Tom and I had a GREAT time in Madison. We were hosted by my ACP mentor, Ron, who did his best to give us every amenity of home. We entered to Led Zeppelin, smoked a cigar, had a well-deserved beer, and a delicious meal cooked by Ron. We slept well and woke up this morning to a new, but very Wisconsin type of treat–bacon flavored fried cheese. Despite the many miles we had in front of us, we eagerly gobbled it down. To answer any questions you may have, it did taste like bacon and it was awesome. It was like being at the State Fair.
After a minor freak out where we basically lost Ron’s beloved dog (the dog was returned safe and sound by some neighbor kids), Tom and I took off from near Babcock Hall on the UW-Madison campus. We wound our way through Madison and out to the Military Ridge State Trail. We were met by a news reporter who wanted to report on our Trek. We also had an unfortunate encounter with some idiot who drove by us and called us gay or some other derogatory nonsense. He is in the extreme minority.
So, we made our way to the Trail and walked through Fitchburg. Then we entered fair Verona, where two star-crossed Trekkers made their way to Cousin’s subs and had a delicious lunch. We were met by Erin, who heard we were having blister problems and went WAY out of her way…like 100 miles, to deliver us socks. Thank you Erin and Rex. We also met Jess, an OIF Veteran, who has been a great supporter of ours. She walked a few miles with us sharing her story and getting to know us. Encounters such as these are really inspiring. Sometimes, like Erin, they inspire us with the gratitude and appreciation they share with us. Sometimes, like Jess, they inspire us to walk a few more miles when we are tired and basically ready to say we’re done for the day.
We made it to the small, unincorporated town Riley, WI…grand total walked today 17 miles. There, my cousin met us and took us to my grandparent’s home where we are staying tonight. It’s nice here. My grandma made Tom and I dinner– 2 cheeseburgers, chips, dip, and homemade chocolate malts. We ate like kings.
I am especially excited as tomorrow, my wife and daughter will make their way to see us tomorrow night. I call my daughter Madeline, Little Babykins. I don’t know why. But, I heard Tom’s mom call her own dog Babykins, so I guess Tom and I have even more similarities in that we BOTH have a Babykins in our lives. I miss my wife and daughter quite a bit and am very much looking forward not only to seeing them, but also Tom and I are going to take a break for a couple days soon.
Again, our morale is still high and we’re having a blast as we walk. We laugh, we joke, we observe nature, and we appreciate every second, every encounter with our supporters, and everything waiting for us down the road.
See you on the trail.