Day 1 - Tipp City

My hike on the Buckeye Trail started at 10:30am on a chilly, but sunny Sunday morning at Deeds Point in Dayton to the sound of church bells ringing. Today is the first day of spring.

I was dropped off by my mother and her husband Jim. It felt good to be back on the "trail". There are statues of Wilbur and Orville Wright at Deed's point. I posed for the obligatory photo with them and started walking north.

It turned out to be a warm and sunny day. I saw lots of people riding bikes and walking on the bike path which the Buckeye Trail follows up the Great Miami River. I struck up a conversation with a few of them. But others clearly weren't interested in knowing anything about me. I think a fellow wearing a backpack on a bike trail in an urban area is like waving a sign saying "I am homeless". Several people I passed refused to make eye contact with me and a few others suddenly felt the urge to make a cell phone call when they saw me coming. Ironically these same people would read an article in the newspaper about someone hiking the Buckeye Trail and probably remark how neat that was and wished they could do that some day. I guess I better get used to dirty looks.

One fellow who struck up a conversation with is Lee Kreider. Lee was active in the Buckeye Trail Association about 40 years ago and served on the board of trustees. Lee was instrumental in persuading the BTA board to extend the trail from Cincinnati northward through Dayton to northwest Ohio. At that time there was no Buckeye Trail through Dayton. Lee mapped out and created original route. Decades later that route became the Great Miami River bike path. It was great meeting Lee and sharing stories with him.

I hiked 18 miles on my first day. My feet were sore from walking on all the paved surfaces. Only about two miles of the trail was on a soil footpath - Tadmore in Taylorsville MetroPark.

My destination for the day was Tipp City where I was met by my friend Diane Brown. Diane drove me to her house in Tipp City, had a wonderful meal waiting for me and let me stay the night. Thank you Diane!

P.S. I got my pack weight down to 26 pounds!