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Buck30 - North Country Trail Journal - 2018

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Brian (Buck-30)
Begins: Aug 9, 2018
Direction: Westbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, Sep 13th, 2018
Start: Willis Run Bay
End: Piedmont Reservoir
Daily Distance: 25
Trip Distance: 745.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 110
Journal Visits: 6,071
Guestbook Views: 67
Guestbook Entrys: 1

North Country Trail Day 35

It was a mostly quiet night. Not ideal but OK. Next up were 7 miles of
trail around Tappan reservoir. It was a bit of a struggle although it was
nice to be on trail. The trail ranged from good shape to overgrown, muddy
and not so good. It felt like there wasn't much if any recent maintenance
and conditions depended more on where the trail was placed. On a hillside
and it was in decent shape as it takes a while for trail like that to go
bad. In a gully it was way overgrown and muddy. A lot of the plants are
pricky which my arms very much do not like. The spider webs were some of
the worst I've ever encountered. It seemed like no one had walked through
in a month which is probably true. My face was covered in them and as soon
as I cleared one off a other was on. Plus there was this large colorful
spider that kept getting on my face. I immediately checked with my daily
researcher Heather and she said it was a marbled orb weaver and to stop
being such a wuss. I exited the forest absolutely soaked in the 84 degree
heat and 80% humidity. Those trail miles felt like coming through a war
zone and it wasn't even that bad!

I spent the rest of the day on small roads and 2 more reservoirs with
trail, Glendening and then ending on Piedmont. The trail was OK maintained.
I'd give it a "C". I especially dislike the real prickly stuff. I got a
couple barbs in my arms and for some reason my arms really react to getting
scratched by these things. Plus there were either nettles or something
similar and my pants aren't thick enough to completely block that stuff.
The trails were definitely in better shape than when Nimblewood hiked 10
years ago and Strider 5 years ago so that's good for me. Although it is a
bit perplexing why the trails are in such poor shape. I know it's harder
than I think to maintain trails but there probably are only 600 miles of
actual trails that need maintaining on the entire BT. That seems manageable
yet all I've ever read are how bad the trails are. i'm sure there is a ton
of work that volunteers do, don't get me wrong, but when everything you've
ever read about the BT trail quality is bad there is something not going
quite right. So far my trails have been perfectly hikable, just not amazing
shape. I'll take that if I have to.

It is a shame there isn't more trail. I have to say that Ohio is pretty.
The big farmland views, the rolling hills, the giant fields of goldenrod.
And the road walking is on some of the quietest roads I've ever walked on.
It's not half bad. It's just too bad they can't get more trail but I guess
there is just so much private land. If you built trail where these roads
were the Buckeye Trail would actually be pretty damn pleasant. The roads
aren't terrible but it's still a lot different than hiking on trail. There
are also a lot of dogs and it's really annoying to have to be on constant
alert as to whether that crazy mean fucking dog barking like a mad man is
in a cage, chained up, electric fence or will just come and attack you.

Late in the day I went a few minutes off trail to Piedmont and had a good
meal at a drive in and bought a days worth of food at a tiny convenience
store. I've forgotten to mention that it was super hot and uncomfortable
today. This has been the hottest summer I've ever hiked. It was upper 80s
with 70%+ humidity which pushes the "feels like" well into the 90s. Very
annoying! I finished up my day along Piedmont reservoir and hiked far
enough in and along the shore to get away from the road noise but not the
motorboats moving all along the lake. I assume that will go away at dark
but these reservoir walks are actually louder than the road walks on the
quiet roads. The reservoirs are surrounded by busy highways and the trails
are actually louder. Can't win.

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Journal Photo

North Country National Scenic Trail

When completed the trail will be the longest continuous hiking trail in the United States. The trail links scenic, natural, historic, and cultural areas across seven states allowing visitors to experience a variety of northern landscapes. Learn more: www.northcountrytrail.org

 

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