There’s that famous line in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” – “What’s in a name?” Well, plenty.
First, every segment of the Ice Age Trail that’s been created has a name. And part of the reason I’m so anxious to get started is to explore the segments with the most intriguing names. Like Kettlebowl, Lumbercamp, Timberland Wilderness, Stony Ridge and Southern Blue Hills. All of those sound pretty rugged, but intriguing.
Then, there are lots of segments named after lakes. There’s Firth Lake, Jerry Lake, Harwood Lakes and Lake Eleven. That abundance lake-named segments reminds me of this bit of trivia: Wisconsin has +14,000 lakes, which bests our western neighbor, Minnesota. Now, Minnesota claims to be the Land of 10,000 Lakes. And actually, Minnesota has about 12,000 lakes, \ so I’m not sure why they shorted themselves in their moniker. But I digress.
What’s in a Name Take 2
In addition to trail segments named after lakes, there are numerous segments named after rivers or creeks. For example, Trade River, Straight River, Waupaca River, Mecan River. And La Budde Creek, Sand Creek and McKenzie Creek, to name a few.
On the mysterious side are segment monikers such as Mondeaux Esker, Camp 27, Underdown and Table Bluff. The Ice Age Trail has both a Holy Hill segment and a Devil’s Staircase segment – interesting! And what do I love about Grandfather Falls, Ringle and Scuppernong? Well, they just sound fun.
On Day 1, coming up this Saturday, I’ll spend many miles on the Gandy Dancer segment, a name that makes me smile. I actually found some Gandy Dancer stout, made by Wisconsin’s own Potosi Brewery, in the store the other day. You can bet I’ll be sipping an ice-cold Gandy Dancer come Saturday night.
By the way, “gandy dancer” is a slang term from the 19th and 20th centuries in America. It referred to the railroad workers who laid and maintained the tracks. The Gandy Dancer segment runs along a rail-trail recreational path, hence the name.
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