April 17 - EarthFest Cleveland Zoo

Today I took a second zero day. The day started with some bad news. A pet cat of my hostess, Debbie Zampini, had a stroke last night. We awoke to find Good Girl, the cat, paralyzed in the rear legs and looking quite ill. Debbie drove Good Girl to the animal hospital but did not return home with her. The cat could not be helped. This is the first pet that Debbie has lost. I feel very badly for her.

We got to EarthFest, the Earth Day Celebration at the Cleveland Zoo, around noon and headed for the Buckeye Trail Association booth. I stayed at the booth to help out while Debbie roamed the zoo.

I spoke to many people about the Buckeye Trail. I got a kick out of telling them that I walked from Dayton to Cleveland on the Buckeye Trail.  This caused most people to at least raise an eyebrow. One lady did not believe me. I reassured her that I did but she did not look convinced. Another lady, Kim, was so intrigued by my journey that she gave me a hug! I have hiked 7,400 miles on the Appalachian Trail and I don't ever recall getting a hug from someone for being a hiker. One fellow asked me if I needed any money. I said no but replied that he could make a donation to the Buckeye Trail Association. He took out his wallet and made a $40 donation on the spot. Thank you Dave M! I met a girl named Maria. This could end up being the topic of a whole 'nother post.

It was a great experience to meet so many people and talk to them about the Buckeye Trail. I am so glad I happened to be in the Cleveland area on the Buckeye Trail on the day of EarthFest.

I stayed at the Buckeye Trail Booth until almost closing at 5:00pm. By then Debbie had wandered back and we were ready to go. I never did see any of the animals at the zoo. On the way home we stopped at an Italian restaurant and had dinner. At her home one less cat greeted us at the door. I could tell that Debbie was grieving for the loss of Good Girl.

I am heading back on the trail tomorrow rain or shine. Looks like it will be rain.