April 21 - Hiram

New section of Buckeye Trail in Burton.

Today I hiked 21 miles to Hiram. I hiked with a full pack on for the first time in about a week. It felt good to carry a full pack again.

I resumed hiking on the Maple Highlands Trail bike path in Chardon around 8:00am. Nobody else was on the bike path but me. I hiked the remaining few miles on the Maple Highlands Trail and entered Headwaters Park.

Headwaters Park and much of the land I hiked along today is owned by the city of Akron. Akron's municipal water supply comes from the Cuyahoga River. Akron owns a lot of land up river to protect their watershed from development.

The 2.5 mile hike through Headwaters Park was scenic and easy. The trail was wide, dry and made of crushed gravel. It felt nice to be in the woods. The Skunk Cabbage is still in bloom here.

I arrived in Burton around 11:30am and spent an hour with Jim and Gayle Wohlken at their home just off the Buckeye Trail in Burton. They fed me pizza, coffee and chocolate chip cookies. Jim is very knowledgeable on the history of the area.

After lunch I met Patti Cook in the square in town. We visited the Burton sugar shack where they sell maple syrup and all kinds of treats made from maple syrup. I sampled their wares. After that we hiked a new section of the Buckeye Trail which will open soon. The new section is about a mile long and goes in woods and farm fields instead of roads and sidewalks.

The rest of the day was a 12 mile road walk to Hiram. It was a scenic walk along a country road. The sun came out and warmed things up. Hiram is home to Hiram College.

I am waiting in front of the post office in Hiram for Maria. Maria is hosting me for the next two nights.

About Maria ... She lives in Cleveland, is about my age, single, no children. She is Italian and is the youngest of eight siblings. She is a writer, artist and web developer. She is a fireball of energy and has an unbridled passion for adventure.

Tomorrow is a zero day.