Trail into Shawnee Forest.
Today’s trek to Wamsley was enjoyable, but with some distinct challenges. But first, we must backtrack a little.

Last night was cool in camp, although I had plenty of layers and covers to stay warm. But it was cold this morning (40 F. / 4.4 C.). So since I was pretty much the only person in this campground, I hauled all of my gear into the heated bathroom and changed in there, plus made breakfast. It was quite comfy! 

At 8:30, I met Nikki in Wamsley for the shuttle back to the Shawnee trailhead. She is a such a great trail angel, not to mention an interesting person. I was sad to part ways, but hopefully we’ll meet again some day.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (among regular links) to products I own and like, or which I think you might like. This means that, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Making My Way to Wamsley

I’m an odd hiker in that I’m very fastidious about my planning, but then I dismiss it all. Meaning, I create super detailed itineraries listing every day’s way points, points of interest, shuttles, camping sites, mileage, etc. I list phone numbers, confirmation numbers, websites and more. But I also want to be somewhat spontaneous, so I only look at a day’s hike the night before. And I don’t always scrutinize the details. 

I know my shuttle schedule for sure, and where I’ll be sleeping. But today, for example, I didn’t know anything about the hike until shortly before I began. I saw I had a shorter day (16 miles / 25.8 km) – yay!). But I thought it was all trail until I hit a road route. Turns out the day was mostly roads.

Into the Woods

The first section was the end of hiking through the Shawnee State Forest, which was similarly hilly to yesterday’s hike. Nikki told me the trail piggybacks on old logging roads – duh, I should have realized that – which is why there are those steep Quiet country road.uphills and downhills. And no, the hills I hit yesterday were not “The Hill.” That will be tomorrow or the next day.

The one rather confusing thing today (and yesterday) is that the BT/NCT follows some Shawnee trail, I presume, that is blazed orange. Sometimes you’ll have both an orange and blue blaze together, but mostly it’s just orange. However, at some points the blue blazes diverge for just a tiny bit, which gets confusing. I think those may be old BT/NCT markers for trail that is now merged with the orange trail, but it’s not clear.

Caught With My Pants Down

Once on the roads, and realizing I’d be on them the rest of the day, I was sort of happy. I love trail way more than roads, but a shorter and faster day would mean I’d have time to find wifi and communicate with others. But I did have one road episode I have not yet had in nearly 10,000 miles (16,093 km) of hiking: I was caught with my pants down. 

The temperature this morning was about 40 F. (4.4 C.), but it was supposed to hit 80 F. (27 C.) by day’s end. So I started out in pants and a coat, planning to shed the coat and don shorts once it got warm. I reached the too-warm-for pants spot when I hit the roads. I was on an old logging road with zero traffic, so I figured it was the perfect spot to change. But, of course, the minute I had my pants off and was putting on my shorts, a truck drove by. Oh, well! 

On the Road Again

The road walk was largely through pleasant countryside. There were a few monster hills, however, and two unnerving Countryside pond reflecting vegetation.incidents. One was when a St. Bernard-sized dog challenged me. I’d first tried sweet-talking it back home, and tucked my trekking poles under my arm, as dogs seem to be spooked by them. But it wasn’t deterred. It got within about four feet (1.2 m) of me and began to snarl, so I grabbed my mace and was one second away from spraying it when the owner came out and called the dog back. He claimed it never did this before, despite there being regular hikers and bikers on the road. I don’t believe that. 

The second incident was when I was almost in Wamsley. Three people were out walking their two dogs, and two of them grabbed their dogs the minute they saw me. (Thanks!) Once was a small dog that didn’t make a fuss when its owner scooped it up. The other looked like a super-sized pit bull, and the owner had a very hard time keeping it restrained. As we passed, he said it was dangerous for a woman to be out here alone. I said I had mace for the troublesome dogs. As he struggled to keep his own dog under control, he said, “It’s not the dogs you have to worry about. There are a lot of nasty people out here. You need a small gun, like a .38.” Umm … at this point, I disagree.

Day Is Done

Maybe I need to pack heat on the trail. I was told to do that on the Florida Trail, and even by one man who lived along Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail (he was recommending that due to feral dogs). But I’d probably end up inadvertently shooting myself, so I’ll stick to the mace. And bear spray. I do have a canister back home, and think I’ll carry both mace and bear spray from now on. So glad I reached Wamsley!


NCT Miles Today: 16.2 (26.1 km)
Ohio NCT miles to date: 417.6 (672.1 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 2,371.1 (3,815.9 km) 
Total NCT miles to go: 2,228.9 (3,587.1 km)



©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons