Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I've been bad!

I used to have a blog I updated all the time. Honest. Truth is, I have been very busy and did not get the chance earlier this fall and winter to travel much. I've recently taken a few trips I will share in the coming days!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Old West Festival

I was thinking about heading to the Old West Festival in Williamsburg this year. Someone told me it was very kid-oriented, but it looks like a ton of fun! When I saw these wooden nickels at the movie theater over the weekend, I had to check out the website. Turns out there's more than I expected. Not a bad price, either.

 Kid's admission is $6 (under 5 free) and it's just $10 for adults. Runs September 10-October 9th.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dead Man's Hand

Before my book came out, someone asked if I had included the final resting place of Charles Henry Rich. Rich was a friend of Wild Bill Hickok and ultimately dealt him two black aces and two black eights in Deadwood, South Dakota. According to legend, this was his hand when he was murdered in a saloon on August 2, 1876. To this day, it's known as the Dead Man's Hand.

I was surprised that I had never heard of this local legend since I have an ear for this sort of thing. I was given directions to the cemetery and put it on my list and left it at that.

A few days ago, a friend emailed me asking if I knew the name of the man and the cemetery where he was buried. I sent her the information. This morning I happened to run into her at breakfast and asked if she'd found it. She hadn't, but we talk about it a little bit then went our separate ways. My husband and I realized we had over an hour to kill before the movie we were on our way to see, so we decided to find Mr. Rich.

The cemetery was easy enough to find. It's located in Miamiville near Camp Dennison (234 Center Street, Miamiville). We looked around the cemetery for about a half hour for the distinctive monument we'd seen photos of.

It was only after scouring every row that we came to the conclusion it must have been vandalized or removed. Turns out, the story might be even more interesting than I originally thought. Some say it was taken down by the family years ago in order to have the famous saloon scene carved into it. Others say the same, only to have it cleaned. I cannot verify the authenticity of this, nor do I totally understand what it going on here--but in the Find A Grave page comments, I came across this website which appears to be run by relatives of Charles Henry Rich:

It appears there was some dispute over the ownership of the gravesite, the rights of the family vs. those of the county and the State of Ohio and some copyright issues. I had heard at one point the family desired some compensation from the government. One thing is for sure--the marker is gone and we could not find evidence of a temporary marker.

It seems a shame that Mr. Rich, a man who lived so colorful a life, lies in an unmarked grave (I'm assuming) over this. But then again, maybe his Wild West life followed him back to Miamiville. Whatever has happened, I hope that one day we will be able to visit this wonderful monument again.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

World's Largest Horseshoe Crab

So recently my mom asked if I had ever visited the World's Largest Horseshoe Crab in Blanchester. I'd heard of it, but despite the short distance from my house, never had a reason to pass by.

On Sunday, we headed up to Lebanon to check out the antique stores with my parents.On the way back we decided to make a stop at the Baptist church hall where it is located.

Why a giant horseshoe crab at a church hall? Well, the folks there believe it disproves evolution because this animal has not changed since its creation on the 5th day as described in the Bible. Read more on Roadside America:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Lynx Prarie, Edge of Appalachia Nature Preserve

 On Saturday, we headed to Lynx Prarie, on the Edge of Appalachia Nature Preserve. It is located in Adams County, in the small town of Lynx. The trailhead is located at the back of East Liberty Cemetery off Tulip Road. It's very isolated--you'd never know it was there unless you were told to look for it.

 The terrain varies on the short (like less than two miles) trail. It takes about 2 hours since there's lots to stop and see. While it was a little overgrown, you can't really get lost (but don't try! print out a map before you go).
 As I said...the terrain varies a lot. On the PDF I link to above, you will find a map and detailed descriptions of various stops along the way. You can walk from a prarie to a creek (this cute picture was taken at a creek there by my friend Stacia of my husband and me) to old growth forest to newer stands of trees.
 One of the most interesting plants is the prarie dock, which is huge and looks prehistoric to me. You can find a large variety of native and rare plants--I am pretty good at wildflower identification but found a few on this trip I had to look up. You can download this species list to help.
Lastly, here's  a shot of one of the oaks that some believe was trained by Native Americans to bend at the trunk to mark a trail.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rainy Weekend

Originally, we were supposed to head to Point Pleasant, WV with a large group to visit Mothman attractions. Due to a variety of circumstances, it came down to just me, my husband and my brother. Moments before we hit the road, I was reading articles about Mothman on my phone and clicked on a random link--apparently one of the active TNT bunkers (see link above for explanation) had exploded last year, prompting a variety of government agencies to shut the area down until they seem it safe.

We decided to head somewhere else since the main objective of the day was to visit the TNT bunkers (though I still encourage others to visit for the museum, shops, parks, etc in the meantime). We settled on Brown County State Park near Nashville, IN. Though it rained, we got a nice hike in. We looked for morels but didn't have any luck! We did see others who had a good day of foraging, though!

Here's my brother and husband on the Limekiln trail. It was a nice, easy trail but we had to turn back because of the incoming thunderstorm. Thank goodness for a quick weather app download!

We didn't see morels but I saw lots of fiddleheads. Would like to try them sometime.

The rain made all the greens in the park seem more brilliant.

Easter Sunday was my dad's birthday, so we kept with our tradition the past few years and headed to the land that used to be my great-grandfather's pig farm until he was bought out by the state. It's now a little-used part of East Fork State Park.

I know a lot of people hate the rainy spring weather, and I admit it does get old...but if you take your rain gear and some waterproof hiking boots, you can see a lot of things you might not normally encounter. This little guy was high up on a ridge near some standing water.

Rain also makes for great fungi hunting--I found this beautiful witch's butter
 while looks for morels.

I found only one morel--my first--in the perfect spot. Dead logs, a layer of leaves, elm trees and mayapples nearby. 
 I'm so glad we didn't let the rain keep us in!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


After a blogging hiatus, I've decided that a brand-spanking new blog is the best direction for me. With my book, Cincinnati Day Trips, coming out in May, what better way to celebrate?

I'm hoping to offer interesting, fun and off-the-cuff tidbits that chronicle my day trips. Some posts will probably cover things that appear in my book, while others will be brand new. So buckle up and come along!

Looks like my inaugural post will be Mothman Country! I know I'm excited.