2019 in 2019 Challenge: Weeks 36 & 37

Hiking 2,019 miles before August 1, 2019, has been my physical goal for the past several months. I’ve just completed weeks 36 and 37 of the 52-week adventure. My personal challenge has been so much fun, although some days my old legs and sore muscles are not happy when I put on my Altra walking shoes and energize my MapMyHike App on my iPhone (I think I just did a three-way commercial). To reach my goal I need to trek a total of 38.83 miles per week. I have been doing very well so far and I am about 325 miles ahead of pace.

Week 36 (April 3-9) was an excellent week logging 52.2 miles. The week began with a 12 ½ -mile perimeter hike around Caesar Creek State Park. The local park is about 25 miles from my doorstep (I drive to the park!) and it has been a favorite hiking spot for several years. Week 37 was not as productive. I managed to hit the minimum number by walking 39.33 miles but I rested more this week taking two zero days. It felt good to enjoy some needed rest – God provided the Sabbath not just for worship but also for rest. I did not take “a day off” during week 36, so I double up on week 37 to make up for it – I’m not sure it is supposed to work that way.

I love watching spring explode into existence. Two weeks ago, everything was rather blah – brown, grey, and lifeless. Warmer temperatures, a little sunshine, a little rain, and WHAM! grass, buds on trees, a kaleidoscope of colorful flowers. The signs of life put an extra bounce in my step. The spring breezes fill my semi-ancient lungs with the freshness of a new season. The last two days (Monday and Tuesday – April 15-16) have been so pleasant that I have walked without a coat – it is like removing a burden and feeling the lift off the shoulders.

I have listened to several audiobooks (ten) over the past two weeks: Holes by Louis Sachar; Kira, Kira by Cynthia Kadohata; Munich by Robert Harris; Louisiana’s Way Home, Because of Winn-Dixie and Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo; A Spark of Life by Jodi Picoult; Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman; Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson; and M.C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton. Some were disappointing, other just mediocre, and a few were really good. I have become a fan of Kate DiCamillo and found her books entertaining. I also lift up Holes by Sachar – it was funny and introduced some great characters in a short book. Maybe it reflects my intellect, but I prefer the clean and more simple, moral plots of children’s literature to the adult novels with political correctness, amoral ethics, and humanistic philosophies.

My sister and I have collaborated on our 8th children’s book and have published Remarkable Rex on Amazon within the past two weeks. We co-authored this book, based on a true North Carolina story, and Diane has done a wonderful job illustrating the book with professional drawings. It is available on Amazon if you would like to check it out. Click on the cover and it will take to the webpage.

Week 38 awaits with 253.4 miles left to complete the challenge and the 1,800-mile marker in sight.

Categories: 2019 in 2019, Book Reviews, Caesar Creek, Local Hikes, Ohio, Remarkable Rex | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2019 in 2019 Challenge: Week 35

Week 35 (March 27 – April 2) of my personal challenge of walking 2,019 miles before August 1, 2019, yielded 48.45 miles. Again, I was able to walk more than the needed 38.83 miles per week. I did not have a big double-digit hike this week but rather managed miles all seven days. My longest day logged in at 8.67 and a rainy Saturday (March 30) booked my lowest day of 3.26 miles. So far, I have been blessed to walk 1,674 miles leaving 345 miles to go. With a solid week coming up, I hope to hit the 1,700-mile marker and get under 300 miles to finish.

Rocky at Caesars Creek

My time outside also allowed me to listen to seven books (6 children’s books and one longer novel). I enjoyed five Newbery Award-winners: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (1992);  Manic Magee by Jerry Spinelli (1991); Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (1990); Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (1984); and The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (1987). I thoroughly appreciated all five of these novels from great story-tellers, but my favorites were Shiloh and Number the Stars. I also read a children’s book by Katherine Applegate (author of Newbery Award-winning The One and Only Ivan) entitled Wishtree published in 2017 – another good read for children. It was short, but its message was significant. The adult novel for the week was The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared (2012 by Jonas Jonasson). It was funny but missed the mark of engagement for me personally.

