This was going to be another long day with 12.3 miles to do, but I knew it was going to be nice trail, probably with more to see than the day before. It began with the bike ride, longer than the walk so that I didn't have to take busy US 24 except for the last two miles. I put the car in downtown Waterville and rode back to the Lock.
I did have to walk those same two miles along US 24, but I was soon at Grand Rapids. This town is one of my favorite Ohio places. Just to the east, at Kimble's Landing is a reconstructed canal boat, the Volunteer.
This day, it was just resting peacefully. But Wednesdays through Sundays it will carry passengers to the Ludwig Mill at Grand Rapids, which is still operating. I won't fill this post with details about the attraction. I've done it once, and hope to do so again. Very authentic and educational!
The trail here is well-maintained. Although the canal soon becomes a dry ditch again, the Maumee River is close on the other side. This section must be more shallow. The day before I saw boats using the river. Here, the herons and geese had it to themselves.
One landmark where I rested was in a pavilion at a spot known as Bendview. The map said it is known as the best view along the Maumee, where the river makes a near 90 degree bend. It was nice, but the day was hot and I wanted to finish, so I didn't stay long.
The third day of a hike is always the hardest. By then, everything aches. The fourth day, you begin to toughen up. True to form, I was tired and sore and weary. However, there was a nice change of pace about to come my way. Resting on the next bench was a man who had passed me earlier when I was eating lunch. We decided to hike together for a bit.
It turns out that he is a pastor named Larry from the Cincinnati area. He knows Steven Newman, the first man to walk around the world, and Bill Irwin, the first blind man to hike the Appalachian Trail. I've also met both of those hikers. He asked me quite a few questions about what I was doing, and I found out that he lived in Michigan for quite a few years. We found things to talk about for the rest of the way to Waterville.
That was a great way to end the day. Instead of spending the final four miles quietly whining about sore knees and feet, heat, and just wishing to get to the car, I was given a cheerful companion!
Along the way we passed by Roche de Boeuf, a famous Native American meeting place. The bridge was built for a railroad, which destroyed part of the rock.
At 2:30 I parted company with Larry. He headed to Subway, and I went to my car. I have to admit that one of the very best things about day hiking is that I can enjoy an ice-cold Diet Coke at the end of each day's walk!
With no further ado, I hopped in the car and headed for Chuck & Sylvia's to pick up my electronic accessories. They had invited me to join them for dinner if I wasn't too late, so I didn't fool around.
Total miles walked in three days: 33. Buckeye Trail section completed: Defiance. Sections yet to do: either 4 or 7- I have to find out which loop is the official one. Each has about 50 miles in it.
Thanks for joining me!
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