Escaping the Ravages of the Last Glacier


Highway 92 runs south out of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, roughly following Deer Creek. I drove to Donald Park today to mark the beginning of the new year. It isn’t far outside of town, and boasts perhaps the most delightful signage ever posted by the Dane County Historical Society. It starts by stating simply, “Escaping the ravages of the last glacier, this tranquil valley retains ancient geologic features. Located just southwest of the Johnstown moraine, it is one of Dane County’s most scenic areas.” The Johnstown moraine is an end moraine, or more plainly, the ridge of debris pushed along the front edge of an advancing glacier. This lovely valley just missed being ravaged – stood it’s ground, quite literally, as a sheet of ice came to a halt at it’s feet.

In this political climate, there are more parallels to this geologic stand-off than I wish to recount. The message is not so subtle though, is it? All glaciers grind to a halt. After Donald Trump has returned to the world of reality television, I imagine kindly old ladies from the historical society abandoning their stacks of newspaper clippings and setting out across the region posting signs. “Escaping the ravages of the last administration, this tranquil valley retains the ancient ties of community.” May we all be good to one another in the New Year.