Onto the ice cream store!

Day 32, 19 miles, rice lake DCA

The ladies have breakfast ready for me at 6:30 and I happily take my seat. Coffee, banana bread, oatmeal and lots of conversation. It’s fun!

I pack up and we talk about my gear as they have an interest in starting to backpack as well. Once I’m done packing we take some more photos and after some hugs and more chatting I’m finally on my way at 8 am.

The trail goes along the Eau Clair river and cascades and it’s quite pretty. The path is in good shape and the hiking easy. So wonderful.

After a brief road walk I walk along a recently planted field and then a grassy section with some new bog boards. Some aren’t entirely secured but it keeps me from getting my feet wet. I exit onto an open area underneath power lines and meet another hiker. She’s working on her second completion of the Ice age trail and had left this grassy mile for a little later since in April it was a soggy mess. While we chat I keep looking down and picking ticks off my socks.

Continuing on there is some grassy road, I was so hoping to be done with those!

Luckily the trail gets much much better.

The so called Ringle section has a lot of new bog boards and obvious recent trail maintenance. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

Quiet green woods with some flowers and glacial erratics. They are nice to sit on for a break while having lunch, taking the sandals off and removing the ticks that were hanging out inside. Mosquitos aren’t bad today but they are trying to bite my arms so I put my long sleeve shirt on again. Two day hikers remark how quiet it is in here.

When the trail is good the miles come easily and I make it to Hatley by 3pm. Rumor had it there was a good icecream place so I head straight there. A guy in a car asks gruffly “where the hell are you going?”. “To the Ice cream store!”. “Well, good luck and stay safe!” Thanks! Now, where’s my ice cream?

It started sprinkling a bit ago as I’m eating my wonderful treat I’m getting pretty chilly.  Luckily there is a Subway next door and I can put more clothes on in their bathroom. While at the Subway I figure carrying out a sub for dinner would be tasty. I’m so smart sometimes. Jamming an entire foot long in my backpack is a bit challenging but I make it fit!

Only 4.5 miles to the dispersed campsite area near Rice lake! Off I go! It’s still drizzling on and off but luckily the road isn’t too busy and I get the miles done quickly. The site is sweet with some pine needles and protected in the woods. I can hear the road but don’t see it at all.

The rain on my tent sounds soothing.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?