Entries to Win Afghan

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Winners are: 3rd place- e-book of your choice: Wendy Nystrom. 2nd place- book of your choice, paper or e-book: Sue Ann Crawford. Winner of the afghan: Elaine Hull.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Buckeye Trail- Medina Point 23 to Bedford Point 3

On day three we stepped up the pace and did 13.9 miles. The weather was still pleasant (as in not too hot), and we wanted to shorten another day.

Again, we began the day with road walk. That's fine with us. We can really chew up the miles on roads when we are fresh, and then enjoy cooler woods and a slower pace after lunch. Even though it was on a service road, this walk through Rising Valley Park was very nice, and there was no traffic.

Rising Valley Park

Around eleven o'clock we joined a bridle path that had been "worked on," maybe the previous year. This was probably the most annoying couple of miles on our entire hike. The strip had been bulldozed and then left to regrow. It was horrible walking and I'm sure no horses are using it until it's fixed.

The result was hot sore feet, which can be let out for a breather at lunch. I shared the post of lunch on a log taken this day on Facebook, but I'm trying to show you new pictures as we go through the hike here.

feet getting air

Soon after lunch, however, we entered Brecksville Reservation- part of Cleveland Metroparks- and the trail became really nice again. We met a pair of hikers who volunteer with the park. They are one team of many who hike the trails checking on hikers. They carry extra water, and first aid kits, and have information and maps. They encourage people they find, provide aid if needed and (I'm pretty sure) watch out for vandalism and infraction of rules. But it was nice to see that the parks are trying to be helpful.

After that, our route roughly followed Chippewa Creek. Lots of nifty rocks.

Chippewa Creek

Next, we arrived at Deer Lick Cave. It's a shallow cave under an overhang of Berea Sandstone, which we saw a lot of on last year's hike. Because the sandstone was formed from ancient ocean shores there is salt embedded in the rock which leaches out when it is wet. Deer lick the rock to get salt.

Deer Lick Cave

Deep in the cave it looks to me like there are leaching minerals painting the surface in the same way you see at Pictured Rocks of Michigan.

Deer Lick Cave

You did see this picture in a previous blog post. But it's the significant trail definition of this hike. We passed this triple point of the Buckeye Trail. Because we are completing a loop we started last year, and adding an extra piece, the hike ends up being shaped like a T. This is where the top and tail of the T meet. Early in the hike we did the crossbar, then we came back here and hiked south on the tail.

Buckeye Trail Map

Total miles at the end of day 3 is 34.3.

See Buckeye Trail- Medina 17-23
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Friday, June 24, 2016

Buckeye Trail- Medina Points 17-23

This was hiking day two, June 8. We were still on the Buckeye Trail Medina Map, between points 17 and 23.

About the first half was roadwalk. We always find interesting things to look at even so. I loved this hosta garden. I have six or seven varieties, but not as lush as these, and not filling an entire space. There are so many hostas you really can create a lovely shade garden with them.

hosta garden

Another interesting thing about roads is that there are often historical places to see along the way. Here's one you'd never notice from a car unless you stopped particularly to see it.

I've continued to be amazed at how early northeast Ohio was settled. This was partly due to the Ohio and Erie Canal opening in 1827. There will be lots more about that later. But here's a stone watering trough at Weymouth. The monument says that it was in use from the early 1800s through 1926.

watering trough

The afternoon was spent on trail through Hinckley Reservation. I've shown you a couple of pictures of this place known as The Ledges or Whipp's Ledges, but it's worth a few more. This area is definitely more like southeast Ohio or even Pennsylvania. There are huge outcroppings of the Sharon Conglomerate sandstone which overlies shale. Most of Ohio was glacially scoured and covered with till when the glacier retreated. However, this is one of the places where the original bedrock remains. It's a popular spot for rock climbers, and we hung around for a while watching one guy prepare, but he was still getting ready and we needed to move along. You can see a person in an orange jacket on the top right.

Whipp's Ledges

The sandstone is soft and I love how some areas become honeycombed over time.

honeycombed sandstone

This was my lucky shot, however. There was a tunnel between sections of rock, and the late afternoon light was shining through. What the camera saw is even better than my eye.

rock tunnel

Just for a sense of scale- in addition to immense, we also saw this tiny one taking a hike.


This, however, was the big joke of the day. First the picture, then why it's so funny.

high point

This is trail along a service road as we were leaving Hinckley Reservation. The guide says that at 1290 feet above sea level, this is "perhaps the highest point on the Buckeye Trail." We had a good laugh about this. I'm sure it might indeed be the highest elevation, but it's certainly not much to look at! Good thing we read the words, or we'd never have known it was such a special place.

11.4 miles for the day.

See Buckeye Trail- Medina Points 10-17
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Buckeye Trail- Medina Points 10-17

I'm back home and trying to settle into the daily routine. Not an easy transition.