The first day of Week 35 was a travel day for Rocky and I as we returned from Shawnee State Park in Ohio. On the drive home, we stopped at the Great Serpent Mound in Adams County. Located along Brush Creek the snake-like structure is 1,348 feet long. The estimated dating of the mound is 300 BC and it claims to be the largest serpent effigy in the world. Rocky and I walked around the mound and took a photo from a two-story observation tower. We also discovered a nature trail that took us down to Brush Creek where explored the path and found a hollow tree big enough for me to stand up inside.

Serpent Mound, Adams County

Serpent Mound














Brush Creek

Me in the Tree

























Working through the blowdown

We stopped at Caesar Creek State Park and hiked a 3.5-mile loop trail at 50 Springs Campground. It was a bit muddy and a few blow-downs slowed our pace, but we still loved being together on the path. The rest of the week was patrolling the neighborhood looking for crazy squirrels, signs of spring, and wild moose that may have ventured down from Maine.

Categories: 2019 in 2019, Adams County, Blow Downs, Caesar Creek, Ohio, Serpent Mounds | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 in 2019 Challenge: Week 34

Woodpecker Restaurant

March 20-26 made up week 34 of my personal challenge of walking 2,019 miles between August1, 2018 and July 31, 2019. I need to average 38.83 miles per week to accomplish my goal. I managed to walk 41.5 miles this week despite two zero-days (one resulting from traveling and the other because of life’s business). I took an eleven-mile stroll along the rail-trail in nearby Waynesville, Ohio early in the week. Spring was in the air and several bikers were trying out the course. I heard a few woodpeckers and found one of their favorite restaurants.

Rocky ahead on the path

Rocky and I went on a short get-a-way to Shawnee State Park, close to Portsmouth, Ohio later in the week and enjoyed to beautiful hiking in the hills. Along with other trails, Rocky and I explored the Buzzardroost Trail (actually outside the state park and located in the Edge of Appalachia Preserve) and the path to Raven Rock (nestled in Raven Rock State Nature Preserve). Buzzardroost Rock is found about 2.3 miles from the trailhead and stands about 300 feet above the valley floor. Named for the turkey and black vultures (the term buzzard is the common name for several species of birds of prey) that call the rock home, the roost offers a nice panoramic view of the surrounding area. Raven Rock was even more impressive to me. A shorter and steeper path led to a dramatic overlook of the Ohio River According to the history of the area, Daniel Boone and Tecumseh are counted among the many who stood at the spot. And now Rocky, Rowdy, Daniel, and Tecumseh share the same footprints.

The Ohio River from Raven Rock

Because I had such a wonderful hiking buddy this week, my book listening only included The Innocent Man by John Grisham, The Address by Fiona Davis, and The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. All three books were interesting. The Innocent Man was a work of non-fiction about a wrongful conviction and the life of a death-row inmate. The Address was a novel involving two plots, one in 1884 and the other in 1985. Although well-written, I had a difficult time cheering for the lifestyle of either protagonist. The One and Only Ivan was the Newbery Award recipient in 2013 and quite an enjoyable read involving Ivan, a silverback gorilla; Stella, an elderly elephant; and Bob, a stray dog. If you have some time to read a book this week my recommendation would be The One and Only Ivan. (Grisham was long and quite complicated, Davis lacked that plot that pulled me into the lives of others, and I am a fan of children’s literature.)

Shawnee State Park

With my miles logged during Week 34, I have a total of 1,625.61 miles. I have 395 miles left and some good spring weather coming my way. From Springboro, Ohio, to Cincinnati to Louisville, Kentucky to the Mississippi River in St Louis, Missouri, is just about 395 miles so I still have a trek left on my challenge. But in God’s grace, I am looking forward to walking in the woods of the Metroparks and at Caesar Creek State Park near my home in Springboro.

Categories: 2019 in 2019, Ohio, Rocky, Shawnee State Park, Springboro | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

2019 in 2019 Challenge – Week 33

All of Week 33 (March 13-19) was spent in West Virginia and I had a great week of hiking. The weather was warm, and I was able to put in some good miles every day. I logged 10+ miles on each of five days and totaled 68.75 miles during the week – my best week so far during the “2019 in 2019 Challenge.” Starting on August 1, 2018, my goal is to walk 2,019 miles before August 1, 2019. At the end of Week 33, my accumulated miles equal 1,584 miles. I am pleased with my progress but I still 435 miles to trek.

