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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2015 Year in Review - The First Half

I've spent the last week trying to plan adventures for the year ahead, but Linda inspired me to take a look back at 2015 with her post about her year. Last year I posted my 2014 Year in Review and it was fun to go back and revisit all those places which is the main reason I started this blog in the first place.  It also reminded me of that great shorter haircut I had in 2014 and I'll probably give it a try again soon!


January began with Wisconsin wintry hibernation and ended with Cory and I taking a road trip down south.  We made stops in a few small towns in Indiana and discovered Cedars of Lebanon State Park and the magic of Frostweed in Tennessee.


Cory and I spent a few days at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a place that just keeps calling to me.  Even a dusting of snow on the Bull Head Trail wasn't going to slow me down.

Cory preferred to keep indoors as much as possible, but I was able to coax him out of the car when we met up with Sharon at Mouse Creek Falls.  Sharon got a chance to get to know him as we hiked and chatted, and we didn't have to try to set up a camera to get a shot of the two of us together!

We moved on to Table Rock State Park in South Carolina and I got to meet Peggy, another blogger meet-up that worked out well .

She's an avid photographer and we had fun photographing the little falls at the head of the trail up Table Rock together, but I tackled the 7.5 round trip hike up Table Rock on my own.

On the way home we stopped in a few spots in Kentucky and Indiana again but all good things must end and eventually we had to go home.


In March my mother and I took a short jaunt up to Sheboygan and I got to share with her a few of my favorite things out that way including the best bathrooms ever at Michael Kohler Center for the Arts.

We made it even farther north from our rental in Sheboygan and checked out the ice at Cave Point County Park in Door County.  Who cared if it was only 14F with subzero wind chills?


On the first day of April during our first warm-up from winter I slept with the herons at Devils Lake State Park.  If the weather cooperates maybe I'll do it again this year and then head further north.

A week later spring had unofficially arrived with my first sighting of Hepatica at Brady's Rock in Kettle Moraine State Forest.

And then it was Skunk Cabbage, Marsh Marigold and flooding on the Monches segment of the IAT.


In May it was all about the wildflowers and tackling new segments of the Ice Age Trail, starting with Bloodroot on the Milwaukee River segment, Spring Beauty on the Parnell segment and Jack in the Pulpit and Trillium on the Kewaskum segment.



But it wasn't all wildflowers on the IAT, I tackled dunes on the Point Beach segment and even spotted a family of Sandhill Cranes.

And the month just kept getting better, ending with an RV trip that included my mom, my dad, Cory and Wayne all exploring the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota.


In June it was all about Wisconsin and checking off more segments of the Ice Age Trail.  I've been asked "haven't you finished the whole thing yet?" and the answer is not even close!  I completed a little over 102 miles of trail this year but walked about 200 miles to do so because only twice did I not have to do an out-and-back.

wildflowers on the Mecan segment

 The IAT claims to be over 1100 miles long, but 447 of those miles are connecting "road" miles.  Throw in the 43 miles I did before 2015 and that leaves me 513 miles of "trail" to go.  Since I live literally right on the southern border in Wisconsin most of the trail is quite a drive; in 2016 I will have to plan harder to knock out big segments farther north.

Wayne and I got away to Willow River State Park for a few days where we goofed around at the Eastern Terminus of the IAT at nearby Interstate Park.

I also spent some time in Door County and found a new favorite hideaway at Toft Point.

Looking back on the first half of the year I was surprised at how much of my travel time was spent in Wisconsin.  Where will I end up this year?


  1. Nice recap! You've been travelin' too. Can't wait to see part two.

  2. Wow! You had a great yaer, and you've only reviewed half of it!

  3. What a wonderful year in review. You picked great pictures. Love those wildflowers and the one of you and Sharon. You've inspired me to at least think about doing one too. LOL!