Monthly Archives: October 2017

My Buckeye Trail Miles

Buckeye Trail Miles


I am going to hike the entire Buckeye Trail. Let’s put a date on it-that turns a dream into a goal.

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal.”-Greg S. Reid

Let’s go with October 2020.

All the Buckeye Trail Maps

I bought ALL the Buckeye Trail section maps. I was dithering around trying to figure out what sections I would next reasonably get to-and then thought, oh just go for it, get them all!

Buckeye Trail Maps

Section Hiker

A section hiker is just what it sounds like. I will hike the trail in little parts. These little miles will end up being big miles over the next few years. 1440  miles is many miles to cover. There are less than twenty thru hikers of the Buckeye Trail-meaning hikers who walked the entire distance in one push.  I will be a section hiker.

Miles Completed

One rainy fall morning, I opened my maps and perused sections that I knew I had covered distance on.

What Counts

For my BT Section hike, I am counting all the BT miles I have covered on foot power. That would exclude car rides and bike rides*. This would include my former running career-hence why I have covered 100 100.5 miles of the Buckeye Trail already!

Mostof my miles completed  from my 2009 Burning River 100 Race that I DNF’d- did not finish the race.  I do remember seeing the blue blazes on many of the road miles in the Willoughby area.

Akron Section Completed

Akron Section-going over the map, I’ve completed it! Back in the day, I ran bunches on the Towpath Trail and in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

More Miles

I have covered about 12 miles in the Burr Oak State Park when I ran the inaugural Bobcat Trail Marathon. I have  4 miles on the Leesville Lake North and South where we have performed trail maintenance, and 7 miles on the Salt Fork section in Belle Valley. I picked up some more miles when we hiked on the last day of winter in the Seneca Lake area.  There was a few miles when we worked over at Piedmont Lake also. I hiked the loop around Lake Glendenning in 2017

Surprising Find

Buckeye Trail on my Road


The Buckeye Trail went by my former house. One road to our south, then on my old road, Jones Road,  up Breyenton Road. I don’t remember seeing a blue blaze on these roads.   Isn’t that funny? I have jogged down my road, to the end, so I am counting that 0.5 mile as closer to my completion of the BT.

Buckeye Trail Maps


*There has been an interesting proposal about recognition of  completion of the Buckeye Trail.  Randall Roberts, of the Crooked River Chapter, has a proposal where one could complete the Buckeye Trail by muscle power-whether that is on foot, bike, skating, skiing. The correct terminology would probably be “I completed a circuit Trip of the Buckeye Trail” vs a person who hiked, on foot as “I completed a circuit hike of the Buckeye Trail”.

Where am I on this? Undecided. If I add my *biking* miles on the Ohio to Erie Towpath, I gain more miles. I could also bike a bunch of miles this winter on the southeast Ohio road sections of the Buckeye Trail.

How many miles have you logged on the Buckeye Trail?





Can You Eat Just One? National Chocolate Cupcake Day

National Chocolate Cupcake Day

I am not a big sweets eater. I would rather have pie over cake. Sometimes it’s just good to have a cupcake.

I am not a big baker. I wanted to bake cupcakes not buy them,

but didn’t want to go to much work. Perusing the baking aisle, I scored!

Chocolate cake mix

A cake package! With a small pan and cake mix and frosting! Where have these been?

Muffin or chocolate cupcake

Frosted Chocolate Cupcake


My husband finally said “are you going to EAT those sometime today?”

Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day! I have you have one too!
Ate a Cupcake


Step Out of Your Comfort Zone Go Mushroom Hunting

Go Mushroom Hunting

I have wanting to learn more about mushrooms and how to properly identify the edible ones. I found via the Wilderness Center that there was a mushroom hunting class to be held in Northern Ohio.

It has been a dry (about drought like conditions) in Ohio for the month of October. There was one night of rain, so we were hopeful that some mushrooms would pop up.

