May 4 - Salt Fork State Park

Captain Blue at Barnyard Campground


Today I hiked 20 miles to just past Salt Fork State Park. I camped out at the Barn Yard Campground.
I enjoyed a hearty homemade breakfast with Pat and Jim. We drank several cups of home roasted coffee. Jim has a side enterprise where he roasts coffee beans. The coffee is donated to his church for sale. The coffees were delicious. He gave me a bag of coffee. His brand name is Journey Java.

The route today was all on back roads except for about four miles of trail walking in Salt Fork Wildlife Area. The back roads were deserted. I hiked for almost four hours before a car passed me.

The trail goes through Red Hill Farm Wildlife Conservany on private land. It was very open and windy. I passed by a small conference center. The door was unlocked so I went inside to take a break from the wind. It felt good to warm up.

I passed by the Jim Morrison cow in a pasture. I could swear the mooing of this cow sounded just like Jim Morrison of the Doors. It sounded like the cow was mooing a few lines from the song "L.A. Woman". Maybe the trail is starting to play mind games on me or I ate a bad mushroom last night?

The trail through Salt Fork Wildlife Area was beautiful. Lots of wild flowers in bloom. It was a bit strenuous for me with many little ups and downs. I could tell I was in a section of trail maintained by Debbie Zampini as the blazing was excellent.

At 5:00pm I reached the spot marking the half way point on this hike. I was glad to finally reach it. Half way points are bittersweet for me. I am happy to be half finished but then again after all this time and effort I am only half way done.

The Barn Yard Campground is about a mile off the Buckeye Trail. Just as I was to start the one mile trek a pickup truck stopped at a stop sign. I motioned to him and asked him for a ride. He said yes. I rode in the back of his truck to the campground.

The only other campers are a couple of turkey hunters. One of the hunters, Benny from Lorain, drove me to a convenience store. I got 10 pieces of fried chicken and a six pack of adult beverages to celebrate passing the half way point. I ate eight pieces of chicken and drank five beverages. I guess I was hungry and thirsty.
It felt good to be camping again.