Checking Off The Bucket List At Uncle Buck’s

I checked off one of my Post Covid Bucket List items with a trail ride at Uncle Buck’s Riding Stable.

Once upon a time, I was the marketing director for my community and often sent visitors to Uncle Buck’s but somehow never made it out for a ride.

This was my first time on a horse and I’m sure it wasn’t very pretty but our guides were patient and super to give clear, helpful guidance.

We took a trail through the beautiful Zaleski State Forest to the infamous and possibly haunted Moonville Tunnel. The trail weaves through peaceful forest and is simply lovely.

I’m a hiker but it was fun to see the woods from a different perspective.

My horse was gentle and so familiar with the trail I’m sure she wished I would just relax and let her do her job.

That’s hard for a control freak like myself.

It’s hard for me to be a passenger in a car or to watch while someone else does something I know how to do. I fight those tendencies but it’s hard to squelch those control issues.

It was unfamiliar territory being on an animal that I didn’t really know how to control or communicate with. Adding in my timidness about handling her because I didn’t want to hurt her created a sort of bad combination but things worked out anyway. It’s probably a kind of personal growth that I’m able to acknowledge not doing something well and being ok with it.

I would absolutely go back to Uncle Buck’s and maybe next time feel better equipped. At this point, I’m just grateful that I didn’t fall off given that I’m neither graceful nor coordinated!

I do almost everything by myself but was glad to be there with friendly company. I was with a friend, her niece and another friend. None of us cared about being uncoordinated and silly in front of each other and that made it easier.

Want to take a trail ride at Uncle Buck’s? I hope you will! They’re great folks who provide a fun service for all ages.

They’re a seasonal business that has lost a couple of months worth of income. Let’s help them catch up! Visit them online for details. You can also find them on Facebook.

If not this small business, look around your community for small businesses that you can support. Remember that those big box stores and many online retailers have been making money hand over fist during the pandemic. They’re doing great. The chain restaurants will survive. The conglomerates will be fine.

The mom and pop stores, restaurants and service providers need you. They need all of us. Let’s give ’em some business! Have a favorite small business you want to support? Tell me about it!

Finally. A Hike

Ohio has endured a long, dark, cold, windy and overall nasty winter. There’s been almost no snow to pretty things up but we do have a nice coating of mud on everything in sight.

It has been bleak.

And the few rays of sunshine seem to never fall on weekends so this has not been a good outdoors season.

So imagine the thrill yesterday when it wasn’t raining and I had free time to hike! It was a cold morning – about 28 degrees – so I layered up like Randy on A Christmas Story and logged about six miles.

There were few others out in the state park that early so I had the place mostly to myself. Well, it was me and the deer!

This place is typically overrun with tourists which makes it even more special when you realize you have the whole place to yourself.

Take thirteen seconds and just breathe. Enjoy the gushing water and the beauty of Ohio’s Hocking Hills.

Happy Sunday!

Posey Pot

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They call it the “Posey Pot.”

It’s in the middle of Laurelville, a small town in the Hocking Hills which I travel through somewhat frequently. I can’t begin to tell you how long it’s been there but the posey pot has been a source of pride in this community for generations.

It’s a farming community with a small population and few businesses. But it’s a nice village where the people are proud to fly their flag and where neighbors look out for one another. You’ll find the salt of the earth here.

I’ll take that over a city any day.

 

 

Butterfly Ridge Conservation Center

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One of the best kept secrets in the Hocking Hills is Butterfly Ridge Butterfly Conservation Center. This 21-acre property has been in the owner’s family since just after the Civil War and is basically a series of woodland and flower gardens designed as habitat for native butterflies. It is fabulous.

For just five dollars, you can either go it alone or take one of the two guided hikes offered each day at one and three. If you’re like me and just want to wander around, fifty cents will buy you a booklet that helps you out along the way.

The one mile trail guides you through wetland, woods and on top of a ridge to a prairie area. It is designed as a loop so you can bail out after a mile and get back to your car quickly. Personally, I think you’ll shortchange yourself doing that. I saw some interesting things on the way back that I either missed or couldn’t see coming from the other direction.

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im_editedProfessionally done signs identify plants and trees, help you stay on trail and tell some relevant stories about the farm, the pollinators and their habitat.

It’s July so most of the flowers are spent for the year but those remaining are prolific and attract a number of butterflies and other pollinators. I saw tons of butterflies and bees as well as a few dragon flies, lots of birds, chipmunks, squirrels and a couple of deer.

The folks here are doing their part to help the environment in other ways besides looking after butterflies. The facility is solar powered and they harvest rain water. In all, it is well done and I would recommend you go visit.

Oh! And the best part? A tree house in a hundred year old Black Oak tree! Climb the steps and sit a spell, taking in the cool breeze and view. You’ll thank me later.

I plan to go back next year to see the spring wildflowers. They have a spur off the main trail that features a number of native spring wildflowers. I’ll probably aim for doing a guided tour next time but, for today, was happy going it alone with my camera and booklet. I had already been out hiking and was hoping to catch Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and didn’t want to wait for the tour.

Interested? Check out their website or follow them on Facebook!

 

Wonder Where It’s Been?

A car show is one of my favorite places to be on a warm summer evening. I love classic cars and they’re fun to photograph so I spent Friday night wandering around the car show at Logan’s Washboard Festival. Just as good as the cars? There are ample opportunities for people watching!

This 1966 VW Bus arrived a little late and was an immediate hit with the crowd. It’s a little rough but the faded upholstery and touches of rust give this vehicle true character.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose, but imperfections are often what give things true beauty and interest. Whether it’s a an inanimate object like a classic VW or even a person- each flaw is just a reminder that it has survived.

What’s a little rust when you consider how long this vehicle has been bouncing around the countryside? And boy- don’t you wish this car could talk? I’m dying to know where it has been and what it has seen over the last 53 years!