I'll back up and take you through the hike day by day. I did finally get the phone working as a hot spot to get on line with the computer, but it was so late in the hike that I didn't want to try to deal with the time lag while we were still hiking.

We began June 7, on the Buckeye Trail Medina map, which sensibly enough is near Medina, Ohio. The first piece was a short segment of multi-use trail called the Lester Rail Trail, at point 10 (if you are a BT fan and want to locate us).

Lester Rail Trail

The day was cool and breezy and the skies were alternately blue and dark gray. We ate lunch on a park bench in the Medina Town Square. We thought for sure we were going to get wet, but we blew out of town to the northeast and the storm went a different direction!

Medina Town Square

The day was a patchwork of small trails, roads, and Medina County Parks.

Medina Park Logo

That included a nice stroll around the berm of Lake Medina. We saw good-sized fish near the edges, and anglers trying to catch them. I couldn't get a picture at all, but we were entertained by a pair of hawks chasing an eagle away from (probably) their nest. The eagle was reprimanded in no uncertain terms.

Medina Lake

The Lake is fed by the Rocky River. This was the first of several crossings we made. Most river crossings are on road bridges, but they are pretty anyway.

Rocky River

A late afternoon treat was a pond full of pink water lilies to cheer us on toward the car just past map point 17. Day one 10.0 miles.

pink water lilies

The joke of the evening was some kids playing hide-and-go-seek at the campground. One of the kids counted, "8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, I don't know..."

The temperature was great for hiking, and we felt good about the beginning.

See It's Map Time
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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Four Days into Buckeye Trail Hike

As it turns out, I have not been able to get internet access except on my phone. Today I'm at the library, so you'll get a blog post. We have hiked a total of 49.6 miles so far. We did two 14-mile days in a row. That was a stretch, but we wanted to shorten up Monday, so we did it. The weather report for today was in the 90s and thunderstorms. So far no storms, but the temperature is brutal. We're glad we are taking today off even though it's a little earlier than we wanted. We've done laundry, cleaned up, eaten out (a yummy big salad we split and a local potato side dish called Jo-jos. Those are big potato wedges breaded and fried. I won't need to have any again, but we had to TRY them.) Now, we're at the library so I can blog and do some annoying real world things. Next stop... Ice Cream!

On this trip Marie and I are walking portions of the Medina and Bedford sections of the Buckeye Trail, and all of the Akron section. These three meet at a triple point which we passed the day before yesterday. (See "You Are Here" on the map) We'll come back to this place on Tuesday and hike south on the Akron section.

Buckeye Trail sign

I'll just give you a taste in this post, and share more details when I get home. Don't want to spend all day at the library!

One thing that has been a nice surprise for us is that although these parts of the trail work their way through the very populated area between Cleveland and Akron, a lot of the trail has been in beautiful woods off road. There are a number of Metroparks and preserves and reservations (protected land) in the area, and the trail winds through many of them. There has been less roadwalk then on many Ohio hikes.

For example, yesterday we wove our way through a long greenway beside Tinker's Creek. There was also a paved multi-use trail, but I was impressed that the Buckeye Trail got permission for a real footpath mostly off the hot paved trail in open sun.

Buckeye Trail Tinker's Creek

Another big surprise about northeastern Ohio is the amount of rock. It really seems more like southeastern Ohio. This area is at a place called The Ledges. You can see the scale with Marie in the picture. I'll show you more of this after we get home.

Buckeye Trail The Ledges

Today it's hot, but a couple of nights have been really chilly. (Fine with us since the following days were great hiking temperatures.) We were actually cold enough in the breeze to set up the table and eat inside the trailer. Yeah, I'm just having fun playing with my "new" toy.

camping trailer

Yesterday we crossed the Cuyahoga River on the old, low truss bridge, but the highway bridge that sails way above the river is pretty spectacular. We walked under it.

Buckeye Trail Cuyahoga River bridge

Are we having fun? You bet!

Tomorrow the temp is supposed to drop back to the 70s so we'll be back out on the trail again.

Buckeye Trail hikers

I haven't been able to get my phone working as a hot spot to blog from the campground, so unless I get that resolved I'll continue to just put a couple of pix a day on Facebook and blog when I can.

See It's Map Time
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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Parting Shots

I'm on the road, and look what gave me a full display before leaving. All three poppy buds opened. I don't think I've ever had three blooms at one time. Nice with the raindrops on them too.

salmon poppy

All hitched up and ready to roll.

Companion travel trailer

Two hours later I arrived at my first stop.

Companion travel trailer

Yes, here I am at Chuck and Sylvia's for the night. It's pretty amazing how an internet friendship can turn into one of the best in one's life. We stumbled across each other's blogs about five years ago because of a common interest in rural living.


Of course I wanted a tour of the flower gardens!

Rose in bud- very fragrant


And a peony glowing in the late sunshine.


See Trailer-ing
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