April 18 - Mentor

Dan, Captain Blue and Francine at Penitentiary Glen Nature Center.
I resumed hiking today from North Chagrin Reservation. I hiked almost 20 miles into Mentor. It was not good weather for hiking. The temperature was in the upper 30's and rainy. I needed to get hiking again regardless of the weather.

The hike today was mainly on roads with the exception of Chapin Forest and Penitentiary Glen. There road walking was surprisingly scenic. I met a fellow on Rogers Road who was at the end of his driveway retrieving  his garbage can. He commented that it was not a nice day for hiking. I said "not really". One block later and much to my surprise this fellow caught up with me and walked with me a few minutes. He decided to go for a two mile walk and wanted to chat with me for a bit.

By the time I reached Chapin Forest it was raining pretty hard. I was cold and wet. Chapin Forest has a lodge. People were inside. I knocked on the door and asked if I could come in and warm up. The employee who answered the door would not let me in because a school group was there. He said I could take a break at the picnic table (in the rain) or in the men's restroom. I choose the men's room. I sat on a bench across from the urinal and ate lunch. It was warm and dry in there. I did sneak in the lodge once to fill my water bottle. My water bottle was too tall to fit under the faucet in the restroom.

The trails in Chapin forest are nice. There is an old quarry there which has been converted to a wetland. From the overlook I could see the edge of land at Lake Erie. I got excited.  I am ready to reach the shore of Lake Erie and make the turn to the south.

Penitentiary Glen was nice. There are a couple of stories on how the glen got its name. One is that it is an easy place to get into but hard to get out of. The walls of the glen are steep. There are no trails into or out of it. The Halle family once owned the glen and had a farm there. The Halle family were the owners of the Halle Brothers of Cleveland which was once a large retailer in the area.

The barn from the Halle Farm is now the Nature Center at Penitentiary Glen. It is a beautiful facility. The Lake Metroparks employees were waiting for when I arrived at the Nature Center. They were very nice. When I walked in the door the receptionist said "You must be Captain Blue". We heard you were coming. She made me a cup of coffee, gave me a Hershey bar and some peanuts. I got a tour of the Nature Center from Dan and Francine who are naturalists there. I learned about the glen and its history. We chatted about many things including when Brent and Amy Anslinger spent the night in the nature center on their 2003 thru hike on the Buckeye Trail. Thank you Lake Metroparks!

Upon reaching Mentor I was met by Maria. I met Maria a day earlier at the Buckeye Trail Association Booth at EarthFest. She works at Case Western Reserve, is in the IT field and is an adventurous person. We went to dinner in Willoughby and she drove me back to Deb's place.