and Parnell segments were very rocky, which my feet didn’t like. Still, I was able to run a bunch, and that always makes me happy. My parents took over as my crew, and pampered me. (Love the candy corn flavored m&ms, Mom and Dad!)

Tonight I’m staying at the Irish-themed Rochester Inn in Sheboygan Falls. It’s a very nice place with those all-important amenities: a comfy bed and whirlpool to soak my feet.

I have just FIVE days to go. Sturgeon Bay, here I come.

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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