Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shake Your Moneymaker

I got a late start on the trail this morning, with the long car ride back to Harrison delaying my first steps. Dawn got me fueled up with breakfast before the drive and lunch afterward. We said our goodbyes and I began my long northerly march.
Today's journey took me into old Shaker territory. The Shakers were a commune of celibate Christians who built nineteen villages scattered about the United States between 1787 and 1827. White Water, through which I passed, is the best preserved in Ohio, sporting twenty two intact buildings.
Officially called the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, thankfully someone came up with a shorter name. The group was more commonly referred to as the Shakers because of their proclivity to gyrate during church services. For many years the Shakers were very successful communal farmers and manufacturers of homemade wares. By the end of the Civil War, however, their population had aged and dwindled. I've found that such down-sizing is pretty common amongst communities that don't have any sex. I'll have to do some more research to learn more about this startling correlation.
Despite the late start I ate up some impressive mileage, finishing at the Governor Bebb Preserve after chewing up and spitting out sixteen of the buggers for a total of 860. The preserve served as my home for the evening and also furnished a chance to see my first live raccoons (one pictured in the tree above). A six pack of the furry thieves scuttled across my path just before I arrived in the camping area.
Over sixty days in I'm glad to report that the trek has not grown stale. I still see new and amazing things on a daily basis. I guess I'll just have to do a few more miles tomorrow.

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