OHCRA Winter Hike
January 15, 16, 17, 2010



The Cabin

The first OHCRA outing of the 2010 season was again at the Dogwood cabin in Camp Akita near the Hocking Hills. We were there the same weekend as the Department of Natural Resources Old Mans Cave Hike. That hike draws 2000 to 5000 hikers in the state park, so our trip leader Jock, found an alternative hike for us. Clear Creek Metro Park

Jock went to the cabin early Friday afternoon and built an inviting fire in the fireplace so when Tony and Alice arrived it was very cozy and warm. Claiming one of the four bedrooms they settled in and relaxed. Four doe deer munched on vegetation out back, just off the balcony, while the above freezing temperatures continued to melt the current snow. The weather forecasters said we were having "The January Thaw".

Lance drove in and claimed a second bedroom and the three members visited until Deb got off work, then Jock and Deb joined the group. We made plans to again have supper at the Hide Away Hills restaurant. They have wonderful pizza. We called Ted and Connie who said they would meet us there, so out the door we went. While loading in the vehicle, in pulls Paul K. What great timing. A short time later, all eight of us were having pizza and drinks and laughing together. Back at the cabin we talked for a short while then Jock and Deb headed home promising to be back around 9:00am.

Members were stirring and starting the day when Jock arrived. Deb had to work so could not join us until evening. We got around and drove to the park. Clear Creek Metro Park is owned and operated by the Columbus and Franklin County Metropolitan Park District and is Ohio's largest nature preserve with an area of 4,729 acres.


The seven of us decided to hike the Cemetery Ridge Trail and uphill we started. The low 40 degree day and melting snow made the trails wet and muddy in spots and climbing uphill soon had us out of breath. Those winter months of not canoeing has taken its toll on our bodies. Part way through the 2.5 mile trail is an old barn. A relic of the past when the early settlers farmed these ridge tops. The old beam and wooden pin construction was neat to see.

The woods were very quite and still. No wind blew and we were very comfortable hiking. We never did see a cemetery which had us wondering why the trail was called Cemetery Ridge. We trudged on and soon Ted and Connie had their ibuprofen bottle opened. A little ways farther Lance too was swallowing the pain killers. The hills in this part of the state can be a challenge causing muscles to ache.

The Cemetery Trail ended at The Fern Trail, which connected to the Hemlock Trail. This trail has more up and downs and the hills faced more north. The snow here was melting slower and with last years leaves being wet under the snow; it made for some very interesting walking. We slid down hill often but luckily no one fell. Arriving back at the parking lot completed our four hour, five mile loop hike. We headed back to the cabin for snacks, drinks and the warm fire.

Comparing Sole Prints

Out in this area there is no TV service but the cabin did have a TV/DVD system. Wanting to watch the NFL play offs; Tony brought his portable Directv dish and sat it up on the deck. We soon had a great digital picture and gathered around in chairs. One by one naps were had while the rest snickered and took photos. Jock later left to go home and get the main dish for the 6:00pm potluck. He and Deb joined us later for our Italian themed meal.

There was lasagna, Italian chicken thighs, salad, Zuppa Toscana Soup (Check the campfood page), deer summer sausage, holiday squash, crackers, cheese and who knows what else. We stuffed ourselves then lounged while enjoying football. How many OHCRA members does it take to fix a TV? All of us and more. When the second game came on, on CBS, there was a black square that covered 3/4 of the TV screen. Only during the game and not on commercials or other channels. We could not figure how to get rid of it. Opinions ranged from a black out in our area to moving the satellite receiver out of it original area to some evil curse. After an hour and a call to Directv tech support, we found it had something to do with the close caption setting on the TV. After one small change it was back to normal. Laughter rang throughout the cabin as we enjoyed the rest of the evening.

Sunday morning we awoke to light rain. Slowly we got around, had morning drinks and packed. Jock came back without Deb who had to teach Sunday school. We cleaned the cabin and loaded our vehicles trying to stay out of the mud in the driveway. One by one we returned home but with the promise of meeting again next month.


Love Ya Bye!

View All Pictures From the 2010 Winter Outing