Time to honor larger-than-life Wisconsin wonders and their champions

 

Although a spring-break dream of losing myself in a few days of backpacking hasn’t materialized, it’s easy to be grateful for Wisconsin’s outdoor treasures and those who protect them.

I’ll content myself with a few scattered day trips, and several recent ones helped me add 30 miles to my Ice Age Trail total. Along the way, I got to see a mysterious and outsized figure in Iola, which is a good reminder to recognize some giants in Wisconsin conservation.

April 14 brings another Wisconsin Hall of Fame induction ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m. at Sentry Theater in Stevens Point. The ceremony is free, along with a coffee reception an hour earlier.

This year’s four honorees bring to 96 the total number of hall inductees. They are Door County naturalists Roy and Charlotte Lukes, former Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources head and current Wisconsin Wildlife Federation director George Meyer, and former wildlife management professor Arlie Schorger.

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Bill collectors calling? Must be outdoor recreation time …

Blue skies over Green Circle Trail

We are in the thick of “Throwing Money into the Recreation Industry” season, and I am pleased, shocked and regretful to report that my family is doing its part to indenture its parents into several more decades of servitude to fund its outdoor activity.

It all starts with children who outgrow their toys (primarily Dad), but continues with more basic needs, such as food and fashion.

The spies in our microwave oven – if you’ve forgotten about these, just ask the president’s minions – were highly effective in detecting my susceptibility to outdoor-related purchases in July. A couple of tactical e-mails later from said spies and I committed to two purchases, demonstrating just how mindless and thoroughly patriotic I have become in support of my outdoor habit.

But that’s getting ahead of the point of this column, or perhaps just distracted from it.  Or maybe there’s no point whatsoever.  Who can tell?

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In any event, this week is about last week’s first-ever, single-day circumnavigation of the Green Circle Trail by yours truly.  It’s also about bears, books, bike shops, burgers and by-gosh any other thing worth bandying about while planning where to go next.

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