Tuesday, May 4, 2021


I valiantly pedaled my cruiser bike up a hill. Behind me, some little kids on bikes were threatening to catch up. I'm not really a biker, I realized, as I got off to walk my bike through an icy section. The kids elected to stay on board. This proved to be a poor decision for one of them, as he slipped and eventually fell. Being a kid, he was unhurt and gamely got back on his bike. But the delay allowed me to pull ahead.

The road through the national park doesn't open to cars till late June at the earliest because of the massive snowdrifts that must be cleared. When it does open, the lake I wanted to hike to is an easy 5 mile round trip from the trailhead, and overrun with tourists. Now, biking or hiking 12 miles round trip is the only way to get to where the trail starts. Hence, the bike.

Hardier cyclists than I hurried by, bound for higher elevations. But I turned into the campground and left my bike there, slipping on microspikes and starting up the trail. Nowhere in sight were the summer hordes, sporting questionable footwear and carrying portable speakers. A few people sat quietly at the lake, drinking in the view: I knew how many there would be, by the bikes left at the gate.

After awhile I turned to go, and headed back down the trail to my trusty bike. I pedaled the six miles back to the parking area, feeling pleasantly tired and happy to do something different (and to at least stay ahead of some little kids).


  1. That's how I like it, solitude and no people. The popular hiking areas in Wisconsin are full of tourists on the weekends. The only way to enjoy this time of year is to go super early or during the week.

    1. That's what it's like here in the summer. I'm bracing myself..and preparing to go to quieter places.

  2. What a great way to access a popular trail!


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