The majority of my hikes this week took place along the rail trail in Morgantown, West Virginia. One day, I walk south to a small community called Uffington nestled along the river where I-79 crosses the Monongahela. The 14-mile round trip on a beautiful day in the Mountain State was such a relaxing walk. On the way back home, I caught sight of a riverboat pushing a barge downstream. Another day I walk the opposite direction toward Pennsylvania and saw six deer sunning themselves in an open field. They were a little camera shy, but I managed to catch a few photos while carrying on a quiet but delightful conversation.



Dear deer conversation


The Work of Art

Walking from Nana’s house (Rocky’s beautiful 93-year-old mother) to the rail trail, I often cut through the small community called Star City. I have never seen any superstars or movie-stars walking the streets, but I have heard that if you visit the town about 2:00 am and look up, you can see some amazing stars overhead. Bad line…sorry. But I did discover a wonderful work of art in my walk through the neighborhood. It is a wonderful fence hand-painted to look like a giant flower garden complete with a magnificent dragonfly. I thought it was wonderful and if I could paint, my fence might become a work of art, too.



Uffington From Afar

Uffington’s Bridge Up Close

With several hours on the trails/sidewalks, I had the pleasure of listening to several books: Seven children’s books Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, The Edge of the World (Crispin #2) by Ron Keith, A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck, A Year Down Yonder (A Young Way from Chicago #2) by Richard Peck, The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, and Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, and two books written for adult readers. Stone Cold (Camel Club #3) by David Baldacci and A Higher Loyalty by James Comey. I have to say I enjoyed the children’s books more than the adult offerings. My favorite children’s book of the week was Bud, not Buddy. This refreshing story, set in the Great Depression Era in Flint Michigan, tells of a young boy, ten-year-old Bud, who escapes the orphanage/foster-care system in search of his real father. His journey takes him into the world of jazz music in 1936. I would recommend a parent read the story before putting it into the hands of children – I think there are a few issues that need to be discussed as the young reader makes his/her way through the story. A Higher Loyalty is a book of non-fiction that reflects back over the author’s (James Comey, Director of the FBI from 2013-2017) many experiences in his career including prosecuting the Mafia and Martha Stewart; opposing the administration’s policies on torture and surveillance; investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of emails; and his strained relationship with President Donald Trump.

I am enjoying the daily exercise and the opportunity to breathe some good fresh air and all those healthy endorphins.

Categories: 2019 in 2019, Book Reviews, Local Hikes, West Virginia | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

2019 in 2019 Challenge: Week 32

Snow to begin the week

Spring peeking through

This past week (#32) in West Virginia provided several days of productive walking. Week 32 of my personal (52-week) challenge to walk 2,019 miles yielded 63.76 miles, including my longest single day walk so far – 15.15 miles. In talking to one of Rocky’s brothers, Brad guesstimated that the Pennsylvania line was a 7-mile hike along the rail trail that follows the Monongahela River. The hike took 4 hours and 20 minutes, but it was a beautiful day and the river walk was flat and wooded. I was welcomed along the path by a deer who just stared at me for a while and casually moved into the woods. I softly voiced my greetings and offer to take her picture, but by the time a got my camera (iPhone) out of my pocket, the deer was bored with the visit and left in search of a salad buffet. I even saw an antique TARDIS along the way for all you Doctor Who fans.



WVU Coliseum

Walk to Pennsylvania

God flipped the spring switch on Saturday and the high temperatures went from the 20’s to the 50’s. All the snow melted, and the sun was bright in the sky. I saw my first flowers peeking their faces through the melting snow. A quick walk to West Virginia University’s Coliseum enabled me to break the 1,500-mile marker of the challenge, leaving five hundred miles plus a handful to go.

This week’s listening included seven books – lots of miles plus short books equals some good stories. I listened to three Newbery Award-winners: The Giver by Lois Lowry (1994), Crispin, The Cross of Lead by Avi (2003), and The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (2004). All three books were good reads but all three were very different.

