Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Gandy Dancer

October 7-8 2010
The "Gandy Dancer" is the name given to a 50 mile biking/hiking/snowmobile trail in northwestern Wisconsin, formerly a railroad line through such towns as Siren, Milltown, and Luck. The name comes from combining the "Gandy" from the Gandy Tool Company of Chicago which made the tools for constructing railroads and "Dancer" to mark the synchronized swinging of the hand tools and foot movements of the laborers. I doubt the workers ever connected the two romanticized words. After hearing the name of the trail I just had to walk it.
Some people may wonder why any person, especially a geezer, would think of to, let alone do such a thing. But usual 70+ degree temperatures and clear skies of an Upper Midwest October can do unusual things to a person. So with the forces of nature also affecting my enabling wife's encouragement, I packed my granola bars and water bottle in my Samoan $10 WalMart backpack and set off.
The trek was originally planned for 2 1/2 days, including two overnights in motels. However due to poor planning on my part and a Sheriff's deputy on her part, I was able to finish in two days. Mary met me at trails end, relieved I has finished and disappointed that I did not collapse into her arms. Instead we went to the local casino for a beer.
Since people like to read about other peoples suffering, let me share mine. The worst part is looking at the trail ahead disappearing into infinity. Such sights gender an "Ah shit" response.
As for the hike itself, you just put one foot in front of the other. Before you know it you have reached the end, sore legs and blistered toes included. In a way it is like life. You wake up every morning and before you know it, you have reached trails end.
The beginning
The middle

The end

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