A Slice of Ohio (Complete Episode) - Summer 2020 Episode 27

A Slice of Ohio (Complete Episode) - Summer 2020 Episode 27

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(jazzy keyboard music) In this episode, we are going to explore yet another slice of the Buckeye State. First, we're going to spend some time in Indian Lake State Park with old and new friends. We'll go for a ride in a rare Amphicar and a crazy-fast pontoon boat. Then, historic Clifton Mill, a quick stop at Columbus, the state capital, and ending at Hocking Hills on the foothills of the Appalachians. (smooth keyboard music) ♪ I'm riding ♪ Riding, riding ♪ Riding in my RV ♪ My RV ♪ Wherever I want to be ♪ Because I'm free in my RV, yeah ♪ Well, we are in the Buckeye State.

Ohio is one of those states that might surprise a lot of people. It is relatively under the radar for most, except for the locals, and sometimes it feels like they wanna keep it that way. But in fact, there is so much to see and do that I couldn't do it all in just one episode.

Just like last summer when we visited Put-in Bay on Lake Erie, this summer we're doing yet another slice of the state, beginning at Indian Lake on the western part and ending at Hocking Hills on the foothills of the Appalachians. (groovy keyboard music) What a coincidence that I arrived right behind our friend, Jim. I swear we did not plan this. Well, here we are, Indian Lake Campground here.

And there, that's Jim's rig over there. He hasn't quite leveled yet. And, (pausing) well, yeah, beautiful day here in Ohio. Ever since we arrived, Jim has been trying to coordinate with this gentleman, Joe Shannon, who owns some very unique watercrafts, and they think he's arrived. Let me tell you, it's been hectic. It's been hectic.

The boat is here. The Traveling Buckeyes are here, by the way. Hello there! - Hey! - Hello! (laughing) - All right; oh, you got that- You got the- - DJI. - The DJI, yeah. I thought you got the new GoPro.

I'm like, "Oh, I'm jealous." - Oh, I wish. - Anyways, here we are. And Jim, I dunno, this is like an episode of my crazy Ohio family. But don't worry, at some poit we're gonna get it together. - [Jim] I just told them that was it.

(soft easy-listening music) - [Robert] Wow, look at the paint job on that thing. It is a classic Glastron Carlson Scimitar with T-tops. It is quite a beauty, actually. - This is Traveling Robert, and these, this is the Traveling Buckeyes.

- How you doing, sir? - Hello! - [Corey] What year is this boat? - So, it's a 1980, might be an '81, Glastron Scimitar. Glastron, they're still in business. They were kind of a premier boat maker when they went to fiberglass in the '60s. So, they were really popular in the '60s with fiberglass.

Elvis had one. But then this was the flagship in '80 or '81. I think, for three years, '79, '80, '81, they made, I think it was 500 of 'em, and half of 'em went to Europe. - Oh, really? - Yeah.

So, we're figuring about 250 in the country. - T-Tops, that's cool. - Yeah, yeah. I'd like to think this is one of the best examples left.

I've seen at least one other one online that looked probably better than this one. - [Corey] I've never seen one before. That's awesome. - All aboard! How do we do this? - [Joe] So, you just step here on the wood and then preferably down to here if you can. - Yeah, hold on. (groaning)

Here we go, perfect. (soft easy-listening music) (boat engine starting) All aboard, here we go! It is a truly beautiful boat, one of those rare and unique things. And as I hinted earlier, Joe seems to be a collector of such. Tomorrow, we'll get to see another one, even more unique, I think.

We are on our way to Cranberry Resort Waterfront Bar and Grill, which is actually located on Seminole Island, one of the so-called Indian islands in the middle of the lake. You can drive to it, but it is much cooler to arrive by boat, and it is such a beautiful afternoon here as we approach magic hour. We are even getting some incipient fall colors here in late September. Now, zooming across the lake. We're approaching the islands, and this is one of those lakes with lots of nooks and crannies. And I am so glad we hooked up with Joe, because this is one of those places best enjoyed with a boat.

