May 3 - Hoop Road

Cow in pasture near Clendening Lake

Today I hiked 15 miles to Hoop Road near the line between Harrison and Guernsey County.

It rained most of the day. It was a cold and miserable rain. The temperature never rose out of the 40's. I am getting tired of hiking in the rain. Despite the rain the hike today was scenic.

Today the route was on back roads except for a five mile stretch of woods along Piedmont Lake. Walking on back roads is enjoyable. The roads are lightly traveled, windy and very scenic. At times the roads feel like trails in the woods.

I left the Clendening Lake region and entered the Piedmont Lake region. I passed by the Lake Piedmont Inn and took a break from the rain on their front porch. The Inn is closed for repairs until the fall. But I made myself at home on the large covered porch anyway and heated up a cup of hot coffee. I called the owner of the Inn to let him know I was here. He was very friendly.

The trail in the woods along Piedmont Lake was pretty. It was quite muddy and wet from the rain but it was well maintained. I could see where Ray had worked hard to clear blown down trees and cut away multi-flora rose bushes. There were plenty of blue blazes for me to follow without having to look at the map.

I wandered into the campground of the Piedmont Lake Marina. The only place to escape the rain was to go into the mens restroom. I plopped down on the floor and took a break. I phoned Pat Spain who I met the day before. Pat, and her husband Jim, live about about a mile from the Buckeye Trail and invited me to spend the night with them. I gladly accepted. Today would not be a good day to camp out.

When I arrived at Hoop Road I called Jim Spain. He picked me up and took me to their house. They have a nice house on 230 acres, with a pond and lots of woods. I took a hot shower and did a load of laundry. Jim cooked some morel mushrooms he had collected a day earlier. They were delicious! This is the first time I  had eaten morel mushrooms. I can see why people hike the woods to collect them. Jim and Pat served homemade pizza for dinner. It was delicious too. I was pretty worn out and was in bed by 9:30pm.