May 17 - Stockport - 530 Miles To Dayton

Captain Blue on Center Bend Road.

Today we hiked 21 miles to the town of Stockport. I crossed the 900 mile mark today. I finished the Whipple Loop today an I am on the main loop again. I am so glad to be finished with the Whipple Loop. Yes, it deserves its nickname of the Stupid Loop.

Ir rained last night and when the sun came up it was still raining. Neither Scallion nor I was in any hurry to get packed up or leave the tent. We slept as long as we could. I heated some water for coffee by placing my stove outside my tent at arms reach. I laid in my tent and enjoyed two cups of Starbucks instant coffee. It finally quit raining around after 9:00am and we packed up.

The route today was on back roads. We saw very few cars. The hiking was nice as there was no mud or wet weeds to walk through.

About half way through our hike it started raining. It was a cold rain. The temperature was 51 degrees. It rained for about three hours. We were soaked.

We took two breaks today on the porches of abondoned buildings. There are a lot of abondoned buildings in this rural areas. Lots of homes, barns and garages are in various states of neglect and decay.

At the crossroads in Hackney we sat on a covered porch of an old store front which was loaded with junk. An intoxicated old fellow drove up and shouted out to us. He asked if we had permission to be here. We told him what we were doing. He stayed quiet which made us uneasy. He then said we should not put any dimes in the pop machine since it was broken. The fellow went on to explain that Sallion looks exactly like the owner of the old store. The fellow was just ribbing us in a polite way since he thought he knew us.
About nine miles from Stockport we sat on a porch of an old home to escape the rain and make a few phone calls. We called the Stockport Mill B&B and made a reservation for the night. This is the place Scallion laid over last weekend. We got a reduced rate of $60/night and decided to share a room.

Earlier in the day I had received an email informing me that a high school friend of mine, Josie Gill, had passed away from breast cancer. Josie was my date for our junior year prom. I remember driving the family car over to her house, meeting her parents and pinning a corsage on her. I was very nervous. If I recall correctly I wasn't her first choice for a prom date. The guy she liked had asked somebody else and a friend suggested I ask Josie. All day long I was sad and reflected on the past. Life is just too short.

We arrived at the Stockport Mill B&B around 7:00pm. The Stockport Mill B&B is right on the Muskingum River and was once an functioning mill. Now the mill generates electricity instead.

We were cold, wet and tired. We dried out our gear in the room, ate supper at a pizza place, took showers and were in bed by hikers midnight (9:00pm). More rain is expected tomorrow.