Dani and I are talked into heading into the woods and running trails. We had just come off the Chicago Marathon and it sounded like a fun change of pace. Behind our house is the East River Trail in Milwaukee that can get us about 5 miles of dirt paths to practice on. It was brutal. What I could run on pavement was about half of what I could do on the path. Everything hurt and my knees and feet were at the front line of the pain.
I somewhat expected this to be harder with the technical nature of the terrain versus perfectly paved concrete. It was also a warm welcome after dodging drivers as they race through the streets while texting and to get away from the general exhaust fumes of being near the road.
The East River Trail is nothing sexy; parts are littered with trash that blows off from the street above and the underparts of the bridges are the stereotypical underbelly of a city – homeless shelters and graffiti galore. Running at night was just begging for a run in with non-friendlies and Dani was getting less comfortable with our runs as winter nights were coming earlier and earlier. These concerns were topped off when a fellow trail runner passed us carrying a spear for self-defense. Suddenly my fold out knife seemed not so adequate.
Enter Lapham Peak
The same friend that introduced us to trails introduced us to the Kettle Moraine Forest, Lapham Peak Unit. It was beautiful. Bright fall colors, hilly, friendly, clean and even came with a cabin called Evergreen Shelter that was complete with a wood burning fireplace. What more could you ask for? Since this intro, Lapham Peak and the Ice Age Trail has been our home and our church every Saturday.