I hiked 19 miles today in six hours plus a two hour break. Rick dropped me off in Newport at 7:45am. It was cold, windy and overcast. A light coat of snow covered some areas of the ground. It made for good hiking as I had no desire to dilly-dally or take breaks.
The hike today was almost entirely along the Miami Erie Canal tow path with the exception of about 2.5 miles of road walking. The road walking in farm land country was quite chilly with nothing to stop the brisk north wind.
The canal tow path makes for enjoyable hiking. There you generally don't have to worry about losing the trail. You can hike along and let your mind wander. The trail was well blazed. No need to stay focused on navigating. No scavenger hunts.
I took a two hour break in New Bremen. I took a brief tour of the reconstructed lock tender's house at Lock 1 North and spent the rest of the time at the New Bremen Coffee Company coffee shop. I had an excellent lunch and lots of hot coffee at a reasonable price.
I highly recommend the New Bremen Coffee Company to those passing through. The staff was so polite to me even though it was clear I wasn't "from around here" and I tracked mud into the place. I sat in a lounge chair in a corner by myself. But not for long as a group of five people joined me. The New Bremen Chamber Of Commerce Executive Director, Scott Frey, was one of the folks who sat near me and struck up a conversation. So did Annette Thompson. All five were very cordial and welcoming. Thank you Scott, Annette and Pam Sager for making my visit memorable.
So far New Bremen gets my vote for the Friendliest Town On The Buckeye Trail!
I hiked across the Loramie Summit today. The summit is the high point between the Ohio River in Cincinnati and Lake Erie in Toledo. South of the summit the canal water flows to Cincinnati. North of the summit the canal water flows to Toledo. I climbed roughly 200 feet in elevation from Dayton. Technically speaking I will be hiking downhill from here.
At 3:45pm I arrived at the Buckeye Trail crossing at SR-219 just south of St Marys. There my first cousin, Tom Rammel, picked me up and took me to his house. He lives just a mile from the trail. I will spend the next two nights with Tom. Of my 60+ first cousins I spend the most time with Tom. We are the same age and have always enjoyed hanging around each other.