|Cedar Fork Cave at Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve.|
Today I hiked 20 miles to Wamsley. I can't believe that June is here. When I left home on March 20 the month of June seemed so far away. Now it is here.
Most of the route today was on roads.I finished the Sinking Spring section and started the Shawnee section. I am on map 22 of 26.
I left Peebles around 9:30am after a nice breakfast in town. It was already hot in Peebles at that time of day. It got a bit cooler once I got out of town and walked along the farm fields. I could feel the breeze more.
There was a two mile stretch of trail that entered the woods. It was a very nice hike. The trail turned into the woods right at a trailer home with a loud barking dog. One of the residents came out of the house and asked if I was hiking the Buckeye Trail. I said yes. He instructed me to turn left at the fork in the trail. This was good information as the trail was not blazed real well in this section. After a fun, steep climb there was a nice hike on a flat, dirt road on a ridge top. Much of the land in this area is owned by General Electric and used to test aircraft engines. I heard jet engines throughout the day. I figured the noise came from flying jets but it could have come from the GE Jet Engine Proving Grounds.
The trail went through Davis Memorial State Nature Preserve. I had been here before. It is a small preserve with dolomite cliffs and rare plant life. There is a geologic fault line exposed in the preserve. The fault line is six miles long. There is a cave there called Cedar Forks Cave. The cave is not marked on the map but is easy to find if you know which side trail to take. I took a break at the cave. There was cold water coming out the entrance. The cold water tasted good on a hot day. I placed a container of Gatorade and my hydration pouch in the water to cool it down.
After leaving Davis Memorial Preserve the trail goes on private land near Mineral Springs Lake. I got lost in there. The blazes were faded and hard to follow. I waded across a field of weeds waist high. I could not find the trail on the other side of the field. I was almost ready to give up and backtrack when I decided to check one more area of the woods. I found the blazes and continued hiking. For me getting lost is such a morale killer.
The rest of the hike to Wamsley went smoothly. It was all on roads. The roads were very scenic. At 6:00pm I was picked up by Janet and Jim Bolton (my mother and her husband). We drove to Shawnee State Park where we stayed in a cabin. Mom made dinner for me.
My little toe had been bothering for the last couple of days. It was painful when I had my shoes on but not so much when I was hiking. Foot and toe pain are routine so I didn't think much of it. I finally took a good look at it. It was infected. I emailed a good friend of mine, Brian Saul, who had worked and lived in Portsmouth for many years. I asked him if he knew of a good family doctor in town. He reminded me that Sheryl, his wife, was an emergency room physician. I spoke to her on the phone and described my problem. I sent her a few digital photos of my toe via email. She confirmed that it was infected and phoned in a prescription for me for an antibiotic. I really appreciate the help Brian and Sheryl provided me.
My toe infection was probably caused by having wet and muddy shoes on for days at a time. Soldiers get something similar and worse to this called trench foot.
So tomorrow is going to be a zero day. I need to let this toe heal a bit before I start hiking again. I can use a day of rest and a day out of this heat.