Call me Valderi. As in that catchy refrain from “The Happy Wanderer” – Valderi, Valdera, Valderi, Valdera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, Valderi, Valdera, my knapsack on my back.”
After I made my last post about being bad at names, this one instantly came to me. And it’s perfect. My parents, four siblings and myself were all born in Chicago. We were city folk through and through. Heck, I remember biking to a glass factory with my two older siblings for fun, so we could play with the colorful, broken glass bits in the parking lot.
We moved to Wisconsin when I was eight. One of my first memories of Wisconsin was when my mom loaded the five of us kids in the car and took us hiking along the Parnell Tower Trail – part of the Ice Age Trail (Northern Kettle). As we marched through the woods, my mom made us sing “The Happy Wanderer” with her. So Valderi I am.
Valderi Does Some Reconnaissance
So today, the day before my wild adventure begins, Ed and I drove up to St. Croix Falls. We stopped at Interstate State Park to watch the 24-minute movie on the Ice Age Trail’s geologic history that’s available in the visitor center. It was informative, if a bit campy.
We also found the western terminus, which lies on the park’s Pothole Trail. Potholes – holes in the bedrock – are glacial formations created when stones get caught in eddies in the rivers at the bottom of glaciers. The stones swirl so fast, they drill holes into the ground. The potholes on the trail were pretty cool. But I learned there’s also an Interstate State Park on the opposite side of the St. Croix River in Minnesota, and the potholes there are supposed to be much better.
After the park, we scoped out the trail’s path through town, rumored to be not that well marked. Looks O.K., although we had to have a man show us where the trail went in one section. That’s why I was doing this reconnaissance – to make sure I didn’t make any major missteps on my first day.
So, we’ll see how things go tomorrow! I’m so excited. It’s kind of like Christmas Eve when you were a kid.
Oh, we’re staying at the Holiday Inn Express in St. Croix Falls tonight. It seems a little worn compared to others I’ve stayed in, but it’s clean and that’s the main thing. It’s also very close to the western terminus.
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