My friend Ginger and I are hiking the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. The trail is located in Wisconsin and is about 1200 miles long so we're hiking it in segments. The trail runs through Marathon County in Wisconsin. The Ice Age Trail crosses the 45th Parallel in Dells of the Eau Claire County Park. As I was doing my homework on the 45th parallel, I found that we would be close to the 45 x 90 confluence in Poniatowski, WI.
It was early Saturday morning when I met Ginger in Hatley, WI. I parked my car at the Hatley Library and jumped into her car and we drove to Mission Lake Road. We started our hike at 3am under a full moon. The temperature was 37degrees with clear skies and no wind. We hiked north along CTH Y and got back to the library at 5:30am. I drove Ginger back to her car. We then drove up to the Dells of the Eau Claire County Park where we enjoyed a sunrise and hiked the Ice Age Trail to the 45th Parallel and then found an Ice Age Trail Cold Cache. With a couple hours to spare, we tackled another three miles of connecting route on the IAT. Now it was time to head to Poniatowski, WI about 38 miles west.
Just northwest of the little town of Poniatowski is where the 45th Parallel North intersects with the 90th Meridian West. We drove through town and turned west on CTY U. We followed CTY U to Meridian Ave. A right on Meridian and a short drive down the road and there it was, a small fenced in dirt parking lot with a large dark wooden sign surrounded by a corn field. In front of the sign is the geological survey marker.
While we were photographing the marker with the GPS, another car pulled in and parked. Four people emerged from the car. We talked for a while and learned that the two young men were from China and were aware of the 45x90 in China. We told them ground zero was .20 east. With GPS in hand we all walked out to ground zero. The cornfield was muddy and snowy. We tried to avoid the mud by hopping over the cut stalks walking on the snow. Once we were there everyone took a photo of the GPS reading and the others made a small snowman. We all celebrated for a time and headed back to the parking lot.
Ginger and I headed back to Wausau to find the Wausau Visitors Center in downtown Wausau. Driving through Wausau was a little confusing, but we found it and went in. We asked the lady sitting behind the counter about the 45x90 Club log book. She pulled out a large three ring binder with pages that dated back to 1979. As Ginger and I signed the book, she gave us a 45x90 Club commemorative coin. We hung out there for awhile talking about different parts of Wisconsin and what parts we enjoy the most. Now it was time to leave and head for home.