Sunday, August 28, 2016

Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park (8/28/2016)

Sunday, August 28, 2016
Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park is located near the watershed divide between the Ohio River and Lake Erie, east of Cleveland. The park is remarkable for the rock formations that are still exposed to view, while elsewhere they have been covered by soil and rock left by receding glaciers. Backed by sandstone cliffs, we have already seen this type of rock left from erosion, the Sharon Conglomerate, which is full of white pebbles.
The park rules ask you to stay on the trails, but the trails are not very well marked; either a confusing number of trail flashes painted on rocks and trees in close proximity, or none at all. The parking lot is across the street, and when you enter the woods, you are immediately confronted with the "ledges."
Gus and Kent on the yellow trail
Rocks that fall are called slump rocks
"Gold Hunter's Cave" is supposed to be
 behind Cascade Falls, but there is no water;
the gold was actually iron pyrite/fool's gold
and you see evidence of iron in what is
left of Crystal Creek
I used the flash on the camera so that we could see
where we were going in the dark!
(in what might have been the "Maid's Kitchen")
Kent and Gus have already ducked under "Dwarf's Pass"
The path not taken
The ledges from above, where you had to step over the cracks
(Photo by TrekOhio)
Kent examines the mossy wall
Moss and those white pebbles
Tree roots
More tree roots
Amanita flavoconia/Yellow Patches
We missed "Fat Man's Peril,"
but any of these would do on the red trail
Or "Fat Lady's Peril" (KSS)
Now it's "The Squeeze"
Kent in "The Squeeze"
We did not make it all the way through "The Squeeze" because it required some climbing while ducking and squeezing.
A bridge on the white trail
"Devil's Hole"
Gus and Kent in Sylvan Creek
above Minnehaha Falls
The red trail would have ended up in a cave,
called the Devil's Ice Box," behind this rock
This was a very deep crack,
with water running through it
Kent negotiates the road block on the blue trail
This hike was more strenuous than our usual hikes, although not very long!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

More Shaker Lakes (8/27/2016)

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Took a walk to see if we could circumnavigate a couple more Shaker Lakes in Shaker Heights, OH.
The aptly (unfortunately) named Green Lake as seen from
Parkland Road; houses on S Woodland Road line the opposite shore
Green Lake from Andover Road bridge over Doan Brook/South Branch
A boxwood edged garden on S Woodland Road
At Lee Road and Shaker Boulevard is Shaker Gateway Park,
the Site of the Center Family of the
North Union Society of Shakers (1822-1889),
with a replica (1951) of the original Shaker gate
Pioneer settler Ralph Russell, from Connecticut, established the North Union Shaker community in 1822 by donating 1,000 acres of land. The Shakers dammed the Doan Brook in 1826, and soon the Mill Family or North Family was founded to operate a sawmill and gristmill in the area that is now between Coventry Road and South Park Boulevard. The main Center or Middle Family was located east of Lee Road between South Park Boulevard and Shaker Boulevard. Later the Gathering or East Family was created, living north of S Woodland Road in the area of Fontenay Road. Shaker Heights takes its name from these early residents.
The Shaker family is a unit where members lived as brothers and sisters in homes in agriculturally based communities. In fact, the people were celibate, and recruited new members or took in orphans and runaways who could decide at age 21 whether to leave or stay. Because re-population was difficult, the North Union Shaker settlement was closed in 1889, and the remaining members moved to other Shaker communities.
The land was sold eventually to the Van Sweringen brothers who developed Shaker Heights, and the first village school (1912-1914) and first village hall (1911-1931) were located at this site.
Shaker well (?) with Gus and Kent
Sedgewick Road homes were fronted by "soccer fields"
Clematis terniflora/Sweet Autumn Clematis (invasive)
Shell fungus on the ground becomes a full circle
Marshall Lake was generally surrounded by homes,
seen here from S Woodland Road
Another peek at Marshall Lake
from Parkland Road
Back at Green Lake from Parkland Road

