May 29 - Pike State Forest - 334 Miles To Dayton!

Fallen trees over trail in Pike State Forest
 
Today I hiked 18 miles. I have hiked over 1,100 miles on this journey. I am in the Sinking Springs section. I am on map 21 of 26. As the crow flies I am about 60-70 miles from home. By trail I have 334 miles to go.

Today was another day of slackpacking. Mike and Connie invited me to stay another night at their house. I accepted their offer. The temperatures reached above 90 degrees today. It was a hot day to be hiking.

All of the hiking was was in Pike State Forest. The trail was under maintained and weeds covered the trail in many places. I got lost and wandered off the Buckeye Trail several times today. It was tough going. The good news is that the trail graded in most places. This meant there were not many steep climbs. It was a real pretty stretch of trail. It just has not been maintained in a while.

If I was a song writer I would write a ballad about fallen trees over the Buckeye Trail. The song would be a sad song sung in exasperation. Like the coal miner from years ago who worked all day to mine coal. No matter how hard he worked there was still more coal to be mined the next day. No matter how many fallen down trees I hike through, over or around in a day there are still more waiting for me tomorrow. I would call the song the "BT Blowdown Blues".

Note: Winter and spring have brought unusually harsh weather in Ohio. The fierce storms have caused many trees to fall down. Many have fallen over the Buckeye Trail. The number of fallen trees on the trail is much higher than normal.

I am in the hardest part of my hike right now. The most difficult part, physically and mentally, is ahead of me not behind me. It would be easy to assume that after 1,110 miles that hiking is easy now. This is not the case. A long distance hiker knows that the home stretch can be quite tough. I am close enough to home that I can almost feel it but there are still many more miles to hike. It is important for me to stay focused on hiking and not get distracted on thoughts of home or life after the trail.

Today I pulled four ticks off me. Yesterday I pulled off three.

Connie and Mike picked me up shortly before 8:00pm near SR-124. They drove me back to their house.