Last day and sentiments / reflections

Logan Travel Blog

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Haggy is thirsty and makes Dan pump.

I had absolutely no idea:

I would be this sad to check out.

            We were up and to breakfast in the morning.  Breakfast was scrambled eggs in a puff pastry with bacon.  We also had the fruit, yogurt, and juice.  I had coffee.  It was excellent.

            Upon checking out, the service didn’t stop.  The staff at the Inn was so friendly and welcoming that we truly felt special.

Off to ash cave. Haggy is excited.
  Between the two of us, Dan and I have been on 9 cruises, and we both agree that nothing, NOTHING even comes close to matching the personalized treatment we got at the Inn.  We’ve already recommended it to our friends and family.  I’ll write an “official” review a little later, but I tell you it’s getting the highest marks; ESPECIALLY the food Chef Anthony makes.  WOW!

 

I had absolutely no idea:

That trail was that long.

            Okay, so we’re on our third day of hiking, with yesterday being a bit strenuous.  I forgot my good, sturdy shoes, and am making all of these hikes in amphibious shoes (good for many things, but not really hiking).  At this point, my feet are tired.

The fire tower on the long hike to Ash Cave
 

            So, we park the car at Cedar Falls lot and head up the trail to Ash Cave.  I honestly thought it was a mile or so.  Nope, it’s 3 miles one way.  However, it was a beautiful hike and I certainly didn’t mind the company.  There’s an old fire tower along the way, which with Dad being fire chief, was neat to read about.  The hike to Ash Cave was truly worth it.

            It’s named Ash Cave because when the settlers found it, they found ashes from Native American fires.  It is the only true “cave” in the Hocking Hills area and is it ever beautiful.

The fire tower on the long hike to Ash Cave
  Even though there were many people, it was spread out enough that it certainly didn’t feel crowded at all.  It was amazing!  There’s a little waterfall (that I’m sure is more pronounced in the springtime) coming down in the middle, making a very neat effect.  The erosion of sandstone leaves a very fine red sand, so walking around feels a bit like walking on a beach (which my feet are VERY used to.)  If you’re a nature lover at all, you’ll soon see the draw behind Hocking Hills.  It’s simply breathtaking.  I honestly, truly had absolutely no idea Ohio was this amazing.

            After the long hike back to the car, we drove to Old Man’s Cave (we could have hiked another 6 miles there, but decided against it, being our third day.  Had it been our first day, we would have.)  Old Man’s Cave is the “popular” site in Hocking Hills.

Looking down into part of Ash Cave
  Boy we weren’t really ready for what met us there.

 

I had absolutely no idea:

My batteries were THAT low.

            No, not my internal batteries; the batteries in my camera.  They died at Ash Cave.  I don’t have pictures of Old Man’s Cave, but after the other sites, you’re not missing much and I certainly plan to go back, so you’ll just have to check my blogs again! J)

 

I had absolutely no idea:

Overly-touristy places existed even in the most remote and beautiful places in our world.

Looking down into part of Ash Cave

            We got to the parking lot, and I could already tell this was going to be… not up Dan and I’s alley.  The parking lot was crowded with very loud and large groups, children running free, some children on leashes, dogs pooping in the lawn with no one cleaning it up, people throwing cigarette butts everywhere, and CROWDS.  Ugh.  Another hint that this was more of a tourist stop than a hike were the girly-girls in flat mukluk boots (in the middle of July in 85o heat), the people in string flip flops (on a hike?!?!), and people pushing strollers (really folks, on a HIKE?!??!)  *sigh*

            Old Man’s Cave is beautiful, but they keep you right in line.  There are walls and signs “GO NO FURTHER” and “NOT A PATH” (which of course a few people thought the rules and signs apparently weren’t for them and crossed anyway.)  There was the fluffy girl in lace shorts and tube top posing on top of a rock (she wasn’t supposed to be on) in 4” heels while her boyfriend took out a pocketknife to carve his name in the centuries old stone face.