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Towpath Trail XV (8/21/2016)

Sunday, August 21, 2016
Today we went from W Bath Road to mile marker 32. During this hike we left the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and entered the incorporated city limits of Akron, OH.
We have completed the entire Towpath Trail that lies within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a distance of about 20 miles (down and 20 miles back!). The total mileage we have walked on the Towpath Trail is about 28 miles (and 28 back!).
Looking back at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park sign
The Akron Water Reclamation Facility, specifically the
Renewable Energy Facility (i.e., composting)
The main outfall sewer pipe, which sits in the former canal bed,
is being rehabilitated; the project is to be completed in 2017
It appears that this pipeline continues for 3-4 miles from the city of Akron.
Polygonum cuspidatum/Japanese Knotweed, an invasive
Lophocampa caryae/Hickory Tussock Moth caterpillar
Sand Run flows under the canal bed/pipeline
Sand Run
A peek at the Cuyahoga River
Papilio glaucus/Eastern Tiger Swallowtail,
with a very ragged tail
This is probably the last of the Towpath Trail hikes, as it now follows a sewer pipeline and will get into commercial areas of the city of Akron. We did walk a small section of the Towpath Trail when we visited Akron on August 9, 2015.

(We hiked the "first" section of the Towpath Trail that follows the old Ohio & Erie Canal on July 6, 2014 from Harvard Road to the Marcy Trestle. We started at the Canalway Center near the trestle and walked to the overpass of I-77 on November 9, 2014. On December 26, 2014, we walked between the I-77 overpass and Quaker Steak on Canal Road in Valley View. On September 27, 2015, we hiked between Quaker Steak on Canal Road and Lock 38. On October 4, 2015, we went between Lock 38 and Alexander's Mill. On November 8, 2015, we hiked from Alexander's Mill halfway to Station Road Bridge. On November 29, 2015, we went from Station Road Bridge halfway back to Alexander's Mill. On December 6, 2015, we went from Station Road Bridge to Red Lock. December 13, 2015 was between Red Lock and Boston Store. On February 28, 2016, we hiked from Lock 29 back to Boston Store. The hike on March 27, 2016 was from Lock 29 to Deep Lock Quarry. On April 24, 2016, we went from Deep Lock Quarry to Lock 27. Lock 27 to Ira was on June 12, 2016. Then on July 17, 2016, we hiked from Ira to W Bath Road.)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Celebration of a New Adventure (8/19/2016)

Friday, August 19, 2016
Our niece, Leah, tied the knot on Wednesday, 8/17/2016, with her traveling partner of the last two years, Rusty. After graduating from the University at Buffalo, they worked for two years, then took two years to travel across the United States. They had been active members of the UB OAC (Outdoor Adventure Club) and continued the adventures on weekends. The two years of travel became the "Never Ending Weekend," with one outdoor adventure after another. Those two years are over, and Leah & Rusty are embarking on a new adventure, marriage.
Close family and friends were invited to celebrate on Friday, 8/19/2016, at the Thomas X Grasso Erie Canal Lodge in Greece Canal Park, near Rochester, NY.
Leah & Rusty
Thomas X Grasso Erie Canal Lodge fireplace
Thomas X Gasso was a leader in the preservation of the Erie Canal.
Video and photo books of their travels
Rusty's family was responsible for much of the food
Rusty's mom made the Grand Tetons brownie cake
At the peak
Leah's brother, Mark, with Brynne and Mark's girlfriend, Carolin
Brynne with her Uncle Phil and Gale
Leah's brother, Eric, with Brynne and Leah's mom, Kathy (my sister)
There was volleyball and badminton, Spikeball and KanJam
Also Giant Jenga, ladder ball, and croquet
And a slackline
Mark tries the slackline
Brynne and I went to look for the Erie Canal.
Erie Canal at Greece Canal Park
The Impressionistic dusk view doesn't come through in the photo
It was a fitting celebration for this couple! Congrats, Leah & Rusty!