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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Where there's smoke, there's fire! Even the IAT!!

Decided to head out yesterday afternoon and hike the Ice Age Trail between Frenchtown Rd and Cty D outside of Belleville. The lil hippies had been driving me crazy, so grabbed the geo-puggles and my cache bag and hit the road. I figured that I'd go after the Wisconsin Orithology and Beefies caches that are along that segment of trail and then on the way home stop for the FTF on a new EarthCache: GC3XW8T.

A beautiful but chilly day to be out along the trail. The dogs and I made pretty good time and after about a mile of hiking, we had grabbed a couple of WPs for Wilson's Snipe as well as signing in at Beefies - The Angus. The sun was starting to set, but I figured that we could make it to the Illinoian Glaciation EarthCache and back before darkness. Well surprise, surprise. As we turned the corner in the trail, I see two large and untended fires going! Wait, WTF, what is going on here. There had been no signs or information along the way stating that they were doing burning out here. So I called the police department in Belleville to report it and find out if they were aware of the burning. The gentleman I was talking to seemed to be having trouble figuring out where on the trail I was, even with me providing coordinates as well as a description of where I was at. He asked if I could remain there until the fire department arrived, and although it was now almost dark and I still had a mile and a half hike back to the car, I agreed. Soon enough, I heard the sirens and could see them on the road, but suddenly they stopped and headed back towards town. At that point, I figured that I should get out to the road and try to find the firemen or find a house so I could call again. Pull the trusty flashlight out of my bag and....it's dead! Now it's a half mile bushwhack through trees and a farmer's field since I lost the Ice Age Trail along the way. We eventually make it out to County D and I run into a gentleman in his driveway. Second call to the police and second visit from the firemen, who still don't know how to get up onto the IAT. Eventually, they load an ATV and take off looking for an access and the homeowner offers to give me and the dogs a ride back to our car.

All in all a pretty eventful "short" hike on the IAT which ended up taking about 3 1/2 hours! Still I feel like a good samaritan since the one fire had 12" high flmaes going when I got there and there was a lot of loose wood and branches nearby. I'd have hated to see anything get out of control.

Got home and the dogs promptly passed out on the couch, so I decided to start wrapping my head around AenteiUhnmlcinltsur, which is apparently gibberish for ZB is a $^#% and my head hurts! Just kidding, I managed to make short work of most of them and now I'm tumbling some ideas for the final numbers.

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