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Sunday, October 28, 2012

28 Days: Hokey Smoke!!

Hard to believe it’s just four short weeks until we head to Guinea! Lately Barbara and I have been working hard to squeeze as much Midwestern magic into our days as possible in between manic bouts of packing and studying French, not to mention the obligatory life crises.

We’ve been slowing down and enjoying the gorgeous fall colors. A few weeks ago mom and I headed down to southern Ohio to escape for a week and squeeze in some camping before the weather took a turn for the worse (which happened TODAY: FRANKENSTORM is on her way!). Spent two nights at the yurt at Heuston Woods State Park. For anyone who doesn’t know what a yurt is you can just imagine “a short grain bin made from canvas”, as aptly described by my Uncle Dave. Despite it’s rustic exterior, we camped in luxury with a mini fridge, microwave, TV, and electric heater. Nothing like watching Bridesmaids and eating chocolate while “roughing it”.

Mom and our beloved yurt
Later we opted for more conventional camping at Hocking Hills State Park-- proudly setting up our compact 3-person, 4-season backpacking tent amid a sea of RV’s and garage-sized car camping shelters. Despite a sprained foot, challenging campground neighbors, and seemingly endless rain, nothing could dampen our spirits. Though the namesake hills are splendid the real show stoppers are the fern-covered limestone cliffs and caves. Such a treat to see a side of Ohio that wasn't bulldozed by glaciers. It's a whole new world down south. If you’ve never gone, you really should!

Barbara enjoying the Cleveland Metroparks

Ferns at Rock House
Last weekend SnakeRat joined us in enjoying the very best of Cleveland one last time. We visited all our favorites: West Side Market, The Melt, Edgewater, Museum of Art, metroparks, Free Stamp, and last but definitely not least the statue of our namesake, Moses Clevealand. Hopefully Barb and I managed to convert this Ohio skeptic of just how wonderful our hometown truly is!

Yesterday Barb and I hit the road and are currently kicking it in Chicago-- carving pumpkins and chowing down at the Chicago Diner with our favorite frogolist!

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View from inside Old Man's Cave, Hocking Hills