Windmills in the countryside.
Today’s trek from West Ashtabula to a parking spot north of Sibley was supposed to be mostly on trail. Despite yesterday’s poor trail conditions, we wanted to try this section in the hopes it would be better, even though it’s essentially the same area. So we drove to the northernmost trailhead on Lake Ashtabula and struck out, heading backwards.

Well, we tried to strike out. Once again, there was no visible trail. But the grass wasn’t too high here, so we figured we’d give it a go. We didn’t get more than a half-mile (1 km), though, when the grasses were suddenly up to mid-thigh. While the path was marked, the markers weren’t close enough to distinguish from fence posts, so we had to have the phone app out at all times. It just wasn’t worth it.

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Heading Out on the Roads from West Ashtabula

Ed and I hiked back out to our car, then did a road walk around this section. No, it wasn’t that scenic. But at least we A boat on a river.learned what was going on from a local and NCTA volunteer, who stopped to see if we needed a ride. He told us the Army Corps of Engineers maintains the entire Lake Ashtabula section, and was down to two employees, due to budget cuts, I believe. Those two were busy opening campgrounds for the summer season. In a few weeks, college kids would be on deck to start the mowing.

Understandable, as these trails are not easy to create or maintain, due to a lack of funds and adequate volunteers. So while we were bummed to miss the trail in this area, we get it.

Hunkered Down in Cooperstown

For the next two nights we’re staying in a nice apartment rental in Cooperstown. We had deep-fried food at The Fishbowl (yum!), where the owner is supposed to be a big NCT backer. I was hoping she might know of some people to help with shuttles once Ed leaves, but she’d left shortly before we arrived. 

Back in the apartment, I found a tick on me. The ticks haven’t been too bad so far, but yesterday Ed found a bunch on him. I’m guessing one got loose in his car, then jumped on me when we drove to The Fishbowl. Ick.


ND NCT miles today: 18.2 (29.3 km)
ND NCT miles to date: 194.5 (313 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 3,095.5 (4,981.7 km) 
Total NCT miles to go: 1,504.5 (2,421.3 km)

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