A Broken Record

At the risk of sounding like a broken record – I hiked again last night. Yesterday was gorgeous and warm enough for short sleeves. It was too nice to be inside so I headed to Cedar Falls.

The colors were muted and it was quiet out on the trail. The people I encountered seemed like true nature lovers who moved along the trail silently rather than the noisy tourists I often encounter.

This log reminds me of the Loch Ness Monster.

The roots and rocks are incredible on this trail.

Yup. That’s the trail. Cool, right?

As always, be sure to look up every chance you get.

Speaking of looking up- it’s almost the weekend! Happy Friday!

Hiking Days Are Numbered

The time changes this weekend so it will soon be too dark to hike after work. Long hikes will be relegated to the weekends and I’ll have to find new ways to work in some exercise during the week.

So I went for a real quick hike last night at Old Man’s Cave in the Hocking Hills State Park. It was foggy till lunchtime yesterday but turned out to be a nice fall afternoon and evening. Plus, I almost had the place to myself.

I always think this tree, and others like it, is trying to walk away.

And this bridge is a favorite spot on a quiet day.

There are a lot of stairs on this particular trail, providing plenty of opportunities to give your heart a little jolt. This picture represents a fraction of the steps you climb to leave the gorge and head back to the parking lot. Stairs are fine but that curved wood and metal staircase agitates my fear of heights in the worst way.

The fresh air was good for me and I was grateful. This is your gentle reminder to grab at those opportunities to do what you enjoy as often as you can.

Fun With Fungi

This tree near Cedar Falls in the Hocking Hills has been down for a while. I stopped to examine what’s happening with it on my hike Monday night and was delighted to find that it is serving an all new purpose.

There are several varieties of fungi growing on and around it now. This one is kind of fancy.

The red looks a little scary.

By the way, my apologies for the headline. I couldn’t resist the pun!

Which One Will You Have?

Never regret a day in your life. Good days give you happiness and bad days give you experience.

Which kind of day will this one be?

PS- Here’s one more picture from my visit to Rock House this week! Isn’t it incredible? Click here to see more.

Rock House In The Hocking Hills

Last night took me to Rock House, a site that’s part of the Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio.

This place is munique in this area because it’s an actual cave in the side of a tall cliff.

You can go inside to explore, catching glimpses of the outside through a series of windows that remind me of keyholes. It’s dark, there’s an occasional water puddle and the ground is uneven so it’s a good idea to take it slow in your exploration. Remember, wet rock is not your friend.

I have seen and heard about countless people getting hurt in the Hocking Hills over the years but it’s normally because they are breaking the posted rules, going off trail or simply throwing caution to the wind and behaving recklessly.

This trail is straight down a hill, across rocks and straight up the other side of the hill. It is not even a mile loop but would be challenging for those not accustomed to this kind of activity. So take your time and stay on the trail.

It is worth the trip and is something truly special to experience. In fact, I stood inside the cave thinking about how lucky I am to live so close to such beauty and how fortunate I am to be physically capable to go enjoy it.

American Indians, early settlers and criminals dodging the law are some of the groups that have used Rock House over the centuries. Today you’ll find a number of tourists along with some pigeons and some bats. Well, we heard the bats but didn’t see them.

I like the moodiness of the cave and the texture of the rock. It feels like a secret hangout. It feels ancient and magical.

I hope you like it too.

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.