Posted by: davepidgeon | June 25, 2009

Giving Ohio a shout out

As tempting as it would be to update Compass Points with another item about Gov. Mark “Juan Peron” Sanford – and it is tempting after laughing all night reading those steamy middle-school-quality e-mails to his mistress in Argentina – I’m turning my focus back to actual wilderness trails.






Backpacker released this month its Top 25 Best Cities To Raise An Outdoor Kid, compiled by good friend and practical neighbor Jason Stevenson. Boulder and Asheville naturally appear along with surprises such as Wheeling, W.V., and Duluth, Minn. If baby fever is rising in your house like it is in mine, give this list a look. 
Writer Jason Stevenson works up a dinner of freeze-dried food.

Writer Jason Stevenson works up a dinner of freeze-dried food.


Ohio did not find a place there on the best places to raise your own Paul Bunyan. I’d blame it on the lack of mountains and how Cleveland once set water on fire, but Wisconsin has one entry and Minnesota comes in with an unexpected two towns. But I bring up Ohio because I know of several outdoor/mountain writers like myself who hail from the good ol’ Buckeye State, and yet strangely so many natural-born Ohioans flee their home state for the highlands to the west or east.

National Geographic Adventure gives a nod to Ohio this month in its “Next Weekend” section. The writers highlight Burr Oak State Park’s 18-mile Backpack Trail, which circumferences the body of water and can take two or three days to traverse. NGA recommends bringing a telescope because the nightscape is apparently spectacular at the Scout Camp.

As soon as I read that entry, I called my 52-year-old dad, who lives with mom between Cincinnati and Dayton. My father has told me over the years that he’s interesting in giving backpacking a try, and I think I’ve found a place halfway between he lives and I dwell, plus a pathway that won’t make his knees grind into powder (he’s had a few joint operations). I think it would be worth a try.


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