There were about 14 hopeful mushroom hunters that showed up at West Branch State Park. We went on a two hour slow hike, finding mushrooms and having Don King identify them for us.

The following four pictures are puffballs. I did not realize the same mushroom could look so different!

It was a beautiful afternoon to spend in the woods. In Ohio, most state parks permit mushroom hunting, but it is suggested you check out your own area to hunt.

Don brought along two other varieties that we did not find today. I don’t remember what the white mushroom is:

but this is chicken of the woods. This mushroom had a bright yellow underside. Chicken of the woods has either a yellow or a white underside.

More pictures from our hunt. Note, these are not edible at all, they just came out as cool pictures.

Don also cooked up a tasting of the mushrooms on a portable grill right at the park, but we left since we still had a good drive home.

Overall, my husband and I really enjoyed our mushroom hunt by Don King. He offers more mushroom hunts and even an overnight mushroom hunting weekend.

Interested in mushroom  hunting? Find a reputable hunter in your area. The internet is your friend here.You may have a mushroom society in your state. There could be mushroom hunting groups in your backyard!

Do you eat wild mushrooms? Do you have a mushroom identification book to recommend?





Step Out of Your Comfort Zone-Buy Wine at Aldi

Step Out of your Comfort Zone

I heard there was an award winning bottle of wine available at our local Aldi grocery store. (Or, here in Ohio, it’s always called * Aldis*.  It’s a Buckeye thing.)


Shopping at Aldi

We’ve shopped at Aldi since they popped up here in Ohio. They used to be more of a bulk food type store. The food items were left on pallets. You brought your own bags-or bought them at the store. There were very good prices on most food items.


Aldi Remodel

It seems most Aldi stores were remodeled in the last few years, and the concept of the store has changed a bit. Prices are higher. Items are placed on shelves now.  There is more environmental friendly lighting and organic products available. I’ve read the company is starting to copy the Whole Foods 365 model.

Wine at Aldi

Some Aldi stores carry wine. We’ve tried a few bottles from the store-why resist a 4.99 bottle of wine? What do you have to lose?

Aldi Rose

The Award Winning Wine

The  Cotes de Provence 2016 Rose earned a silver medal at the International Wine Challenge. The rose is a blend of syrah, grenache, and cinsault grapes.



It was good. Light, with a bit of a strawberry flavor, but not sweet. Yes it as probably the best 7.99 Rose I’ve had. I did not do a blind taste test like this article did, and they concluded they couldn’t taste the difference. So why not take a chance on eight bucks and buy a bottle? But buy it now, this was a special purchase~and drink it today, rose wine is not meant to be cellared!

Aldi Rose Wine



Seize the Day and Make Memories

Wine country is burning. I know, there are many more problems in the great world today, but still, wine country is burning. This is sad and personal to me. Signorello Estate  and Pine Ridge Winery has burned.

My husband and I have spent two vacations in Napa tasting wines. We don’t go too often, in 2010 and 2015. I had already broached the subject of a wine vacation for our thirtieth wedding anniversary in 2020 and he was on board with this idea.

Signorello Estate and Enoteca

I found this cool experience on line. It seemed a little pricey, but what the hey. A five course wine and food experience, paired with Signorello Estate wines. It was a two hour lunch.

We enjoyed this so much, we repeated the experience five years later.

In 2010, one didn’t just pull out their camera or phone and film their meals.


It appears I didn’t snap photos at lunch in 2015 either! It was a lovely time there. Great views from the pool area.

Napa burning just makes me sad. Go for that experience NOW. Kayak down that river. Go zipline. Visit that expensive restaurant, drink that nice glass of wine. You don’t know that it will be there tomorrow.

Pine Ridge Winery

Carpe diem. I think I am going to go buy a Stag’s Leap or Stags’ Leap wine today in honor of wine country.

