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Buckeye Trail Thru Hiker 10/21/2017

I'm tracking the progress of Mei Ling Liber, who may become the 2nd person to complete a hike of the Buckeye Trail's circuit this year.  And I'm attempting to coordinate her completion day.  If memory serves me correctly, she'll be the first Asian to complete the trail.  As of tomorrow, she'll have 23 of 26 sections complete.

I'll be a coffee shop that's near the end point on the day of her completion doing any coordinating that might needed.  I might do some shuttling then?  But, I think that I even need to wait until it's closer to that day in order to make that firm?


Needs: Adventurer's Project Website

There are three items for the Adventurer's Project's Website that need in-person data collection.  They'll have to wait until I get there.  Pending that I'm not broke by the time that it all happens, the plan is that Mei Ling Liber is probably about 10 days away from finishing the Buckeye Trail at Milford.  And I really want to do down there.  So, I plan on renting a small car, swing by Cincinnati and then go to Whipple for a couple days.


Now and Need for an Annual Plan

Recent reviews on the Buckeye Trail have implied (based on my interpretation of them) that this is no longer the time for ideas.  This is the time to act.  It's not the time for excuses.  I know where I've been, but I know that I've run out of time. 

I'm living 160 miles from the Whipple Section. My car is dying.  It's putting puddles of something on the driveway cement.  I should be able to afford a rent-a-car for a couple days in November, March, April and May?  There's also a transit solution.  At that point, if I pay off my credit card debt aggressively enough, I should be able to buy a new vehicle and be down trail in June.  If I lease, I might be able to get one sooner?  I'm a disabled vet and I don't answer questions for most people about it.  But that in a nutshell is the game plan.  It doesn't make much sense to cut the off-road's brush until then anyways.

What Whipple and Adventurer's Project needs is an annual plan.  I can write those this winter.  Some thru hikers can be critics, but many of those have never had their feet in the trenches so to say. So, sometimes what they state seems reasonable to them.  If I execute an annual plan, I believe that it will demonstrate theory vs. application.  And then there's always these logs.


Resupply Boxes Estimate

I've got the numbers for the lockable resupply boxes on the Road Fork and Whipple Sections - Buckeye/ North Country Trail.  We need 4 of them at the moment in sets of 2.  Both sets of them can handle food resupply.  I'd have to go over the design to be more exact, but I think I can get each container to be about $96.  I also don't have clearance to use private property that one set would depend on.


Adventurer's Project Website, GIS/ GPS Depository and Community Action Bus Lines

The Adventurer's Project's website will use the BTA GIS/ GPS Depository for its various planning functions as consistent with a portion of it's agreement when "These data sets were developed to provide a digital depiction of the Buckeye Trail centerline in a usable and easily transferable format to assist the BT staff, agency partners, and land managers; to aid local planning agencies, telecommunications companies, and other groups with planning activities..."

The agreement is found here:

I have my depository tracks split into sections.  Those terminators can only be found in the map & guides.  Normally, I don't like giving this out to the general public, but it describes which part of the trail the project covers.

I created two tracks for the Community Action Bus Lines pertaining to it's Route C East and Route Super C in Marietta.  These will be displayed on the project's website as a part of the areas transportation relevant to adventurer's.


Chapter in SE Ohio 10/13/2017

Adventurer's Project could result in a chapter with loyalties to the Buckeye, North Country and American Discovery Trails.  But I was reading through the Buckeye Trail Association's Bi-Laws and it states that one has to be a member of it in order to be a chapter officer.  This proposed chapter that I'm referring to would be under the BTA.  In order to be an officer in the proposed chapter, they will probably have to get annual memberships in 2 out of the 3.

But, we'll probably have to consider what the proposed members of the chapter have to think of that.  BTA's bi-laws were probably not written with our predicament in mind.  Either this chapter could get a dispensation, or we could explore going 3rd party?  Let me tell this audience that from what I hear, this could be a more lengthy, formal process with the IRS?


Adventurer's Project Upcoming Website

I'm still working on the transportation map for Adventurer's Project.  Since these are for planning purposes, all of it's maps are going to feature tracks from the BTA GIS/ GPS Depository.  I already have those split into sections.  And I might be able to make the maps themselves impossible to download with embedded data.  This data can be used for planning purposes.  But there's lots of things that I can I can give out.  Basically, if it isn't covered under the copyright of the map and guides, I can do it.  And I fully intend to.