Well, sunset is upon us. We must be close to our destination. Yes, there it is, Cranberries.

No, no pelicans. I think they are like seagulls or lake gulls, righ? They would be lake gulls? - [Jim] I think they just call 'em seagulls. - All right, we made it. We're gonna let 'em do their thing and- - How was your ride? - Awesome, yes. And a beautiful time of the day to be here on the lake.

It's almost sunset, as you can see. (light upbeat island music) Ooh, I'm famished. I haven't had a Reuben since Kentucky, like two years ago. Such a great time hanging out here. And just like that, day turned into night.

See you tomorrow. Well, good morning. It's a beautiful fall morning here at the Indian Lake State Park in Ohio.

It is a brand new day, and I have a feeling Jim has a whole action-packed itinerary planned for us, so let's go pick up Corey and hit the road. Unfortunately, Christy can't make it today. - Morning! - Morning! First, we're going back to Cranberry because the owner, Jimmy, has invited us to ride on his pontoon, which is nothing short of spectacular. (upbeat electronic music) That right there is Sandy Beach Bridge, built at a time when there used to be a great amusement park here.

Here's the dam, and that's a beautiful boat right there. I just discovered Jim's car has a sunroof. Much better for filming. And we have arrived.

I'm gonna fly the drone while we wait for Jimmy. (soft electronic music) There's Jim showing Corey his drone. There he is! That's a nice pontoon. Sadly, Jimmy is no longer with us.

He died in a tragic accident less than three months after this was filmed, which is very sad. He was that guy who seemed to have everything: a prosperous business, all the toys, his own island on the lake, and a super-nice gentleman. I'm glad I got to meet him, if ever so briefly. - You guys ready? - Yep. - Hold on. - We're ready.

(boat accelerating) Ooh yeah! (upbeat electronic music) Now, this has got to be one of the fastest pontoon boats ever! I think we got up to 60 miles per hour. Yeah, definitely a fun ride. (soft easy-listening music) Lots of boats, lots of activity here on the north side of the lake, as we make our way to Acheson's Resort, where Joe is probably waiting for us with his Amphicar. Yes, you heard correctly, Amphicar. So far, very impressed by Indian Lake, and everybody has been so friendly.

There he is! Now, look at that. That's a beauty! - He's got like bungee-type straps on the front. - Look at that, it's an Amphicar.

Hey, Joe, how are ya? - Good morning, how are you? - Good, man, good, man; good morning. Yeah, I mean, that's beautiful. - Thank you. - It's a 1965. - [Robert] 1965? - 1965 Amphicar. I'm probably not completely up on my numbers, so don't quote me on all of this, but it was built, they were built between '63 and '67, I think.

The company went outta business in 1969. - [Robert] Yeah, imagine they didn't make too many of them, right? - They made 3,900- - 3,900? - And some change. - 3,900, I forget exact numbers, but they made 3,900.

We're not sure how many are left. It was built for the US market. They built in West Germany, so most of 'em came over to the United States, but they didn't sell very well, so a lot of 'em went back to went back to Europe, and no one knows how many. There is a number floating around out there. - [Robert] This is so cool. Well, we're gonna take turns riding it.

And while they ride, I'll capture all this from the ai. (light orchestral music) They came back to pick up Barb, who was reluctant at the beginning, and off they go again. (horn honking) I think it is my turn now.

- So, people always ask how the doors seal on these, and the there's a double lip seal. There's a seal here that gets replaced every so often, and this is probably original. Then when the doors shut, you pull this up, it sucks the door shut, and then it's usually watertight. - And it does make it pretty watertight seal, right? - It does, it does make it watertight. This one really doesn't leak at all.

Years ago, I had that door leak for a bit. It got rusty from the inside and bowed out a little bit, and so it had a small constant drip that I would run the bilge pump every so often, but I've had that repaired and I haven't had any problems since. So, yeah, we could actually be in the water for hours with no real- (water splashing) - [Robert] Jimmy is going to follow us on the pontoon so they can take some B-roll, which is technically a tritoon, by the way, since it has three hulls.

