Winter comes to the Ice Age Trail

Due to my frugal/cheap nature, I was one of the last humans to give up my dumb phone from Tracfone in favor of a smart phone  I still cheaped out, buying the least expensive iPhone, an SE (small edition).  I justified my lesser spending on the basis that it fits better in my hand and pocket (which it does).  Even I have to admit, however, that I really like some of my apps that were not previously available to me with the old flip phone.

One of the features that I recently discovered was the default “health” app, which combines with the pedometer app to keep track of my steps/mileage.  I don’t believe the pedometer is completely accurate, but it’s close enough.  What I immediately determined was that there were quite a few days when I just wasn’t getting off my butt.  As a result, I set 10,000 steps per day as a goal.  That works out to be about 4-5 miles, and I frequently exceed that by quite a bit.  The major benefit to me is that I no longer have very many days when I don’t get in the 10,000 steps.  If it’s 3 pm., and I’m still “in the red”, I make every effort to get enough steps in to get “into the green” and make the confetti rain in the app.  Kind of silly, I know, but the app keeps me from sedentary days, especially helpful when it’s wet or cold.

The main gun deer hunting season is over, so I am back at my regular hikes on the Ice Age Trail.  Today, I ambled from the the Lodi Cannery property off Hwy 113 to the bluff overlooking the Lodi Marsh.

I don’t generally hike with a hiking stick or poles, but I change that up during the winter when the trail is snowy or icy.  I use a pair of cross-country ski poles that I kept after giving up cross-country skiing.  The poles definitely give me more of an upper body workout on the uphills and provide balance for moving more rapidly on the downhills.

Frankly, I love this time of year for hiking. There are so many positives.  I rarely see anyone else hiking.  No bugs.  I don’t get too hot or cold.  I burn lots of calories.  Plus, cold air is so wonderful to breathe.  There is a freshness to the air that one doesn’t encounter in the summer.  The dry prairie winter colors are amazing to me.

Gratitude vs. More-more

A minister who gives me something to think about is more likely to see me on Sundays.  This week, our minister told a story that stuck with me.  When this pastor was a youth, he worked summers as a day camp counselor for fourth graders at Marshall Park on the western shores of Lake Mendota. Continue reading