Creek near a hiking trail.
Today was a lovely trek to West Union SP 28. What the heck is that?! The Buckeye Trail is divided into named sections, such as Williamsburg, which I just completed, and now West Union. These sections are further broken down into “section points,” which I’m abbreviating here as SP. The Buckeye Trail mileage is listed in the FarOut app for every section point, and apparently the mileage runs clockwise. I’m hiking the NCT eastbound, which means the mileage in the app keeps decreasing as I hike, which sometimes gets confusing. 

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But I digress. My shuttle was this morning, so I decided to try and find my AirPods beforehand, based on the Find My app’s locale. Unfortunately, once I got there I found nothing. I was on some kind of spur trail, and I wonder if the AirPods were up on the official NCT, had I gone further. I didn’t have the time to check, plus the time stamp on the app didn’t make sense with the spot on the trail where it was saying the AirPods were – a spot I would have passed long before the time stamp. So I gave up and drove to meet Amanda.

Heading to West Union SP 28

Amanda was lovely, as is pretty much every trail angel I’ve encountered. She dropped me off at 9:30, and I promptly took the first trail I saw, without checking the app. Oops. Yep, it wasn’t the trail. Luckily, I figured that out in about two minutes and got back on track.

I had about 5 miles (8.1 km) of trail left in East Fork before a long road walk to finish the day. While there were still steep Trail marker in grassy field.inclines and declines, plus blow-downs and mud, it was nowhere near as extreme as yesterday. I scored yet another sunny day, although the temps did creep up past 80 F (26.7 C) by day’s end.

I’ve really enjoyed the stream crossings here, as the wealth of flat rocks makes it easy to get across without getting your shoes and socks wet. Strategy is involved, though, which is part of the fun.

On the Road Again

When I left the state park and popped out onto the road, I immediately turned the wrong way. Rats! I know exactly why. The right-hand turn was clearly marked on the right, but I had been looking ahead/left, where there was a large gazebo and wealth of green space. I was trying to determine if this was a park – there was also a house nearby – or private property. So I turned left and walked about a quarter-mile (.4 km) before I realized my error. I had now inadvertently added nearly a mile (1.6 km) to what was supposed to be a shorter day. Oh, well.

Manmade spillway.
The road walk was fine, but rather nondescript. There were a lot of dogs around, but they were almost all fenced in (phew!) or had their owners around. At one point, 1,000 school buses passed me. OK, that’s an exaggeration. There are a lot of “bus turn around” signs here, presumably because it’s so hilly and windy. So I’m not sure if the same buses kept passing me, turning around, then passing me again. It got a little annoying, especially because they really have to rev the engines to get up the hills. I could hardly hear my podcast, especially since I have to listen now sans AirPods. I know, #firstworldproblem.

Dinner with Diane

Diane met me for dinner in a nearby cafe. She so kindly grabbed a rain cover for my backpack, as I’d left mine at home. As we chatted, it turns out we have a friend in common, one Phil Brinkman from Madison. They went to college together, while Phil and I used to belong to the same small book club. In addition, Phil crewed me on my first Ice Age Trail hike in 2013. What a small world!

Back at my campsite. It’s my last night here at East Lake. Some woman brought a dog into the shower with her! Ugh.


NCT Miles Today: 15.8 (25.4 km)
Ohio NCT miles to date: 315.2 (507.3 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 2,268.7 (3,651.1 km) 
Total NCT miles to go: 2,331.3 (3,751.9 km)



©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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