I attempted to use my GPS to write a track for the segment that I've unofficially named "Lane Spur." I got about half way to the ford when I aborted the task. The spur is in very bad condition about 3/4ths of a mile past the east stills for the Patterson Tract. I felt that withdraw and regrouping was the best way to go. I thought it was going to be easier, but I found something that I wasn't prepared for.
I stayed at the St. Marys Motel at 216 3rd Street, St. Marys, West Virginia 26170 a couple nights ago and had a good stay. The owner was friendly and eager to help in any way he could. St. Marys is across the Ohio River from the unincorporated community of Newport in Washington County. Without checking, I'd say that that it's about 5 miles south of the Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country Trail on Bear Run Rd/ C25.
- Whipple's current status is that about 6 of it's 13.89 miles of off-road are cleared, mostly thanks to members of the Trail Management Team of the Buckeye Trail Association to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. The trail is now free of obstructions from Pt. 02 (10/2010 map) to Pt. 03 - W @ Felter/ Chandler Road/ T381, as well as about 1 mile inside heading CCW from Pt. 06. And in the middle of Pt. 01 - S to 02, we have two hanging trees within about 100 yards of each other that are both in the middle of being cleared.
-I'm in town today buying antifreeze, eating restaurant food and charging batteries. I've been boondocking The Cramper since the 17th just off the trail. I just texted a relative it's location today. For my security, I won't tell you folks reading this now where it is until after I leave there. It's not a a good roadside camp anyways.
and the hotel formerly known as the Magnuson Hotel By The Interstate.
The hotel in Marietta is more like a "motel" and the establishment in Williamstown, West Virginia is what most would expect from a hotel (having interior corridors), but a works in progress. Not to mention that they've changed brands recently. I've have yet to have any bad bugs with either, They're both inexpensive, they have continental breakfasts, but they're full of carbohydrates and hikers could use some fruit.
As the webmaster of the Ohio Transit Hikers Resource, I tend to be immersed in the logistics of getting hikers to and from the trail and amenities. Now, I have data on public parking areas, but as I know now, none of them are what I call "All Weather," which are plowed areas in the winter that are attached to a plowed road that are suitable for a front wheel drive (FWD) vehicle to get in and out of should the amount of snow along the Whipple Section ever exceed 3 inches.
But make no mistake about it, the Whipple Section can be snowshoed. I don't have a set of cross country skis, but maybe them as well, too.
I attended to some appointments today in Marietta. Afterwards, I retrieved my bicycle's forward illumination. It was in a Rubbermaid box that I brought down from Painesville a couple weeks ago. There's three powerful lights to it and they're expensive. For a moment, I thought that I left them back in Painesville?
On the 14th, I have to leave for the BTA's "Trail Fest" in Maria Stein of Mercer County. It's looking like it's going to be a 5 hour ride. But my time at my current campsite, which is currently at Leith Run Recreation Area in the Wayne National Forest - Marietta Unit is up on the 13th. The days after are reserved, so I'll have to boon dock (camp without power) near the trail for a night near the trail. It's no problem because it gives me a chance to try my new manual powered winch on a snapped tree downtrail. And I can demonstrate to Buckeye and North Country Trail's how to do a proper roadside camp.
Today, I woke up late and drove to Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country Trail, Point 03 (10/2010 map) to clear a downed cluster of trees in the Wayne National Forest - Marietta Unit. Because I've got work to do on The Cramper today, I found that it was further in than I originally thought, so I had to turn around and go back to the car.
Whipple's Point 03 is on a shutdown township road. It's about 0.5 miles from Archer's Fork Road/ C14 and I'm lucky that I can even get the car down there. It has a 12" embankment on one side and creek with a 3ft drop on the other. Getting as far as the trail, there wasn't any place to turn the car around in there, so I had to reverse it all the way out. But once on federal property, there's plenty of places to park vehicles in there.
Yesterday, I had a look at National Forest Service property that's 3.7 miles NE of Whipple 12 again, this time for parking opportunities. The concludsion that I come to is that access to this property from Whipple Run Road is ugly. Parking is not recommended there and there is one area that is just large enough to pitch a roadside camp. The problem with it is that 3.7 miles is an awfully long way in the SEO to find out that there's no room at the inn. So, lets just say that if Whipple continues to need that site, that somehow, someway, I could administer an electronic reservation system. And these reservations could be made from computers at the libraries in Belle Valley of Noble County and Stockport of Morgan.