- And then, a couple other things that people seem to ask is engine specs. So, the engine's out of a Triumph, a Triumph Herald. It was a predecessor to the Spitfire.

At the time, it was the best horsepower-to-weight ratio that they could find, so it's 43 horsepower. - We got some wake from that boat that was passing us. (laughing) And here's Joe doing his own social media update. Such a cool guy.

- This is the actuator for the propeller. So, I can just put it in neutral; there, it's in neutral. I can put it in reverse the same way. And they will work independently of each other and they will also work together.

So, when I'm coming outta the water, I can leave the propellors engaged and then put it in first gear so we can get a little head of steam going. - This is something that you don't see everyday. It's a car that floats! (soft easy-listening music) Well, this was so much fun and such a unique experience, but all good things come to an end. Joe, thanks for the ride, for both rides. 'Til we meet again.

I'm sorry, Ohioans, but the secret is out. This is a great lake, and you wouldn't think so at first sight. I mean, it is kind of flat all around, not a whole lot of topography, but there is something about it, isn't there? Lots of very nice houses all around the lake, and you gotta love the lighthouse, right? Ooh, there's the state park, right there. (slow keyboard music) Here's the revolving statue of Virgin Mary, erected in 1964, and once part of the Sandy Beach Park.

And there's once again the pedestrian bridge connecting the two sides of the park, at one point known as Ohio's Million-Dollar Playground. But in spite of the Virgin Mary statue, which was intended to bring families back, the park fell into disrepair at some point in the 1960s, and the rest is amusement park history. If you really want that burrito, you can just dock your boat and, yeah. And there you got donuts. And there's a McDonald's too around here that has a dock.

But, yeah, this used to be two amusement parks, the Catholic and the Protestant, and that's the bridge that joined the, let's call it the ecumenical bridge. Yeah, that story about the two amusement parks, the one Protestant and the other one Catholic, may not be entirely accurate. Seems dubious, and I haven't been able to corroborate, so take it with a grain of salt, but it is a good story nonetheless. Let's get back to Cranberry so we can continue exploring by land. (light pop music) I believe this was Jimmy's Island. And look at this other island.

That's tiny. I think we've had enough aquatic fun for one day, so let's continue by land. Next, we're going to this town called Bellefontaine for lunch. But first, here's Tecumseh, one of the Indian isles. (groovy keyboard music) Ooh, check it out, covered bridge! I love covered bridges. Just outside Bellefontaine, we encounter the highest poit in the whole state of Ohio.

Elevation: 1,549. And, (pausing) yeah, this is it. Campbell Hill. I thought that the highest point, as logic would dictat, would be in the eastern part of the state by the foothills of the Appalachians, but, nope, I was wrong. It is actually here in this otherwise mostly flat area. Here we are, Bellefontaine.

Coming up here to the left after the Logan County Courthouse, we are going to encounter Court Avenue, the oldest concrete street in America. In 1891, one George Bartholomew invented a proces for paving using Portland cement, and Court Avenue was the first street to be paved using that process. We're hungry, and there's a brewery, the cleverly named Brewfontaine, so let's partake.

We're gonna have ourselves some- Well, I'm gonna have some IPAs. Barb is gonna have something. I don't know what she's gonna have. We have two DDs, two DDs here, designated drivers, just in case Jim- See how Jim parked? I forget the name, but it's an IPA. Yeah, very nice. Cozy.

We got some pretzels and some wraps. We just ate here at Brewfontaine. I thought it was called "brew-fontane," but that's because we're in the town of Bellefontaine or "bell-fountain," as Jim says it is pronounced.

That is supposed to be a really good burger there, and they have a pizza place, but... The name Bellefontaine comes from the French "belle fontaine," meaning beautiful fountain, but the locals have adapted the Anglicized pronunciation, so "bell-fountain" it is. And now, we're gonna drive on the oldest concrete street in America. Next, we're gonna stop at the Marion County village of Morral, Jim's hometown, population 399. The village was named after Samuel Morral, the original owner of the town site, and the post office has been in operation since 1877. (light upbeat music) Jim must know I have a thing for farm equipment because he just brought me to this farm.

