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Warrior Expedition: Carrying on despite downpours

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Michael and Mile Bloomer

Through rain, or high winds or wringing wet socks, the hike must go on.
West Bend native Michael Maziarka continues to trod the 1,000+ mile Ice Age Trail as a participant in Warrior Expeditions’ national “Warrior Hike” program.
This past week Maziarka and his hiking comrade Miles Vining reached Bloomer, WI, where Maziarka’s wife, Rachel (formerly Rieden, a Kewaskum native), met them at the Bloomer VFW to enjoy a little Badger State fare of Wisconsin bratwurst.
Over the past few days the soldiers endured a good bit of the recent heavy rains that passed through Wisconsin and know what it’s like to “carry on” despite the drenching downpours.
One evening was spent in a wetland area near some beaver dams. As described by Maziarka with a casual sort of candor, the men woke up to slugs that apparently cozied up to them during the night.
“We just got up and picked them off,” he said.

They made a stop a few days ago at the Ice Age Interpretive Center in the Chippewa Moraine area (See photo 1) where Maziarka said the staff was “knowledgeable and awesome.” They have now hit 172 miles on the trail and camped last night in the Chippewa Moraine area north of Bloomer. “We got camp set up just before the rain started again,” Maziarka reported. The hikers were grateful for a dry day of hiking before hunkering down for the evening.
Michael Chippewa Trail
Maziarka, a U.S. Army Afghanistan War vet, and Vining a U.S. Marine vet, also having served in the Afghanistan War are walking the entire Ice Age Trail with the support of the Warrior Hike, a program designed to help combat veterans transition from their military service.

Click HERE to learn more about The Warrior Hike and other vets who are currently trekking across the nation.
The men should pass through West Bend in late July. The Washington County Insider will keep you updated as The Warrior Hike progresses.


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