All posts by Jeff Preston

“Bike Aboard!” on the Towpath Trail

“Bike Aboard!” is a program offered by the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad where bikers riding the Towpath Trail through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park can catch the train one way for three dollars. Early in the summer Aryn and I had been trying for several weeks to make this trip and mid July we finally had a break in the weather and schedules that made it possible. We started later in the afternoon and the original plan was to bike 26 miles from Rockside Road to the Akron North train station where we would catch the last train of the day back to our car. My warning to her was the 26 mile ride immediately becomes a 52 mile ride if we miss that train. She did not seem to mind but I was not too excited about this prospect and our time was tight.

Arriving we found the Lock 39 parking lot on the south side of Rockside Road was packed but the lot on the Northwest corner of Continue reading “Bike Aboard!” on the Towpath Trail

Georgia’s Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge

Work often takes me to other areas around the country and when I travel I try to get out for a walk or hike.  Several weeks ago I found myself in Macon, Georgia and I had the opportunity to take a quick hike at the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in Hillsboro, Georgia. My time was limited since my flight was later the same day so I choose the a quick 2 mile loop on Continue reading Georgia’s Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge

2015 Grand River Canoe and Kayak Race

The forecast for Saturday morning continued to switch between rain and clear but not too cold. Mid April in northeast Ohio could be sunny and hot, cold and snowing, or anywhere in between. This is why we had waited until the last few hours of early registration prior to signing up for the 2015 Grand River Canoe and Kayak Race. Race day turned out to be absolutely perfect with sunny blue skies and temperatures that made shorts and a T-shirt comfortable on the water. The rain earlier in the week put the river flow around 3.5 feet Continue reading 2015 Grand River Canoe and Kayak Race

2015 Goals

I’m a couple of days late for a New Years post but since I’m not one to make new years resolutions I think I’m fine. This post is all about trips that I would like to complete this year. Some are simply experiencing a new bike trail while others are more involved such as a week-long kayaking trip. This is a list of what I would like to do and if this year is like past years then the list will be longer than what I have the time or funds to complete, I’ll therefore try to keep it short.

Backpacking

  • Complete the Georgia section of the AT by hiking from Neal’s Gap to Amicalola Falls State Park.
  • Backpack the Allegheny Front Trail.
  • Do more short weekend trips including one winter trip.

Biking

  • Ride the bike path at Oil Creek State Park.
  • Bike all or a portion of the Western Reserve Greenway.

Kayaking

  • A friend and I are informally discussing a trip on the Muskingum River from the Tuscarora River to the Ohio River.
  • Complete the Grand River from the headwaters to Lake Erie.
  • If the Muskingum River trip falls through them something on the Allegheny River.

General

Overall I would like to get out more this year and I’m setting a goal of 52 hikes or activities of one hour or more per year, similar to the few I have posted here.  A three-day trip will count as one activity, not three.  I’ve never tracked or counted my activities in the past so I’m not sure if 52 is more or less than typical. I know that some portions of the year I get multiple in a week but others times no activities. I will track these somehow on the blog.

Speaking of the blog, my intent is to continue posting information and addition useful how-to posts. I enjoy it and I’m starting to see an increase in legitimate visitors but most page views are still spam.

– Jeff

The Allegheny Reservoir near Pollys Run.
The Allegheny Reservoir near Pollys Run.

Day Hike at Girdled Road Reservation

Friday I took one of a few remaining vacation days that must be used by year-end. While the rest of the family was at school or work I decided to spend a couple of hours that morning hiking at Girdled Road Reservation.  A light coating of snow fell the night before which created a beautiful hike.

One of the things I like about Girdled Road Reservation is that you can easily get a 5 to 10 mile hike in with Continue reading Day Hike at Girdled Road Reservation

Backpacking in Barefoot Shoes

I could regurgitate all the benefits of barefoot shoes that you can find in hundreds of locations around the web but there’s little information about hiking and backpacking in barefoot shoes. Barefoot shoe wearers are a small group and therefore those that backpack in that group would be a very tiny group. I will include a couple of links to other like-minded individuals at the bottom of this article.

What are Barefoot Shoes

As I mentioned in my Cypher Glove review, I have been wearing barefoot shoes for just about two years and that includes when backpacking and Continue reading Backpacking in Barefoot Shoes

My Experience with Stoveless Backpacking

I wrote in this article about my desire to try stoveless backpacking on my Appalachian Trail section hike.  Now that the hike has completed I thought I would capture a few additional thoughts.

Why did I want to try going without a stove on this backpacking trip?

When looking at traditional freeze dried foods Continue reading My Experience with Stoveless Backpacking

Appalachian Trail Section Hike – Deep Gap, NC to Neels Gap, GA

Distance: 57.3 miles
Route: Appalachian Trail Southbound
Scenery: Average to exceptional at vistas
Water: Plentiful but a few spots were just a small trickle
Campsites: Numerous plus shelters every 8 to 10 miles
Navigation: Well defined tread, white blazes

At 6:50 AM as we arrived at Deep Gap NC.  It was still dark and according to the car’s thermometer the temperature was 28 degrees.  We donned our packs and headlamps heading south down the Appalachian trail towards Springer Mountain and Amicalola Falls State Park 90 some miles away.  This was my original destination that would allow me to complete the entire Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail in 8 days, unfortunately hikes do not always go as planned. Continue reading Appalachian Trail Section Hike – Deep Gap, NC to Neels Gap, GA

Probars and Stoveless Backpacking

I have tried going without a stove on a few backpacking trips and except for a quick overnight trip I have not been happy with the results.  Longer trips usually involve some sort of protein or meal replacement bar.  For those who have never eaten one they are usually Continue reading Probars and Stoveless Backpacking

Perception Sport Rhythm 11 Kayak Review

The Perception Sport Rhythm 11 is technically the wife’s boat but I have paddled it many times. This is the second paddling season we have owned the Perception Sport and Future Beach Fusion . Both purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods. The Perception was purchased for $400 while the Fusion was purchased for $219. In my opinion both boats are Continue reading Perception Sport Rhythm 11 Kayak Review