Getting Into Ohio

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May 23rd 2018
Published: May 23rd 2018
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Caesar Creek State Park, Wilmington, Ohio

Joan hates it when I gloat, but I just have to say that I beat her so badly in the Indiana Tournament (a set of three card games). She is going to have a hard time living that one down. And, no, despite what she says, I did not cheat.

Cards is just one of the ways we pass time here in the trailer when we are either too tired to go outside, or the weather is to oppressive. We played a game yesterday waiting for dinner to cook, and I had to gloat about the results... She hates my gloating and threatens all kinds of paybacks when I do so. Some of her threats actually work.

Partly because driving does take a lot out of us, we usually end up taking the day after arriving at a new destination as a down-day as a way of recuperating. Also, though, when we are going to be at a place for a while, we take the first day as a way to plan our stay and to explore the local offerings for things like grocery stores and laundromats. It is good to know where we need to go for supplies and chores.

Contrary to what some people think, we don’t really have every single day of our trip planned out before we start. What we have is a list of activities that we are interested in doing, both bucket list and rebellion items, and a number of days we think we need to allocate to do them. Then we also try to throw in some down days in order to rest up and get living chores, like laundry, done. Add all those up and we know how many days we want to spend at any given location, but not exactly a precise schedule of events.

We wait until we get there to map that out because then we can take advantage of more recent knowledge. We can look at the weather forecasts, for example, and identify which days are good candidates for in-door events. We can also look at campground calendars and be aware of events we might be interested in.

Here, for example, the park is offering introductory lessons in canoeing with free canoe rentals this weekend. It is a first-come, first-serve offering and, since it is Memorial Day Weekend, it might get a little dicey, but it is something Joan would like to try and do. So that’s on the calendar. The weather service is also predicting rain this Sunday, so that might be a good day for an indoor event. And I called all three of my bucket list parks yesterday and found that one of them, a new one, doesn’t offer tours on Thursdays or Fridays, so that isn’t a good day to do that.

Anyway, we gather all that information and kind of map out a firmer schedule. We did all that yesterday and, although some of the days aren’t filled in yet, I think we have a pretty good idea of what we will be doing and when. I have three parks I want to see and two of them may very well take a couple days each. And Joan has two rebellion items here. We have lots to do in the eight remaining days.

We also drove into our nearest town, Wilmington to see what it was all about. It is a ways away and takes nearly thirty minutes to drive there. But its the county seat, and is large enough to support a Lowe’s and a Krogers. So we stocked up on some supplies. We have also managed to somehow attract an ant colony into the trailer and we are fighting that. Joan bought some vinegar and spray bottle and that approach appears to be working so far.

And since we are in a new state, we have to switch out our cocktails. It appears that the unofficial state drink in Ohio is a martini. A martini is, of course, nothing but gin and dry vermouth served very cold. But they make it unique here by garnishing it with a black olive instead of a green one. Somehow that makes it a ‘Buckeye Martini’. In the spirit of drinking what the locals drink, I bought some gin and vermouth and a can of black olives and made myself one of them yesterday evening. Reminds me so much of my childhood since that was my Dad’s drink of choice (except he used green olives and a white onion for his veggies, if I remember right). I can say it will be an interesting and relatively sober time here in Ohio - I won’t be drinking a huge number of these things. I suppose the taste grows on you, but it is definitely not sweet like the Indiana or Wisconsin drinks. Joan won’t even taste them and is making her own version of the Malnati Mule from our Chicago experience.

After getting back from the store and mixing up a couple of cocktails, Joan started work on dinner. She was going to make spaghetti with a sausage marinara sauce. The sauce turned out great, but the spaghetti was too old and was made of seaweed, so it came out looking kind of disgusting (altitude differences maybe?), and she threw it out. We ended up serving the sauce over garlic bread and it was really pretty good. When camping you make do with what you have.

We have an excursion planned today and so I best get this posted and get ready.


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