Category Archives: Hiking Fellowship

Autumn Hike at Louis’ Bluff on October 18, 2014

–submitted by Katie Ryan; photos by Herman Baumann, Karl Gutknecht & Susan Hunt

Group Photo

On Saturday, October 18, the Rotary Special Events Fellowship Group, Hiking Fellowship Group and Big Wheels Bicycling Fellowship Group and guests were invited to Frank and Mariana Weinhold’s beautiful 135-acre property, Louis’ Bluff.  The farm was settled in 1847 and is one of the oldest in Juneau County. It includes 7000 feet of shoreline along the Wisconsin River and a spectacular rocky bluff that provides an incredible view.  The October 8 Rotary speaker photojournalist Mike Kienitz went out to the site, which is about an hour and a quarter’s drive from Madison on the north side of the Wisconsin Dells, and captured the panorama with his camera-fitted drone.

At the N overlook  Photo16  Dells

You can watch his October 11, 2014,  at the you tube video “DRONE IN THE DELLS“. Our hike was on the same sort of glorious, sunny fall day.

Photo16  hikers  Photo6

We gathered at the Weinhold’s house for a barbecue lunch and social time before heading out on hikes.  There are flat routes past cultivated fields and through the oak and pine woods to the beaches and a steep climb up the rocky limestone bluffs.  Most of the group of thirty headed up to the top.  There’s an overlook to the north that juts out into the Wisconsin River and provides a stunning view of the formations caused by glacial outwash. The entire property is a private conservation area, and although you see some evidence of civilization, you’d never guess you were down the road from the amusements of the Dells. There is a reminder of the tourism history however, a 1954 cedar-log replica of the Fort Winnebago blockhouse from the Fort Dells amusement park relocated at Louis’ Bluff. It was dedicated in a traditional Ho-Chunk ceremony and there are headdresses from the Bear Clan on display inside.

Native Am flute_ N overlookBesides geological interest, the entire area is sacred to the Ho-Chunk nation.  Melanie Tallmadge Sainz (left), a member of the Ho-Chunk nation whose family has a long history at the site, accompanied the hikers.  At the top she explained the Native American significance of the area and played a beautiful melody on a cedar flute.  She is director of the Little Eagle Arts Foundation.   Another special viewing was an active eagle’s nest on the Weinhold’s bluff. The group reconvened at the house for pie and ice cream.  The Weinholds opened their house, ice house, shed, beach-side gazebo and a cemetery for exploration.  It was a spectacular fall day and a great excursion for the Rotary hiking fellowship.

Fonders  Frank  Photo12

Our thanks to Frank and Mariana Weinhold for their gracious hospitality and to Petie Rudy and Leigh Richardson of the Special Events Fellowship Group for organizing this event.

Dedication of Rotary Club of Madison Centennial Plaza on June 11

–submitted by Bob Dinndorf; photos by Valerie Johnson and Uriah Carpenter

Madison Rotary Square June 2014 3912 (1 Of 11)

Led by members of the Hiking Fellowship Group, Rotary Club of Madison members trekked from Inn on the Park to the Rotary Club of Madison Centennial Plaza (corners of Hamilton & Mifflin Streets) to witness a special moment capping the first Rotary century and inaugurating the second century. Club members participated in the official dedication of the Rotary Club of Madison’s Centennial Plaza.  John Bonsett-Veal and Uriah Carpenter arranged a creative aerial photo of Rotarians fresh from their post-lunch constitutional. This indisputable visual evidence of Rotary pride was summarized by Mayor Paul Soglin who read a proclamation commemorating June 11, 2014, as a day to celebrate Rotary and one of Madison’s newest landmarks.

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(Photo 1: Steve Goldberg addresses the gathering; Photo 2: Deb Gilpin reads a poem; Photo 3: Rotarians peering into the sky for a group photo [below])

Madison Rotary Square June 2014 3976 (3 Of 11)

Earlier at Inn on the Park, Steve Goldberg regaled the club with his now signature Palooza Pleaser, a song about the club’s summer spectacular. The 2014 SummerPalooza takes place Saturday, June 14 around Capitol Square and the Madison Children’s Museum.


