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Rail Trail and Veteran’s Cemetery

June 2, 2013

Ohio – Sunday, May 26

After spending 4 nights at Tara and Josh’s house, and kind of using it as a home base for some of my walking and all, it was time to move on. But I wasn’t in a hurry, and spent most of the morning there with them. I feel very fortunate to have been able to be in Ohio 5 times since the beginning of my journey to see the grandkids – having a new grandson born the day before I left wasn’t in the original trip plans! And they grow and change so fast – I’m glad Ohio has been a state that’s been relatively easy to get to from the east side of the country. Now that I’m beginning to head west, I won’t be able to get back there for about 4 1/2 months, and they’re not ready to travel with 2 little ones, so I soaked up every last minute with them.

Since I had a poky start, I headed back over to Indian Lake State Park to walk 3 more miles along the pretty trail by the lake. Since it’s Memorial Day weekend, there were a lot of people out enjoying the water again. Then I stopped at an old-fashioned root beer stand for a coney dog, and began to head south. I wanted to make my way back down to the Ohio/Kentucky border, to the little town of Ironton, which is host to the biggest, oldest Memorial Day parade in the country, and I knew I would have to stay nearby because the parade was due to start at 10am tomorrow morning.

While driving south, I passed through the town of Urbana, and it looked like a good place to get out and do some more walking. I enjoy seeing these small towns that are decorated with flags and red, white and blue banners for Memorial Day. Tula and I got out and walked through the old historic part of town, and then a few blocks out of town we came upon a rail trail, so we walked on some of that. Tula began to get tired, so we walked back to the car, and I drove to a different parking area, and set off again on the rail trail in the other direction, out into farmland. Again, I am struck by the peacefulness of the countryside – it was fun to walk past farms and fields, and it was easy to get 4 more miles of walking done there.

Then I took a little detour to Daytona and the national veteran’s cemetery there. I wanted to walk through one of those this weekend, to see what it looked like with flags out by all of the markers. And it was truly impressive. Even the most unpatriotic of people would have to feel at least a little pride in America while walking through a place like that! It was very touching to see row up row, acre upon acre, of white gravestones with red, white and blue flags by each one of them. I can’t imagine how much time that takes, but everyone is remembered. Even though many of the veterans who rest in peace there returned from combat to live a full life, one’s heart skips a beat to pass the graves of young soldiers who died in the recent conflicts in the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a very memorable walk to finish up 10 miles today, and I will be making my military-related donation tomorrow after the parade.

Then I had a few hours of driving through southern Ohio in the evening hours. I always enjoy being able to drive through the countryside, especially after having walked so much. It was late when I checked in to the motel, but I was only about 15 miles from Ironton, and that was my goal!

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One Comment
  1. Hello Nancy,
    We have been enjoying reading about your travels and giving, and would love to feature you in our Northern Michigan University alumni magazine, if you would be willing? I have included my contact information. Thank you!

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