What do you do after the very best wedding experience of the decade? You go camping to relive the memories, of course!
Our son, Caleb, and beautiful Halie tied a very tight knot in an outdoor setting, celebrated with family and friends, on Saturday, September 16 at 3:30 in the afternoon. The pronouncement was made at 4:10 (according to the world clock) and the gala began afterwards in a big ballroom – hors d'oeuvre, dining, toasting, dancing, and just general all-around festivity. Here are some ceremony pictures and reception shots taken by my sister, Tink, who relieved me from having to tote the camera around! We will try to be patient while waiting for the professional pictures to come back!
Tom and I had a secret plan to disappear into the wilds of Ohio after it was all over, and on Monday we set out for a park we had never visited – Burr Oak State Park. south and east of Columbus; it is one of the big resort parks with a lodge and lots of hiking trails.
Along with us on this trip, was Annie; she accompanied us for the week so her mommy could focus on some health-care issues that arose. Annie’s presence reminds us frequently to keep her mommy in our thoughts and prayers! Here are Charlie (left) and Annie (right) -- good camping buddies!
The Burr Oak campground is an older campground, and could use a little updating. The electric sites are high on a hill, mostly out in the sun, and the shaded sites are down below in a small ravine. Our site did have grass and large walnut trees -- that kept dropping walnut bombs, 2-3 at a time.
After a dinner of ribs, we bedded the pups down in the trailer and drove to check out the lodge. It was getting dark as we arrived (8:30!) and I wasn’t able to get outdoor pictures of the lodge – but we grabbed a few photos of the lodge entry lit up from the inside, and the various sitting areas inside the lodge. The lodge, like the campground, was mostly empty on a Monday evening in late September!
Tuesday morning began with a cup of coffee sitting outside, watching the walnuts crash down, and a beautiful pair of cardinals flit around.
What do 78, 376, 792,676 and 555 all have in common? They’re all some of the most beautiful scenic back-county roads we have ever driven in Ohio. . . . I know Tom was wishing to be driving the MG instead of the Truck! Our loop trip around Morgan county took us past covered bridges, bucolic farms, the Muskingum River wetlands, small picturesque towns, and even a battlefield. At times the road disappeared from view as we climbed a hill, or turned a sharp corner – or both! We wondered why someone hadn’t mapped out this loop trip as a scenic drive or even a motorcycle road trip.
Wednesday we headed south 40 miles on back-roads until we hit the Ohio River Scenic By-Way – Route 7, at Pomeroy. Although we have traveled the river road from Cincinnati to Ironton previously, this was our first voyage on this eastern portion of the bi-way , and we passed the southern-most point of Ohio -- called South Point! Eventually the road became Route 57, but was still the same route following the Ohio River.
Along the way we passed a sign marking the tragedy of the Silver Bridge, and stopped for some pictures.
We drove 120 miles and veered off at Portsmouth to find the Shawnee State Park/Forest. Here, there were just a handful of campers, and we were told to drive around and choose whatever campsite appealed to us! By 2:30 we were set up and enjoying the usual, lazy camp routine, and here we stayed put for the afternoon and evening.
Thursday continued our rural trip through southern Ohio, but veering away from the Ohio River on a northern track. Along the way we notched another State Park – Adam’s State Park. It appeared to be a day park with no camping, and we enjoyed a walk along the paved hiking path along the lake.
Down the road was Serpent Mound, the world’s largest surviving ancient animal effigy mound. Winding 1,348 feet over the ground in the shape of an undulating serpent with an open mouth and coiled tail, it was thought to be excavated as far back as 1650 AD. The exact creation is unknown because no artifacts were left that would help identify which Indian culture constructed it. In 1900 an observation tower was construct4ed when the Ohio Historical Society took over the preservation of the mound. From here, Tom had a good picture of the layout of the serpent.
Thursday night we stopped at another State Park that we have never visited – John Bryan State Park. Located east of Dayton, it is billed as “the most scenic state park in western Ohio.” It contains a remarkable limestone gorge cut by the Little Miami River and reminiscent of our favorite Hocking Hills State Park. Aside from hiking and biking trails, it also has several locations for rock climbing and rappelling. The campground was small, had only pit toilets and no shower house, and only 10 campsites had electric hookups. It was too hot and humid to spend much time on the trails, but this little scouting expedition guaranteed we would be back for a more detailed excursion. It would be perfect for an early Spring or Fall rally site.
Friday morning found us an easy 2 hour drive home. We're now in the process of getting re-geared for the 7th Anniversary Rally at West Branch State Park this weekend.
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2018 25' Airstream Serenity with Salsa interior and front twin beds., and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown