It is a lot farther from Baraboo Wisconsin to the Hoosier National Forest than I thought. Most of yesterday on the road. On the plus side, I got a lot of audio book done. On the down side, it was a long and not so interesting drive.
I went down to Madison to meet with Paul DeLong, senior VP at American Forest Foundation and the one who does Tree Farm. We met for lunch at the Tipsy Cow, on just off the Capitol Square. We had a great talk about landscape management plans and ecological restoration.
Paul was the Wisconsin State Forester, and so his ideas are interesting and informed by experience. I have a lot to think about from talking to Paul, the guys at Aldo Leopold and Chrissy’s uncle Jerry Apps, who I also talked to. Jerry’s most recent book is on the CCC in Wisconsin. Got a lot of impression and information to make sense.
I walked around Madison, went down to the old lake trail where I used to run and walked up and down State Street. It was more than a mere walk down memory lane. Walking around these places stimulated a lot of thought. Wisconsin has great traditions in conservation & education.
One of the better things about Wisconsin was/is “The Wisconsin Idea”, a philosophy of the University of Wisconsin System that the university programs should be applied to solve problems and improve health, quality of life, the environment, and agriculture for all citizens of the state. This is in line with what Aldo Leopold did in Coon Valley and what Jerry Apps did during his career in UW extension. It was a boots-on-the-ground partnership of the people and the professors. I thought about that in its original context and how it works and might work now. Such a great tradition. It made such a difference, but it is not well known.
My first picture is the State Capitol and the statue of Hans Christian Heg. He was born in Norway, but when the Civil War broke out he joined up to fight for his adopted country and to set other men free. He led Wisconsin 15th, a Scandinavian regiment. He was killed in 1863 at Chickamauga, GA. One of Chrissy’s ancestors fought with the Wisconsin regiments in the Civil War. He survived the war, but his wife died while he was gone.
Next is Bascom Hall and Bascom Hill. It doesn’t look that steep, but it is hard to walk up that hill when the path is icy. I did it hundreds of times. Studying at University of Wisconsin was great. Being born in Wisconsin was a great move on my part.
Picture # 3 is shows food trucks in front of Memorial Library. After my drunken student stage, I moved into the nerdy scholar stage. I spent many – many hours at that library, actually liked it. They did not have those trucks there in the old days. There was wagon where some hippies sold very good cookies, but that was about it.
The lake trail is picture #4. For a couple years, my life was studying at the library and running on that lake trail. Sometimes they were mixed. My method for writing papers was to read all the sources and then go run. I thought about it as I ran. It brewed. When I got back, I wrote everything in one sitting and then filled in footnotes and cleaned up the prose. I found it much better flow. The flow of the run complemented the flow of ideas.
Last is Geko Arts. The only reason I include that is because Cousin Elise has her jewelry line with the same name.