As I’ve mentioned, I’m pivoting from my planned itinerary these last few days. So today’s trek was from Nipgen to Scioto Trail State Park. I’d hoped to dial the miles back to about 17 (27.4 km), but due to needing to park in official parking spots, I ended up around 20 (32.2 km).
Once again, trail angel Nancy met me in Scioto Trail State Park for a shuttle back to Nipgen (and the wonderfully named Fredneck’s Mini Mart). It was another cool day, with alternating sun and clouds.
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The first 11 or so miles (17.7 km) were on roads. Thankfully, I just had two mildly worrisome dog encounters. I met yet another person hunting for morel mushrooms and got the same advice for cooking them: soak in salt water, then dredge in flour and saute in butter.
Heading for Scioto Trail State Park
The first trail section I encountered was just a mile or so (1.6 km) in between road walks. It was mostly pleasant, although near the end the blazed trees alternated between being inside or outside of a barbed-wire fence, so I wasn’t sure exactly which side I should be on. There was no discernible trail, and the app didn’t help. I had to crawl under the barbed wire several times. No fun!
No matter. There was another road walk before hitting the trails at Scioto Trail State Park. The paths in the state park were great, as most were either very wide and devoid of downed trees/brush, or single-track but scrub-free. I did get off-track at one point on top of a ridge where they had been doing a controlled burn, but realized my error relatively quickly.
Making New Plans
I’d been toying with trying to arrange a shuttle tomorrow morning for a half-day’s hike before heading home. But the only place to drop my car is in Londonderry (a full day’s hiking), so I’ve decided to head home instead. I’m ready. I’ve had many long days in a row, with no day off (my own fault). So it’s time.
Sharon and her hubby have been so kind. I’m staying in their garden shed one last night instead of camping in Scioto Trail State Park, as it’s again going to be below freezing. They found some morel mushrooms today, and cooked them in part so I could taste them. WOW. I was wondering if morels would be an acquired taste. No, they are not! They were so tasty, and hard to describe, as everyone has said. So if you haven’t ever had one, please do try them.
So this concludes my spring NCT hike. I’ll be back in July, this time heading west from Ely, Minn. I’m also now more than halfway finished! Woot, woot!
NCT Miles Today: 19.4 (31.2 km)
Ohio NCT miles to date: 512.6 (825 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 2,466.1 (3,968.8 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 2,133.9 (3,434.2 km)
Most useful gear today: My Prana hiking pants, which protected me from scrub and barbed-wire fencing!