SHEBOYGAN COUNTY - Two miles might not seem like a lot.
But for Ann Vogl and Cheryl Gorsuch, it's a short distance that's taken nearly five years of hiking to get to.
"We're excited, but it's the end of a five year journey. So, it's kind of sad too," said Gorsuch.
Members of the Ice Age Trail Alliance, a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to the creation, support and protection of the path, the two started the roughly 1,000 mile trek on March 21, 2008 near Portage.
"We had eight inches of snow," explained Vogl. "So, it was a blizzard. So we figured, if we can handle that, we can handle anything."
The Ice Age Trail is roughly 1,000 miles long and meanders through 30 state counties, following the edge of the last remaining Wisconsin glacier.
The two divided the journey into 100 days, hiking about 11 miles at a time over weekends that worked for the duo's schedule. They didn't follow the trail in one contiguous journey, but jumped around the state as they saw fit.
And their final two miles of the trail put them at Kettle Moraine State Forest, just four days shy of five years.
Vogl, a librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County by day, says the pair knew the undertaking would take a while.
"We're lucky there's just two of us," said Vogl, with Gorsuch interjecting, "Because there have been other groups that have hiked in larger - three, four people at a time - and they have said it's difficult to get everybody doing it at the same time."
Gorsuch, who teaches English at Lincoln High School in Manitowoc, says the two have seen a lot together over the years.
"A lot has changed and I think you see so much of Wisconsin, at a personal level, foot by foot, step by step," said Gorsuch.
Setting out on the last two miles with a small group of friends for the final leg - along with Cheryl's dog "Dog," the group relished the little wind and sunny sky.
But it wasn't the easiest of times, as the deep snow put them behind the planned 30 minute mile pace.
For the two women, while the journey may have taken a long time to complete, it also brought them closer together.
"When you hike for five hours a day, I think we know more than we ever wanted to know about each other!" said Vogl.
So after nearly two hours of hiking, the group finally made it to the finish, where friends and family were on hand, waiting for the two's arrival.
It was a celebration of an undertaking that's taken almost exactly five years to complete. But one that both say they would do again in a heartbeat.
Both say they would like to tackle similar trails like the Appalachian Trail in the future. But also say there are still many trails here in the state to hike.
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