This was my first day on the NCT in 2016, April Fools Day.  It was a day of brilliant, clear and sunny skies, slightly cool, perfect for walking.  I wore a long sleeve shirt with a light jacket.  About halfway through the walk, I had the jacket off.  I walked a mile North to reach where I had left off two years earlier, then backtracked.  This was the Southern tip of the Yankee Springs State Recreation Area.

Out of the woods, most of the hike was country roads, commercial farms having taken over what had been small, rural farms many years ago. I walked through the town of Prairieview, a small community of some 42 homes along Norris Road just North of town and Parker Road going South out of town.  There were ten times the occupancy in the local cemetery than living in town.  The only newer construction were some garages or pole barns.  No newer home had been built in the last 60 years.  There was one exception, a combination part store/gas station across from a local restaurant.  Those were the only commercial enterprises.  It is sad to see but not unexpected.

Tapping for maple syrup.

Tapping for maple syrup.

Jan and I stayed in Hastings, about ten miles away. We drove through Delton, another spot on the map, a cluster of a few homes around what used to be a town and now does not even have a post office.

There was a fair amount of road kill: two deer carcasses, a rabbit, raccoon, opossum, and some questionable remains.  I walked up on five Turkey Vultures flying out of an Oak tree along the road and then hovering in the sky above.  As ugly as the vultures were, the Trumpeter Swans in Crooked Lake were magnificent.

If you join me on the trail, we will share life stories and you are welcome to document your journey on our blog as well. For more information, go to

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