Shorter days, cooler weather, but hikes are still great
Six adventurers met during light rain to hike on the Ice Age Trail and horse trails around Lake LaGrange Tuesday. We had a very nice walk and the lake was beautiful as always.
Norwin Watson brought a flashlight as this was our first hike since returning to standard time and the sun would set during the hike. It never got dark enough to need the light, but on the last part of the hike we were reminded by rapidly dimming daylight that that our Tuesday hikes will soon end after twilight so we had better remember our headlights for future walks. On the plus side these twilight walks are usually very nice as we see often see great sunsets and it rarely gets so dark that we cannot see the trail. Headlamps or flashlights often are not needed, especially when the moon is visible, but they are nice to have along.
Afterward Judy Wildermuth got out some brownies she had made to share. They provided a wonderful close to our adventure, and they were exceptionally tasty too. Thank you, Judy!
On Wednesday, the rain was coming down fairly hard as sixteen of us arrived at our U.S. Highway 12 trail crossing meeting place. I had checked the forecast and radar map shortly before coming and it appeared that the precipitation would likely stop by eleven o'clock. Both the long and short distance hikers decided to go to the Nordic ski trails where the paths are wide and drier than most others after a heavy rain. We took the three and seven tenths mile green trail with the long distance hikers adding the second blue loop off the trail. This loop leaves the green loop and intersects it again about a half mile farther on while adding a few tenths mile for a four plus mile hike.
By the time we started the rain was very light and it ended a short distance into the walk as the forecast predicted. It remained cloudy and somewhat windy with falling temperatures in the forties. We stayed warm with windbreakers and proper layering of clothing. We were also protected from much of the wind by the woods.
There was still some nice fall color, especially the red oaks, but most of the other trees had been stripped bare by recent strong winds. The skies remained cloudy, but in all it was a very enjoyable hike.
With the wide trails we could easily walk side by side in small groups for great conversation. Of course this is often at the expense of enjoying some of the scenery.
I hiked with the longer distance hikers who stopped for a break at the bench overlooking a small lake while sampling some great tasting black grapes which Jo Steadter shared. After enjoying the view we continued.
At the end of the walk some of us regrouped at the LaGrange General Store for great soup and other lunch items. Some of the short distance hikers were already at the store when we arrived. Ellen Davis, who was the leader of the short walk, reported seeing a few mushrooms along the trail that I missed, unless it was on the section of trail that the blue loop circumvented.