In the days leading up to this run, I was closely monitoring the weather forecast. I knew that September would likely be an ideal time, and this particular weekend was really the only weekend that worked for my schedule. Unfortunately, there was a lot of rain in the forecast. I chose to keep my plans, hoping that the weather would break for the better.
On Saturday, September 10th, I parked my car on the eastern border of Lincoln County at around 4:30AM and then received a ride to the western border. We arrived just prior to dawn which was ideal, because I knew I would likely need every bit of daylight to complete this traverse of the county on the Ice Age Trail. I began just after 6AM, and within 20 minutes a steady rain began. Once it got light enough to take the headlamp off, I settled into a rhythm and accepted that I might be wet the rest of the day (which ended up being the case). The trails were saturated in spots, sometimes muddy, and perfect in other spots. As is usually the case, I got far more wet by brushing up against plants and trees lining the trails than the rain itself. My pace was a little consistently slower than I had predicted I'd be able to manage, due to the wet trail conditions.
As this was an unsupported effort, I relied upon streams and lakes to filter water and refill my flasks. Because this was unsupported, I also had a good motivator not to waste too much time. I knew my car was 65 miles away, and while being soaked during the day was fine due to the pleasant temperatures, that it would probably start to feel cold once it got dark. I utilized the road sections to make good time, and I was happy to find the road sections weren't on busy roads.
I saw one solo backpacker on trail and a group of 6 ladies at a trailhead, but it was just those 7 people over the course of 65 miles. Remote and rugged.
It was raining or drizzling nearly the entire time I was out there. As the day progressed, I realized I would likely need to pull out the headlamp for a second time. I ran out of navigable light with about 2.5 miles left to go. It seemed fitting, that I started the first few miles with a headlamp and finished the last few miles with a headlamp. A full day utilized to cover this awesome section of the Ice Age Trail!