Saturday, January 27, 2018


One more quick breath of spring before we return to our winter normal (which this year appears to be a snowless cold).

(All melted, here at the farmette. Well, except for snowman lump.)

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There isn't a doubt in our minds that we should hike today. But where? I hand over the task of planning out the day to Ed. It's only right: he's the one who swears staying home offers as much excitement as more distant travel. Come up with a staycation adventure!

But first, breakfast.

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We are both stunned that he finds a state park within a half hour of the farmette -- one which neither of us has ever explored. That's almost unbelievable, as we think we've hiked every public access path within a far wider radius. But somehow this one had escaped our radar.

And so we drive the scant 28 minutes to New Glarus Woods State Park (which, oh what a surprise, is located just by the town of New Glarus).

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At this time of the year, it takes us about two hours to do the large loop that hugs the periphery of the park. The snow is gone, but icy patches on the trail require careful handling.

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The trail is mostly woodsy and it's a new forest -- one that grew in the last one or two hundred years, around the oak groves and out of the savannah that was once here. When settlers came, the prairie burnings subsided and the tree seedlings took hold, choking out the prairie grasses.

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Still, there is the occasional clearing here -- brown and gold now, but likely to be quite pretty come summertime.

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Overall, we give the park trail a very good if not excellent grade. Half of the trail is too close to the nearby road. You never want to hear cars when you're in the forest! But the other half is very lovely and we appreciate discovering this patch of (soon to be) green public space.



We exit with a bang. The ice intensifies in one segment and Ed flips backwards, landing on his back and head. There! He was right! Plenty of adventure, close by!

We end our excursion with a stop in New Glarus. We want to try some of the local eateries outside the city and the Fat Cat Coffee Shop serves lunches in addition to the usual bakery items.

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We share a piece of goat cheese and fig quiche.

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And we head home. Can't be too late on the return. Snowdrop is coming over for supper and a sleepover.

Pizza time! (I am the most unimaginative grandma when it comes to sleepover dinners!)

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Oh, that mozzarella cheese!

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Ahah, take off your jacket! (He obliges. Of course.)

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Then -- playtime!

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...And a bit of coaxing to get her upstairs.
But Gag (her newest nickname for me, making her sound almost like a teenager), I want to play with letters!
That board says "no Snowdrop!" meaning no, now is not the time to play with letters.

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We negotiate. We reach a deal. Which is then renegotiated. Three times.

And eventually she falls asleep, in love with the fact that for the first time here, she has a night light in her room.

A little light in life goes a long long way.