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Peru Preparations

We are getting closer to the time for our Inca Trail hike and have started final preparations.   Getting there may be the most problematic.  I've talked to lots of people whose travel plans via air this year have been cancelled or who have been stranded mid-trip--unable to get to their final destination in time for their excursion. On this trip, we will be flying from Chicago to Dallas to Lima.  Then boarding the next day on a Peruvian puddle jumper (or mountain hopper) to Cusco, where we will acclimate to the 11,152'  elevation for a few days. Once the hike starts, there will be little to do but put one foot in front of the other for about four days.  This will be Julia's first multi-day hike where she will be sleeping on the ground in a tent.  I've been dreaming about my Appalachian trail thru-hike twenty-five years ago.  I guess those are called flashbacks. Peak elevation will be at Dead Woman's Pass (elevation 13,828').  Should be interesting.  Will take a b

Alma: a small town on the Mississippi River

During our recent trip to Merrick State Park, we drove about 15 minutes north to the small town of Alma.  With low expectations, we were pleasantly surprised. 

Alma is a both a barge and railroad town.  The Corp of Engineers maintains the locks.


At one time, Alma, like many small Wisconsin towns, had its own brewery. Only the sign remains.

We hiked up the Buena Vista Trail, which starts on Main Street and switchbacks up the bluff for a nice view of the River below.

Note:  I've not been busy blogging this month, but I have been busy.  We managed to sell our wooded acreage to help fund some of our early retirement and health insurance.  That money will also help us support our son Justin's move to an apartment in Madison.  The land was originally meant for our dream home, but dreams change, as we all know. Since it was a build-able lot and came with increasing taxes, it actually was a relief to let it go before the housing market collapses again.

Although Justin qualifies for Section 8 housing, based on disability and income, no apartment was ever going to be available to him as a non-resident.  We will get Justin set up for a year or two, and hopefully he will then qualify for cheaper housing.  Madison apartments are terribly expensive, starting at about $900/month for a one bedroom "affordable apartment" with a tax credit to the developer. And, of course, any apartment for Justin also has to be accessible.  Section 8 housing is 1/3 of income including utilities but in very short supply.  The accessible ones would qualify as "rare." 


  1. I hope Madison, and y'all, provides the life-style Justin is looking for. Been a long time since we rented but it still sounds kinda steep!

    1. It is steep and not sustainable in the long term. I'll do another post about it after he signs a lease.

  2. The mighty Mississippi! I saw the photo and thought it could very well have been captured at Cliff Cave Park, where I hike regularly. I live two miles from Ole Miss in South St Louis, Missouri, and I love to see snaps of it! :)

    I sometimes wonder if they trains that run along the Western side of the Mississippi in Missouri go as far as the tracks in Madison. But then again, some go across the river, itself.

    Nice blog!

    - TMO


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