Monday, September 29, 2008

Under The Stars

We set off at a reasonable hour yesterday and explored the museum at the Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit. With a quick look at our handy-dandy GPS unit we took off in search of a geocache! It involved going WAY off the beaten path through a land of burrs. We were covered and we found it! Next we hopped in the car and drove to our trailhead.

I am mildly obsessed with the Ice Age Trail and would like to through-hike it someday. Evie and I have hiked various portions but never this one, and never with an overnight involved.

It was a 4.4 mile hike in, VERY hilly (kettles and moraines and all) and it was beautiful, mostly forest. We practiced taking readings with our compass and looked at the GPS and a crude topo map we had printed out. We could actually find our location on the topo map pretty well (we think). The backpacking shelter was so musty smelling we decided to sleep outside. We forgot to bring a saw or hatchet so we were hard pressed to find big logs for our fire. We went far afield and ended up pretty successful.

Evie has wanted a flint and steel for a LONG time. We got her one for this trip. After many tries she caught the cottonball on fire!

She added tinder and . . . it went out. She lit it three more times, the wood and surroundings were just too wet for a fire that wasn't laid first. Eventually she and Scott got it going with the help of some wood whittlings and a lighter. She was disappointed that she hadn't done it all herself. We had seen a TV show about how to light a fire and Evie was sure it would work just like that. I was too . . . we realized they probably took a lot of film to make it look so easy. She will have ample opportunities to practice out at my parents' place. I hope she isn't too discouraged.

It was WONDERFUL to sleep out under the trees and stars. I fell asleep at 8:30! By morning Evie was cold and crawled in with me--yay for roomy sleeping bags! We got up with the sun, ate our oatmeal and were headed home by 10:00. We have been reading and watching TV or dozing since we got home.

Adventure seems to be what Evie craves these days. I think this one was a good one for all of us.

1 comment:

denise said...


We visited kettle moraine south area to visit Old World Wisconsin and remembered why we used to visit that area every weekend to hike and mountain bike (when we lived in Chicago a lifetime ago). It is such a beautiful area. Looks like a great overnight!