The last week of March was Spring Break for the K-12 school where I work. My wife and I decided to take three days and hike in southern Ohio in the Hocking Hills area. On the morning of our second day of our hiking adventure my wife, Rocky and I drove to nearby Cantwell Cliffs. It is a 17 mile drive from Old Man’s Cave but less than 5 miles from our great little cabin in the woods. The cliffs are a little more remote than many of the geographic attractions, which tends to discourage the crowds. We loved it! The unusual rock outcroppings and the gorgeous trail winding through the peaceful woods made it our favorite spot during our short adventure in the park. The trail took us across a meandering stream several times involving some jumps and log walks. The welcomed sun cascaded through the trees and the canopy etched the bright blue sky with reminders of the starkness of winter and the new life of spring to come.
There are several narrow passages that cut through rocks and form steep steps leading down into the gorge below the cliffs. One narrow passage is called the Fat Woman’s Squeeze. When we arrived at the gap that took us between the rock and a hard place, I was totally confident that Rocky would gracefully and elegantly slip right thorough the squeeze because she is a far cry from a Fat Woman, but I was not quite as sure when I calculated my spare tire in contrast to the opening in the rocks. We both made it, although I did hold my breath to ensure my successful squeeze. After arriving back in Springboro, I realized we did not identify the squeeze correctly and had passed through another unidentified fissure in the mountainside. The “true squeeze” was a narrow staircase leading down to a spectacular view of the cliffs above.
The Rocky and Rowdy squeeze was a narrow passage flanked by a rock face on both sides. I personally liked our squeeze better than the advertised one – it posed more of a challenge for the plump of stature. We decided to dub our narrow passage the Obese Hiker in Ohio Squeeze, or the O.H.I.O. squeeze. If one gets stuck in the narrow passage, he/she merely yells, “OH…” and anxiously awaits a rescuer to provide a powerful hand of freedom with a mighty “…IO”