- [Jim] That's his biggest tractor. - [Robert] All kidding aside, this is where Jim's dad and his siblings grew up, and he knows I've been meaning to do a video documenting where our food comes from. And what better place than here? So, maybe next time I'm in Ohio, we'll work on that. - [Jim] He's in this group of people that are experimenting on farming, different practices from the guys that do the records. That's why it takes a lot more labor to do this corn, beans, corn, beans. But by doing it, it gives the corn more grove or more sunlight.

- [Robert] Next up, Nuthin' Fancy Signs and Designs, owned by Jim's friend, Scott Arnold, the oldest sign shop in the area. He actually started as a kid working with his dad. And at the time, it was all painted by hand.

He's been actually working on a special-edition T-shirt we're going to be releasing soon, and it looks like I'm gonna get to print my own shirt. How cool is that? Okay, my turn once again. Hmm, I'm getting good at this.

Maybe not - The big overhead, the chickens are up top, then below is where there's manure. - We're gonna start heading back. It is Friday and I have a livestream to do. The round building is the JH Manchester Round Barn, built in 1908. It is the largest round barn east of the Mississippi. And we made it in the nick of time.

Accessible bathroom, you know. Corey here is filming a behind-the-scenes video with his GoPro. And tonight, we have to figure out how he can get me that memory card so I can get some of his footage and... (soft piano music) - [Woman] Don't you feel like you're on the ocean down here? (laughing) I know. (soft electronic music) - Woody's diner.

Supposed to be a good place. This is called the Lake Monster. There you go, the Lake Monster.

We're gonna have breakfast, Jim, Barb, and the Traveling Buckeyes. - Hey! (upbeat pop music) - Let's just cruise around the lake, shall we? This is the historic Orchard Island Post Office. Let's stop once again by the location of the old amusement park. Besides the amusement park, this was once the location of a great dance hall. All that remains is the recently renovated bridge.

All right, "Steep grade. "Foot traffic only." "25% grade."

Yeah, it is an old bridge, not necessarily ADA-complian. This is the view from the top, looking north towards the lake, and our Lady of Fatima here on the right. (light organ music) All right, let's go back down. We're running late. Let's go back to the campground, hitch up, and we're gonna start heading south towards Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve and historic Clifton Mill, both near a town coincidentally called Clifto.

But first let's pay a visit to the dump and potable water stations. I forgot to show you, but they have courtesy sewer hoss so you don't have to pull out your own. They have... They have sewer hoses.

That's pretty cool. Ohio State Parks, thank you. Now, we're gonna fill up with potable water, and off we go. There's Jim in front of me. He's gonna park in the overflow and ride with me.

(energetic electronic music) My co-pilot Jim is taking me through some of the back streets in Bellefontaine to avoid downtown, but I see a low-clearance bridge coming up. Only 11 feet, and Minitini is 10'5", so I don't know. We're cutting it close.

In fact, this is the closest we've ever cut it. It is a one-lane underpass too, but luckily we made it through with a couple of inches to spare. Another reason to get an RV-specific GPS.

I am lucky because I'm short, but my luck might run out one day. We've got some rolling hills around here. We must be close to that highest point in Ohio we visited yesterday.

This is Urbana. Seems like a pretty nice town. About an hour-and-a-half later, give or take, here we are: Clifton.

And there seems to be a traffic jam going into town. I'm gonna park right here. And here are Corey and Christy, the Traveling Buckeyes. All right, we are in the town of Clifton, Ohio, and this is the famous Clifton Mill.

And there's the gorge, the Clifton Gorge, which is supposed to be very nice. I think we're going to eat here in a few minutes, but first let's go see the mill. It is supposed to be a very popular place in fall and during Christmas because of the decorations and the lights.

And there's the wishing well. (soft keyboard music) I hear the best views are from the covered bridge. I think our table's ready. Let's do it! And no, it's too late for breakfast. Lunch.

