Today’s hike began on the Tuscobia State Trail segment. The hike here was like walking through a green tunnel – trees arched overhead and the trail was mostly flat grass. Temps were 36 at the start, so it was chilly and the grass was really heavy with dew. Thus, my feet got soaked immediately. About eight miles in I changed shoes when I met Ed.

Shortly after leaving the Tuscobia segment, I was supposed to segue onto the Blueberry segment. Unfortunately, I never saw it. The issue is that it is only signed for westbound hikers. So I walked on an ugly gravel road paralleling the Blueberry segment and never knew until I reached the end, where there was the one sign for westbound hikers. Rats. Clearly, it would have been much more pleasant on the trail!

Leaving Tuscobia in the Dust

After Blueberry, you walk through a neighborhood to get to Hemlock Creek, and then Hemlock Creek is just a short walk to the Northern Blue Hills segment. Both of those segments had some spectacular scenery, but also lots of overgrown areas and a few missing blazes. That meant I ended up walking several miles extra today – not fun when you’re already doing 30. The mosquitos were also moderately bad. I wasn’t expecting that in September.

Another disappointment is that I’m not doing nearly as much running as I’d hoped and planned. So many of the trails are so overgrown you can’t even walk them, let alone run. Basically, you’re bushwhacking your way through! I should have packed a machete. By the time I get to Kettle Moraine and Devil’s Lake, those trails will seem like a piece of cake!

We’re staying another night at the Cobblestone Bed and Breakfast in Birchwood. It’s a great place. Last night, I soaked in a huge copper tub in our room. Well, today innkeeper Mary Lou presented me with lavender-scented Epsom salts she bought for me so I could enjoy a healing soak after the long day. How sweet is that?!

Valderi

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