I set foot on the trail at 8am, right on the dot. A small Osprey Daylite pack filled with snacks, three liters of water, my hatchet, multitool and a single trekking pole to keep me company.
The mist and atmosphere rolled over the hills as I began to thru-hike the Twin
Valley Trail for the second time this year. Like the first time, the catch is that I will be starting and finishing it in a single day.
A very difficult yet doable thru-hike for me, I was very eager to begin.
The Twin Valley Trail (TVT) is a scenic backpacking trail that crosses Germantown, Ohio in between Germantown Metropark and Twin Creek Metropark. These two metroparks in particular have become some of my favorite locations both for nature photography and especially hiking/backpacking.
I had reached over 10 miles pretty quickly but I was sweaty and very very sore. I had my doubts of whether to turn back uphill back to High View or make my way through the start of the connector trail.
Quitting would be too easy, and so I mustered all my strength and pressed on. I may have felt quite exhausted already from the first half at Twin Creek Metropark, yet I could still walk with relative ease. This was not to stop me!
Upon entering Germantown Metropark, I had reached the halfway point of my hike. About 14 miles in and I was starving, looking forward to having two pouches of warm oatmeal and some boiled water to drink. It wasn’t the most extravagant meal to have outdoors but it was very much satiating in calories.
I sat around for a bit as I borrowed this campsite table to reflect a bit about the trek so far. Writing in the journal a half of page of some thoughts..
“A cheery and sunny blue sky day. Not a single cloud in sight and a hefty breeze to boot. The first half of the hike was quite a feat to accomplish and I am already quite spent. Halfway to go and I should be done well before dark. It has heated up quite a bit for early October! By high noon the birds have seemed to mostly settle in besides a few very vocal jays high in the treetops and a kettle of buzzards soaring overhead. I hope I can make it.”
After the midday lunch I set out once again, crossing the spillway and bridge. Reaching the woodland edge meant that I saw more people being near a trailhead and that the hilly terrain would come back. Foliage was very vibrant and beautifully yellow in this section of the orange loop trail.
As I went northward uphill, I made it to the northernmost point of the TVT and where meadow dominates the landscape. The bright sun was beating down on me yet I was eager to check out the new trail expansion for the first time. This new section of the orange and purple loop trails adds a little under two more miles to my route for today.
By this point I was moving across the more remote areas going downhill at the metropark, crossing the dam effectively signaled my very close end to the hike.
Miraculously enough, my end time was right on the minute as to when I planned on being back to my car. From 8am to 5:30pm with eight and a half hours of hiking time. It’s the little serendipitous moments in life like that make it for me.
Also an interesting tidbit is that my three liters of water last till the very last mile which is something worth noting.
The total mileage was 27.38 and I happened to shave off about 20 minutes from my previous time as well for only going a little bit more distance.
So what did this hike teach me?
Let’s refer back to the title of this blog entry and answer why this day mattered.
I am much more capable than I think. No hike is too long, too tough.
Stretch before you hike! Your legs will get pretty sore soon after.
Don’t become so fixated on the end goal that you forget to enjoy the moment. What is a good hike but the miles traveled, hills climbed, and sweat poured to get to the end if you only remember making it to that end?
“Unplugging” from your devices for a while can be very beneficial for the soul. Smell the air, view the scenery, just be.
Things that start out feeling great, don’t always end so great. I am talking about
There’s a finish line and sometimes no one will be there to support you. Hiking and backpacking alone typically includes moments of solitude. You have to be your own cheerleader.
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventurous day and that it inspires you to thru-hike your local parks and trails. Let me know where you have backpacked with a comment down below. Thanks for reading!