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Ohio

August means Ohio, around 500 miles of it, meandering through the Southern half of the state to Cincinnati (mostly) on the Buckeye Trail.

Welcome to Ohio. Crossing the Ohio River into Belpre.A very kind family waved us off the road to give us cold water - much appreciated.We met  Alex and Sam in Vincent where they accompanied us on their bikes warning us of the many dangers ahead including the brown recluse spider which was a new one on us, apparently it makes your skin fall offTim and Joes descriptions of Athens as a party town led to a brief and enjoyable diversion for Walkingthestates.Farm buildings on the road to Athens.Pretty much everything in Bartlett seemed to have shut down.Our first night in Ohio was by Lake Veto. We were treated to a great sunset.Lake Veto.Camp cooking is a delicate and skilled process.With a big rainstorm coming we sought refuge in the garden of Mary and Brad Tablers house and ended up chatting the evening away under the shelter of their porch.
The Pub in Athens served unfeasibly large goblets of beer for $2. Walkingthestates was pleasantly surprised.On the way to pitch up for after a night out in Athens (in what turned out to be a baseball field) Jac and Jamie came out of nowhere to join us for a while.On the way to pitch up for after a night out in Athens (in what turned out to be a baseball field) Jac and Jamie came out of nowhere to join us for a while.Enjoying the hospitality of Gallagher and crew in Athens. A great evening.Enjoying the hospitality of Gallagher and crew in Athens. A great evening.Kristen, a journalist for the Athens Messenger took us under her wing. She also suggested that we take her picture while she was standing on her hands. It seemed like a sensible idea to us.Kristen, a journalist for the Athens Messenger took us under her wing.Kristen, a journalist for the Athens Messenger took us under her wing.Walking down the disused tracks of the Ohio and Chesapeake Railway.Walking down the disused tracks of the Ohio and Chesapeake Railway.
Walking down the disused tracks of the Ohio and Chesapeake Railway.Walking down the disused tracks of the Ohio and Chesapeake Railway. Singing Stand by MeOddness on the Road to the Hocking Hills. Protesting in style.You dont even care, Jim Pancake.How on earth did we fluke a hot tub? Courtesy of the kindness of Mikki and Jay and the magic of Kristen.Old Mans Cave in the Hocking Hills, a beautiful place. Sadly none of our pictures do it justice, it was too big to capture - sometimes you just have to be there.Our hero, Jon Rudolf. He drove 100 miles on his motorbike to surprise us with cans of English beer.Stu resting at a gas station.On the road to Richmondale.Walkingthestates approves of free.
Stu on the road to Richmondale.Refreshed after spending a luxurious night at Connie Myers house in Richmondale.Refreshed after spending a luxurious night at Connie Myers house in Richmondale.At Dennys Doghouse, Waverley (Happy Hour 8am - 10am)At Dennys Doghouse, Waverley (Happy Hour 8am - 10am.) Discovering with horror that our planed point of rendezvous with Danes was in the middle of a dry county. Dave helped us plot a course to safety.We spent a great evening in Waverley with Jim Thomas and his family.Fixing a badly timed broken pole - just before torrential rain hit.Thelma Jeans Wall of Honour at her diner in Latham.Walkingthestates failed miserably to take any good pictures of the Serpent Mound, an ancient Native American burial mound. We only managed to get a picture of the plaque marking its site. In mitigation, the mound is 1300 ft long and evidently designed to be seen from space.
Longer, straighter roads as the hills receded and we approached Cincinatti.In a laundromat in Seaman we met Carl Snell, a fascinating guy, who had walked around Adams County carrying a cross. Apparently meeting us has inspired him to walk his cross to Washington DC. Good luck Carl.Some of Carl Snells artwork adorning a building in downtown Winchester.Crossing the tracks near Winchester.Heading into Winchester.Early morning in Winchester, about to break camp. It is a privilege to wake up outdoors on mornings like this.In Mount Orab we met up with the Danes and enjojed the hospitality of Randall and Wesley. (l-r Randall, Wesley, Lasse, Mikkel) Lasse enjoyed a little too much hospitality.At East Fork State Park it was a pleasure to talk with Jason one of the Park Rangers.We met Ulane on our way into Miford.Acting the goat at the Gateway Inn with Skip, provider of that evenings campground.
Who is this Nascar driver? We enjoyed being him. Answers on an email to Walkingthestates.Although several people had informed us that it was on its way. We were shocked to learn in a gas station in Owensville that Armageddon had begun. Trust Murdoch to be first in there with the details.Taking a nap at the Nature Outfitter Store in Milford.Mike Nicolai, our revered host in Milford, confounds us with map technology. Apparently we still have quite a long way to go.Walkingthestates rescues Mike Nicolai from almost certain annoyance by breaking into his apartment (after we had earlier locked his keys in the apartment.)An unexpected pleasure at the Lattitude Bar in Milford as we were guests of honour - many thanks Suzanne.Walking the route from Milford to central Cincinatti with Mike Haas and his sons, Eric and Joe.House on the road into Cincinatti.In Cincinatti 5 police cars closed off the road in order to question us. We had been reported as suspicious, possibly due to our lack of car.Our first live experience of American sport was going to see the Cincinatti Reds. We were in the cheapest seats right in the highest corner of the stadium. As someone who absolutely doesnt understand the intricacies of the game, the pricing system was completely backwards; we had the best view of the city over the river as the sun set. It was a great evening.
Downtown Cincinatti is a very odd place. Pretty much the entire downtown area is deserted. What, apparently, was a party downtown until a few years ago is now largely abandoned. We had to search to find an open bar.In Cincinatti we went to the Art Museum which was closed. I wasnt too sad, it was a beautiful evening and we spent a long happy time swingning about on one of the exhibits in the gardens.In Cincinatti we went to the Art Museum which was closed. I wasnt too sad, it was a beautiful evening and we spent a long happy time swinging about on one of the exhibits in the gardens. The timer picture always has a special quality.Stuart took a great shot of me on the bus heading back to where we left the trail West of Cincinatti which had taken its toll on me by the time we got out. My sleep to miles ratio is very high.The few miles of trail in Kentucky took us to a spot with a great view of the Cincinatti skyline.We have found some very odd rubbish thrown by the side of the road. One of the oddest was in Kentucky where someone had appeared to have put a 2nd World War Canon out with their rubbish.Suzanne Stagg who we were lucky enough to meet in Milford came down to meet us in Kentucky and brought us a fantastic picnic. We made our way back over the Ohio River to Ohio in one of the few remaining ferries on the river.As part of our masterplan to avoid walking we were picked up in Ohio by Mr Jon Rudolf to head up to Yellow Springs for his Dads surprise 70th birthday party.At the Rudolfs house in Yellow Springs music was provided by the fantastic Newground band. Good good music.Preperations for the party involved an overnight pig roast. It was a very involved process, here Cathy tends the fire to make the hot coals for the pig oven. Cathy and Jon were unbelievable hosts; it was hard to leave.
One of our favourite people that we met in Yellow Springs was Jenny who ran the local cinema. I cant remember the name of her dog but he was a lovely fellow.Team Rudolf Saves The Day relax at Rudolf Mansions.Back on the road we hooked up with Phil Goddard our Coast to Coast companion. Phil very kindly shared with us a luxury room at the Hiatt that someone had arranged for him. Its always a huge pleasure to meet up with Phil, definitely my favourite coast to coast walker apart from me (Stu comes a distant 3rd)       

E-mail: stu@walkingthestates.com and dave@walkingthestates.com | Phone: (00 1) 301 538 0308