Post Covid Bucket List: Uncle Buck’s Trail Ride

The first in the series of things I want to do when we’re free again is to take a trail ride at Uncle Buck’s Riding Stable and Dance Barn. I’ve known the owner for many years but somehow have never made it out for a ride.

His name is Dave but everyone just calls him Uncle Buck. He’s a good community minded man who loves his horses and who makes pretty music with a couple of local bands.

They do a few different rides but I have my eye one one that goes through the Zaleski State Forest to the Moonville Tunnel.

Moonville is a ghost town and the tunnel is said to be haunted. A rail trail has been built in the area and goes right through the tunnel. The state forest is expansive and is beautiful especially in spring and fall. I’ve been to Moonville and to these woods many times but never on a horse!

Uncle Buck’s draws a large number of tourists but they take out small groups so you still have an intimate and authentic experience. Once upon a time I ran the county visitors’ center so I’ve sent a lot of people their way over the years. Yet I’ve never done a trail ride.

Maybe I’ll get some friends together or I may go solo. Either way, this is the year I go support my friend’s business.

Want to read about Uncle Buck’s? If you’re ever in southern Ohio, I’m sure they’d love to get you out on the trail!  Read about them here.

Time For Some Changes

When this blog began almost two years ago, it was partly an answer to calls from friends who wanted to know about my adventures. It was partly a distraction from a major life change. It was partly an outlet for sharing words and pictures that matter to me.

In the beginning it was mostly about my travels both far from home and in my own backyard. The blog has evolved some. I still tell those stories but occasionally share about other things happening in my world – food, books, Scout, and the random things that turn my head.

Daffodil 2020It’s time for things to shift again, at least for a while. As I type, I’m staring at my hands which are dry and sometimes bloody from the near compulsive hand washing that has become socially acceptable. The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day for adventure but there’s nowhere to be. It’s too windy to go outside so when I get up from this desk, it will be to go to another room to perhaps read a book or organize something or maybe just take a nap.

I’m not complaining because I’m safe at home. I’m not a victim of this pandemic but a lucky human who is healthy, who has a safe place to live, and plenty to eat. There are a ton of things to do in this house and one day life will go back to normal.

Meanwhile, plans are on hold or perhaps just cancelled. Book talks and concerts have been postponed. My list of museums, restaurants and junk shops to visit keeps getting longer. I’m looking at small businesses in my community – a riding stable that does guided trail rides, an antique store, and a host of others that I worry for because times are always tough for a small business without having all their customers quarantined. How much can I afford to support these businesses when this is all over?

Plans for my epic summer vacation are now on hold to the degree that I gathered up all the brochures and maps and stuffed them in a drawer. It’s almost too much to hope that I’ll be able to go.

Obviously, I have no new adventures to tell you about right now.

Part of me wants to just live in this quiet world I wake up in every day. And it is quiet. It’s made up mostly of books, music and birdsong. I’m currently working from home so that keeps me busy. Scout entertains me too but there are days I don’t even turn on the tv except to hear the governor give his daily briefing. While others are going stir crazy, trapped in prisons of their own making, I’m perfectly fine. Disappointed about lost adventures, but fine because I know there are better days ahead.

So I’m going to shift things again, just a bit, and hopefully for not too long. When this is all over, I want all of us to be prepared to do something important. For those who can, I want us to go out into the world, boldly and without apology, to do all the things we cannot do today and to support the small businesses that need us more than ever.

Shop. Eat in a restaurant. Stroll through a museum. Fly. Stay in a hotel. Take that guided trail ride. Sit in a crowd of like minded people and listen to beautiful music. There’s so much to see and do. We need to go out and be part of it.

So I’m going to start talking about the places I want to go when this over and then I can tell you more about them after I visit. Someday.

There’s also probably going to be more stuff about what I’m reading, maybe some about music, and a little about what’s going on here in my very small corner of the world. Perhaps by looking more closely at my everyday life I can start to appreciate it more.

Life will return to normal someday and we need to be prepared for that inevitability. We also need to embrace the world we wake up in now because there’s no point in wishing our lives away by waiting for tomorrow.

It’s sort of a tight rope to walk.

Who’s with me? Comment and tell me how you’re coping and what you’re looking forward to doing when this is all over.

Ernest Tubb Record Shop

This black and white image of the Ernest Tubb Record Shop was taken from Nashville’s busy Broadway Street. The store (and it’s fabulous sign) is a landmark and something I love to look for when I’m in town.

Founded by Grand Ole Opry star Ernest Tubb in 1947, it feels a bit like a country music time capsule.

They sell music, books and memorabilia. Plus, the service is good and they’re always happy to chat. Go support them if you’re in town.

A Smashed Peep (and some other stuff)

I ran away for a long lunch Thursday. Basking in the sunshine and walking the bike path at a favorite park felt like the epitome of freedom. Everything is COVID closed but you can still walk and drive around the lake.

This car turned my head.

And I went back for a closer look at these Peep bunnies, clearly run over by something. That’s not something you see every day and I liked the pink against the asphalt!

It was gorgeous out so I was sad to go home and resume working. But opening the window in the room where I work to let Scout enjoy the fresh air made the afternoon pass quickly. This picture was taken before the window was open but you get the idea.

He was a happy boy and I was thrilled for the fresh breeze and chatter of birds nearby.

My world has become very small and familiar. While this isn’t ideal, it is sort of fun to look more closely at your surroundings and seek out the details you might not ordinarily appreciate or even notice as close as your own home. Take a look around. You never know what you might find.

Birds With Attitude

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Cardinals always look angry to me. Like they’re yelling at someone who didn’t use a turn signal or who insists on expressing an opinion about a political story they didn’t actually read. It’s hard to tell what a bird is thinking but I’m pretty sure that Cardinals are the Archie Bunkers of the bird kingdom!

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Nonetheless, they are awfully pretty!

Lady Liberty

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This is the view of the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry. A ride on the ferry is a free service offered by the city. Just remember that when you arrive, you have to get off and reboard the ferry.

This was a good day with friends. Someday I’ll go back and actually go inside the statue.