First and foremost happy Mother's Day to the greatest mom there is. She is my rock and her support helps make my journey possible. I'll like you forever, I'll love you for always.
Sorry for the delay in posting.
Monday morning I woke up had a cup of coffee and showered. Bart and I continued our tour of Cincinnati. He showed me an old cemetery that he is restoring and we walked through Ault Park which reminds me of Meridian Hill Park in DC. It has a mall and cascading waterfalls, little reminders of home. After we walked through Bicentennial Park. Great green space in Cincinnati. Afterwards we went up to Eden Park so that I could continue on my journey. This is when I realized I didn't have my trekking poles. I felt awful but Bart brought me back to the restaurant where we first met and sure enough, leaning against the side of the building, my poles. I was so relieved they were there. We then drove back to Eden Park. We said goodbye and I was off.
The trail took me for a beautiful stroll along the river. Past the Great American Ball Park and across the Ohio River on the Roebling Bridge into Kentucky. Covington is an adorable little town just over the river. I walked through Goebel Park and ascended a bunch of steps up to Devou Park. It's a huge park on a hill overlooking downtown Cincinnati. I waited until after sunset then set my tent up out of sight.
Tuesday morning I packed up my things and headed to a pavilion in the park to charge my phone. While sitting there I met two very nice guys who gave me $40! After awhile we got moving. The forecast said it was going to be a hot day, 86 degrees. Today's walk would take me through Kentucky to Anderson Ferry and back across the river into Ohio.
It was a hot day and Brown needed to rest frequently. I felt bad and decided from here on out he wouldn't be carrying his pack. I affixed it to mine. The extra weight is rough but I'd rather take it then see him suffer.
The ferry boat was fun. I think it was my first time on one. A short ride but still pretty cool. On the other side of the river is a United Dairy Farmer's gas station. I went in and got three scoops of ice cream. While outside eating it a family pulled up in their truck. They asked where I was going? After explaining my story, they offered me two sandwiches they had left over from their day fishing the river! I gave Brown one and I ate the other. Nothing like a homemade sandwich. After that we got moving. Going slow, stopping every two to three miles for Brown to rest.
We were headed to North Bend, Ohio. One of only two cities in our nation that can boast having two presidents from there. The other is wherever the Adams are from. Anyway, we were headed to the tomb of William Henry Harrison. I had planned to camp there with our 9th president. Since we stopped so much, I only had thirty minutes before dark. The tomb is lit up at night so, I decided to pitch my tent in the forest behind it.
Wednesday morning I woke up to the sound of a woman walking her dog through the trail in the forest. I figured I better get moving before she calls the cops on me. While I was packing up, she came back around. She made eye contact with me and said to her dog, "let's go the other way". I guess I do look like a drifter. I smiled at her and she turned around.
I headed back into town to hit up the post office. I ended up forwarding these resupply boxes to Indiana. I then sat outside for a bit and charged up my phone. Met some friendly town folk while sitting there. Another day of road walking. Another eighty six degree day. I was headed to Miami Whitewater Forest County Park. The American Discovery Trail splits in two in Elizabethtown. Since I already knew I was going north from here I skipped Elizabethtown and looked up a more direct route.
Again resting every two to three miles we reached a gas station about four miles from the Park. We took a rest on the picnic tables out front and enjoyed an icee. While out front I met a Vietnam Veteran. I told him about my journey and he thought it was cool. He told me about his hike in the Grand Canyon a few years back. He left and then returned ten minutes later with a photo album of pictures from his hike. He was a nature photographer so the pictures were awesome and it definitely inspired me to go down there while I'm taking a break in Colorado. I told him how we were resting because of how hot it is and rush hour traffic. He offered to bring me the rest of the way to the park campgrounds. I was relieved, and great full to him for the ride, his service and the good conversation on the ride over there.
After he left I set up my tent and relaxed. The next day was a scheduled day off. After two hot days of road walking, I was happy for the rest.
Thursday was somewhat relaxing. I spent the day reading and worrying about Brown. He didn't eat or drink, all he did all day was sleep. Moving from sun to shade and back again. I looked up the closest vet clinic and figured I would take another day off if he was like this in the morning.
By the end of the day he was eating and drinking again. Such a relief. The next day was supposed to be cloudy and much cooler so I hoped that would help.
Friday morning we woke up, I looked to Brown and he was fine and ready to get moving. The first part of the day was on trail through the park. I hadn't listened to music for awhile so I put my head phones in and jammed. Brown was definitely better as our pace was faster with music and he was still pulling me. Then back to road walking. Mostly past huge sprawling farms.
We were headed to Bunker Hill Haven for Boys. My guidebook says to use a trail that cuts through their property. I don't think they know about this as the trail is not maintained nor does it look like it has ever been used. It is a field of knee deep grass that ends in a forest with no trail through the forest. I made my way through and when I was on their property I ran into a lady and she asked if she could help me. I explained that I was walking across the country and my guidebook said that there is a shelter house here that hikers may use. I asked if it would be OK to make camp there tonight. She said "no, this is a home for boys. We can't have strange men camping on property". Thank you ADT society/guidebook.... again you let me down. She was kind enough to point me in the direction of Pater Wildlife Area, which is adjacent to their property. I walked down the road a bit and made camp.
Saturday morning I woke up and no sooner did I start packing up did the rain begin. It was too late to get back inside the tent so I continued packing up getting soaked in the process. I was wet, Brown was wet, my tent, my pack, all my gear, everything. Once it was packed up we got moving. I passed the town of Riley and while walking through a woman selling mothers day flower pots outside the museum stopped me. I told her about my journey and she gave me a couple of bags of chips! I told her my route and she offered a more direct route to Oxford. Considering the thunderstorms, I decided on the quicker way she told me about. I signed the museum guest book and headed out of Riley.
Getting to the town of Oxford was great. It's home to Miami University. Every one was wearing Miami shirts and it made me think of Florida. It's very much a college town with frat houses and homes that rent to students lining the streets. You can tell by all the beer pong tables on the porches, every house had one. I later found out that it is finals week for them. I stopped at Chipotle for lunch. They sell margaritas in this Chipotle. Maybe all Chipotles do now and I've just been gone too long. Around this time it had stopped raining. I meant to hit up a book store to grab the next book in the game of thrones series but I forgot. I mostly just wanted to get to the campground and set up so my tent/gear could dry off before dark.
I got to Hueston Woods SP two hours later. It's a huge park. I finally made it to the campground and set up. Thank fully the sun decided to come out so my tent was able to dry off. My sleeping bag was still a little damp but you can't win every battle. I met a few people while setting up who were interested in hearing about my journey and impressed by my walk.
Tonight is my last night in Ohio. Tomorrow I cross the border into Indiana! Two days from now I'll hit my 1,000th mile. I'm thinking of ways to "treat myself". Maybe a gallon of ice cream or a fancy dinner, we'll see. I haven't stayed in a hotel in a month so maybe a hotel stay.
Anyway, thank you readers. Thank you for your patience as well.
"It's empty in the valley of your heart. The sun, it rises slowly as you walk. Away from all the fears and all the faults you've left behind"