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 8. 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.

So today 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 (informative, if a bit campy). We scoped out the trail’s path through town, rumored to be not that well marked. Looks O.K. other than one section. We’ll see how things go tomorrow! I’m so excited. It’s kind of like Christmas Eve when you were a kid.

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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