A good day for a hike. Abundant sunshine, moderating temps, err......well I think low 30's, Mitch O carrying a backpack full of food and a bunch of good people with whom to hike. All the competitive urges get left on the bikes, the gapping, the elbowing, the head butting, the steering into the gutter, etc.... all absent from our hikes but then Grand Poobah has not been to one yet so we'll see. Steve O, Mitch, Flyin Tuna, Jeff S & Mary Louise, Butch and Peggy so 7 of us shoved off on trails that were surprisingly clear of snow in many places. Later, we ran into "Tony" a mountain bike rider who lives on Cedar Hill Road out of Canal Winchester and had a good chat with him.
I hiked with the group and then began jogging at some point, which made Steve think of the character from the movie, "A Man Called Horse" who ran without swinging his arms. At the time, I was navigating down a kind of steep and icy slope so had kept my arms down and I don't normally run stiff armed. I arrived at the shelter house after 4.6 miles and found a small group, headed by a park ranger, surveying the birds. They anticipated seeing around 40+ types throughout the day and had earlier heard a Hoot, Barn and Screech owl.
Oh my. Mitch produced lots of fresh food including two kinds of cheeses, sausage, chocolate bars, oranges, bread, crackers even a bottle of wine! Unfortunately, the aforementioned park ranger came over and told us to put it away, no alcohol in the park. We spent maybe 15 minutes here before packing up and heading back. I began running again and got in an extra loop, finishing with 10.3 miles and 2100' of climbing. As I said earlier, the trails were remarkably free of snow and what was there was thin, except in areas of shade. Probably by now most of the snow is gone. Fortunately, since it would be my turn to bring the snacks on the next hike, which may be out of Great Seal or Tar Hollow, it looks like the temps will warm for the weekend and we'll be back on the bikes.