Mental Soundtrack For Future Hike To Balanced Rock, Devil’s Lake Wisconsin

The last time I was at Devil’s Lake, Joe, then Joey, was about 1 and a half and I carried him to the top of the bluff on my back. He was unimpressed. I was younger and fit.


We went to Devil’s recently and instead of taking the same bluff trail Joe and I and his friend Louie decided to follow the trail to Balanced Rock. Balanced Rock is a Devil’s Lake icon and landmark.


Interestingly, the smaller rock to the right is now missing. Ah, how things change.


Here I am in the typical tourist pose. Ha ha, yes, I am pushing the rock over and/or keeping it from tipping. Very funny. Move on.


The view is great from up there, but more than 10 years of desk work has apparently taken its toll on me. The trail, which is made of a course of stone slabs of various sizes, angles and amount of slipperiness, wind up the bluff with tiny signs that say “Balanced Rock” with an adorable little arrow. I am none to proud to say that I needed to stop a few times to catch my breath. It was a long way up. Even when we were right below it and I got a great shot of it, we were still a long climb away.


Joe and Louie were like mountain goats hopping from one rock to the next. They really dug it. I was glad to finally make it to the top and after a few photo ops, it was back down. I felt like someone was punching me in the knees all the way down, although we had fun along the way.


Once safely on the ground again we took some more funny shots on the giant rock on the path nearby with dramatic effect..


and then we took a group shot. Can you see the look in my eye.  I think it reads… “holy @#*& that was hard! Smile or they will know. Ugh.”


After returning to the campsite, and eating everything is sight, and taking a few rounds of Ibuprofen, it was campfire time.


I told the boys that I was sorry we didn’t do the whole bluff tour.  I was forgiven. Then, and this is where the music ties in dear reader (you knew it was coming) we started discussing motivational songs that I should have had on my I-Pod for such a climb in the future.

Joe, who has recently turned on to Classic Rock, offered up his selection: “Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger” of all things. I wanted to hate it when he played it, it became a joke during my time in the 80’s, but I couldn’t. It’s better to hear it than to see, but if you must:

Then Louie, bless his heart, suggested the song from the animated show “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” entitled “Put One Foot In Front Of The Other”. I laughed hysterically. It was perfect and would have been very motivational.

Myself, I had to choose a song that I had once fantasized about using for my adult karate belt ceremony routine. “Jump Man” by Buckethead. This song is awesome.

That would have aided me on my breathless quest for the summit!

In the end, I am going to create a tape, with these songs included to workout to. I’ve added walking at work to my treadmill workouts at home and I hope to return to Balanced Rock next year and get to the top with much less trouble and take a photo with triumph in my eyes instead of exhaustion.

I’m coming for you Balanced Rock!

Addendum: Lyrics to “Jump Man” by Buckethead:

I can’t never stop workin’ hard
each day I feel I have to improve
Hard work, determination
I’ve got to keep pushing myself

I can’t never stop workin’ hard

I’ve got to keep pushing myself”





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