The Stone TARDIS

Spring is in the air

The Giver portrays a future perfect world that is far from perfect. Crispin is set in the 14th century and tells of the many dangers facing the young boy as he runs for his life being falsely accused of crimes. Despereaux tells the tale of a small mouse with big ears.  The one adult book on my reading list this week was The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson, the first in a series of books about Walt Longmire, veteran sheriff of Absaroka County, WY. This was not my favorite read this month, but the humor was refreshing. To round out my listening pleasure I completed From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (sister and her brother who run away from home and hide in the Metropolitan Museum of Art), Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart (my favorite read of the week about a young boy’s search for his horse) , Scar Island also by Dan Gemeinhart (a rather dark look at a reformed school in the mold of Lord of the Flies).

Looking forward to Week 33, including a nice long walk on my birthday.

Categories: 2019 in 2019, Book Reviews, Local Hikes, West Virginia | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

2019 in 2019 Challenge: Week 31

From sunny days with temperatures into the high 40’s to cold cloudy days that struggled to get out of the teens, Week 31 of my 2019 in 2019 Challenge offered a variety of weather conditions. Sunshine, high winds, and snow were visitors as I made my daily walks.  My challenge of walking 2,019 miles before July 31, 2019, requires a minimum weekly log of 38.83 miles. This week produced 51.61 miles bringing my total mileage to 1,451, leaving 568 miles to reach the goal. With a strong Week 32, I could reach the 1,500 mile-marker.

It is good to be into the month March and hiking (or maybe that should be “march”ing) toward spring. The temperatures are still mighty cold but the warm winds of spring are not far behind. It is always so invigorating to be walking and feel the air (no matter how cold) in my face and breath in the freshness of the outdoors. I hiked on a bike path that reflected the starkness of winter. I hiked along a lake with geese sunbathing one day and shivering in the snow the next.

Audiobooks make my walks more enjoyable. I have made some auditory friends during my miles this week. I am reading through the Newbery Award-winners for children’s books and three of them were on my listening list this week: Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, and The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron. I was a little disappointed in all three of these offerings and would not place any of them on my top twenty list for my grandchildren to read. I was also able to listen to two books written for adults: The Collectors (Camel Club #2) by David Baldacci, and The Precipice (Mike Bowditch #6) by Paul Doiron. Baldacci’s second book in his Camel Club series was by far my favorite of the two. The major action of this political thriller takes place in the Rare Book Wing of the Library of Congress and the extended world of book collectors. Although this novel has some adult language, the author minimizes this aspect of his dialog. I was attracted to The Precipice (I had not read the first five books in the series) because it told of two lost thru-hikers along the Appalachian Trail in the 100-Mile Wilderness. Having hiked this portion of the trail, I wanted to try the novel. It was not as impressive as the trail. The summary of the book is much better than the novel itself. I was anticipating a true wilderness missing-hiker-hunt and a journey into the rugged terrain of Maine. The setting was overshadowed by the personalities of the community.

The starkness of February in Ohio

This week I was able to meet up with one of my best friends ever, Mark Shaeffer. We went to the “Y” and worked out together, picked up a burrito from Chipotle, and reminisced about the good old days.  He inspires me every time we talk with his faith in and commitment to Jesus. We served almost 20 years together in Christian education, and he understands the philosophy of CE better than anyone I know.

Next week will be spent in West Virginia as Rocky and I make a visit to see her mom. I am looking forward to the hills and bike trails in Morgantown.

Categories: 2019 in 2019, Book Reviews, Local Hikes, Ohio, Springboro | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Week 30 – 2019 in 2019 Challenge

Week 30 Stream close to my house

Who would have thought that the last full week of February would be my best week out of the first 30 weeks of my walking challenge? Having begun my personal goal of hiking 2,019 miles on August 1, with the end date of July 31, 2019, I felt that February would potentially yield my lowest production. But week 30 (February 20-26) provided such excellent weather, and my legs responded to my determination that I recorded over 67 miles into the log book. That makes 1400 miles down and 619 to go!

I took a zero-day on Sunday but managed five double-digit days (13.86, 13.32, 11.67, 11.08, and 10.95) and another day of 6.98. Early in the week, I met a good friend of mine, Greg Kurtz, for a walk after his day of teaching. His school is about 4 ½ miles from my house, so I walked to school, we walked a little over 4 miles together and then I returned home for 13.32 clicks.