Mayor Paul Sogilin reads the proclamation with Club President Renee Moe

Laura Peck, chair of the Plaza Project Committee, reviewed how the art installation developed. Deb Gilpin, Executive Director of the Madison Children’s Museum provided an introduction to the art piece, “Roads Diverge” which provides whimsical food for thought to plaza visitors. Deb expressed appreciation for the daily inspiration that the art provides. Finally, appreciation is extended again to Dave Ewanowski who chaired the initial 2008 Centennial Project Planning Committee and all Rotarians as well as friends of Rotarians who participated in celebration of the club’s 100 years past. Our brave march into the future continues.


Note from a Visiting Rotarian on June 11, 2014:
“Thanx for the warm hospitality shown by your club’s Rotarians. Today’s visit to the Rotary Club of Madison will always remain a memorable day in my life.   I am fortunate enough to be able to witness the centennial plaza dedication event. Yours is indeed a vibrant and unique club in the world.  May your club achieve still greater heights in the  forthcoming years.”

Yours in Rotary, PP KISHOR OSWAL, Rotary Club of PUNE FAR EAST India

Rotary Hiking Fellowship Outing at Blue Mound State Park

–submitted by Bob Graebner; photos by Ken Yuska

"Bumps on a Log"

“Bumps on a Log”

On Saturday, April 26, members and guests of the Hiking Fellowship summited Blue Mound in perfect climbing conditions.   This was the loftiest altitude ever achieved during a Hiking Fellowship event!  The participants were properly acclimated and conditioned for the ascent.   We were accompanied by Dan Dieck’s beautiful German Shorthair (pictured below), the latter failing to point even a single pheasant. The hike was followed by a high-energy meal at Sjolind’s Chocolate House in Mt. Horeb.

Dan Dieck and Sassy - Version 2  DSC_0392

Dan will be coordinating a summer hike on the Ice Age Trail and Karl Gutknecht  a late summer/early fall event at the Aldo Leopold Headquarters.   Virginia Bartelt will coordinate a Thursday evening hike during the summer.  All of these dates are to be determined by the respective coordinators.   Stay tuned for more information.

Arboretum Hike on November 16

–submitted by Andrea Kaminski; photo by  Rob Stroud


Pictured above from left: Frank Stein, Andrea Kaminski, Janet Piraino, Mary Stroud, Stan Kitson, Bob Graebner, Ginny Yuska, Wendy Wink & Ken Yuska

Eight Rotarians and guests donned foul weather gear for a hiking fellowship trek through the UW Arboretum on November 16. While the weather was iffy, the group was determined to get in a hike before the Badgers game. Armed with trail maps and good conversation, the group walked just under three miles according to one hiker with a mileage app on her cell phone. As we departed the woods before returning to the visitor center, we encountered a gaggle of 13 wild turkeys who seemed blissfully unaware that Thanksgiving was right around the corner.

Rotary Hikers on the Autumn Trails of Indian Lake Park September 28

Indian Lake Sept 2013 2

–article submitted by Becky Steinhoff; photo credit to Stan Kitson

The Rotary Hiking Group met on Saturday morning at Indian Lake Park for a fall hike totaling about 6 miles.  The group of 16 Rotarians and spouses could not have asked for better weather! The sun was shining and a nice breeze was blowing to keep us cool as we hiked.  Our group first hiked the shorter loop around the lake looking at the beautiful fall grasses and prairie.  After reconvening in the parking lot, a few left to tend to other weekend tasks while the rest of us headed up the hill to the German chapel built in 1897.  The views from the top were idyllic Wisconsin landscapes made even more special by the immerging fall colors.  Interested in joining our fellowship group?  Contact the Rotary office about future hikes.

Rotary Hikers at Natural Bridge State Park on July 20


They began at the base of Wisconsin’s largest natural bridge, the anthropological site of the oldest residents of the Midwest, some 12,000 years ago. Our Rotary hikers meandered up and down the steep hills of deep forests, passing a high overlook, across a meadow–then finished in a field with sweet corn towering above their heads!  A wonderful display of nature’s beauty and great fellowship.  Following the hike, they shared a picnic lunch in Sauk City  at August Derleth Park.  Pictured in the photo from left are:  Dean Nelson, Jackson Fonder, Ted DeDee, Gail DeDee, Jeff Bartell, Leigh Richardson, Suzanne Qualia and Angela Bartell.  Our thanks to Suzanne Qualia for this photo and to Leigh Richardson for organizing this event.