Friday, February 8, 2013

A nice getaway

Part of my girl's Christmas present to me was to plan a few days outta town, preferably in a hot-tub equipped log cabin somewhere. After an evenin' of internettin', we settled on the Hocking Hills out in Ohio.

The little cabin we picked was rather nice... everythin' we needed but nothin' too fancy. The only bitch I really had with it was the coffin-sized shower. My girl is just a little shit and she thought it was too small, so you can only inagine how all 6'4", 300lbs of me felt in there. On the plus side, the hot tub was nice and big and our cabin featured what they called a "feeding station" to keep the wildlife in regular view.

I even managed to pry her outta the hot tub and into the cold to explore some of what the parks around us had to offer. Turns out, the Hocking Hills is one of those nice little hidden gems that you don't hear about, although once you're there you wonder how you didn't. The whole area is full of kick-ass caves, falls, rock formations and other such natural awesomeness. There's a fantastic network of trails to walk on, in varyin' degrees of difficulty. Given the overall frozen conditions and my girl's overall lack of enthusiasm for hard physical activity, we stuck mainly to the established trails, although I would've liked to check out some of the tougher trails.

It's easy to see why Old Man's Cave is considered the premier attraction of the area... it's one of those places that just kinda overwhelms ya once you get down into the bottom. It's not only got the looks, but it's got a cool story to go with it.

Old Man's Cave derives its name from the hermit Richard Rowe who lived in the large recess cave of the gorge. His family moved to the Ohio River Valley around 1796 from the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee to establish a trading post. He and his two dogs traveled through Ohio along the Scioto River in search of game. On one side trip up Salt Creek, he found the Hocking Region. Rowe lived out his life in the area and is buried beneath the ledge of the main recess cave. Earlier residents of the cave were two brothers, Nathaniel and Pat Rayon, who came to the area in 1795. They built a permanent cabin 30 feet north of the cave entrance. Both brothers are buried in or near the cave. Their cabin was later dismantled and relocated on the nearby Iles farm to be used as a tobacco drying house.

The top end of Old Man's Cave
View from the bottom
Nifty bridge on the upper end of the caves
We also checked out equally awesome Ash Cave and ventured down to Cedar Falls.

Looking through the falls into Ash Cave

A few icicles en route to Cedar Falls

A rock wall formation at Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls

We did have a few local critters come on to the feedin' station while we were there as well...

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