This may be my final day on the NCT in 2022, when I made my way to Valley View Foundation. But, of course, who knows?!
I had a decent night at Morgan’s last night. While the campground isn’t really in shape yet for the season, the owner met me there and gave me a nicer site than the one I’d booked. Other than a few pesky birds that kept landing on my food and cooking utensils, it was a nice night.
This morning I drove to the Valley View Foundation trailhead in Milford for my shuttle with Dennis, who drove me two days ago. It was a little difficult to find, but I got there with time to spare.
Heading Back to Valley View
Tim, who shuttled me many days last week, met me at the Foster trailhead to join me for the day. I hike alone almost all of the time, so it was very nice to have company! The two of us chatted all day, as we passed through a few lovely trail towns, namely Loveland and Milford.
Loveland is very cute, and definitely caters to the cyclists who frequent the trail. The town created some kind of special postal stamp or cancellation for Valentine’s Day – I’m forgetting the exact history – which it notes along the trail. Milford is the spot where the Buckeye Trail shoots a spur into Cincinnati. The NCT clings to the “regular” Buckeye Trail, if you will, which turns eastbound to run along the bottom of Ohio.
Our trek through Milford was interesting The town is undergoing a lot of construction in its downtown – in a positive way! It’s a cute space with specialty shops selling coffee, sandwiches, etc. There’s also a gear shop. While hiking through the town, you also pass a neighborhood with beautiful old homes.
The last mile or so of trail goes through the wooded Valley View Foundation property. I’m not sure exactly what this is, and it wasn’t very well blazed at all – which is surprising, as you pass a barn/shed and some outbuildings that have a lot of signs warning of surveillance cameras. OK, we don’t want to trespass. But then why aren’t there plenty of blue blazes to show us where to go?!
Oh! Can’t forget to mention that while Tim has hiked a lot, he doesn’t have a trail name. He said no one ever game him one. Since he loves to brew beer, and gave me some of his (really good!) home brews, I suggested he take the name Home Brew. I like it. I hope he does!
Day and Hike Are Done
It’s always happy and sad to end a hike. I’m happy to be going back to my hubby and my home. But I’ll definitely miss the trail. I’m also intrigued by what I’ve seen in Ohio as a whole, and in this portion of the state. Two examples: There are “drive-thrus” here, where you drive through a building to buy an ice cream cone, booze and more. In Wisconsin, our “drive-thrus” are all drive-up windows. Driving through buildings is kind of fun, and more accurate.
This part of Ohio is also SUPER hilly. As in scary-hilly. I can’t tell you how many winding, narrow, curving roads I drove on where the speed limit was 15 mph or 10 mph or even 5 mph (8-24 mph).
And I can’t forget to mention cheese. I live in America’s Dairyland, and there are multiple cheese sections in the grocery stores. Cheese is also not that expensive. But in any other state, even those close to Wisconsin, the cheese sections are small and the prices are exorbitant. I guess what I’m saying is that I LOVE exploring new places. But in the end, there’s no place like home!
NCT Miles Today: 14.7 (23.7 km)
Ohio NCT miles to date: 265.5 (450.9 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 2,219 (3,571.1 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 2,381 (3,831.9 km)
Tonight I’m staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Fairfield, Ohio. It’s clean, comfy and great!