About Me

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Columbus, Ohio, United States
A project manager by day, but an outdoor enthusiast 24/7. Desired profession....KAYAKER! My boats include a red 14' Wilderness Systems Capehorn, an orange 11.5' Dagger Blackwater, and a lime green Dagger Approach 9'. One more boat and I think I qualify as a livery. My other toys include a Specialized Allez Sport road bike and a Jeep Wrangler to hold 'em all!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Amish Sawmill in operation - Wellington, Ohio

Yeah, this is not an outdoor activity that I partake in, but it was pretty interesting to see an Amish Sawmill in operation.  So I wanted to share.  My parent's neighbors hired the Amish to clear some trees on their property.  Dad and I rode the golf cart out back to the edge of the property line to view the setup.  They're up working around 6am, lunch at 10:30, quitting time at 2.  The work horses stay on the property for the 3 month duration of the project.   They kind of remind me of the Budweiser Clydesdale horses, but hauling logs instead of beer.

Per request, the pic of the horse (on left) sticking tongue out

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hiking Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve - October 2010

3.5 miles total
*2.5 mile rim trail loop
*1 mile out-and-back gorge trip
*Maximum Elevation:  970 feet
*Vertical Rise:  230 feet
Sunny, 80's

Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve is within the Hocking Hills region of southeast Ohio.  While the rim trail is a great hike, you really must also travel the easy 1/2 mile along the gorge trail to the end.  Continue on the non-paved portion of the trail towards the end to truly experience the beautiful gorge area.  There really were no waterfalls this time, but I'm sure I'll be back, though, to explore this area with the Spring rains.  I recommend starting your hike on the east rim trail as the steep climb up does not have nearly as many steps as the west rim trail.  Then end with the gorge trail as this part was truly a treat.  The entire 3.5 mile hike including stopping for a picnic lunch and picture taking took about 2 hours but I do hike fast even with a small pack and heavy camera.

Amazing views!
Directions from Columbus (although I came from a different way this time and Garmin didn't recognize Conkle's Hollow for some reason):  Take 33 southeast out of Columbus.  About 10 miles past Lancaster on Rt 33, turn right onto route 374.  After about 13 miles, turn left onto Big Pine Road (just after Cantwell Cliffs and Rock House).  Conkle's Hollow is 0.2 miles on the left with plenty of parking (on the grass if needed as about 20+ cars were overflowing the day I went).  Note that dogs are specifically prohibited on both the rim and gorge trail.  The gorge trail is paved most of the way (except for the very end) making it accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.  There are pit toilets and picnic tables at the entrance as well.  Enjoy the pictures!

Gorge Trail
Rim trail

Gorgeous area!
Once on top of the rim trail, the hike is fairly easy. 

Very end of gorge trail

Plenty of rock outcrops to park yourself and enjoy the view or have a picnic!
(Between about 1/2 mile to 3/4 miles  into the east rim trail there were plenty of these)

I love this picture!  It reminds me that winter is around the corner.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Biking Three Creeks Metro Park

My favorite place to bike in the central Ohio area is Three Creeks Metro Park.  For those of us not living in the boondocks and wanting to get somewhere quick just outside the city, Three Creeks is a great place.  Like any paved bike path, you have to watch out for the walkers, runners, rollerbladers, kiddies, puppies, and woolly bears.  Yep...woolly bears.  I almost ran over one today on my 10 mile ride.  I also had to slow down for a pack of kids.  If I was a teacher, I'd be taking my kiddies here too on a beautiful sunny and 70 degree day like today. 

My favorite part of the bike ride in Three Creeks is about a half  mile or so into the Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail where it curves around the open prairie land.  The sunlight bounces off the autumn colored prairie grasses this time of year for a beautiful sight. 

There are many entrances to the park.  For a short 10 mile ride, start at the Heron Pond entrance on the north side of Williams road leaving the parking lot and heading towards the bridge over Alum Creek.  This Alum Creek Greenway Trail will connect to the Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail about 2 miles away. Continuing to the end of Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail will create a 5 mile ride and so roundtrip is a fairly flat 10 miles.  There are no roads to cross and hence no stop signs slowing you down.  This trail is in the process of being extended with a projected open date of late 2010.  Can't wait.

If you're wondering, the three creeks include Alum, Blacklick, and Big Walnut.