Looking down into part of Ash Cave
  The family pushing a stroller full of their food and supplies – making the baby walk - on a path with stairs all wearing oversized crocs.  It was really a whole lot like common sense checked out at the visitor’s center.  However, I told Dan that if they concentrated the “tourism” to one area, it left the others for travelor’s like us, who respected the land, to enjoy.

            We walked around, bought a Christmas ornament and T-shirt (Hey, when in Rome…), and headed back to the car, trying not to giggle at the people who were asking the park ranger if there were toilets on the 5 mile path.  (Why, YES sir, in the middle of the serene natural setting, you’ll find a 5-star rest stop complete with gourmet restaurant, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Spa…)

 

I had absolutely no idea:

I would learn SO MUCH about myself.

It's a ways down there.

- As the T-shirt at the Inn said “Hiked It and Liked It”.  I love hiking.  I’d hiked the Applachain Trail in Maine before, but this was better.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m older and take time to appreciate the true beauty in nature, or if I cherished the time spent with Dan.  I’ve always been a nature lover, but I really enjoyed being so far out in nature.

- I respect the land more.  I can’t imagine doing anything to compromise the beauty of not only this beautifully sacred and serene environment, but any part of God’s Earth.  I’ve already noticed that I’m making more of a conscience effort to reduce waste, recycle more, and generally take care of what we have.  God has given us a wonderful gift and we’re treating it like very bratty children by abusing it faster than we can fix it.  I’ve learned to appreciate what God has given and am making an extra effort to take care of the gift.  I encourage you to do the same.

Ash Cave

- Dan and I’s relationship is more healthy and strong than it was 5 years ago when we were married.  We have a love that’s going to last.  He really is wonderful and we are wonderful together.  He’s still my best friend.

- Complete peace is only 2 hours away from my house.  I thought getting away meant airplanes.  However, I would be happy going back here any time, any season.  I’m certainly not going to give up cruising, but I won’t rule the Hocking Area out.

- If I come into money, I’m buying a small cabin.  Come visit.  I’ll take you hiking to some AWESOME places.

 

So, I became more impressed with the state I live in.

From inside Ash Cave
  I hope you come visit the Buckeye State soon.  I’m even more convinced that we’ve got it all!

PhinsAndGills says:
Tragically, after I wrote this blog, a 15 year old boy went off the trail at Old Man's Cave and fell 50 feet from one of the cliffs. He was rushed to Children's Hospital but did not survive. My prayers go out to his family and friends.
Posted on: Jul 21, 2009
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Haggy is thirsty and makes Dan pum…
Haggy is thirsty and makes Dan pu…
Off to ash cave.  Haggy is excited.
Off to ash cave. Haggy is excited.
The fire tower on the long hike to…
The fire tower on the long hike t…
The fire tower on the long hike to…
The fire tower on the long hike t…
Looking down into part of Ash Cave
Looking down into part of Ash Cave
Looking down into part of Ash Cave
Looking down into part of Ash Cave
Looking down into part of Ash Cave
Looking down into part of Ash Cave
Its a ways down there.
It's a ways down there.
Ash Cave
Ash Cave
From inside Ash Cave
From inside Ash Cave
Haggy rests on a ledge in Ash Cave
Haggy rests on a ledge in Ash Cave
Ash Cave is beautiful
Ash Cave is beautiful
fed by a small waterfall
fed by a small waterfall
SAND!
SAND!
I guess I just cant travel withou…
I guess I just can't travel witho…
Haggy wants a closer look at the p…
Haggy wants a closer look at the …
The firetower
The firetower
Im showing Haggy how to follow a …
I'm showing Haggy how to follow a…
Ash Cave is so beautiful
Ash Cave is so beautiful
Ash Cave is so beautiful
Ash Cave is so beautiful
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photo by: PhinsAndGills