Monday morning I left the beautiful and historic Blennerhasset Hotel and walked over the Parkersburg-Belpre Bridge into Ohio.
I made a pit stop at Krueger, my first time ever in a Krueger. I bought food for the mutt pup and went back outside to portion it out and saddle him down. I stopped in at McDonald's, I got a chicken sandwich and Brown got at double hamburger. Then we make moves through Ohio. Just when you're excited to be out of the Mountain State, the elevation on the trail rises.
We were headed to Veto Lake for lunch. A wilderness area for hunting and fishing. While sitting down at the pavilion eating my tuna packet and orange, the woman whom lives across the street came over to me. She asked me if I was a Discovery Trail hiker? I said I was. She asked if I wanted to camp in her yard? She invited me in for coffee and over a cup on her front porch overlooking the lake we chatted. She told me many hikers have camped in their yard and it I was welcome to. However, I still had many miles to go before I sleep. I thanked her for her hospitality and was on my way.
I reached the relative area in which I wanted to camp. There was nothing suitable, either corn fields or barbed wire fences. I found a small natural gas compression area and scoped it out. Probably not the safest but I camp behind the building anyway.
Tuesday I woke up in the morning to the employee blowing gas off. I began packing up quickly, I had to get out of there. When I was taking my tent down he came over to me. I told him about the walk and apologized for trespassing. He said he didn't care but I did have to go. Before I left he stopped me and reached into his lunch box, pulled out twelve Boost power bars and told me to take them. I thanked him and ate two right away.
The day started cloudy but soon the sun was bright in the sky. High of 72. The hottest day we've had on the trail so far. Mostly long farm roads over hills. We took our first break on the side of the road. Brown was hot and wanted a rest, thirty minutes. I wanted to find a place with more shade for our lunch break. We cross an old covered bridge and the landscape changed. We were walking along a gravel road with a creek alongside us. After a few miles, I lead Brown down to the water and we rested on the bank beneath some leafless trees. I filled my water bottles and took some selfies. An hour later, on we went.
Just outside the town of Chesterhill, I saw my first ever horse and buggy! Three young Amish boys, I waved, they waved back. I got to Chesterhill too late to pick up my mail, it's OK though, I'm a day ahead of schedule. I went into the store in town and bought an ice cream cone, root beer, water and a can of fruit cocktail. I was sitting across the street from the store eating my ice cream, when I met Larry. He exited the store carrying a 12 pack of Pepsi and offered me one. I accepted and we started talking about my walk. I told him, I was looking for a place to camp for the night, so I could get my mail in the morning. He offered his yard. I followed him back and he showed me where I could pitch my tent. I thanked him and got to work building my portahome.
Wednesday morning I woke up to pouring rain. I listened for awhile then went back to sleep. I woke up again when Larry asked me from his porch if I was awake. I said yes. He told me to come in for some coffee. We watched some TV and chatted over coffee. Then he started cooking us breakfast. Eggs, bacon and toast. While the food was cooking he showed me his Bronze Star that he earned in Beirut in 1983. He had just stepped out of the barracks when the bomb went off, he ran back in to try to save the wounded marines. After breakfast I went over to the post office and grabbed my package. While I was sorting my food, Larry offered me a ride to the highway. It would save me 12 miles of walking. I accepted.
I then hopped on the Buckeye Trail, walked through Wayne National Forest and into Burr Oak State Park. Being off the road and back amongst the trees makes me happy. I reached boat dock three which has a camping loop. I set up my tent and try to find dry fire wood. While struggling to get a fire going a man in a pick up rolls up. He saw Brown and wanted to say hi. I told him about my walk and he was happy to hear it. He wants to ride his bicycle across the country one day. He asked me if I needed anything, I told him I was OK and he left. A little while later he came back after having dinner with his wife at the lodge. He said he wanted to give me some money, he gave me all the cash he had on him $16. I thanked him and asked where the closest gas station was because I needed fuel for my camp stove. He offered me a ride there! Good conversation ensued and he bought the fuel for my stove, then we headed back. He was really nice and I was grateful for his help.
Tuesday food craving: frozen Capri Sun, strawberry lemonade, watermelon and a Greek salad with quinoa.
Thank you readers.