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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sauk Point and Gibraltar Jaunts

Last Friday I drove up to Baraboo to knock out so me unfinished sections I had started on the Ice Age Trail.  I stayed at Devil's Lake State Park again, and for the third time in a row I got a staff member who was rude.  She asked how many more people would be using the site and I misunderstood and thought she said how many people so I said one.  When she asked for a name and I said whoops just me, she talked to me like I was an idiot.  A variation of this has happened all 3 times, they talk down to you if you answer a question wrong or ask for clarification, and heaven forbid you ask them a question of your own they sigh and look at you like you were put on earth just to annoy them.

Sauk Point TH on Hwy 113

To be clear, I have not had this happen at any other Wisconsin state park.  To top it off I was driving around a campground loop following IAT yellow blazes and didn't notice I went the wrong way down the one way.  It being early on Friday afternoon it wasn't a big deal since the loop was almost empty and no one was pulling in.  Well, a camp host chased after my car screaming, and when I got to the end of the loop she followed me to where I parked by the restroom.  I rolled down my window and she shouted "Can't you read?!"  Then she went and got a pen and notepad and wrote down my license plate.  I was so furious I went down to the check-in station and wrote up a written complaint.  After those two incidents it was kind of difficult to let the frustration go and enjoy time with nature, but I did my best.

The back end of the Sauk Point segment was my goal, I had completed a little over half of it from the Parfreys Glen end back in June and at a little under 2 miles each way it was a good out and back to do before settling in for the night.

The first half mile was relatively flat, then a moderate incline for another half mile or so before it leveled out again.  Starting on the hill instead of having to climb up it all the way was quite a bit easier, but I still got my heart rate up and those endorphins kicked in to calm me down.

Fall is starting to make itself known, cool temperatures at night, vegetation is starting to die back, and lots of fungi are poking out.

I sat down and enjoyed the view of the Sumac before heading back down.  I got back just as it started to rain, which you would think would keep things quiet at the campground but Devil's Lake seems to be the one all the young adults without children go to and things didn't settle down until midnight.  On a side note, the bathrooms that are not remodeled at the park did not seem to have hot water and they also don't seem to ever get cleaned.

In the morning I was up before everyone else (no hangover for me!) and I head down to Lodi to catch the Merrimac Ferry across the Wisconsin River.

Taking the ferry had me missing those ferry rides in Newfoundland and Maine.  I climbed up the hill on the first half of the Gibraltar segment and when I looked back I got a view of the river.

My phone rang and oddly enough it was Marine Atlantic calling to do a survey about our Newfoundland ferry experience.  I figured it was destiny so I sat down on the bench and answered the questions while I watched the Merrimac Ferry shuttle back and forth.

 Then it was through the woods to the parking lot on Slack Road where I turned around and headed back again.  After my hike I drove out to Slack's jam store (what a surprise!) and I did a few other things while in Baraboo too since I don't plan to probably ever return.  More on that later!


  1. When we went to Devils Lake last year I seem to remember one of the Park people being rude - well, lets say, not overly helpful. Cripes, get another job if you hate your work so much. There's no reason for that. It's a shame because it's one of my favorite places to hike.

    Did you get a chance to climb Gibraltar Rock? I did a blog post about it awhile back.

    1. That's the other half of the Gibraltar segment. I plan to do it when the fall color gets going, and instead of staying I'll just do it on my way to somewhere else!

  2. I remember going to Devil's Lake for summer picnics in the 60's. Bathrooms were awful then too. Probably haven't been cleaned in 50 years. ;)

  3. It is amazing how someone getting a free site for little work (or getting paid for being the host) can be so rude. If you don't like the work, find something else! It sin't our fault you have to work while retired! I hope your written complaint gets some attention! Nice that you were able to continue with your fun adventure despite these rude individual:)