Timeline for Gear Shakedown Operation:
-Bob: Gather Car Camping Supplies
-Luke: Gather Backpacking Kit
-Bob And Luke: Load Bonneville by 7pm or earlier
7:30 am - Bob: Wake Luke, Depart by 7:40am
7:50 am - Bob And Luke: Kwik Trip stop for Coffee
-Bob And Luke: Drive to Waupaca, Hwy 10 to Foley Rd (~5mi Past 49/54) North on Foley Rd to Skunk and Foster Lakes Trailhead (SAFL)@ Sannes Creek. (Google Estimated Travel Time From Home: 52min)
-Luke: Begin ~11mi Hike from SAFL Trailhead to HCSP Campground @ IAT Waypoint PW17 (Rough Estimated Travel Time: 6hr) Mark Time as T __:__ (Ideal: 9:00am)
-Bob: Backtrack down Foley Rd to 10, take 10 to 49/54 (West?) to HCSP
-Bob: Reserve Campsite. Preferrably 39 or 40. If 39/40 loop is closed, shoot for Site 20, 18 or 19 in-order. If somehow all of those are full, just get as near to that as you can.
-Bob: At office, determine Fire Ban Status.
-Bob: Once At Campsite, perform Communications Test, send test Email, SMS and POTS hailing. Notify Luke of Campsite Number.
-Bob: If Commcheck Unsuccessful, and Campsite Does Not Equal 39 or 40, proceed to Waypoint PW17 and leave a note at sign depicted in the following photographs:
Preferably folded and tucked between signpost and sign. If unable to securely wedge note in sign, leave beneath rock at base of sign.
-Luke: Fallback method will be to proceed from PW17/(39/40) along loop road towards site 20. Look for bonneville along that loop. If unable to locate, proceed to park office.
-Bob: If Fire Permitted, Gather/Purchase/obtain firewood.
-Bob: You're free to enjoy the park. Please remain on standby and keep your phone operational. Inverter will be provided in-car for charging if needed.
-On Trail Plan-
-Luke: Proceed through SAFL Segment 4.4mi. @ Est 2mph pace complete Segment at Estimated T+2h12m. (Ideal: 11:12am)
-Luke: Prepare lunch @ Waupaca River Segment(WRS) (Ideal: 45m/11:57am) Ending at Estimated T+3h If Communications intact, make progress report.
-Luke: Proceed Through WR Segment of IAT, 4.9mi Estimated 2h27m length and arrive at HCSP Trailhead ~T+5h30m (Ideal:2:30pm)
-Luke: Proceed into Hartman Creek HSCP Segment of IAT, Half-length Estimated at ~2.5-3mi @ Est 2mph pace, 1h-1h30m (Ideal 3:30-4:00pm)
-Hartman Creek State Park Plan-
-Luke: Locate Campsite. Check PW17 for note if not otherwise notified.
-Luke: Link up with Bob.
-Bob and Luke: Proceed to Allen Lake Picnic Table via Site 20 path, prepare dinner.
-Luke: Fill water reserves for PM
-Bob and Luke: Return to campsite
-Luke: Raise Passage 2 Tent, lay out sleeping bag
-Bob and Luke: Celebrate Successful Test, Discuss trip/impact of test on kit
IAT - Ice Age Trail
SAFL - Skunk And Foster Lakes (segment)
WR/WRS - Waupaca River (Segment)
HCSP - Hartman Creek State Park (segment/destination)
So, the plan here is to be dropped off at the northern-most point in the Skunk and Foster Lakes segment of the Ice Age Trail and walk the estimated 11-12 miles down to the campground at Hartman Creek State Park. This trip will serve as both training and testing for my gear. We'll be executing this plan on Tuesday the 28th, and tomorrow on the 27th, I'll post my gear list for this expedition. My gear list will actually be overkill for this operation, but this is on purpose. I'm aiming for much more ambitious hikes than this, so I need to prepare for and accustom myself to the gear load I'll need on those hikes.
I aimed for a ~10 mile segment because of my general fitness level (mediocre), and because 20-30mi seems to be the benchmark of a seasoned thru-hiker's day. As such, I figure starting with my sights set on 10 miles is a realistic goal, and if I find myself itching for more miles at the end of that, I can hike the rest of the HCSP trail down to the Emmons Creek segment, and back up. 10 miles should be long enough to ease me in and test my equipment. I should also get a bit of perspective on the equipment I'm using. With Bob camping nearby, if anything should go wrong (my ankles have been known to experience rather catastrophic failures)I should be able to summon help.
It appears to be a fairly easy segment of trail though, and I don't anticipate any great difficulty in this course.All in all, it looks like an excellent starting point for this sort of thing. Tuesday and Wednesday are supposed to be into the mid 60s/low 70s during the day and there isn't even the most remote indication of inclement weather. an ideal setup for a test-outing like this. Additionally, this exercise will prepare me for doing a lengthier, more challenging segment up north, the Harrison Hills segment of the Ice Age Trail.