June 6 - Grant Lake - 185 Miles To Dayton

Hiking along Martin Hollow Road.

I hiked 23 miles today. It was another hot, sunny day of hiking. The route today was all on roads. I have finished the West Union section. I start the Williamsburg section tomorrow. I will be on map 23 of 26. The pile of maps I have yet to hike is getting quite small.

I started in Russellville today. Russellville is home to Seth Blevins, a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan on May 23, 2011. PFC Blevins was in the U.S. Army Infantry when the humvee he was riding in was struck by an improvised explosive device. He and three other soldiers in the vehicle were killed. Seth Blevins had only been in Afghanistan for a month. There are sign and ribbons everywhere all over Russellville in memory of Seth.

I have hiked out of the hills of Appalachia. The terrain is now flat. It is much easier hiking. The standard of living  has increased. I am no longer walking down windy, gravel roads with people living in run down trailers. The roads are paved, straight and the homes are nice and well kept. I am glad to be getting closer to Cincinnati.

I walked by a guy on a riding lawn mower. He saw me coming and stopped the mower to chat a bit. He asked where I was going and I replied "Grant Lake". He replied that Grant Lake was the other way. He was correct. Grant Lake was north and I was hiking south. The Buckeye Trail takes a windy route in this area which includes hiking south to get north.

I took a break at a Mennonite church this afternoon. Nobody was there. I used the outside water faucet to get water. I drank over a half gallon of water. Next to the church is a small building which serves as a meeting room. The door was unlocked so I went inside and laid down on a church pew to rest. It was a nice break from the heat.

I have noticed a change in people's reactions when I tell them I am hiking the Buckeye Trail. Early on when I had only hiked a few hundred miles people wished me good luck. They said it was wonderful that I am taking such a long journey. Now when I tell people I have hiked over 1,200 miles since March 20 they look stunned. They don't know what to say. They usually say something like "you have been out a long time".

I arrived at the Grant Lake area around 5:30pm. Steve, Susan and Becky Miller met me there. Went to dinner at the Lake Manor Restaurant. I enjoyed the all-you-can-eat salad bar. Afterward we went to an ice cream place for desert. I spending a second night at the Miller residence.

After today I only have nine more days of hiking before I arrive at Deeds Point in Dayton. Only 185 more miles to go! Wilbur and Orville are getting closer!