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A morning hike @ CVNP

What quote am I vibing? "It is in the valleys that one can realize most effectively a sense of isolation and freedom from the sights and sounds....which go to make the modern city." Olmsted Brothers

Road Day: 22

Trails Hiked: Stanford Trail (Cuyahoga Valley National Park). 1.5 miles. Elevation Change: 190 feet. Trail Surface: hilly, rocky

I intended to start a hiking journey at 7 this morning, but it was a sleepy, rainy morning, and it was lovely to sip tea for a few minutes and speak with my hosts Lori and Tom. After Lori assured me that the light rain would be minimal on the trails because of tree cover, I got going around 7:40 - driving to the Brandywine Falls trailhead.

After the short walk to Brandywine Falls to appreciate the splendor, I set out on Stanford Trail to Stanford House, an 1880's built farm. If the principle of "you're a runner if you are running" applies to "you're a hiker if you're hiking" - then I'm a hiker. Otherwise, I am a fairly fit person with a mostly untested desire to make my way through the woods.

I traversed steep inclines - my lungs reminding me how accustomed they are to Florida flatlands, but made it easily to Stanford House where I was looking forward to a water break. I opened my REI National Park-themed hiking pack. My borrowed binoculars. Two phones. A raincoat. My borrowed taser. Bug spray. No water. I had left that in the car. My temporary panic subsided when I remembered that humans can survive for three days without water. But I won't make that mistake again!

Even though I was theoretically dying of thirst, I made a quick detour from the trail on the way back to a somewhat unimpressive (not even photographed) Averill Pond, and then found my way back to the Brandywine Falls trailhead, and my car. And my water.

I met two park rangers and I asked them about the "Sagamore Hills" town name question, and they didn't have an answer, but did seem intrigued. The mystery continues. But I'll solve it.

Now I'm off to Chicago. It's like I'm having two days in one, so I believe I'll blog twice today!

A well-placed log afforded me a good camera timer opportunity.

Brandywine Falls - the most well-known part of the park.

The Falls and me.

The part of the trail leading to the farm at Stanford House was beautiful and fragrant.

Me, wishing I was drinking water.

Grateful for man-made steps to help me up nature-made inclines.

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