Countryside scene with trees in the foreground.
Today’s trek to Peebles was interesting. It also hurt. Naturally, I’ll explain.

The day began meeting trail angel Jennifer West in Peebles for the shuttle back to Wamsley. She’d never been to Wamsley and always wanted to check it out, so it was a win-win for us both.

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I had what I thought was a day-long road walk ahead of me, and naturally I was nervous about the dogs. After an hour or so heading north out of Wamsley, the trail exits the main road. I turned here, and saw a sign that said Road Closed Ahead. Nikki had mentioned something about a trail alert for a road closure; she wasn’t sure if it was OK for hikers to walk through anyway. Was this the spot she meant? A few minutes later, two dogs raced out at me, so I turned around and decided that between the road closure and dogs, I’d take the highway to Peebles instead.

Heading for Peebles

But that’s not what I did. A man named Nelson saw me hike past his house, then backtrack. He’s visited with various hikers before. Long story short, he offered to walk me past the dogs, who he knows and says aren’t bad. He also said it was fine to walk on the closed road. So I was back on the official trail.

Turns out that the trail doesn’t even go on the closed road. Instead, it climbs Peach Mountain Lane up Peach Mountain, the Wooden stile in the woods.tallest spot in Adams County. For many miles there were few homes, so no dog worries. And while it was a steep climb up, it wasn’t too bad.

Once off the mountain, the route went off-road, which surprised me. I had a pleasant hike through the Mineral Springs area, getting lost only a few short times. There were impressive dolomite rock formations here, plus pretty, burbling Cedar Fork Creek. I also got to cross a stile, which I enjoy.

The Trail Was Mean

After another short road walk, where two uninterested dogs passed me (whew!), the route again went off-road. I’m not sure if I finally hit “The Hill” Nikki mentioned. But it was a steep uphill on a logging road, followed by a relatively flat meander on top of the ridge. Unfortunately, I realized I’d lost the trail while talking to my hubby on the phone. 

Bloody, scratched thighs.
It seemed to me to be faster to bushwhack back to the trail, as there was little undergrowth here, so no strenuous bushwhacking. WRONG! I was wearing shorts today, due to temps hitting the mid-80s F. (=29 C.). And there were lots of slender-but-thorny plants in the underbrush. My knees and upper thighs got slashed pretty badly. There was a lot of storm damage up here, too, which required me to crawl under trees sans backpack, which I had to fling in front of me.

When I finally got back to the trail, I saw where I went amiss. The route veers right off of the wide logging path onto a trail that looks more like a rocky ravine than a hiking path. It was difficult to traverse for much of the way. But I made it, dripping blood along the way.

Peebles, At Last

The last bit of the hike into Peebles was fine, especially after that last, thorny trail section. While it was hot out, it was super windy, so that kept me relatively cool. Still, I was pretty dehydrated.Colorful sign on a red-brick building welcoming you to Peebles.

Tonight I’m back in the Quality Inn in Seaman. I haven’t had a chance to really enjoy being in a motel, as I had to run down to the laundromat to do my clothes, gas up the car, etc. I downed a bagged salad and some beef sticks for dinner. That seemed to be the easiest. Now catching up online …


NCT Miles Today: 20.9 (33.6 km)
Ohio NCT miles to date: 438.5 (705.7 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 2,392 (3,849.6 km) 
Total NCT miles to go: 2,208 (3,553.4 km)

My most valuable tools today were mace to guard against dogs, plus this great skin repair spray.


©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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