Today’s goal was to get through Kewaunee and a little past Algoma. When I started out, I had such energy. That’s because I’m like a horse smelling the hay in the barn, or whatever that saying is! But I digress. The day’s forecast was a 50 percent chance of rain all morning, then a 70 to 80 percent chance of thunderstorms all afternoon. Not good. I was pretty lucky, though.
I started off with a six-mile (9.7 km) connecting route, which fed into the Ahnapee State Trail (flat, great surface), meaning I was able to run a lot. I reached Kewaunee, about 17 miles (27.4 km) away, well before noon. No rain yet, 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).
In and out of Kewaunee
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 (19.3 km) – up Hwy. 42, through Algoma, then out of town on the Ahnapee State Trail. I made it about halfway when the rain began to fall.
After jogging another mile or two (1.5-3 km), I donned my reflective vest, as it was getting quite foggy and there was plenty of traffic along Hwy. 42. Just as I entered Algoma, it began raining harder. I grabbed my folks’ umbrella and walked a mile (1.5 km) through town. With about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) left to the Ahnapee Trail, it really began to pour.
So I figured, why not stop? I was soaked and getting uncomfortable, and I’d made 28 miles (45.1 km) in under 6 hours. And since I wasn’t going to reach the terminus today anyway, why be uncomfortable and maybe get more blisters? With that decision made, I hopped in my parents’ car, and we drove to tonight’s lodging, At the Water’s Edge in Algoma.
Day Is Done
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.
After cleaning up, I took my parents out for dinner at 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 silenced the crowd, then yelled out to everyone that I’d just walked 1,100 miles (1,770 km). The place erupted in cheers. It was pretty fun, I have to say.
This Is It!
I can’t believe tomorrow is my last day. I can’t believe I’ve been away from home for five weeks (my previous record was three). And I certainly can’t believe I’ve had three skin infections, umpteen blisters and lost three toenails (and counting).
In addition, I can’t believe how strong I felt running today. (Yes, it’s amazing how great you feel when the bottoms of your feet are healthy – no cellulitis – and thus 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.