Category Archives: Outside

Buckeye Blitz! Belle Valley Miles

Buckeye Blitz

Buckeye Blitz

What’s the Buckeye Blitz?

The BT Blitz is based around the idea of getting our trail users out to enjoy the BT during this event, but we added a twist to the celebration. We challenge our trail users to do maintenance of any kind while they are out. Our goal is to maintain the WHOLE BT during the event! The Buckeye Blitz runs from May 28 through June 3, which is National Trails Day.

Who’s Buckeye Blitzin?

I crack myself up. I created good old Blitzin while hiking the Buckeye Trail at Salt Fork State Park. This is in the Belle Valley Section, Points 5-6.

The Original Blitzin

I left very early in the morning, it is only about twenty minutes to the trail for me. I have run/powerhiked this section, years ago, and I remember it has several good climbs!

I took the loppers. I wanted to see how I remembered this section. There was quite a bit of overgrowth around blazed tree, and I tried to make the the blazes stand out.


This section is very wet right now, considering we have had several big thunderstorms in the last several days. Generally, this is a pretty dry section, but I do remember there are a few feet that are just kind of wet and mushy.

Turtle Buckeye Blitz

Turtle Buckeye Blitz

The turn into the woods from Park Road 55 is very well blazed.

road turn buckeye blitz

I walked about seven miles of trail in just under four hours, there is four hours of Buckeye Trail Time for the Blitz!

Buckeye Blitz

Buckeye Blitz

Buckeye Blitz Begins Sunday

Buckeye Trail BlitzBuckeye Trail Blitz Begins Sunday

The Buckeye Trail Blitz is an event that coincides with National Trails Day on June 3 an event that is sponsored by the American Hiking Society and motivates hundreds of thousands of people to get out and enjoy their local trail system.

The Buckeye Blitz Twist:

From the BTA Website: The Buckeye Trail Blitz  is based around the idea of getting our trail users out to enjoy the BT during this event, but we added a twist to the celebration. We challenge our trail users to do maintenance of any kind while they are out. Our goal is to maintain the WHOLE BT during the event. As BT users, this is a great opportunity for us all to chip in and make certain that the trail is clear for our hikers and gives you the opportunity to report any major issues on the trail that may need the attention of our Buckeye Trail Crew members.”

Going for the Full Week

Instead of just focusing on Saturday June 3rd, the Buckeye Blitz is the full week leading up to National Trails Day. Everyone is encouraged to get out on the Buckeye Trail and do a bit of maintenance.  Pick up trash, bring a set of pruners or loppers and cut back vegetation.  Want to join a BTA work party on June 3-4? There are at least two scheduled, check out the work schedule here.

Get Out on the Trail!

Off work Monday? Get out and celebrate on the Buckeye Trail! Do a little maintenance and let the BTA know about it! We want to log and celebrate our volunteer hours.

What am I Doing?

Shucks, we just finished clearing Leesville North and South Section in the Muskingum Lake District on April 27!

We should have waited two days, we could have logged those hours into The Blitz! Oh well, the work schedule worked out, with four of us working, we were able to take care of at least  8 downed trees on two sections in about five hours-thanks Nick, Steve and Dennis!

I think I am going to do a little hike on the Trail on the Salt Fork State Park section, bring my loppers and see if there is any pruning that needs to be done out there. I hope to see some hikers along the way!

Five For Friday: Five Reasons Why You Won’t Finish the Barkley Marathons

Five Reasons You Won't Finish the Barkley Marathons

1. You’re Not Lucky Enough

Luck plays a factor. It was unlucky that the New River was unpassable in 2000 when  Blake Wood had a good chance at finishing Loop Five. It was lucky that it was cold enough in 2017 that the cold temperatures woke up John Kelly from an unplanned nap and he finished five loops. It was bad luck that sleep deprivation led to a wrong turn for Gary Robbins.

2.You’re Not Fast Enough

Don’t worry, most runners are not fast enough. You may have won marathons, finished Nolans 14, set FKTs-the course terrain is so difficult that it is hard to get in within the time constraints on a loop.

3. You cannot Use a Compass and Map

It has been said that there is no course at the Barkley which is false. There is a course you must follow. The course is not marked, hence the course description and the master map. You do get to take your own map that you copied.  A compass might help you in the fog and dark. You have no map or compass skills? You fail.
You didn’t do your homework

In many emails on the Barkley List, finishers and veterans have given the advice to read race reports. Read Frozen Ed’s book.  Study the map. (The map is available to all from the Frozen Head State Park .) Memorize the map.  One Barker this year was impressive. She had done extensive studying of the map and potential places for the books. That is a confidence builder!

4. You didn’t look up the term hubris

Hubris: excessive pride or self confidence; (in Greek tragedy) excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis.  Sophie Spiedel wrote a nice blog post about the Barkley and hubris. What is the fine line of confidence versus over confidence at The Barkley?