This week shows some sights and sounds of the “S” word (too early to mention the change in season) – I heard my first woodpecker, I saw some baby ducks (geese probably) on the pond, some red-breasted robins, and four black crows roosting in a tree (the crows are not a great indicator of winter’s end). No color poking a head out of the ground yet, but it is only a few weeks away – I hope.

The human neighborhood seems a little confused about these days of transitions. Two next-door neighbors captured this head-scratching time warp. One house reflected the winter holidays with a wreath housing red and glitter while the next home dawned the symbols of the resurrection including the egg-bearing bunny.

With the increase of mileage also came more audiobooks. My favorite for the week was a book about life in the wilderness of Alaska and living in the tensions of family. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah wraps around a 13-year-old girl, Leni, and her survival against the elements, her home life, her relationships in the frozen north, and the emotions that live within her young heart. The Stowaway by Laurie Gwen Shapiro was a true story that read more like a script for a documentary without an excitement to grab and keep my interest. I listened to another novella by Stephen King, Elevation, that I found creativity entertaining despite some language. The audiobook included a bonus story, Laurie, about an older man and a pet dog thrust upon his life. It was a light read but concluded with a Steven King’ish twist.

The Bridge Between Seasons

I have begun a reading goal of taking in as many of the Newbery Medal winners as possible. I listened to four winners this week: Hello, Universe (2018) by Erin Entrada Kelly, Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! (2008) by Laura Amy Schiltz, Flora and Ulysses (2014) by Kate DiCamillo, and A View from Saturday (1997) by E.L. Konigsburg. My favorite was Flora and Ulysses about a super-hero squirrel (Ulysses) and a comic-book-fan little girl, Flora. A View from Saturday was a close second, presenting a 6th-grade quiz team made up of four very interesting students and a wonderful teacher.

Week 31 contains the last two days of February and then we enter March. I hope that this year March “comes in like and lamb and goes out like a lamb” – is that possible?

Categories: 2019 in 2019, Book Reviews, Local Hikes, Ohio, Springboro | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

2019 in 2019 Challenge: Week 29

Two Shoes Down

A few months before beginning the “2019 in 2019 Challenge”, I purchased a new pair of trail runners. This week (Week 29 of the challenge) I surpassed the 1,300 mile-marker and reached 1,332 miles. My challenge is going much better than I expected, but my shoes are just not keeping up. My soles are passed being bald, there are now functioning below the quick. The pavement is brutally tough on the tread. I guess I will have to break down and order myself some new sneakers.

Week 29 was another good one. I walked almost 57 ½ miles (57.47) during the past seven days (February 13-19) including three days into the double digits. To be on pace to complete the challenge of walking 2,019 miles before August 1, 2019, I need to hike 38.83 miles per week and at this point (Week 29) should have accumulated 1,126.05 miles. That means if you take the coefficient of the cosine and divide it by the square root of the average distance in kilometers, you will be able to calculate the delta factor of the remaining length of the challenge. Rocky just loves the statistics I share in my blogs (sarcasm), so this mathematical nonsense is just for her as a belated Valentine’s card. Actually, I am 687 miles from completion with 23 weeks to go. At my age anything can happen, so I am trusting the faithfulness of God and trying to make the most of every day.

Heel cannot be Healed

This week’s audiobooks were not that exciting. I finished three: The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz, Reading with Patrick by Michelle Kuo, and Two Girl’s Down by Louisa Luna. I would not give my high recommendation to any one of the three. The Inquisitor’s Tale was meant to be young adult literature (I think) and it was told as a Middle Ages story in the likeness Canterbury Tales. Reading with Patrick, a memoir of a teacher in the Mississippi Delta of Helena, Arkansas, is inspirational at points but it lacks the spirituality to be truly redemptive. Two Girl’s Down is a 4-star mystery wrapped in horrible language. The search for two missing girls was so interesting, but the constant use of the f*bomb just ruined its appeal. I hope my selections for this next week will be filled with good plots and high recommendations.

I look forward to the week ahead.


Categories: 2019 in 2019, Book Reviews, Local Hikes, Ohio, Rocky | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

2019 in 2019 Challenge – Week 28

February 6-12 was week 28 in my year-long, personal, challenge of walking 2,019 miles in 2019. I started my walk on August1, 2018 with the goal of completing the mileage by July 31, 2019. To reach the finish line I need to walk 38.83 miles per week 5.55 miles per day.

