M had a surprise weekend off so we took off for a spur of the moment camping trip. One of the things he needed to see as someone who wasn’t a child in Ohio was Old Man’s Cave and the Hocking Hills.
We stayed in the state campground and spent Saturday morning hiking between Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave. I want to tell you it was so pretty (which – it was) but I am incredibly disappointed in this particular state park experience. There were exactly ZERO Rangers or Naturalists at any of the sites. No one to encourage sound camping practices (so I saw our ‘neighbors’ washing diapers in our clean water…so I walked an extra 1/4 mile each way for the rest of the weekend) and there was no one to interpret the history, ecology and geology of the site. I consider this to be the crown jewel of our state park system and I was expecting so much more. On Sunday, we hiked around Rock House and that trail had much less litter.
State parks are the lay person’s entry into nature. It the job of those who manage this INCREDIBLY VITAL RESOURCE to interpret it’s significance for visitors; to explain why it is important, how to engage with it safely and why is worth protecting.
I will save my rant about being allowed to hunt in state parks for another day.
Oh yeah, we did take some pictures too.
[Admin note; I’ve decided I need a summer break so things will continue to be quiet here]
A few weeks ago, the mister and I decided we needed a break from the city and drove down to Athens Ohio for the day. This continues to crack me up – we get so much more green here than we did a year ago in Chicago! Every friend who has come for a visit always remarks ‘It is so GREEN in this city!’ which it is. Still isn’t enough I guess!
I got us lost, of course, we ended up getting into the park through the back entrance, which is a 4 mile long gravel road! We ended up spending the morning canoeing on the lake, which was a blast! We were planning on hiking so we didn’t have a dry bag so this is the only picture, the phones stayed on dry land!
Hungry, we found our way into Athens proper for lunch and drinks at Jackie O’s. We both got burgers, which were amazing and sampled a few different brews you can’t get in Columbus. We even filled up a growler to bring home!
We then walked around Ohio University’s campus for a bit and took in the oldest institute of higher learning in the Northwest Territory where I regaled M with my fourth grade ‘History of Ohio’ facts. It was a great day trip and I’m sure we’ll be back to the Hocking Hills soon!