So finally getting to finish up the posting on Day 6.
Left off at the hike to “Brady’s Rocks” at N42 54.323 W88 28.819. This was our morning hike. Slightly more than a 2 mile hike round trip. The rocks are described in the Ice Age Trail Companion Guide 2008 as “…a portion of the Niagara Escarpment, and marks the edge of a thick layer of dolomite that extends through Door County, dips under Lake Michigan, the state of Michigan and reemerges at the end of Lake Erie at Niagara Falls. The cool, shaded area of Brady’s Rocks has a unique fern population, including the walking fern, found growing out of cracks in the dolomite bedrock.” It is warming up a little bit during the hike (only into the mid-60s under the forest cover) and a bit muggy also, probably with the overnight rain evaporating into the air, and the cool shady area is very comfortable and refreshing for a short stay before we turn around and hike out.
We drive to and have a picnic table lunch at the Emma Carlin Trail area before heading out again on a segment of the IAT. The trailhead is a little tricky to find and at first we put in at a clearing off the road but turn around after about 1/4 mile in realizing that can’t be the right trail. We find the trailhead a little further north on County Z, at N42 52.239 W88 32.646. We hike north and east through light forest and soon after into thicker prairie in full spring bloom with rolling oak savannahs typical of the the morraine topography. Not far along the trail we cross the Scuppernong River, some of us by the foot bridge, some of us through the water.
We are making our way to a hostel which can see across the prairie no more than 1/2 mile away, but we decide to pace ourselves and turn back with Elaine having a sore knee. Before we turn around though, we come upon and explore an obvious kettle right in front of us.
The picture doesn’t quite do it justice, but it is unmistakable when you see it from a distance and then stand right next to it. The tree in the center has its trunk about 3 feet below the ridge, and the whole kettle is 50-60 feet across.
This whole area was covered with remaining ice ponds as the last glaciers subsided.
Back to camp and slowly work our way into the evening. Pick up another couple of bundles of wood, build a cooking fire and, for later, the entertainment. Dinner tonight is marinated tilapia on the grill. Cloudless night. The dogs, tired from the hiking and wanting to get the best places on the air mattress, go to bed early. Elaine and I stay up late just talking, watching the stars and the fire. It doesn’t get much better.