Do you notice anything about the figure in this sign? Since here at Skillet Creek the “hiking guy” is part of our daily life we see him all the time. That’s probably why yesterday while our family was out hiking at Wildcat Mountain State Park near Ontario, WI., I could just feel something was wrong. The hiking guy just didn’t look right..
First and foremost, I have to say that Wildcat Mountain State Park is well worth the visit. The drive to Ontario, (The self-claimed “Canoe Capitol of the Kickapoo”!) is just under a couple hours from our base camp here in the Baraboo Hills if you take scenic Highway 33. You can’t get lost on 33 as the highway goes directly into, and through the park. Wild Cat Mountain covers just over 3, 500 hundred acres of land and provides some spectacular overviews down into the Kickapoo river valley, as well as camping, horseback riding trails, a picnic area.. and some really amazing hiking trails. The one thing Wildcat is lacking is bike trails. We spent a few hours in the park hiking a variety of trails up and down through the hills and valleys. It was somewhere deep down in one of those valleys that I really took notice of the sign.
As you know, whenever you’re out hiking in a new park, even with the map in hand, you tend to become a bit dependent on that little reflective hiking guy who marks your way through the woods. Everyone knows that feeling when you’ve been walking awhile and you suddenly realize you’re not quite sure you are where you think you are. You pull that park map out of your pocket, try to get all the wrinkles out then try to remember how to tell which way north is. Well, truth be told, even if you do know which way north is, those little dashed lines on the park map don’t quite cut it when you’re deep in unfamiliar woods. What a relief it is to catch a glimpse of the hiking guy nailed to a tree just up ahead. (See you were never lost, just paranoid!) It was in a moment just like that when I realized something was wrong with my friend the hiking guy. Check out the image below…
See the difference? The hiking guy on the left is from Devil’s Lake State Park. The guy on the right is from Wildcat Mountain. It seems the hiking guy has not been getting out as often recently! Maybe one is the “Spring” hiking guy and the other is late fall? Before and after? A subliminal message from our state government? What do you think?
- Click Here for our Wild Cat Mountain State Park Photo Gallery.