That's our view. And that's my burger. Here we have a buckeye tree. And Ohio is the Buckeye State.

And these are the Traveling Buckeyes. (Christy laughing) - And we're looking for buckeye, but they're all gon. - Here we are, Clifton Gorge. "High crime area.

"Don't leave your valuables." Okay, we are here. We're going to do a short hike, about half a mile.

It is a trail that goes along the gorge. All right, this is the beginning of the gorge. And there's the gorge down there. Maybe there's another viewpoint here, I think. Ohio is definitely full of surprises. (ethereal keyboard music) (water rushing) Look at this guy, he's wearig a Traveling Robert shirt.

I don't know. And that's a new shirt. Check it out, there's a deer! Clifton Gorge here, what a pleasant surprise. Now, let's continue. Corey and Christy are going to let me mooch-dock at their place, and then tomorrow we continu. There's one last view of Clifton Mill from the air, courtesy of Jim.

Goodnight. Well, very cool. Very cool mooch-docking with the Traveling Buckeyes, Corey and Christy. And, yeah, they fed me for breakfast, and now the adventure continues. I think we're gonna swing by the Ohio Statehouse. - [GPS] Turn left onto Brandt Pike.

- It's kind of on the way on our planned route here. And... And then we're going- - Turn right onto the I-70 East ramp. - And then we're going to Hocking Hills State Park, and then we'll see. (upbeat pop music) There it is, Columbus.

We were here briefly back in 2011, just driving through, and then we had a great meetup in 2019, but today I just want to see if I can park downtown and just walk around a little bit; you know, get a feel for the city. I'm gonna take advantage that it is Sunday morning and traffic will probably be light. There's the Statehouse, so let's find parking. All right, let's go for a little stroll here in Columbus, Ohio.

I'm like two blocks away from the Statehouse, two or three blocks. And this is apparently called the Annex. Isn't it in almost every major city this way? It looks like these may have been warehouses at some poin, and they made 'em into condominiums. All right, yeah, this is Front and Town.

I just saved my parking space in Google Maps just in case. Cool cobblestone street here, and the State Capitol should be one block to the left that way. The State Capitol- No, here they call it the Statehouse. And you see the top of the trees? They're already starting to get, you know, those beautiful colors.

Actually, I kind of feel like staying for an extra week just to see the full-blown fall colors coming. By the way, we are here on September 27th, for those of you of course watching months from now. September 27th, 2020. This is called High Street, and we're gonna make a left here.

(soft singing) There seems to be something going on in front of the Capitol Building, or Statehouse, as it is called here, some kind of concert or demonstration perhaps. I should really get closer. It is a little too windy to be able to appreciate the music fully from across the street, but I'm gonna walk across at some point here and get closer. (soft singing) All right, let's just walk across the street. (soft singing continuing) I have a feeling this may have been the site of some of the summer 2020 protests.

I mean, the building is all boarded up with all these anti-racism messages right here in front of the Statehouse. And I'm really intrigued by what's going on across the street. (soft singing continuing) - [Man] Coming here, right here, right now, to set the Catholics free. And heavenly father, we pray that you would send down your holy spirit! - We're just gonna do the same we've been doing in other capital cities this summer of COVID and just explore from outside. Columbus, by the way, as I think I've mentioned before, seems to be a very nice city.

This statue symbolically guarding the Statehouse is the "Ohio World War Memorial," erected in 1930. It marks Ohio's participation in World War I. "These Are My Jewels," this one is called. It is a series of life-size portrait sculptures giving recognition to the military and political leaders from the state of Ohio who contributed to the Union cause during the Civil War.

The figure at the top, the Roman woman Cornelia, represents the state of Ohio. (bell tolling) There seems to be some kind of wedding photo shoot. I'm telling you, lots of things going on. The bells keep tolling as we continue walking around all these monuments which adorn the Statehouse grounds. This one called "Peace" honors those who served in the American Civil War.

