This past Saturday, Anne and I and four of our good friends drove down to Hocking Hills State Park and spent the day hiking.
Ryan and Sarah Meacham were responsible for planning the trip, but Paul and Anita Fairbanks and Anne and I were more than willing to jump in on such a great plan.
It was a perfect day for hiking. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the air had the taste of fall, like biting into a crisp apple.
I said we were in Hocking Hills State Park, but that’s not perfectly accurate. We were planning on hiking Hocking Hills, but when we got there it was pretty crowded, so we ended up hiking through Conkle’s Hollow Nature Preserve and Cantwell Cliffs State Park instead. Bonus points for you if you can find the pins for these parks on the Hocking Hills State Park map. (Hint: They’re both just a little north of the words “Hocking Hills State Park”.) The picture that pops up for Conkle’s Hollow is pretty accurate and is indicative of why I love fall in the East.
We all had a great time enjoying the fantastic scenery, telling jokes to each other (believe it or not, this really is one of the jokes that was told), quoting funny movies, singing random songs, and engaging in some serious freestyle walking. (If you only click on one link in this blog, let it be the previous one.)
We had a picnic lunch in the afternoon and were almost put out of commission by some fantastic brownies that Sarah made for all of us. Okay, okay… I stole someone else’s picture of caramel brownies, but we forgot to take a picture of our own and the only real difference is that one of Sarah’s brownies was roughly the size of six of the brownies in this picture. Mmmm… caramelicious… mmmm…
What? Where was I? Oh yeah… so during our Conkle’s Hollow hike and lunch we saw tons of wildlife, including (but not limited to): a walking stick, a catydid, lots of cool caterpillars, a seal, and, believe it or not, a mongoose. Other notable creatures seen include a spider the size of a baseball (which I shudder to remember) and a horde of ravenous mutant bees. Well, they may not have been mutant bees, but they were certainly ravenous. And ill-tempered.
Cantwell Cliffs had a really cool ravine we hiked through and Anne and I snapped this picture right as it began to descend.
At the base of the ravine, the cliff was hollowed out in a hemi-spherical like fashion, so we were able to walk under the lip of the cliff and look around. It looked like there may have been a small waterfall at one point in time that came over the lip of the cliff and crashed on the rocks about 100 feet below, but either it’s a dry year or there hasn’t been a real waterfall there in years because there was only a trickle going over the edge while we were there. Paul and I decided that it would be a great place to meditate. While I was searching for inner peace, Paul was apparently practicing some type of demonic ritual.
When all was said and done everyone had had a great time.
It was definitely a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon and we definitely plan on making a trip out there again next year.