Today’s plan called for me to continue hiking eastbound to Krieger Mountain Crafts, a business I spotted online that was around the mileage I wanted to complete. Mike, my shuttler, said why take two cars when we can take one? So he dropped me off at Krieger Mountain in the morning, and I hiked back westbound to the spot (near his home) where I ended yesterday. I didn’t change the heading for this entry to identify the switch because I was too lazy!
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So today’s trek was one of highs and lows. When Mike dropped me off, Justin and some friends at Krieger Mountain Crafts welcomed me, and we talked both hiking and old-fashioned weapons. Justin’s business is in handcrafting items like bows and arrows. He offered to let me camp there, offered food/water, etc. Just a really nice person. After several minutes of chatter, I headed back west.
Departing Krieger Mountain Crafts
This section of the trail is so beautiful! Suck Run runs alongside the road, which is wooded, curving and, today, filled with spring wildflowers. But when I reached a home with an interesting rope bridge across the creek, three dogs raced out at me, aggressively barking. A copper-colored one was the most threatening, getting within a few feet of me and following me down the road, despite my repeated commands of, “Go home!” and blowing my emergency whistle. I walked backwards for nearly a half-mile (.8 km) to make sure the dog wasn’t running after me. It was awful, especially since I’d forgotten my mace.
Things devolved from there. Over the course of the day, I had a total of about 10 – TEN! – aggressive dogs come at me. The worst was one in the town of Russellville, which also kept charging me, even though a woman in a truck (with trailer) tried to block it from me. Finally a neighbor who knew the dog coaxed it back home to its (clueless) owner.
My dog-loving husband was bit in the face by a dog last summer, and needed more than 40 stitches. Even though we own a German Shepard, I don’t trust dogs I don’t know and would never leave our dog loose. Grrr!
The Day Despite the Dogs
If I could erase the dogs, the hike was lovely. Yes, it was all roads. But most of them were quiet and showcased exceptionally beautiful scenery. I had a lovely chat with Ray, a man who owns two Palominos, which have always been my favorite horse. (He’s looking for a Palomino stud for them, in case anyone knows of one!)
When Mike picked me up at the end of the day, he gave me a short tour of Georgetown, which is the boyhood home of U.S. Grant. That was very interesting to me, because I love history. Coincidentally, I also attended U.S. Grant Elementary School in Sheboygan, Wis., and have toured Grant’s adulthood home in Galena, Ill.
Tonight I’m snuggled in at Mike’s lovely shelter. The cement pad in front of the shelter features a tic-tac-toe board, so I played against myself. I simultaneously won and lost.
Looking forward to cooler weather this next week. Highs in the 80s F. (27+ C.) are not my comfort zone. I’m a cold-weather climate person, hence my trail name: Snowshoe.
P.S. There are something called wood bees here by the shelter. Mike says they don’t sting, but they’re twice the size of honeybees and have an annoyingly loud buzz. They remind me of first learning about giant wolf spiders on the Potomac Heritage Trail. They were as gross as the banana spiders I encountered on the Florida Trail. Guess what? A wolf spider was in the latrine this morning!
NCT Miles Today: 17.9 (28.8 km)
Ohio NCT miles to date: 350.8 (564.6 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 2,304.3 (3,708.4 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 2,295.7 (3,694.6 km)