Blogs from Ohio, United States, North America


After a fun- and family-filled few days at Hocking Hills, we had a new destination today: Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We set out from Hocking Hills around 9am. The drive was very windy at first as we were driving through all of the hills. Joanna started to feel car sick, so we stopped at a random gas station in Columbus and hung out there until she began to rally. The drive was all interstate after Columbus, so she fared much better from that point on. Driving from Columbus to the Cleveland area was an easy drive north, and the drive had plenty of trees to keep it feeling forested and interesting. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is just south of Cleveland, and the entrance is basically in the suburbs. In fact, it appeared to us that some ... read more
Brandywine Gorge Falls
The Brandywine Gorge Falls
Brandywine Gorge Trail

We had a slow start to our morning. I enjoyed coffee out on our screened porch and listening to little critters in the forest behind our cabin. By 10am, we were ready to hike and set out for the state park visitor's center. Yesterday, we drove by the visitor's center in the afternoon, and the parking lot to the visitor's center was full. There was an overflow of parking onto the shoulder of the road. When we pulled in today, we were surprised to see how big the parking lot is. It's huge! It's crazy to think it was completely full yesterday. Today, it was about half full. I'm not sure if it's because we were there in the morning compared to the afternoon or if it's because it's a Sunday instead of a Saturday. Either ... read more
Old Man Cave Hike
Floating Stairs at Old Man Cave
Old Man Cave Hike - Hocking Hills

My grandma was born 100 years ago today. Some of us had casually been talking about having a family reunion (our last was in 2016). My aunt mentioned that it might be nice to do something in honor of my grandma's would-be 100th birthday. So, we decided to plan a reunion in honor of her birthday! Last summer, I spent some time putting together possibilities for a reunion and sent it to my aunts and uncles. The idea they liked best was Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio. We lucked out that a new lodge was opening at the state park in October 2022. It meant we could utilize that option for the reunion in July 2023! About half of our family opted to stay in the lodge. In addition to lodge rooms, there is a ... read more
Ash Cave at Hocking Hills
Ash Cave
The Falls at Ash Cave

Today, we're finishing our drive to Ohio. From Tinley Park, where we stayed overnight, it's about a six hour drive. I'd forgotten that we lose an hour and incorrectly estimated when we'd arrive! The drive was uneventful, which is a good thing. We pulled into Hocking Hills State Park around 6pm. We're staying in the state park cabins but needed to check in at their new lodge (the lodge opened this past October). At the lodge, I quickly found my parents, my brother, some cousins, and some aunts and uncles. Some of the kids were heading to the lodge pool, so our kids quickly suited up and joined them. There is an indoor and outdoor pool and hot tub. I loved that the kids got to move a bit after being cooped up in the car ... read more
The Crescent Moon at John Glenn Astronomy Park

North America » United States » Ohio » Solon May 21st 2023

Started the day early; might be because I was asleep by 8:00 PM last night! This getting old thing is no joke! So this morning I made my way down to Flagstaff, stopping at the Coconino National Forest to hike the Fatman’s Loop. Great hike, just enough to loosen up my very sore legs! From there it was off to the Historic Downtown district in Flagstaff to wander around and sightsee. What an awesome little town! I stopped in at “Late for the Train” coffee shop and had a great cappuccino, then walked up to a community market that they have every Sunday from May through November. It was huge and packed! A little bit of everything local, it was impressive! Eventually I made my way to Seligman, where I checked into the Aztec Motel and ... read more

North America » United States » Ohio » Solon May 20th 2023

Today was a very long day of travel, starting at 2:45 AM to get to Hopkins by 4:00 AM. The airport was packed! The TSA line stretched the length of the airport, but kudos to those working the security checkpoint; I got through in record time. Flying out at 6:00 AM and then a 2 hour layover in Nashville, I landed in Phoenix about 11:00 AM Arizona time (2:00 PM our time). Then a 4 hour drive to the Grand Canyon which turned into 5 due to torrential rains, hail, and 2 detours caused by accidents. When I got to my motel, The Red Feather Lodge, it was barely raining and quickly cleared. The motel is nothing fancy, but it is clean and newly remodeled and a short drive from the gate to the park. Dropping ... read more

North America » United States » Ohio » Solon May 20th 2023

So this morning I started at the visitor center about 4:30 AM. By 4:45 I was starting my run on the rim trail towards the South Kaibab trailhead. The weather was perfect, 50’s with a bit of a breeze. By about 5:29 I was at the trailhead and by 5:35 I started my descent into the canyon. There were a lot of people on the trail, both hikers and runners, which was nice. I found it tough to keep going because I wanted to stop at every turn and take pictures, or just look because it was so awesome. I got to see all of the landmarks I had seen while doing the run virtually; Ooh Ahh Point, Cedar Ridge, Skeleton Point. It was a pretty nice run, but the constant running downhill really pounded my ... read more

North America » United States » Ohio » Solon May 18th 2023

This is a test... read more

North America » United States » Ohio » Solon May 18th 2023

A few of years ago I started running on trails, thanks to my exposure to an iFIT trainer named Tommy Rivers Puzey via a NordicTrack treadmill my wife bought. I would run on the treadmill primarily through the winter, and hit the Metroparks trails in the warmer weather. One of the programs presented by this trainer was the 6 part Rim to River run in the Grand Canyon. I started to think, “hey, I could do this” and it wasn’t too long before I started training specifically for the Grand Canyon and eventually settled on the loop via south Kaibab to Bright Angel Trail and back to the south rim. So this Friday I head to Arizona and, around 5 Am on Saturday, I’ll start running down South Kaibab. I’ll blog my progress with pics and ... read more

North America » United States » Ohio February 25th 2023

AUGUST 17, 2018 (Friday) The 3:45 alarm clock tells me I had less than 4 hours of sleep. One hour later and we're off to the airport. Check-in went smoothly. I'm soon boarding another American Airlines plane for a flight to Dallas – Fort Worth, TX. At 6:00 the half filled plane is airborne. The passenger in front of my window seat is 3 or 4 years old. A few times, she reached back and touched my leg. I was rather surprised when she placed a Gold fish cracker on my leg... and then another. Ah, such innocence. Breakfast / snack is a cup of Cran-Apple juice and a pack of Biscoff. It is touted as “Europe's Favorite Cookie With Coffee”. After about 90 minutes, we land at DFW. A train takes a loop to the ... read more

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