(bells tolling) There are four of these cannons, produced during the Civil War in Cincinnati and intended for use in that conflict. Apparently, they still use them from time to time in ceremonies. Oh, it is Christopher Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. How appropriate. It is officially the "Columbus Discovery Monument" Well, that's Christopher Columbus himself, who gives the city its name, right? And now we're gonna end it with... With this concentration of people here in the entrance.

Beautiful city, Columbus, by the way. I had seen it in passing before, but the only way to really see a city and explore is to get out of the car and walking around a little bit. And definitely, I'm pleasantly surprised by this little segment of downtown that I've seen. Here's one more sculpture here. Oh, here we go, Cuba! So, this is the- This is to the Spanish-American War veteran.

And of course, the Spanish-American War is where Cuba, where I was born, finally got its independence from Spain. 1902. May 20th, 1902: That's when Cuba got its independence from Spain. Of course, it kind of remained dependent of the United States for a few years after that, but, yeah, we became our own country. In any case, as I said, beautiful downtown. I'm gonna see if I can take a little video of the concert over there, and then we continue.

We continue on the road. Very nice Capitol Square, as they usually are in every state. I'm gonna see that one, one more monument over there, and then we go. "The Ohio soldiers who were part of the American liberation.

"If you save one life, it is as if you saved the world." Yeah, this one is in remembrance of the Holocaust. It says it here, "Six million Jews "who perished in the Holocaust and millions more, "including prisoners of war, "ethnic and religious minorities, "free masons, homosexuals, the mentally ill, "and developmentally disable, and political dissidents "who suffered under Nazi Germany." Let's check out the concert, which seems to be religious in nature. ♪ Hey ♪ My God is good - [Robert] Oh, wow, lively. This is one of those things that you can't really plan for, like an impromptu outdoor concert in front of the Statehouse.

♪ Hey ♪ Good is god ♪ Everything na double double ♪ Everything na double double ♪ Promotion double double ♪ Na double double ♪ Na double double ♪ Na double double ♪ Na double double - Well, that was one of those things that you can't really plan for, right? That was pretty cool. Let's check out this building. Looks important. And what do you know? It is the Ohio Supreme Court, as illustrated by that sculpture of a gavel. (light jazz music) Jim and Barb just reminded me that the river is right here, like two blocks away from where I parked, so...

All right, here we are. That's the river. This is called Scioto Mile Promenade, and, of course, that would be the Scioto River. On the other side of the river there are a couple of museums like the Center of Science and Industry and the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, but we'll visit those some other time. Well, the journey continues.

We'll come back soon. We'll come back soon to Columbus, either in spring or (pausing) next fall. When I do my "Great Cities of the North"- The north. (laughing) "Great Cities of the Midwest" series, we're gonna come back here ad do a more in-depth (pausing) video of the city when things are back to normal and we can do breweries and all kinds of stuff, which will be a lot.

(scooter bell dinging) And maybe I'll ride a scooter. Until next time- Well, now we go to Hocking Hills State Park. Yeah, I would love to linger and explore everything.

There's a bunch of restaurants and stuff, there's like a river-walk, many things. I haven't really done my research on Columbus, and this wasn't even part of the plan. The plan was to stop by the Capitol Building, take a picture, and I've been here for almost two hours. (laughing) You know how it is when you're traveling.

So, now I'm gonna pretty much drive nonstop to Hocking Hills State Park, and then we'll plan the rest of the trip. (light jazz music continuing) As we continue east, the terrain begins to change and we encounter more and more rolling hills. It is beautiful around here and, of course, very tourist. Lots of signs advertising the different attractions of the area, like cavern, ziplines. There was a sign that said campground to the left, but of course I got confused and went into the main parking lot. Wow, take a look at this place! That's just crazy.

(pulsing electronic music) Okay, let's look for that campground. Yep, this is it. All right, rookie mistake: I let the nice microphone battery run out, the Rode, the wireless, but... We're stuck with the GoPro microphone. Hopefully it works okay.

Let's go for a little hike. Wow, they even have a swimming pool, unfortunately not open for the 2020 season. Let me tell you, this feels almost more like a resort than a regular campground. All right, this is what I'm looking for because I have to do laundry later today. Okay, it's adequate.

