Hey, every once in a while try doing something active with someone who is in better shape than you are.  It will push you harder and farther than you normally choose to go.  This motivation for me showed up in the form of my niece Katie.  We did an overnight back pack trip on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in the northern unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest.

We picked up the trail just about 20 minutes north of West Bend WI and walked about 9 miles the first day to Mauthe Lake State Park.  We camped in the Mauthe Lake campground and hiked out the next day.

Katie on the Ice Age Trail

This trip was amazing because first; I had not backpacked in about 3 years, and it was good to know I can still do it.  Second; it reminded me that you can live through and hike through a lot of blisters.  And third; it was hard.  Harder than I thought it would be, but it FELT SO GOOD to accomplish it!!!  Don’t get me wrong, there were some points of the hike that sucked, but that is the point.  You keep going and just push through it.  I think it is important to do difficult things every once in a while to help keep me engaged in life.

It was great to hike with Katie.  She is working as a teacher for Teach for America, while working on her masters degree.  I love that she is so motivated to be a really great teacher and role model for the kids in her class.

Backpacking is a great opportunity to spend real time with someone.  There are no distractions (except for the blisters) and a kind of zen like feeling takes over as you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  It provides a great environment for great conversations, soul searching, deep thinking and/or crying about your blisters.

Patty on the Ice Age Trail

I think that often I choose not to do things because I’m afraid it will be too hard or too scary, or I’ll look stupid, or fail.  My challenge to myself is to do things even if I might fail.  As the famous quote goes;  “the only real failure is failure to try”.  I am really glad I choose to do this trip.

I am using this blog to help motivate me to “just get out there” but also to challenge myself to get outside my comfort zone as often as possible, to experience new things and keep engaged in life in a big way.

What I learned about the Trail:

The trail is an unbelievable gift to all of us.  It goes throughout WI and is easy to get to.  There is no good reason NOT to be enjoying the Ice Age Trail.  My hope is to do a multi day hike on the northern section of the trail maybe next summer.

What I learned about myself:

I’m getting old, but I can still backpack.  I also learned that I STILL LOVE IT!!!  Blisters and all.  I want to do a backpack trip at least once every summer!

My advice for you:

I encourage you to do something today that pushes you a little bit.  I really believe that kind of growth is necessary to be truly engaged in life

Share your thoughts:

Do you have a best backpack trip?  Would you ever want to go?

More information on the Ice Age Trail

A mere 15,000 years ago during the Ice Age, much of North America lay under a huge glacier. Mammoths, saber tooth cats and cave lions roamed the earth! Some of the best evidence of this glacier is found in Wisconsin such as the state’s many lakes, river valleys, gently rolling hills, and ridges. The nearly 1,200 mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail, established in 1980, traces the glacier’s edge.

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is not your ‘typical’ park. It is almost 1,200 miles long and crossed the state of Wisconsin north to south and east to west. The trail changes with every season and is a great way to explore a great state.

Link to NPS info on the Ice Age Trail

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