It rained Wednesday evening into Thursday morning.
I woke up Thursday ready for a planned day off at Burr Oak State Park. I had planned two days off here for lakeside fun in the sun. Nope. Thunderstorms forecasted for the next two days.
The rain stopped for a bit, so I decided to make the hike up to the lodge to see if there was a pavilion I could camp under. The trail to the lodge seemed longer than it was due to the up and down, winding terrain. Midway through the rain was back and shortly we became soaked. We kept going though. We made it to the lodge, but since all my gear was wet, the ground was wet, it was still raining and two miles to the next campground, I decided to get a room to dry off.
I set everything out to dry and headed into the lodge for dinner. Old Nick would be disappointed with new Nick's eating choices. Fried pickles, pulled pork and a baked potato. I miss fruits and vegetables and being able to cook and bake. Anyway, after an abysmal ice cream sundae I retired to my room.
Friday, also a planned day off, I wake up packed up my things. Check out was at ten. The forecast said it would rain all day with a break around one. I headed to the pavilion by the mini-golf course to wait out the rain. At twelve thirty I went into the lodge for lunch. Fried fish sandwich, salad, coleslaw, fries, chocolate cake. By one the rain stopped. I grabbed Brown and we got moving. We only had two miles to go but I didn't know how long until the rain started again.
The trail follows the lake to boat dock two with primitive camping. As I'm hiking, I can see dark clouds across the lake and know it's coming. I make it to the campground but most of the spots are heavily saturated. I find one that's not too bad and begin setting up the tent. As I'm doing this, wind gusts blow through and lift my tent blowing it through the campground. I chase my tent down, bring it back and try again. Fighting strong winds, I put Brown inside to weigh it down. I located a few heavy rocks and placed them over the stakes so it won't blow away again. Shortly after the wind, came the rain.
Saturday morning the sun came out and lighter wind continued. This dried my tent pretty quick. I'm ahead of schedule so I decide to stay put. Most of the morning I relaxed in the tent and in the afternoon I searched for and collected semi dry firewood. I got a pretty decent fire going and spent the afternoon and evening feeding it.
Sunday morning the sun is up and I'm ready to move. Except the temperature dropped and it's thirty degrees. I eventually pack up and get going. I had a twenty mile goal. I arrived at boat dock one and take thirty minutes to charge my phone. In that time I met two guys hiking around the lake. They said they saw my name in the trail registry. Hopefully they found their way here.
I again make moves. I head through the forest heading towards Tom Jenkins Dam. The view from atop the dam was spectacular. I stopped at the picnic tables and began eating my lunch enjoying the view. Moments later a family pulled up and began setting up for a bbq. The man told me it was for his seven year old daughter's birthday. When I saw the cupcakes I wanted to linger and be an uninvited guest. However, I had a goal to reach before sundown. After the dam the Buckeye Trail leaves Burr Oak State Park and enters Wayne National Forest.
Up, down, around, over creeks, through the forest I go. The trail is still covered in falls leaves but greenery is peeking through. I make my way through the forest until I reach Smoke Rise Ranch. The trail cuts through their property. The entrance was covered by a huge puddle. Brown refused to cross and I had to go back for him. Then we reached an area of trail where horses roam free. One horse came right up to Brown and they were nose to nose add sniffing each other. As we started to walk away three other horses walked over to the trail. We said hello and kept moving.
Shortly after the ranch I came to Murray City. I had hoped to find groceries, but the small grocery store had been closed for some time. I'm out of dog food and breakfasts for me. I won't hit the next town until tomorrow. I sat down on a bench outside of the American Legion building. After noticing people coming in and out, I realized it was a bar. I got Brown a burger and chicken wings for myself. We scarfed them down out front then kept moving. After about four miles we get back to the forest and must cross a creek to get to the trail. The side you must jump across is probably four feet up from the creek and opposite side. Not a difficult jump, slightly more challenging with thirty pounds on your back. I jump across, turn around and Brown again is refusing to jump. I jump back and coax him over. When I jumped back my pants split. Thank goodness it's almost time for shorts.
We reached the area I wanted to camp in and set my tent up just off the trail. It's supposed to start raining around four in the morning. Hopefully we stay dry. However, it's supposed to rain all day tomorrow.
Thank you readers.