A nasty storm came through around the first of December. Andrew made it to the Shawnee State Park where the manager, Kevin Bradbury and his wife, provided a place for the night. Kevin is very knowledgeable about the geology and culture of the area and shared that knowledge with Andrew.

Once leaving Shawnee State Park, Andrew left the little Appalachian Mts, the fighting roosters and valleys full of coon dogs. He entered the plains of Ohio and met Mike Vogel, who has a large farm right on the Buck Eye Trail. Mike has a huge Belgian horse that is very impressive.

Andrew then road walked to East Fork which is a big forest that is heavily used by horses. The horses leave their presence on the trail. Yesterday, December 4th, Amy and Brent Anslinger met Andrew. Amy and Brent hiked the Buck Eye trail previously and they joined Andrew for the fifteen miles to Milford. The last 15 miles of the trail ended in a run to catch the quickly fading sunlight. Andrew entered the town of Milford with Brent following him in the van, lights blinking and Andrew running down the main street of town with the Christmas lights twinkling from the street posts, feeling as if they were finishing a road race. It was a great end to a fun day. Andrew spent the night with Mike Nicolai, the manager of Nature Outfitters. Andrew treated his three new friends at a local Mexican restaurant. A great time was had by all.

Today, December 5th, Andrew hiked the Miami Scenic Bike trail. He will be in Xenia tomorrow, December 6. The past three days have been big mileage days for Andrew: 37, 25 and 35 miles. This has placed him ahead of schedule for reaching Toledo on the 17th of December. Andrew needs to decide whether he will push on to Michigan or finish early and come home. The decision appears to be that he will push on as long as the weather holds. The past week has been comfortable: 20’s at night and 40’s during the day. There has been no precipitation.

Total miles hiked: 2,915

Posted in on December 5, 2004

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