(Currently, Adventurer's Project is covering Road Fork and Whipple Sections of the Buckeye/ North Country Trail.  As of this morning, I learned that Lyft's "Columbus Area" is now covering all of it.  I've been trying to get transportation from it's east end in the Marietta Unit of the Wayne NF for resupply for many years.  And since we lost our shuttle service, this is welcome news.)

Other than Lyft, other items I'd like to include are:

- Resupply locations
- Public Transit

- One item that I'd like to expound on is ride share locations.  Not everywhere on those sections has cellular service.  And if a ride, or rider is coming from out of the area and something happens, the other party would be in the dark.  So, I'll be devising rendezvous locations that have signal for most providers.

- Contact for resupply is a feature that the hiker should do well in advance of their hike.  This is where Adventurer's Project volunteers would have resupply waiting for hikers at the end of their day. 

- The "Surface Water Data" pertains to streams that aren't likely to be directly affected by mining activity.

- Annual Fall Foliage Tour map pertains to a two day event in October held by the Little Muskingum Watershed Association.  It's an automotive tour that takes place on OH-26 annually and passes through two small portions of the on-road trail.

- A link to the Marietta/ Washington Convention and Visitor's Bureau.  This part of the Buckeye Trail is one of the more difficult parts of the trail to get to for Ohio residents.  If they come to hike, they might like to explore Marietta?

- A vacant segment showcase.

- Weather Band Radio (channels and frequencies)

- GPS data on religious places along Road Fork and Whipple


West Virginia, Indiana ADT Segments, Water Resupply

I forgot to mention yesterday that I have GPS tracks for the American Discovery Trail. I completed them sometime in January or so. But some states weren't in segments as per their turn-by-turn guides. 

My next project will be to write a detailed document based on the minimum rate of progress needed to thru hike the trail.  Once I do that, I'll know when water is needed and where in the deserts.  If I can get that information, volunteers can camp in the desert and provide water resupply. Also, with the right volunteers and equipment, the ADTS could haul larger 65 gallons at a time .

However, in the case of both, they'll be restricting hikers to travel in a specific way in order to meet this resupply.  In other words, the lack of manpower will dictate how often this can be done. If you set the bar according to ADT's ability, it might be able to eek this out in succession for one pass of hikers, once a year.  Which could make their synchronizing with it tricky? But I don't know if there's enough manpower to do this once.


Weather Band Radio

I added weather band radio channel listings to Adventurer's Project's website draft.


Female Trail Safety and Adventurer's Project

Occasionally, the topic of trail safety for women comes up on the Buckeye Trail Association's Facebook group.  Also, getting more female hikers is of interest to the BTA anyways.  I've been in the area for two years and I'm glad to gotten some feedback on this subject.  I have a vested interest in it as well.

I just had a female solo hiker go through the Road Fork and Whipple Sections - Buckeye/ North Country Trail.  For those of you who do know it very well, it's rugged for Ohio, sparsely populated, in terms of cellular service, it's the most remote place in the state and the off-road trail was built to mimic some of the conditions that you might find on more minor portions of the Appalachian Trail.

The area at a thru hike rate takes about 9 days to pass through both sections.  In one capasity or another, I was her in-person water resupply there.  Without cellular communications, we had walkie talkies and I we were always at her day's end location by 7:30pm.  I was late, either one of us could get on the walkie talkies and make that known.  If she was late, I would retrace her steps, or start driving the on-road trail against her rate of progress, try to find her and see if something was wrong?

I even hiked 5 miles with her, took the prepositioned bicycle back about 4 miles, fetched the car and met her with her water resupply on one of those evenings.  I'm pleased to report that these sections are probably solo female friendly, with that especially being true in the Marietta Unit of the Wayne National Forest.

I actually had four thru hikers this year.  It was a exercise of the Adventurer's Project, which is a limited protochapter on the Buckeye Trail that covers is Road Fork and Whipple Sections at the moment.  If it becomes a chapter, I hope that we extend and also cover about 3 counties of the nearby American Discovery Trail. I'm it's principal and sole volunteer at the moment.

From what I know, the on-road is pretty safe for women.  And due to the fact that anyone is unlikely to encounter anybody on most of the off-road, I'd put the odds of anything bad happening due to other people as being remote.