April 28 - Bolivar

Captain Blue posing with the John Glenn statue in John Glenn Park.
 Today I hiked 18 miles to Bolivar. The route today almost entirely on the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath Trail except for the last mile into Bolivar.

Maria and I had breakfast at Riffil's Tavern. The fellow who gave us the bottle of wine the night before was there and picked up the tab for our breakfast. Maria hopped into her car and headed north for work and I headed south on the Buckeye Trail.

The weather today was quite nice. The dark clouds in the morning gave way to blue skies, sun and puffy clouds. It was a bit windy but otherwise a fine day for hiking. Things around me looked different. There was green everywhere. The grass was green, the trees were leafing out and plants were growing. I could no longer see straight through the woods. I had finally reached spring! It was a delight to be hiking down the canal towpath and seeing spring everywhere.

In Massillon I stopped by the post office and mailed two pounds of gear home. I mailed home my fleece pants, neoprene gloves, a winter hat and two maps. I could still get a streak of cold weather and wish I had these items but I am anxious to lighten my load.

In the town of Navarre I stopped in the local coffee shop for a break. It was ladies card playing day there. When I walked in the front door about 14 sets of female eyes were staring at me. Card playing temporarily halted. I addressed the crowd and explained I was hiking on the Buckeye Trail, when I started and how long I have hiked. They were all very friendly and welcoming. Card playing resumed. I ate a light lunch, drank a cup of coffee and recharged my phone.

My destination for the day was Bolivar. Before reaching town I tried to find a place to camp in or near town. I didn't have any luck. I called the village office and got no answer. I called the canoe livery and got no answer. I called the local police department but the fellow on duty was a part timer and not from the area. I called the sheriff's office. They came up empty handed. The guy at the bike/hike shop in town said to just sneak into Fort Lauren State Memorial and camp there.

Luckily I had arranged to meet my college friend, John Boron, for dinner. He offered to take me back to his home in North Canton for the night. I accepted. He will take me back to the trail around noon tomorrow. John's wife, Juli, is also a college friend. John served as fraternity president and I served as vice-president during our senior year at Bowling Green State University. Juli was the president of our Little Sister program. Their dog, Ginger, is a sock thief. One of my socks is missing. Ginger won't tell where it is.