Rocky and I traveled to West Virginia and back this week to visit family, so two days involved car rides making walking a little more difficult than normal. However, I was still able to log 41.85 miles during the week, including two 8-miles days and three days mapping over 7 miles .  It rained three days this week but I own some good rain gear, so I slogged right along. It was also cold enough to drive the thermometers below freezing, but the snow was minimal and did not impact the goal with slippery paths.

It was enjoyable to be able to walk in two different states this week. The familiar loops of Springboro, Ohio, allow me to walk without concern of the route, but the circuits in Morgantown, WV, provide new places to see and old stomping grounds to revisit. Life is good and I try not to take the opportunity to breathe in the fresh air and exercise my legs for granted.

Listening to books has become part of the walking routine and this week I completed five audiobooks. The Camel Club, by David Baldacci, Front Desk, by Kelly Yang, The Broken Girls, by Simone St. James, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, by Steven King and Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear. All five of the books were quite good representing a variety of genres. The Camel Club was a political thriller; Front Desk came from the shelves of young adult literature; The Broken Girls, involved a ghost story mixed with mystery; The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, takes it reader to the Appalachian Trail and a lost girl; and Maisie Dobbs takes place during WW1 and investigates the physical/emotional brokenness of war. It was a good week getting to know some interesting characters through the words of others.

My total mileage toward my goal of 2,019 miles is 1,274.73, leaving me 745 miles to go. If the weather permits and my legs are willing and God lesses, I hope to reach the 1,300-mile barrier this coming week.  I am also hoping that February continues to cooperate with walkable weather as I look forward to the warm breezes of spring and the glorious sun of summer.

Categories: 2019 in 2019, Local Hikes, Ohio, Rocky, West Virginia | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 in 2019 Challenge Week 27

Week 27, January 30 through February 5, started out with temperatures below zero with wind-chills so cold that made me couch just trying to breathe, and had news-casters warning of frostbite. I watched the sidewalks from my toasty living room while nursing a cup of hot tea. I typically take a zero-day on Sunday as a day of rest, but I quickly decided to move it Wednesday this week to avoid the frigid winds – my bald head was pleased.

Thursday got up to 13 degrees above zero; Friday reached 28 degrees; Saturday climbed to 44 degrees; Sunday was close to 6o degrees; Monday and Tuesday were in the mid-40’s. Wind-chills down to -35 degrees below zero to a 60-degree sunny day provided for a 95-degree temperature change during the week – from long underwear just a light-weight coat. Quite an amazing week.

I need 38.83 miles each week to stay on track to conquer of personal challenge of walking 2,019 miles between August 1, 2018, and July 31, 2019. I was able to log 43.62 miles this week thanks to longer hikes of 7.86, 8.72, and 11.49 miles. That brings my accumulative total to 1,232.88 miles.

Twins on Top

I enjoy walking (most days) and I am so very thankful that my legs still work and carry me where I want to go. I have good company as I walk – sometimes my wife, Cathy (aka Rocky) comes with me, especially if there is a metro park or trail involved; other times a few of my grandchildren join me, like this week as we strolled around a local arboretum; there are days when God and I commune alone in sweet fellowship; and on most walks I have my earbuds plugged into the company of an audiobook.

View from atop the Tower

A short hike around Cox Arboretum on Sunday with Rocky and four of our grandkids took us to the Tree Tower. It leads up 81 steps to a panoramic view of the park. The tower rises 65 feet above the ground and not a place for those who don’t like heights. The two faces at the top are my twin granddaughters (acrophobia does not run in their veins). Rocky is up there with them! The view from the top is beautiful and reminded me of the incredible fire-towers on the Appalachian Trail.

This week I listened to a short adventure book, Adrift, by Paul Griffin. Adrift takes the reader along with five teenagers on a survival disaster on a boat lost at sea. But, my favorite read this week was a longer novel, Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate. I was deeply moved by two parallel stories – one in 1939 in Tennessee and the other present-day setting in South Carolina. The orphanage of 1939 and the high-profile political family of the present blended together as the stories were drawn together. This is a good book that carries my recommendation if you’re looking for a new story to read.

Categories: 2019 in 2019, Book, Cox Arboretum, Fire-tower, Local Hikes, Ohio, Rocky | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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