Fall vacation, day 6

This morning, I got to enjoy the Madison I remembered so well.

We went to the Badger game yesterday, and that's part of the Madison I remember, too. We walk/drove through some of our favorite neighborhoods -- the ones we would have moved to if we stayed in Wisconsin instead of moving to Utah in 2000.

I used to walk a lot in Madison, for exercise and just to get out. I still do, but the Madison walks, for some reason, still resonate. Because I worked so early, I had whole afternoons to get outside. My Friday mornings were like this too on those weeks I worked Friday nights. My two favorite walks were the cross country skiing trails at Elver Park and the long trail at Governor Nelson State Park on the north side of Lake Mendota. Both were wooded and/or rustic trails that provided a nice hike and a chance to think, surrounded by a little bit of nature.

The condo we stayed at this weekend is near the Pheasant Ride Conservancy in Middleton. The land borders a Middleton Park and a state natural area, and trails. I bundled up (too much -- the weather warmed up after Saturday), took my iPod, and went for a morning walk on the trail. I'm not sure how far I went, but I was on the back end of the land when Lori texted me to come back (and it took a half-hour to do so).

That is the capitol, right around the center of the picture.
The hike felt great. It felt like Madison. It felt like fall. It gave me time to think. It gave me some of the recharge I seek from any vacation. I listened to my Fall 1985 mix and enjoyed the sunny autumn day and the chance to be outside in it.

I returned to the condo, and we all went out to breakfast at Hubbard Avenue Diner in Middleton. The boys got a chance to visit the National Mustard Museum (I am not making that up), where Michael won a free bottle of mustard (also, non-fiction). We drove along downtown and Lake Monona to show the boys more of the town we lived in before Utah. After a quick stop at Starbucks, Lori took the driver seat and I napped in back as we headed back to Chicago.

The Cubs lost again, 4-1 to the Mets. That didn't spoil my great morning hike, but it sure didn't help ...


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