Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Clear Creek Metro Park in Hocking County (Tuesday Adventures Continue)

As a general rule, the state of Ohio is pretty flat. There are lots of farms and fields and a lot of places that just look country. From an airplane, Ohio looks like a quilt: a bunch of fields, one after another after another... until you get to eastern Ohio. Especially the southeast.

There's a region down there called Hocking Hills that nature nerds like myself enjoy visiting. Today I traveled to the westernmost border of it and visited Clear Creek Metro Park. Now in Columbus, metro parks are great but you can still hear the roar of the highway, constant air traffic, and there are usually quite a few people there doing the same thing as you: escaping the city for 45 minutes or so.

I didn't really know what to expect with Clear Creek, since it is due east and way out in Hocking County. As soon as I turned onto Clear Creek Road (and promptly lost my cell phone signal), I knew it was going to be amazing. And secluded. And quiet. I turned my phone off, had no idea what time it was, grabbed a paper map, and started to walk. Not once did I see another human being. It was the perfect day: sunny and almost 70. Walking around the meadows and woods, following the creek, hiking along a steep ridge, I had this overwhelming feeling that I was a guest. Nature is so amazing and vast and huge and magical... but sometimes we forget that. When we live in a world of high speed internet, on-demand cable TV, cars, wars, and airplanes, it's easy for some to forget what really governs the earth. Just take a walk alone in the middle of a secluded forest. I guarantee you will find your grounding fairly quickly.

Come revisit my journey with me:

The first trail I walked was called the Creekside Meadows Trail... it followed the creek and was a gorgeous mix of forest and, you guessed it, meadows. There were butterflies everywhere.

Tiny universes.

Sun-dappled spots, the sound of the wind rustling the leaves, chirping birds... heaven.

At one point I literally started dancing down this trail. I mean who cares. There wasn't another person for like... miles.

I continued dancing when the trail started to look like this.

The sunlight was perfect. The thought of not knowing what is coming next on the trail is insanely exciting to me.

Stumbled across this spooky old cabin (that white thing in the window is a bath tub) and got close to take some pictures, despite the "No Trespassing" sign.  Then a squirrel ran out of the basement window and I let out a blood-curdling scream and that was the end of spooky old cabin pictures.

Spiky trees....

Continuing the meadow trail.

Next I climbed beginning of the Cemetery Ridge trail... holy incline. This was at the beginning of the top.

After my spooky old cabin scare, I stumbled upon spooky old barn. IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. I got this close then heard tapping sounds that sounded like footsteps.... and being that I was in the middle of a forest with no other sign of human life for miles I got the heck out of there. 

The only sounds I heard here were crickets, insects, birds, and trees blowing in the wind. The sun was warm, the breeze was cool. It was honestly perfect.

A meadow at the top of the ridge, while hiking towards the trail that declined down into the valley. 

There were butterflies EVERYWHERE. But they are quick and difficult to photograph :)

Found this when I merged onto the Fern Trail. I do heart the woods <3

Again, tiny mossy worlds. They are beautiful and amazing. 

Mushrooms are weird. And cool.

As I reached the end of the Fern Trail, I looked back and saw this lovely view.
I cannot believe it is September, and that soon these green landscapes are going to be on fire with red and orange and gold. Definitely going to upgrade my lens before then :)

1 comment:

  1. The photos are unbelievable...I see a few that I think would be good paintings....Keep sharing.