April 25 - Mogadore Reservoir

Fording a flooded creek in West Branch State Park.

I hike 22 miles today and camped near the Mogodore Reservoir. It was a warm, wet and rainy hike.

Jim and Gayle Wohlken dropped me off near the Ravenna Aresenl around 11:00am. They loaded me up with homemade chocolate chip cookies and a box of chocolates made in Burton. The Wohlkens are fine hosts.

The Buckeye Trail follows the perimeter of the Ravenna Arsenel for several miles. The Ravenna Arsenel, owned by the US Military, was used during World War II to produce munitions and ordnance. It is quite a large facility. I was told that the reason Ravenna was selected for the arsenel was for its large number of cloudy days each year. Having the munitions factory in a cloudy city would make it harder for the enemy to fly over to take photos.

The trail soon entered West Branch State Park for 7 miles walking in the woods. The trail was saturated with water and quite muddy. It made for difficult hiking.

The highlight of my day was when I came to a flooded section of the Buckeye Trail. The trail went down into a ravine and the lake was so high that the trail was completely under water. I quickly sized up the situation and knew I was going through the water. I was not going to get frustrated or curse the situation. Turning back or trying to bushwhack upstream didn't seem like good uses of time and energy. I plunged into the water and sank in the mud. It was fun. The water was mainly knee deep but it came up to my mid thigh in one place. I laughed and smiled the whole way across. There was a bridge floating in the water. This is the bridge hikers normally use. I felt sorry for hikers who encounter obstacles like this and get frustrated or blame the situation on the trail maintainer. A mile later there was a second crossing like this. It was just as fun to cross. (Note to mother: I would not have attempted this crossing in swift moving water.)

There was some road walking to get to Mogadore Reservoir. It rained pretty hard on the way. I was soaked but warm. The thunderstorms never materialized.

The last three miles of the day in Mogadore Reservoir were on trails. It was tough hiking. Lots of mud, slick areas and downed trees and limbs from the recent storms. It felt like an obstacle course of going over and under trees. I fell once when I bent down to go under a tree. I landed softly in a mud puddle. No bruises or scrapes.

I found a really nice campsite that others had used before. It was perched on a gravel mound and was dry. I could see the reservoir. The rain had let up and it was getting close to 8:00pm so I called it quits for the day and made camp.

I saw numerous beavers swimming in the water. Often the beavers would slam their tails on the water and make a loud splash to alert other beavers that I was there. It was a fine place to end a wet day of hiking.

How do you keep a wave upon the sand?