Alley Park

While out running around Saturday, I meandered into Alley Park near Lancaster, Ohio. Part of Lancaster’s city park system, it’s home to picnic areas, seven miles of trails, a terrific log cabin, nature center, a catch and release lake and this covered bridge.

It’s called the George Hutchins Covered Bridge. Built somewhere else in 1865, it was brought here for the Fairfield County Bicentennial Celebration in 2000.

At just 49 feet, it’s not an enormous bridge but it’s in great shape and the perfect venue for small events. In fact, it was decorated Saturday for a late day wedding.

I wandered around here for a bit before heading down the road to bargain shop at Peddlar’s Junction. Just before this, I had visited a local sunflower field. Read about that experience here!

Also, in case you need a pep talk – this flower was growing all alone in a pavement crack. If a little flower can muster this kind of resilience and will to live, we can too!

Alley Park

While out running around Saturday, I meandered into Alley Park near Lancaster, Ohio. Part of Lancaster’s city park system, it’s home to picnic areas, seven miles of trails, a terrific log cabin, nature center, a catch and release lake and this covered bridge.

It’s called the George Hutchins Covered Bridge. Built somewhere else in 1865, it was brought here for the Fairfield County Bicentennial Celebration in 2000.

At just 49 feet, it’s not an enormous bridge but it’s in great shape and the perfect venue for small events. In fact, it was decorated Saturday for a late day wedding.

I wandered around here for a bit before heading down the road to bargain shop at Peddlar’s Junction. Just before this, I had visited a local sunflower field. Read about that experience here!

Also, in case you need a pep talk – this flower was growing all alone in a pavement crack. If a little flower can muster this kind of resilience and will to live, we can too!

Heritage Farm Museum

Yesterday I told you about my quest to Hillbilly Hotdogs in West Virginia. Since we were driving all that way, I suggested we visit the Heritage Farm Museum just twenty minutes down the road.

This place was a labor of love for a couple who enjoyed antiques and had a passion for telling the story of life in Appalachia. They acquired log structures and relocated them to this property to set up as a village. Some structures are for lodging while most are open to walk through including a church and a mercantile.

There are seven museums that tell the story of life in Appalachia through the years. Technology, transportation, toys and West Virginia industry are among the topics discussed in these museums. They also have a petting zoo and a tractor-pulled wagon train ride tour that are part of your admission ticket.

I liked the peacock!

There’s plenty for kids to do and more adventurous souls might enjoy some of their adventure activities like the zip line tour or rock climbing wall which are offered for an additional price.

And no, that is not my brand of adventure so I skipped that stuff and kept my feet on firm ground. They also have a big tree house accessible either by bridges or by going through a short ropes course. My friend took the challenge while I stuck to the regular bridges. He was quite pleased with himself and I was happy that I understood my limitations.

Once in the treehouse, you have great views of the village and there are a few other fun things to do from up there.

They do serve food on site and have clean restrooms. This is the kind of place where you could spend a few hours like we did or pass an entire day. I have camera photos and a few more stories to share from here another day so stay tuned. Meanwhile, visit their website if you want details like seasonal hours and admission information.

Mad River Road Log Cabin

This circa 1830 log cabin can be found at Highland House in Hillsboro, Ohio. It was built by a fellow named George Robison along Mad River Road and donated by the Curtis Wilson family in 1980.

The cabin has stood at this site since 1990 and can be seen from the street. Highland House is a magnificent hometown museum which I wrote about a few times last month.

My favorite exhibit there is about the Hillsboro Marching Mothers who used peaceful demonstrations to end segregation in their elementary schools. Read it here. They also have a fantastic tribute to the old Colony Theater and a host of other items.

If you go, be sure to allow plenty of time to enjoy the outdoor exhibits as well as those outside.

Mad River Road Log Cabin

This circa 1830 log cabin can be found at Highland House in Hillsboro, Ohio. It was built by a fellow named George Robison along Mad River Road and donated by the Curtis Wilson family in 1980.

The cabin has stood at this site since 1990 and can be seen from the street. Highland House is a magnificent hometown museum which I wrote about a few times last month.

My favorite exhibit there is about the Hillsboro Marching Mothers who used peaceful demonstrations to end segregation in their elementary schools. Read it here. They also have a fantastic tribute to the old Colony Theater and a host of other items.

If you go, be sure to allow plenty of time to enjoy the outdoor exhibits as well as those outside.

The Church Around the Bend

Church in day

We came around a bend somewhere near Douglas, Wyoming and I gasped in delight at this view. Frequent flyers of this blog know that I have a thing for churches and this is one of the more unique that I’ve seen.

The word picturesque comes to mind but that really doesn’t do justice to how lovely it is or how perfectly it is framed by the mountains. You don’t often see a log church but it was exactly the sort of thing I expected to see along a rural Wyoming dirt road.

It’s called Esterbrook Church and the day we stopped by two congregants were there preparing for a wedding later in the day. They were delightful and happy to talk to us about recent renovations at the church and about where we were visiting from.

It was constructed in the forties and the congregation is not large but they are loyal to their little church in the mountains. And with good reason. In fact, it’s a bit of a destination for tourists, photographers and weddings. She said it is not uncommon to have visitors join them for Sunday worship.

Wyoming winters are severe and this road is not maintained in the winter so they try to have their first service of the year on Easter and their last, a candle lit service, on Christmas Eve.

The interior and pews are rustic wood. But the centerpiece of the church is on the altar –  a large picture window that frames Laramie Peak in the distance.

It’s stunning. It’s also impossible for an amateur like myself to photograph. But this will hopefully give you a glimpse at how amazing it is.

church interior

We left there and went about our day to climb Laramie Peak and to see this beautiful rainbow.  Our timing was perfect to catch the sunset at the church on the way home.

Church at sunset 2

It was a picture perfect ending to the day!