Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hocking Hills- Day 1

This weekend we rented a cabin at Ohio's spectacular Hocking Hills. I had some reservations about such a trip as we have a very nervous dog and a terribly opinionated three-year old. Either or both can ruin your day very quickly with a quick screaming fit or a well placed digestive episode. But my intrepid husband has no fear, or at least pretends not to. He loves to make fun of my fears, and in this case he was correct. (He often is, but I don't like to point this out to him too often.)

We rented a nice little cabin on a quiet back road in South Bloomingville, very close to several of the best hiking trails in the park.

Crooked Creek Cabin

It was more of an old farm house than a cabin, but it fit all our needs, including a yard for the dog and wifi and dish network for the husband. (Kate and I are somewhat less picky about accommodations.) After unpacking the van and the cooler, we set out for Ash Cave for a short hike. Being, again, somewhat nervous, I carried a backpack filled with drinks, snacks, diaper stuff, extra clothes, hats, bug spray and various other items. Rick carried the Bug in a backpack and walked the dog. The main trail is handicapped accessible, and so fairly easy to hike. At the end, we find:

Ash Cave

The Bug was quite taken with the stairs, so we left the "easy" trail and climbed to the top of the cliff. We then made a navigation error that would become the hallmark of this trip. Most of the hiking trails in Hocking Hills are a mile or two, but several of the parks are connected by longer trails, and instead of heading back to our car, we inadvertently set off for another park entirely. We discovered our mistake fairly soon, and headed back the other way. We worked our way around the top of the cliff, my husband being extra careful about me and my bad knee. (It doesn't like downhill work.) We thankfully reach the parking area without me damaging myself to badly and put all the gear back in the car. Rick then suggested we go back to the cave on the easy trail and let Kate walk. Aside from some sand in her shoes, she did just fine.

Ash Cave

Only once, on the way back, did she asked to be carried, but we told her that hikers don't ride, they hike, and she went along. Back at the cabin, we had supper and settled down for the night.

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