Buckeye Trail Building in the Wayne



Trail Building in the WayneOn National Public Lands Day, I traveled down to “The Wayne” as it is known. The Buckeye Trail Association was beginning an ambitious  project of relocating more of the Buckeye Trail from a road section to an off road section-meaning trail!

The  Project

The Buckeye Trail is being relocated thanks to a partnership with the Wayne National Forest, private landowners and the Clean Ohio Green space Fund.

On Saturday, we had volunteers Andrew, Richard, Mark, Frank, Mark, Dan, Kim, and Bob. On Sunday, we had volunteers Andrew, Richard, Mark, Mark, Bob and Kim. We got mucho real estate done with our crew!

Buckeye Trail Work Party

What We were Doing

The section of trail we were working on was fairly simple. The BT comes out of the woods, and then goes down a gravel road. The new trail section crosses the road and continues somewhat parallel to the gravel road, but up in the woods.

Some of the volunteers were experienced trail workers, some of us were fairly new to trail building. I had helped relocate a section of Buckeye Trail last October, but I didn’t really remember too much detail about the tools and what needed to be done. Andrew and Richard were very good at explaining what work needed to be done.

Before and After

There are several steps to trail building. The first step is the mapping out of the trail. That is left to the experts-in this case, Richard Lutz, the GIS Co-ordinator for the Buckeye Trail Association. I believe there is both art and science involved in trail building.

You have to take in consideration of the slope, you don’t want to exceed a certain amount of grade. You want to the trail to be fairly level, the hiker doesn’t want to walk on a cambered area for too long. You want the trail to drain water away, not pool up on the trail. Andrew pointed out that branches need to be pruned back from a trail. A hiker will go out of their way to avoid a branch-and may be stepping off the trail to do so.

Buckeye Trail building

Hopefully you have several volunteers that can fill out all the jobs that need to happen to create the trail.

First you clear big trees, logs, multi-flower rose. Dig out invasive shrubs like the Eastern Olive. The area might need to be brush hogged. People might need to use loppers to cut away vines and brambles. A leaf blower may be used to blow large loose debris and leaves off the area to be worked.

Buckeye Trail Building

Fire Rake

The next volunteers in would using the fire rakes. The fire rake is to rake all the vegetation off the area. We want to get down to dirt! You can also turn the fire rake sideways and hack away roots with the rake.


Some areas of the trail may need to be benched. A bench cut is the result of cutting a section of tread across the side of a hill. If you look at the side profile of this cut it looks like a bench, hence the name.  I don’t want to write about how to build a bench trail correctly, as I would probably get it wrong, so here is a link with benching explained better.

The Finishers

The finishers are the volunteers who follow the benchers and rakers to  you guessed it “finish” the trail. They rake any big berms of loose soil off the trail so the water won’t pool on the trail.  They might remove roots and rocks. There are many different opinions on what the “finisher” should do.

Buckeye Trail Building

What Do You get for your Effort?

Look at the finished trail!

Trail Build

You are Volunteers!

If you come out for a trail building event, remember you are a volunteer. You can do as much work or as little work as you want. If you need to take a break-take a break. Can’t saw a log in half? That’s okay, you don’t have to, you are a volunteer.

Not into physical labor? Well, then come walk on the new hiking trail! The trail needs foot traffic to be maintained and pack down that dirt. It’s a very pretty section of *new trail* down in the Wayne National Forest!




International Coffee Day

Isn’t every day international coffee day, around the world?

How do you take your coffee? Do you order “fru fru” coffee drinks?

I rarely order them. Of course I do not live anywhere where “fru fru” drinks are available.

no coffee here

My coffee outside the home comes from Sheetz. There are no coffee shops within fifty miles of my location!

My Iced Coffee Recipe

In the summertime, I make my own version of “iced coffee.”


Fill up the cold beverage container with ice, add one pump of Splenda and two hits of hazelnut flavoring, then add coffee.

The container won’t melt. I’ve been doing this for years.


Do you have a homemade hack for gas station coffee?