May 21 - BTA Annual Meeting

Pontoon boat ride on Tappan Lake.

Today was the annual meeting of the Buckeye Trail Association (BTA). It was held at The BTA Barn on Tappan Lake. The meeting was short. The officers and staff members gave brief reports. The remainder of the meeting was dedicated to holding the annual election of the Board Of Trustees. Six people ran for five open slots. Balloting was done by paper. Only the BTA members in attendance could vote. I voted as I am a life member of the Buckeye Trail Association.

After the meeting Bruce "Poppie" Purdy gave an excellent presentation about scouting and the Buckeye Trail. Poppie is the BTA liaison to scouting. He has many good ideas on how to get Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other youth groups involved in the Buckeye Trail.

When his presentation was over Poppie asked me to say a few words about my hike on the Buckeye Trail. I spoke for about two minutes about how my thru hiking was coming along. I thanked everyone in the audience for their part in making my hike a success. Once again I told the story about, before my hike, how wrong I was about the Buckeye Trail. I wanted everyone to know that I felt a little ashamed of my preconceived notions that hiking the Buckeye Trail might be boring. I hope that other hikers will give the Buckeye Trail a chance.

At 1:00pm we had our choice of field trips. We could choose from a hike around Clendening Lake, a pontoon boat ride on Lake Tappan or a visit to a local railroad museum. The pontoon boat ride sounded like the most relaxing option so I chose it. Twelve of us plus two crew members, John and Ashley, were on the boat. We spent over two hours on the lake on a beautiful day. I was the only one who opted for a brief swim in the lake. The water was 70 degrees. It was a bit chilly but it felt good.

After dinner there was a presentation on the Appalachian Trail by Paul Stutzman. Paul, author of the book “Hiking Through”, hiked the AT in 2008 after his wife of 32 years died of breast cancer. He turned his grief into this adventure. Paul was an informative and interesting speaker.

After the festivities died down a bunch of us went outside and sat around the campfire. Around 10:00pm I was tired and went to bed. It was a good day.