The Open Road

There is little that thrills me more than a road trip.

I found myself driving in the golden light just before sunset last night. There’s something freeing about that hour of the day when the temperature falls with the sun and the traffic thins. I rolled down the winds, turned up the music and cruised toward home.

I also made a mental note that I must do this more often.

This scene is from State Route 668, not far from Logan, Ohio. This road is curvy but it’s well worth the views.

So what are you waiting for? Better get out there and go for a ride!

Fresh Eyes At Cedar Falls

Last night, I revisited a trail I’ve hiked countless times. While it’s a heavily populated tourist area here in the Hocking Hills, most of the visitors were gone by the time I arrived after work. It was blissfully quiet.

I did encounter a woman who stopped for a moment to gush about the magnificence of the area. She had studied at nearby Ohio University but hadn’t been back since graduation fifteen years ago. I envied her fresh perspective and told her so. Everything was new and beautiful for her while it’s just another walk in the woods for me some days.

This particular trail is one of my favorites because there are areas where the dirt path turns to boulders that you must scurry over or through.

This trail parallels a beautiful stream.

A chipmunk stopped to say hi. This photo is not sharp but it was the best I could do with my unreliable phone.

This is a favorite spot on the trail. It’s a little steep for a short chick but I make do.

The views really are magnificent.

There’s a waterfall too.

I’m grateful to have these park trails so close to home and should probably try harder to appreciate them. But isn’t that human nature? We often don’t appreciate what we have and too often take for granted the things we value most.

I’ll try to do better.

Buzzard’s Roost Nature Preserve

Buzzard’s Roost Nature Preserve did not disappoint. I have been meaning to go there for a long time and finally made it out yesterday morning.

They have about five miles of trails through 1,200 mostly wooded acres. I chose the South Point Lookout Trail which is a two mile loop from the parking lot. But when I finished, I turned around and walked it in reverse.

It was beautiful both ways.

This is a Ross County Parks District property. Just a hop, skip and a jump from Chillicothe’s Western Avenue, it’s an oasis close to the city.

This trail is wide in most places and it’s one of the best maintained trails I’ve been on in southern Ohio. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at trail conditions after the stormy weather we’ve had lately.

I found many new favorite trees including this one.

And this one.

Trees reflected in water are one of life’s gifts.

This trail meanders through woods, past cliffs, and along rocks over streams. The soundtrack of the forest features dripping water, tree frogs and an orchestra of birds.

As I stood with my face turned toward the sun, I closed my eyes and felt the breeze ruffle my hair. I breathed deeply the aroma of pine needles while listening to songbirds all around. It was the ultimate surround sound.

Everything about this place is perfection.

If you go, be prepared for an extremely sharp turn onto the narrow road called Red Bird Lane. Isn’t that a charming name for a road to the forest? Maybe I’ll try another trail next time.

Want to know more? Click here to visit the Ross County Park District’s website. Here you’ll find events, trail maps and directions.

Overlook The Wrinkles

The owner of this 1960 Thunderbird has a sense of humor. Can you read the sign?

The car is sharp and I didn’t notice any wrinkles. It was one of many beautiful and sometimes unusual vehicles entered in the Feast of the Flowering Moon car show last month. I’ll show you more pictures from that Chillicothe, Ohio event soon.

Reflections

One of the most incredible things in this world is a beautiful object reflected in water. It’s like magic.

Wherever I go, my eye tends to fixate on water and what it reflects. This image from the North Carolina Arboretum fascinates me because it’s so clear, vivid and calm. And yes, the surroundings were just as peaceful as it appears.

As you journey through this world, whether you’re near a large body of water or just a small puddle, take a second to see what’s reflected therein. It could give you a fresh perspective on a world you think you know so well.

A Grand Show

“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising.” John Muir

Early morning from the Blue Ridge Parkway.