I’m like a horse smelling the hay in the barn, or whatever that saying is. Today they were predicting a 50% chance of rain all morning, then a 70-80% chance of thunderstorms all afternoon. Not good. I was pretty lucky, though. I started off with a 6-mile connecting route, which fed into the Kewaunee River State Trail (flat, great surface), meaning I was able to run a lot. I reached Kewaunee, about 17 miles away, well before noon. No rain, other than a light mist the first mile. The rail-trail, by the way, was quite scenic, paralleling the Kewaunee River much of the time. Ran into a man with a cute puppy, Porter, on the trail (see photo).

Once in Kewaunee, I eschewed the suggested connecting route in favor of running up Hwy. 42, because it was shorter/faster. I was hoping to do about 12 miles — up 42, through Algoma, and out to the start of the Ahnapee State Trail. I made it about halfway when the rain began to fall. I jogged another mile or two, then donned my reflective vest, as it was getting quite foggy and there was plenty of traffic along 42. Just as I entered Algoma, it began raining harder. I grabbed my folks’ umbrella and walked a mile through town. With about 1.5 miles left to the Ahnapee Trail, it really began to pour and I figured why not stop? I was soaked and getting uncomfortable, and I’d made 28 miles in under 6 hours. So I hopped in my parents’ car, and we drove to tonight’s lodging, At the Water’s Edge in Algoma.

My room is large and lovely, with a patio door opening out onto a spacious deck facing the lake. If I’m lucky and the rain goes away, I should see a killer sunrise tomorrow morning.

Tonight I took my parents out to a place I’ve been meaning to try: Skaliwag’s. Billed as “Food that’s Five Star in a Crazy Little Dive Bar,” I’m here to report it’s exactly that. We started off with fried shrimp with aioli sauce, then I had the New Orleans pasta, with andouille sausage and shrimp — yum and yum. There was a small, but nice, wine list. The chef, busy as he was, chatted with us several times. And as Algoma is a small town, he knew what I was doing. The place was packed shortly after we arrived at 4:30 — 4:30!! — and at one point the chef yelled out to everyone that I’d just walked 1,100 miles, and the place erupted in cheers. It was pretty fun, I have to say.

I can’t believe tomorrow is my last day. I can’t believe I’ve been away from home for five weeks (my record was three). I can’t believe I’ve had three skin infections, umpteen blisters and lost three toenails (and counting). I can’t believe how strong I felt running today (amazing how great you feel when the bottoms of your feet are healthy — no cellulitis — and don’t hurt with every step). I can’t believe how many awesome people volunteered to help crew me all of this time. And, most of all, I can’t believe what a beautiful, interesting, funny, fantastical state we live in.

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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