–submitted by Jocelyn Riley & photos by Jeffrey Steele
About an even dozen Rotarians and guests (the numbers varied a little throughout the day) headed for Parfrey’s Glen near Devil’s Lake State Park on Saturday July 14. The weather grew progressively warmer and more humid as we wound our way up hill and down dale on the Ice Age Trail that leads to Parfrey’s Glen. The trail was narrow and rutted, filled with large and small stones and exposed roots that kept everyone looking down at the path to avoid tripping. “It’s a trippy path,” a complete stranger called out as some of us neared the end of the long route before the somewhat-paved shorter path leading to Parfrey’s Glen itself.
There were many strangers passing by and many opportunities to talk to them briefly as we (unexpectedly) shared the path with participants in an event called Dances with Dirt. Dozens and dozens and more dozens of people raced up behind us, called out ”On your left!”, “Hi!”, “How’s it going?”, and “Thank you!” as they waited for us to move over into the foliage on the edge of the path as they zoomed by on their way to completing 10K, half/full marathons, and 50K/50M events. They were uniformly polite and some were fun to watch. One woman carried a construction-paper Olympic torch as she ran “the whole 31 miles!” And not all of the racers were complete strangers. “Professor Steele!” called out one runner as he raced by. “I took your class in 1986–great class!”
We retired for lunch at the Blue Spoon Café in nearby Prairie du Sac, overlooking the Wisconsin River. The Blue Spoon advertises “food with personality” and it lived up to its description as our tired crew of ten enjoyed looking out at the river, having some prolonged conversations, and being, at last, not in the sun, on our feet, or dodging runners.