5. Just kidding nobody is supposed to finish the Barkley Marathons

bottom line on barkley;
it is not reasonable.
but if you are in this thing to find your limits….
they are to be found “out there”.
probably not nearly as far “out there’ as you would like to think.







Take A Break

Take a Break

I have returned from my longest vacation break ever, 18 days off work. Most of that was spent out of the country in New Zealand.  Take a break in New Zealand I’m so glad I was able to take a break.


I ran and DNF’d my swan song race,  the TUM 62K.  Tarawera Falls KimbaBeing under trained and overweight and not being in any sort of a running mindset did not help me power through the race. The knee hurting and leg cramps after about 15K didn’t help either. Perhaps I will write a race report sometime. This break helped me come back as “not a runner”.  It was more of a clean break.

Social Media

I was very happy to be away from the vitriol and negativity spewing from the interwebs. We did not use our phones in NZ (we did have internet access in the evenings) and I really did not miss picking up my phone and looking at it too many times in one day!

Clean Break as new Me= Kimba 2.0

While I was running the TUM several times my thoughts went to “I used to be able to bomb downhills” ” I used to be able to do that”.  That was one of the things I had to put out of my head. I’m no longer that person, no longer that runner. I might WISH to be, but it is not going to happen.  next chapterIt’s time for me to EMBRACE the new Me. As Popeye says “I am what I am”.

New Focus

The Guidebook for biking the Great Allegheny Passage/C&O Canal Trail was waiting for me when I returned home. I immediately picked it up and got intrigued with starting to plan out this new adventure.

New Free Time

Socrates Quote

I’m no longer experiencing “guilt” for not being out there running. I have oodles of time back.  I’m looking forward to more mini adventures-exploring areas around Ohio, hiking, trail time, volunteering, work on my gardens and my home.  I have a small barn that I intend to turn into a writing retreat.New project

Project 50: Spot a Bald Eagle

Spot a Bald Eagle

This did not happen in my fiftieth year, but it did occur twenty days into my 51st year! I did spot a bald eagle, there are two of them!

Project 50

I’ve always wanted to see a bald eagle in Ohio. Growing up, eagles were an endangered species.  I don’t recall even seeing the birds in a zoo. They were finally removed from the Endangered Species List in 2007.

How I Found Them

I found the nest entirely by random. I was driving to my dental appointment, down “River Road”-which runs along the Tuscarawas River. I knew there was a nest along the road, but River Road is about ten or fifteen miles long, and I had no clue where the nest was.  I saw a bunch of people standing beside the road, I assumed they were hunters. Then I saw the tripods and cameras with big telescopic lens-they  must be the birders!

Patience is a Virtue

The nest is about five miles from my house. I stopped by several times when I was driving in the area. I did not see the eagles until  my third trip. The birders-two men-were really helpful. The eagles were perched in trees, and didn’t return to the nest while I watched-about one hour in the cold.

My husband and I were out and about, and I had brought my camera with me on a subsequent outing. There he/she was! On the nest!!

Eagle Nest

There should be eggs in the springtime and I plan on returning and hopefully getting some good pics of the eagles.

Close up of Eagle in Nest

The second eagle was just to the right of the nest. I did not get a very good picture of the pair together.

both eagles

Have you seen eagles in the wild?

Opt Outside


Opt Outside

Opt Outside, or #optoutside is REI’s  campaign of going inside instead of inside shopping on Black Friday.  They announced in 2015 that REI would remain closed on Black Friday, to encourage people to get-opt-outside, into nature.

It was a wildly popular idea. REI got tons of free publicity, and the movement continues in 2016.


More than  275 agencies, organizations and companies have formally joined the #OptOutside movement.

I finally have Black Friday off! I believe it’s been over ten years since I had the Friday after Thanksgiving off.

I had a email that there was a party going on where we built a new section of trail in September.  Being that the morning was free, and I was planning on getting outside anyways, I headed over to Piedmont Lake for the meet up.


volunteersThis was the section of trail that we built in October. It was nice to be back on the trail and see the work AND we got to blaze the new section!

Our new section went along busy Route 22, then followed the contour of Piedmont Lake.  optoutside

As we hiked and blazed along, we came across this signpost: SSSHanna

What’s this? Steve explained it was the S.S.S. Hanna, a boat for the Sea Scouts at the Sea Scout Camp at Lake Piedmont.

S.S.S. Hanna

I’m always stoked to learn new history bits of an area. S.S.S. stood for Sea Scout Ship Hanna

SSS Hanna

Picture from the Harrison County Historical Society



Here is the mooring pin, the only remaining piece of the ship:

mooring pin

We turned around shortly after the historical site, touching up blazes as we went. I had to bail quickly as I had another Thanksgiving Dinner and  Jacob, Karen, and Steve were finishing up with the carsonite markers:

carsonite markerIt was a great day to #optoutside.  The weather was good, trail work was accomplished, and we spent no money! Best kind of Black Friday!


Did you opt outside this Black Friday? What was your adventure?