Hocking Hills Winter Hike
January 9, 10, 11, 2009



OHCRA in Snow

There was a skiff of snow on the ground as OHCRA members started arriving at Camp Akita for the first OHCRA outing of the year. Camp Akita, which is nestled in the hills near Logan, Ohio, is a church camp owned by the First Community Church of Columbus. For the second year, OHCRA has rented the largest cabin, which has a furnished kitchen, two full baths and four bedrooms, each with three beds. There is a small but very nice fireplace and decks both in front and back. The camp engulfs 2000 acres of hilly, wooded land with a small lake and hiking trails all around.

Tony arrived followed by Lance with Deb and Jock dropping by after work. Since they live in the area, they were the gracious hosts for the weekend. Ted and Connie showed up and we were still waiting for Paul and Judy. As the evening wore on, we noticed a business card on a corkboard advertising a restaurant and microbrewery at "The Lodge" in Hide-Away-Hills, a gated community. Deb said they had great pizza so we all jumped in Jocks truck and drove up. We dined on a wonderful, everything pizza and drank a couple beers and wine. Paul and Judy met us there and we all sat, talked, and laughed. We continued the social activity back at the cabin until midnight when we called it a day.

Long way down

The weather reports for Saturday were calling for heavy snow in northern Ohio with freezing rain in the mid section and rain in the southern part of the state. When we awoke Saturday morning, we were receiving the freezing rain part of the wintry mix. Our plans were to hike in the Hocking Hills at the Rockhouse and Conkle's Hollow. We were having our doubts when around 9:00am, in pulls Jock and Deb and Jock says let's go. At the Rockhouse, there was supposed to be an organized hike and a talk about the history of the area by a naturalist, at 10:00am. We arrived at 9:55 and not one vehicle was in the parking lot. Apparently, they canceled the hike because of the ice storm. Wimps!! Not us OHCRA members, we went hiking. The Rockhouse is a wondrous sight and since you can walk inside of the "cave" it was a nice break from the now falling rain.

Everything was icy and you really had to watch your step so as to not slide 200 feet to your death. After finishing the mile round trip we loaded up and drove over to Conkle's Hollow. We hiked the two and a half mile rim trail and looking down 200 feet or more while slipping on ice was really nerve racking. The cold rain was now making everything wet on top of the ice. We made it around the rim and back to the starting point, then took the mile round trip into the hollow to see the falls from a different angle. Such a beautiful place.


Back at the cabin we ate an early supper, and ate and ate and dried wet clothes. At 5:00pm there was a "Howl at the Moon Hike" at Clear Creek Metro Park. Only Jock, Paul and Judy were brave enough to venture out in the now foggy, wet evening for more hiking. The rest sat and watched the NFL playoff game.

Last year the ladies got "pampered" by Deb, as she sells lotions and stuff through Beauti Control and since Connie, Lance and Tony were sitting there, they got the pampering treatment. Ted would not have anything to do with it, except to laugh at the guys. It must have felt real good by the looks of the pictures. After the hikers returned we all sat and played Apples to Apples, a social skill game. We laughed long and loud until the evening turned to bedtime.

Sunday morning Judy and Lance cooked everyone breakfast of eggs, bacon, toasted and left over deer steaks in gravy, put over biscuits. After eating we had a major cabin cleaning party and packed up. Paul and Judy headed off to the Rocky Boot Store in Nelsonville while Connie and Ted headed for home. Deb, Jock, Lance and Tony took a hike to Bald Eagle Mountain which is on the grounds of Camp Akita. The day was cold but dry and the hiking was much better than yesterday. After the mile and half walk, half of which was steeply uphill, the hikers said farewell.


Discussion about renting the cabin for a third straight year was positive. So we'll see everyone January 2010, when we attend the "3rd Annual Hocking Hills Winter Hike Weekend".

View All Pictures From the Hocking Hills Winter Hike