My wife, Cathy, and I love to walk outdoors and experience the beauties of nature. She particularly enjoys walking by mountain streams. It reminds her of her grandchildren and their joy of throwing rocks in the water. She often pauses along our hikes and throws a rock in the water for Jacob, or for Lucia, or for Cadence, or one of the 11 grandchildren she loves so much. Because of this special relationship she has with her children’s children, we decided her trail name should be Rocky, but not because she enjoys boxing (because she doesn’t). It also has a good ring in combination with Rowdy – so Rocky and Rowdy are now a hiking partnership that has seen and hopefully will see lots of miles of trail-ways.
During Easter break, we took a few days off and headed to Hocking Hills State Park in southern Ohio. This wonderful park that looks like it was transported from Vermont is located about 110 miles east of my home and approximately 50 miles SSW of Columbus.
The weather forecast for early last week included cool temperatures and very little chance for rain – perfect conditions for some trail blazing. We loaded up the Honda-chariot on Monday, dodged the traffic for a couple of hours and arrived at Old Man’s Cave around 11:15. We wanted to check into our cabin by 3:00, but that left several hours to hit the trails.
Old Man’s Cave is the most popular spot in the park and even on a rather cold Monday in March, there were several visitors that joined us on the paths. The Old Man behind the cave’s official name is an old hermit, Richard Rowe, who supposedly lived in the areas as a total recluse. More on this interesting character in my next post.
One of goals that Rocky and I had identified prior to this get-away was to hike the Grandma Gatewood trail. Grandma Gatewood was an Ohioan that became the first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail back in 1955 at age 65. The trail that bears her name begins at Old Man’s Cave and guides the hiker six-miles to Ash Cave. Since the trail is not a loop, Rocky and I were pretty sure that we could not hike twelve miles in three hours, so we planned to hike about half-way and then finish the path on Tuesday.
I have posted several photos of our beautiful walk in the woods and will let the pictures speak for the gorgeous terrain and the uniqueness of the forest setting.