I had two great hikes this past weekend.
Saturday morning in Springboro was gorgeous and a perfect day for a hike. The temperatures were moderate and the sky was clear. My wife, Cathy, and I decided to head toward Possum Creek MetroPark and a five and a half mile hike in the woods. Not only did we find a beautiful day but the trail was in perfect condition. The early morning coolness provided comfortable walking weather and the easy contour of the path made for an enjoyable time of exploration. Possum Creek holds the memories of Argonne Forest Park, founded in 1930 by Null Hodapp, a WWI veteran and successful judge in the community. Argonne Park appears to have been a hopping place with a swimming hole and diving platform, baseball diamond, shooting range, dance hall, pony and horse tracks, and a figure-eight auto race track. A hike through the MetroPark leads to various spots of historical reflection: a portion of the dance floor, a section of the foot bridge, and my favorite, remains of an old street car used as an apartment out in the woods.
Cathy and I particularly enjoyed the prairie section of the trail. The Jean V Woodhull Prairie, named for a long-time nature enthusiast of the area, was such an interesting place filled with tall grasses and beautiful prairie flowers. Jean Woodhull, who recently died at age 94 this past January, was said to have had an immense joy of life, a lively sense of humor and an insatiable curiosity about all around her. The prairie honoring her legacy reflected the variety of a beautiful meadow.
The second hike was a jungle adventure scouting out flamingo, gorilla, komodo dragons, and giraffe. We had the opportunity to fly to Kenya…. okay, we drove to the Cincinnati Zoo, but it seemed like Africa with the incredible animals from around the world. Cathy and I captured our four grandchildren that live in the area and whisked them off to the wilds of southern Ohio.
I would estimate that we hiked 23.5 miles around the paths of the zoological park, traveling through the hot desert sun, and pushing rickshaws in and out of the crowded streets packed with homo sapiens. Yes, the four hour adventure with four children (7, 5, and 4 year old twins) made the journey seem bigger than life itself. It was indeed lots of fun, but I was a little tired (actually a lot tired) when we dropped the magnificent four back at their homestead. My afternoon nap was more than welcomed.