May 20 - Murray City

Scallion and Captain Blue at the depot in Murray City.

Today Scallion and I hiked 11 miles. The rain stopped sometime after midnight. We awoke to a damp and foggy morning. We took our time getting packed and hit the trail around 9:00am. Nobody had a problem with us camping under the picnic shelter.

After a short walk down the Burr Oak dam access road we entered the woods. The woods were still wet and muddy from the rain. The trail was well maintained and easy to follow. We came across three guys on an ATV coming down the trail. One was carrying a shovel. They claimed they were from the gas company checking for gas leaks. One fellow asked if we smelled any gas. We said no. Their story smelled to us. They were in the Wayne National Forest to dig something or plant something. You decide.

The trail goes through Smoke Rise Ranch. Smoke Rise Ranch is a western style dude ranch near Murray City. The owner of the ranch was giving a trail ride to two ladies. We stopped and chatted a bit. They were
interested in our Buckeye Trail hike and we were interested in their horses.

We arrived in Murray City, our destination, at 1:30pm. We both were being picked up at 2:00pm to be shuttled to different places. In the thirty minutes we had to spare we visited the local convenience store and ate junk food. It tasted so good.

Our shuttle drivers arrived on schedule. We spent a few minutes chatting and enjoying the nice weather. Rocky Myers, from Shawnee, was there to pick up Scallion and take him to Zaleski State Forest. Scallion is joining his scout group from Centerville for a weekend of backpacking on the Zaleski backpack trail. I said goodbye to Scallion. Once again it was good hiking with him. We will definitely get together for another adventure.

Andrew Bashaw, the executive director of the Buckeye Trail Association, picked me up and took me to his home in Gloucester. There I dried out my gear, did laundry and took a shower. His wife, Claudia, cooked a nice supper for us. Andrew and Claudia have a two year old daughter named Adelaide. After supper all four of us drove to the BTA Annual Meeting at The Barn at Tappan Lake in Harrison County.

We arrived around dark and set up our tents. I met lots of volunteers and hikers. I sat down at some picnic tables and chatted with Poppie, Couscous, Pioneer Spirit, BTA Geek, Byron, Jack and Josh. It was nice to finally meet these guys. They had heard I was coming to the BTA Annual Meeting and wanted to meet me. They are all nice people.