It's one-and-a-half miles to the large parking lot area and the main attraction, whih seems to be Old Man's Cave. It is kind of late in the day, so we may not be able to do everything, but there's always tomorrow morning. This is Rose Lake. Mm, very nice.

Old Man's Cave, that way. Well, it's supposed to be one-and-a-half miles to Old Man's Cave. Onward we go, one mile left. All right, let's see real quick. All right, yeah, we do not wanna fall. (laughing) All right.

Let's continue. (reverent orchestral music) Yeah, we are on the red trail, and of course the red trail kind of parallels the other two trails that go on the side of the gorge. And I hear voices down there, so... Yeah, I see them down there.

Ooh, apparently I did 10,500 steps already today. Let's see what this is. Yeah, this goes to the Old Man's Cave. All right. Oh yeah, this is the famous A-Frame Bridge. (soft keyboard music) This is Old Man's Cave, so I'm gonna cross through here.

Yeah, and I came through here, so from here I can just go back to the campground. All right, that makes sense. Let's do it, let's go for it. (soft keyboard music continuing) Okay, I've been online, I've seen pictures, and apparently there is usually a lot more water going through here. I'm thinking maybe early-fall is the wrong time of the year to visit.

That's the A-Frame Bridge up there. I guess it's not always one-way. (laughing) We've completed this section of the trail.

Tomorrow we'll do the rest. There's the Naturalist's Cabin. Well, we've come full circle. Now lets head back to the campground. (energetic electronic music) (moving into ethereal piano music) And there we are.

Ooh! Well, good morning! It is 8:30 a.m. A little later than I was hoping to get out. What I'm gonna do, by the way, we're gonna do a little bit of a hike. Same area we were yesterday. Yeah, I'm thinking maybe do some of the waterfalls in the area. And yesterday I was kind of in a hurry because I was afraid that it was gonna get dark.

Well, today, I'm kind of in a hurry because I have to check out of here at 1 p.m. It's 8:30. So, if I can get back by 11:00, let's say, we'll be okay. Yeah, I know, I need to get new wipers.

Today, I'm just gonna drive to the Visitor Center. It saves me at least half an hour each way. What a difference, huh? Yesterday, this place was packed, packed! Probably the whole parking lot. There was a line. It felt like Yosemite, one of these places where it's super, super crowded.

But today, it's Monday morning and there's hardly anybody here, so we should have the trails almost all to ourselves. I'm gonna park right here. Beautiful morning here, by the way, 60 degrees. Supposed to rain in the afternoon, but right now it's perfect. We're gonna do the one-way trail once again, but this time we're gonna go to Upper Falls and Lower Falls.

You're not gonna believe this. It is raining a little bit actually. (laughing) Oh well.

Oh, how funny, they have the trail marked on the sidewalk here. It's a beautiful day. I mean, we have some dark clouds and it's kind of sprinkling, but it's still a beautiful day. (inhaling) And the crispy air and some of the trees starting to tur, it's really nice. Okay, this is something I've been seeing in almost every trail I've been too lately. People just seem to drop their masks everywhere.

I don't know what's up with that. Here's the trail entrance. We're gonna do the blue trail, which goes through Upper Falls here, Devil's Bathtub, and here we're gonna go under the A-Frame Bridge, down to Lower Falls, and I suppose we'll return here and do (pausing) Sphinx Head, the Naturalist Cabin, we saw that one. And where's Old Man's Cave? It's somewhere. Somewhere around here is- Ah, here we go, Old Man's Cave, right there. So, yeah, that's what we're gonna do.

And we are here. That's a larger version, a complete version of the state park. It's a one-way trail. I don't know if it is one-way because of COVID or if it's always been one way. I don't know. Here we have some warnings.

All right, let's do it. (reverent orchestral music) We're on the blue trail. Yeah, as it turns out, yesterday we only did a short section, the easiest, most-trafficked part, from the Visitor Center through Old Man's Cave, and then we turned around right before Sphinx Head. And I have a feeling there was supposed to be a waterfall right here. I just thought I'd mention... This is definitely not the kind of place you think of when you think Ohio.

