November 14, 2017

I Am a Trailtessa

oak savanna

Occasionally, I stray from the plant-specific tagline of this blog to share an experience that ties closely with that theme. Earlier this autumn, on a late-September day that felt more like high summer, a friend and I participated in a hiking event with Wisconsin women of all ages--from young children to seniors.

As defined by the Ice Age Trail Alliance (IATA), we were/are all "Trailtessas."

Trailtessa

events

A Trailtessa is: "a woman or a girl who gets out on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to experience adventure, freedom, and a new way to be." The IATA has put together a creative, impressive collection of opportunities for Trailtessas in the months ahead.

For those unfamiliar with the Ice Age Trail, it's a thousand-mile footpath winding through some of Wisconsin's most beautiful natural areas. The trail follows the outline of unique landscape features left behind as the last major glacier retreated from this area, more than 12,000 years ago. The trail is entirely within Wisconsin, and is one of 11 U.S. National Scenic Trails. I've been an IATA member for several years now: It's a worthy cause and a national treasure!

iata

At the September event, the IATA offered information, resources, and even a few "freebies" as part of our minimal registration fee. We had to "work" for our reward, though. The event offered three trail options--from a short loop to a 2.9-mile hike. Most of us chose the latter. It was a hot day with temperatures in the 90s, and the trail looped up and down some moderate hills. But we persevered.

tables

The reward: a lovely farm-to-table meal prepared by an excellent, local sous chef and her team. The outdoor venue was lovely, complete with 360-degree views of restored prairie and Oak savanna landscapes.

sponsors

Our sponsors were generous!

chef

Our chef was Jamie Hoang, of Sujeo restaurant in Madison. Yum, the food was excellent!

It was such a positive experience--to hike, dine, converse, and experience with other Trailtessas such a beautiful segment of the Ice Age Trail. And as the event wound down, we witnessed the colorful glow of a stunning sunset on the landscapes all around us.

view 1

view 4

view 2

view 3

I look forward to participating in more Trailtessa events in the months ahead.

22 comments:

  1. I think you were quite brave to get out in 90degree weather to hike. BUT it sounds like a wonderful place to hike. A perfect day no doubt. I think the Trailtessa moniker is cute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The fast pace of the hike made me push beyond my comfort zone, and it was very hot. It was not a pleasant hike, but it certainly was a good workout! I do want to go back to this location for a more observant, slower-paced experience. ;-) I agree: Trailtessa is a fun name.

      Delete
  2. What a great event! Thanks for sharing your experience. I’d sign up in a second.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa: Yes, it was awesome! There's something very special about people of all ages doing something together. In this case, it was all women, but I enjoy events that include people from all walks of life, both genders, and all ages. There's something uniting and empowering about these activities. :)

      Delete
  3. The garden is a piece of landscape puzzle and you took the trail less travelled - I can sense the experience through your images and without envy wish I could go there too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point, Laura. I enjoy the natural "gardens" as much as the human-created gardens. The Ice Age Trail is a special resource. :)

      Delete
  4. Sounds like fun and is beautiful, as witnessed by your photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a workout, but yes it was great fun, too. And the meal was amazing! That segment of the Ice Age Trail, like many others, is quite impressive.

      Delete
  5. I think I'd cease to exist under such temperatures. Perhaps if I were a Trailtessa the name would bring me strenght.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I have to admit I was pushed to my limit--because of the fast pace and the heat of the day. But, I'm glad we finished the hike, and in the end it brought a feeling of accomplishment. And the meal was so delicious!

      Delete
  6. Sounds an utterly perfect day, and such a beautiful landscape.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful setting. I would have taken the hike at a slower pace (and stopped to take many pictures of plants ;-) ), but we had to keep up with the group. Tee hee. But it was fun.

      Delete
  7. I would love to do this.
    Your photos are amazing!
    Carla

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Carla. It seems like a great program--encouraging women to get out and active in nature (I didn't need any encouragement for that! ;-) ) I was going to say some of the programs might be scheduled for your area of the state, but I couldn't find a comprehensive list. The Ice Age Trail is such a wonderful resource here in our state!

      Delete
  8. I love doing that too. We have a continuous 5 days holiday including Sat-Sun, so we went out of town and went to the less travelled path, literally that is! We just backrode on a motorbike, for the 3-day escapade. One ride on extremely rough roads sometimes took 3 hrs, rest sometime for butterflies, and then another few hrs again to the next. We also camped in a place without electricity but near a very pristine beach. And we call ourselves playmates. Four men we saw for the first time took care of the 2 of us, and we were so thankful. We went inside forests, crossed knee-high rivers and so on! It was extremely different, and an old lady like me credits my legs for stamina. At least i still have good reflexes and balance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I noticed you mentioned you were doing some exploring, too. Bravo! A little extra work for even a small amount of rest and hunting butterflies is worth it! Sounds like a great adventure!

      Delete
  9. What a terrific event and such a great idea. Those 90 degree days sure were a surprise coming in September.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! It was kind of nice to have summer last through mid-October. But then the sudden plunge into winter has been difficult! It was a great event. I highly recommend these Trailtessa retreats!

      Delete
  10. What a wonderful experience! That's definitely something I would be interested in if we had a local variation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was great, Margaret! I wish you lived closer so we could do more stuff together. It will be fun to see you at the Fling in May!

      Delete
  11. What a wonderful experience! I remember you posting about this on Facebook--it was so hot at the time, I had to admire you for hiking on a 90-degree day, something I know I wouldn't do:) Stunning photos!

    ReplyDelete
  12. That sounds like a great outing - fun but also addressing very important issues.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by!

(Your comment might not appear right away. PlantPostings uses comment moderation, and we read every comment before we publish.)