“The Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is in the middle of the Kettle Moraine, a strip of glacial landforms which extends through southeastern Wisconsin to Lake Winnebago. The forest is named after the 522-acre, spring-fed kettle: Pike Lake. Powder Hill, a large glacial kame, provides the opportunity for a great hike and view. Visitors can enjoy camping, swimming, hiking, fishing, picnicking and much more within the forest.” – WI State Park System

Today was a mental health day. I choose to take today off of work on a whim last week, little did I know how absolutely gorgeous and necessary the day became for me to regain some personal reflection and focus. It came on the cusps of 2 weekends full of visiting parents and travel to my newly married daughter’s home the weekend prior… but I will get into all of that in a bit.

For those of you just joining in, let me again share my disclaimer: I am in no way, shape or form someone to be considered experienced or knowledgable in the area of outdoors or hiking trails. This blog is not designed to compare, contrast or criticize but rather just appreciate the atmosphere and give a tiny glimpse into the inner workings of my mind during the discovery period of both mind and surroundings.

Pike Lake offers 6 trails, plus a connecting stent of the Ice Age Trail ranging from .69 to 4.18 miles in length. It covers the forest and the beauty of the prairies that is typical of SE Wisconsin. I chose the Blue and Red trails, totaling 4.5 miles. The paths themselves were worn through grass-to-dirt walkways of reasonable width allowing adequate space for oncoming travelers to greet you. While on the pathways I encountered a good dozen people, to me surprising for a Monday. The trails were extremely well marked as was the map that was provided, however they do not provide a level of difficulty within their descriptions. Had one not been able to handle a moderate-difficult elevations the ascending and descending may catch some unaware (as seen in the picture above with the tree roots providing somewhat of a staircase up the embankment.) The trail takes you past the beach and on the beautiful weekday that it was a good 1/2 of the beach was occupied by happy families, sunbathers and water-sport lovers.

Time, Time. Look at the time!

I knew going into this walk that my head was a bit boggled, but not in a bad way as in some of my hikes. This was the last day of a series of days off to spend with my visiting parents and I needed a bit of alone time to process what we did, said and thought. I realized that a lot of what I was chewing on had to do with time, my time and one’s concept of time.

There is no doubt that each and everyone of us get older. I am, like many other middle aged people out there, balancing the observation of seeing parents wanting to slow down their pace and schedule, counter-weighted with newly married children wishing the time would speed up!

And then here I am, looking at both ends of the spectrum with my own time concerns. I’ve just finished up a run of family summer-fun time, and am feeling a bit of the adrenaline rush deflate with a busy work schedule ahead for the next month. I’m very much looking forward to a 2 week vacation to see my Texas family. Even though I’m ready to be down there this very second, I know that time will keep marching on, and soon that visit will come and go like the speed of lightning. So a part of me wants to delay the clock and relish every moment prior in order to savor the anticipation and time off of work.

Speaking of time: **it is now a whole week later** and boy has the subjects of this topic of moving time hit home!

I’ll start by saying I intended to finish this post last week, but, well…time got the best of me. Yesterday I decided to pick up where I left off-literally- and hike the ICE AGE TRAIL that trail headed near Pike Lake. It was a cloudy day threatening more rain than the night before, which I should have known better! The trail was mostly barren dirt and I noticed the slickness in spots… but should have additionally slowed my pace in addition. One area caught me off guard and … before I could prevent it I experienced gravity at work and my right hand and arm trying to prevent a sore bum! Needless to say my butt hurts no where as much as my Distel Radial fracture!

I was already on my way back to the car with minimal ways to go, thankfully. I made my way to the nearest gas station in which I was charged 0.26 for a cup of ice to start cold compress. 35 mile drive home and the stress and fear I held in to get home finally surfaced through the sea of shock-tears! My husband could now help get me to the ER.

All of this said, I am single-handedly typing to complete this post as I think it be my last for a little while. I will need a cast and typing is sure monotonous with your weak hand! In addition I may second guess my choice of when and where I walk in the future. I will always write but for the time being I need a rest, hoping to return soon.

Take care all!