Look at that cave over there. This is one of those hidden gems that not many people know about. All right, this is supposed to be Upper Falls here, although it would seem someoe forgot to turn on the faucet because (pausing) there's no water flowing. What a beautiful place this is. Let me tell you something: I like it much better now, in the morning. I mean, look at this place.

But I like it better because there's only like three of us in this whole gorge, I think. When it is kind of quiet like this, you are able to absorb the experience so much better. I think this is what they call Devil's Bathtub.

Also, when it is quiet like this, I mean, there's a couple of people, but not too many, (birds chirping) you get to hear the sounds of nature, all those birds chirping. I think this is the spot where we came in yesterday. Yeah, we definitely did this part yesterday. But today, since it is so quiet, it kind of feels different somehow. That's it! That's the rock formation known as Sphinx Head.

With a little imagination, you can kind of see it. As the sun starts to shine, we're getting a lot of very deep contrast and... Although it looks great in person, it's not so great for photography sometimes. The camera just does not have the dynamic range to capture all the detail in the highlights and the shadows.

This is where an HDR setup would come in handy. By the way, what we are exploring today is just a small fraction of the entire park. There are miles and miles of beautiful hiking trails, but we are really on the final leg of the trip here and I'm anxious to head south. According to the sign, there's supposed to be a waterfall here.

You guys see it? Eh, neither do I. Yeah, when I woke up this morning, I was thinking, "Let's do most of the falls, all the falls we can see." But (pausing) if all the falls are like this, might not be worth it. Besides... I left the campground a little later than originally planned.

There we go. That's it. At least this one has a little bit of water.

Well, needless to say, all these falls have been a little bit of a disappointment here. I thought nothing could beat those falls in DeSoto State Park in Georgia, but... This one certainly did, at least in the lack of water category. Someone turn on the faucet. All right, let's continue.

I'm sure that when the water's flowing, this is nothing short of spectacular. Maybe we came at the wrong time of the year, right? Hmm, Broken Falls. Broken Rock Falls.

I wonder how far that is. 0.1 mile. Ah, let's do it. Yeah, it is one of those things that look better in real life than on camera because of the striking difference in lighting, but it is quite something.

It is a perfect place to meditate, isn't it? I mean, look at this forest. It's marvelous. By the way, I've heard they have seen- Oh, look at that. I wouldn't wanna fall down there.

I mean, it's not high enough that I might kill myself, but I could break a leg. I've heard that they have seen bears here in this park, but that they are rare. That's what I wanted to say. (laughing) Needless to say, I never found the aforementioned Broken Rock Falls. It must be completely dry.

But the sheer beauty of this place was worth the hike, that's for sure. Here we go. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Yeah, these stairs, they're a little hard. Maybe I'll buy me a StairMaster machine when I get home to practice. Ah.

This is not a trail, this is just a vista point, I guess. Yeah, the trail's that way. Well, this looks a lot like the trail that goes to the A-Frame Bridge. And when we continue straight, we will get to the campground. I could be wrong, but (pausing) we'll soon find ou.

Yeah, I almost made the wrong turn. I was wrong. This is the Visitor Center right here. Look at all the falling leaves.

Fall's in the air. Hocking Hills here, very pleasantly surprised. I didn't think it was gonna be this nice.

The trail network, it's a little confusing, at least at first. Let's see what this is. Hocking Hills State Park. I wonder if this is like a relief. Oh, this is that Sphinx Rock. That's what that is.

It almost looks like a moon or something. In any case, yeah, that network of trails and the one-way trails and all that seems a little confusing at first, but it all makes sense in the end. All right.

And with that, on to our next destination. (upbeat keyboard music) And that's it for our Ohio adventure 2020. New destinations await, like West Virginia, for example. But more about that on the next episode. Until then, thank you so much for watching, and see you on the road. (smooth keyboard music) ♪ I'm riding ♪ Riding in my RV

2021-04-23 07:04

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