Hiking is fun, whether alone or with company, and today I was joined by my good friend Erin Stellato. But not only Erin, but by the virtue of technology, Johan Bijnens joined us virtually from his home town near Genk, Belgium.
Erin and I hiked 9.8 miles along the Buckeye Trail, at the western end of the Medina section along the trail, while Johan hiked 15km in the Zutendaal forest near his home.
As the Buckeye Trail traverses the state, a lot of the trail is on roads, so 8 of the almost 10 miles today were on local roads. Here are a couple of pictures of Erin as we made our way through the Ohio countryside.
Zutendaal is at the junction of five communities, and at one point along the hike the trails converge at a statue to St. Hubert, the patron saint of hunters, which Johan shared, alongside his trail companion.
Every 45 minutes or so we used the magic of GoToMeeting to chat with Johan as we all hiked our respective paths. We’ve all been friends for many years, and even if we can’t be together physically, it was great to share this hike virtually.
The last 2 miles of the hike were through the forest in Findley State Park, south of Wellington, Ohio. Wellington was the home of Archibald Willard, who painted the famous Spirit of ’76 painting. It was cold enough this morning that the ponds and creeks were frozen, and so the ground was crunchy under our feet, but it was beautiful.