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Submitted by Marilynn Nash
Submitted by Marilynn Nash

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I trudged through snow, back and forth, criss-crossing terrain, and circumnavigating wet areas with a map-making geographer.

We walked ridges. We walked valleys. We walked break lines – that’s where the elevation changes more abruptly than on a gradual slope.

The reason for all the walking was to gather data for a contour map with distance intervals of possibly one meter, 10 feet or 20 feet. The interval depended on what the geographer would decide after the data downloaded. (Sometimes data doesn’t ‘take’ when optimum satellite positions aren’t available.)

For me, this was Wisconsin outdoor fun, because I love hiking cross-country – away from established trails. Don’t get me wrong – I believe in remaining on established trails when rules are in place to do so.

But hiking over downed trees, between dense evergreen saplings, across creeks, and through elevation changes in terrain provided me with an adventurous experience. I became familiar with the area in detail.

The snow cover was only six inches to a foot deep instead of thigh high, which I’ve struggled through in the past. I also appreciated the absence of ticks and mosquitoes on my winter hike.

More on hiking: Hiking news from around the state | Your hiking photos | Create a map for your next hiking trip

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