Three Women from Wisconsin Complete the Trail

by Ted Nelson


August 19, 2009 4:00 PM MST 

JoAnn in Waupaca County

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     Jane Stoltz completed the trail on April 24, 2009

Ice Age Trail hikers Dawn Matott, JoAnn Parks, and Jane Stoltz from Wisconsinshow that adventure travelmakes ordinary people interesting travelers. These three ladies all have families and jobs and at first glance seem like normal human beings. However, there is one common element that unites these three that makes them unique. They have all hiked the nearly 1,100 mile Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin.

     Dawn and JoAnn in Sheboygan County

When thinking of adventure travelers one usually thinks of people like Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay or Stanley and Livingstone, but these three prove that it is not necessary to quit a job and spend seven months away from home wandering the world in order to have an adventure. These three did the trail over a period of years and hiked the trail in segments.

Dawn and JoAnn hiked together and finished the trail in June of 2008 taking five years to complete after starting in June of 2003. They planned to hike 200 miles a year. Jane started in 1993 taking a 28 mile hike that year. At first she had no intention of completing the trail, but she enjoyed it so much she and her friend decided on doing a weekend a year. A couple of years ago Jane decided she wanted to accelerate her pace and started to hike more than the weekend a year and finished the trail this last April.

     JoAnn's dog Sadie joining the two for part of the trail

Dawn mentioned that there were many delays during the trip. There were high school and college graduation ceremonies to work around. JoAnn works for a GIS Consulting Firm that deals with maps and was contracted to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and spent two months working away from home. Dawn works as a teacher at a tech college and one year was slammed with extra online courses to administer, so all these delays took away from the trail, but eventually they found the time to finish their goal.

Once the bug is in you it is hard to escape.  Jane is thinking her next adventure will be the Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota. Dawn and JoAnn recently hiked the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan.  In the future, they want to visit and hike one or more national parks each year.

Adventure travel is a great way to add excitement to life and in this high pace society a great way to get away from it all. It is not necessary, although I recommend it, to go hiking through jungles in the Amazon or taking a safari in Africa, or hike the Appalachain Trail at once to be an adventurer.  Adventure travel can be found at a local forest preserve, or fishing in a neighborhood pond, or on the weekends in Wisconsin hiking a segment of a 1,100 mile trail just like these three adventure travelers from Wisconsin .

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