April 9 - Hinckley

Today I hiked 23 miles to Hinckley MetroPark. I felt refreshed and strong from my zero day. I enjoyed my zero with Tom and Sharon. It was what I needed. I was back on the trail around 9:45am.

The first three miles today were on the Lester Rail Trail. Much to my surprise it has a crushed gravel surface and not asphalt. It was a delightful three miles which went by too fast. I met Mick and Bonnie on the path. We chatted a bit and right before we parted Mick asked if he could do something nice for me. He reached in his pocket and pulled out four pieces of chocolate and gave them to me. They were delicious.

The next 15 miles were road walking around Medina. The Buckeye Trail takes is routed around the city. I felt like I was hiking on three sides of a square around Medina. I crossed over I-71 today.

The weather was nice today. The temps hit the mid 50s, a bit of sun and a slight breeze. I am definitely in more rolling terrain. It was a bit more of a work out than usual.

The last four miles were on trails in Hinckley MetroPark. It was nice to be hiking in woods again. The park is pretty. It was great to see people in the park. I saw a lady on a horse, a guy in a kayak, rock climbers, joggers, bicyclists and walkers. Some of the walkers appeared to be afraid of me. The steep climb up Whipps Ledges was tougher than I expected.

Just above Whipps Ledges I hit the high point on the Buckeye Trail. The highest point is 1,290 feet above sea level. This may not seem high but it is higher than some points on the Appalachian Trail.

I am camping on the back porch of a building owned by the Cleveland Hiking Club. It is a neat place but everything is still closed for winter. No problem because all I need is a place to set up my tent.

Jim and Renie picked me up after my hike and brought me here. Tomorrow they take me back to the trail. They brought me a gallon of water since the water is turned off here. We stopped by a tavern where I got some food and beverage to go for supper. I am having a small, one person, party here listening to the frogs peep.

I have just seen my first mosquito of the year. Be careful what you wish for. I have been wishing for spring and came today. So have the bugs.