I was hoping to meet up with a "Thousand Miler" member, but I couldn't find the parking lot she had indicated. I went to the one further along the trail and sent her a message saying I was coming north.
The trail started out merged with the Military Ridge bike trail but quickly separated into a gravel road, and then turned again where I came upon ground squirrels and bunnies running for cover.
The path runs through some heavy grass along Badger Mill Creek that luckily wasn't infested with ticks. If I had bothered to read my Guidebook I would have realized within the first 1/4 mile that I was going south and not north at this point...
Occasionally I remember to use the Google Maps app, and recently I uploaded the Endomondo app to track my mileage. Of course I wasn't using them, I'm too busy playing with my camera and scaring up bunnies.
My luck continued to hold and no ticks were finding me, even in my little running shorts. A few mosquitoes were out and about, but as long as I kept moving they left me alone.
|Fleabane and Wild Parsnip|
After almost 2 miles I finally checked Google maps and what I saw didn't make any sense. Sure enough, I'd gone 45 minutes south instead of north so I turned around and started jogging back.
All that exercise made the black raspberries too tempting to resist, but I only had time for half a dozen before the mosquitoes tried to make a snack out of me.
Deptford Pink is out, and looked so pretty mixed in with the Fleabane, and it's safe to touch unlike the poisonous Wild Parsnip. I love its tiny pink bloom, keep your eyes open because if you're not looking it's easy to miss. Deptford Pink is a member of the dianthus family and its single blossom is only 1/3 inch or less across at the top of a tall, slender stalk.
I figured there was no way I'd make it back to the lot and see my missed connection there, but I looked around when I got there anyway.
I had made it as far as Whalen Road and County M before I turned back so the next day when I got an offer from Tess to get a ride to a trailhead I chose to finish the end of the Verona segment and start the Montrose segment. But before that I camped at Lake Farm County Park, where I spent $18 for a non-electric tent site.
The tent sites are pretty small and don't have fire pits (for those that care) but for the price it wasn't too bad and the bathrooms and showers were clean. The RV sites were much nicer than the tent sites and I'd recommend it to anyone visiting Madison.