May 19 - Burr Oak State Park

Scallion in his tent under the picnic shelter at Burr Oak State Park.

Today Scallion and I hiked 17 miles to the dam at Burr Oak State Park. It was a long day. I am now in the New Straightsville section which is map 18 of 26.

The Morgan County Transit service picked us up at 9:45am and we were back on the trail at 10:15am. The route today was almost all in the woods on trails except for a couple of miles of road walking.

The hike started with a steep climb up Stump Road. But it was worth it. The view from the top of the hill was outstanding. I felt like we were on a mountain top. It has to be one of the best views in Ohio.

Soon the trail turned into the woods in the Wayne National Forest. Both Scallion and I were apprenhensive about woods walking again. We somewhat expected fallen trees to block our path and missing trail markers. We were wrong. The trail was very well maintained and easy to follow. It was a graded trail and it made for delightful hiking.

Soon we entered Burr Oak State Park and connected with the backpack trail. We spent the rest of the day in Burr Oak. The trail was well maintained and easy to follow. It was great to be hiking in the woods again. After a couple of miles we took a nap break. We were a bit tired from our 25 mile day yesterday.

Later in the day the trail passed Buckeye Cave. It is a sandstone recess cave with a waterfall. Went hiked down to it and took a coffee break there. It is a neat place. It was there I decided to change my weekend plans. I will attend the Buckeye Trail Association annual meeting at Tappan Lake instead of hiking. The annual meeting is the largest gathering of BTA members. It is held at The Barn. It will be good for me to attend and meet new people. The people who make hiking this trail possible. Incredibly I had cell service from the cave. I called Andrew Bashaw, the executive director of the BTA, and set up my ride. Andrew had emailed me earlier and offered to give me a lift to the meeting.

It rained the last five miles of the hike. It was a steady drizzle. We got wet. The trail was wet and muddy. We were running out of daylight from the numerous breaks we had taken during the day. We arrived at the Tom Jenkins Dam at 8:45pm. It was almost dark. We saw a picnic shelter, water fountain, restroom and trash can. It had all we needed. We camped under the picnic shelter.

Even though we hiked in a steady rain in almost complete darkness through muddy, hilly and wet terrain we had a great time. This is something only a long distance hiker can appreciate. People think we are either a special breed or we are crazy. You decide. I will end today's post with a motto of long distance hikers. "We are out here because we are not all there."