Friday, June 17, 2011

Family Field Trip to Hocking Hills

    Today we went to Hocking Hills as a family. We've never been before, so it was sure a fun experience. Hocking Hills is a fun park full of caves. I had no idea that we had caves like this around us until I saw them for myself.

Ready to go!

    Old Man's Cave was my favorite one to walk through. It's a deep gorge of sorts with a river running through it and a waterfall or two with all this lovely moss and ferns -- the kind you'd find in the Midwest mountains.

    Old Man's Cave gets its name from hermit Richard Rowe who hunted and trapped in the gorge in 1796. He kept the gorge a secret from his family and friends so that no one would know where he got his fine pelts. Once, Rowe spent for two years in the caves and everyone thought that he was dead, but he returned to everyone's surprise. He did die in the caves however and his trapping friends found him eventually.
    When the pioneers crossed through the Hocking Hills area on their trek west the parents didn't want their children playing in the caves so they told them that they were haunted by Richard Rowe's ghost. Of course that's not true. But it was fun learning about the history.

The Family Tree ...

The lighting in the gorge was beautiful and the air cool -- like walking in a tropical fairyland.

    The stairs and bridges in the gorge were the only man-made thing in the the place. The park keepers really died a nice job keeping it clean and beautiful for us. We tried to stay on the paths too -- to keep it beautiful for future viewers.

My & My Favorite Brothers

    The waterfall was the best part. I LOVE waterfalls. Have I said that already? The path took us behind the waterfall where we could actually take our shoes off and stand in the water. It was so refreshing. The gorge was cool, but the water was colder.

My sister and I got close enough to catch the drops in our hands without getting too wet, because hiking while you're wet is awful!

    When we reached the end of "Old Man's Cave" we were pretty hungry so we headed to the lake for a picnic lunch -- sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, veggies and cookies! YUM!

Lunch at the lake there was very nice. The two youngest fed the geese some bread crusts.

    The second and last stop of the night was Ash Cave. It was ENORMOUS! We stood inside next to the small waterfall inside and also on the rim. I shimmied up close to the edge and the looked over. The vertigo was like nothing else.
    It's called Ash Cave because when it was first discovered there where huge ash piles inside the cave full of old Indian pottery. It turns out that the Indian tribes of the area used this cave as a tribal meeting place because the shape of the cave makes it so you can be heard from really far away.

What a fun family trip. I love just going places with my family just for fun!

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