Day 3: Horses, Owls, and Canoes, Oh My!

 

Another early morning begun right with breakfast at the hotel.  We ran into some familiar faces in the dining room and also made some new friends as we all shared what we were doing in Hocking Hills.  Of course we promoted Canopy Tours, def the number one thing to do around here.

Soon after our breakfast we headed on out to the back roads that would eventually take us to Happy Trails Horseback Rides.  But first we needed to get lost and turn around, twice.  After navigating the curvy country roads for awhile, we finally made it to our destination.  Happy Trails was a pretty small place but it had the horses we wanted to ride.   It was time to meet them too.

As they brought my horse out, I noticed that he had a face mask on.  Intimidated at first, wondering what the mask was for, I was worried I might have gotten a crazy spook-prone horse.  I asked what the mask was for and found out the cause.  My horse was missing an eye and the mask was there to protect the only good one he had left.  His name was Cherokee and he was the best horse I’ve ever ridden.  _DSC0008

He was staring at me waiting for me to take his picture

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Cherokee

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Quality time with my horse

 

The ride went by pretty quickly.  We were planning on doing some special trail but because of some recently downed trees, we were only able to take the standard 1 hour trail.  Although Cherokee was the best horse I’ve ridden on, he was still one of the trouble makers, which is why we got along so well.  Every time he went to grab for some leaves all it took was a little nudge to get him focusing again.  But he got smart on me a couple times and earned his prized fern leaf.  Tricky bugger once leaned straight down to get some grass while moving versus the typical side grab.  But we got through muddy spots and climbed up and down hills all the while enjoying some nature.  Really good horse and a really good time.

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The fam after our trail ride

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Mom said pose like a cowboy

 

Leaving Cherokee behind, we made out way to our next stop for the day, Conkel’s Hollow.  The hollow consists of two paths, a gorge trail and the cliffs above the gorge trail.  We took the longer cliff trail.  It ended up being a lot more work than we imagined.  The pictures don’t do justice to the place though, it was beautiful up there.

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Cool split in the cliff, plus a spot for chucks, never leave home without them

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Dad standing over another split in the cliff

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I had to scare the parents a bit, not that it was dangerous but they thought it was

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Some type of hawk or eagle, was hard to tell but there were a lot of them up there all flying around

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Dad and Em posing on and under a tree

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I felt like an explorer

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A cool growth on a fallen tree

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A really green cliff

 

After tiring ourselves out all morning, it was time for another late lunch.  We drove around for awhile looking for somewhere to eat and ended up all the way back into downtown Logan.  Right across the street from the M&M Diner was the Spotted Owl Café, another place we had heard of.  We headed inside to see what we could get.

The menu was comprised of sandwiches and wraps mostly.  Everywhere you looked in that place there was something owl related, whether it be a mug or just a statue of one.  The food was great and so was the coffee too.  While we were sitting down and enjoying our meal, some people we had met earlier at Happy Trails came in to get some food as well.  Small town run ins apparently work for tourists too.  We asked them what they had been up to while we were at Conkel’s Hollow.  They had gone canoeing, something we were considering for the day as well.  After getting some information from them, we headed out to see what this canoeing place was all about.

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The Spotted Owl Cafe

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Phil want moar coffee prease

 

We got to the Hocking Hills Canoe Livery pretty quick and readied ourselves for the two hour canoeing extravaganza.  We were driven down a couple miles away from the unloading zone to start our ride.  The river was pretty chill and the ride was laid back.  We were regular canoeing pros and soon passed most of our group.  After some time, a group of people riding down the river caught up to us.  They were a group of friends partaking in the act of cabrewing, that is, canoeing while throwing back some brewskies.  They insisted we gave them a high-five which resulted in us being thrown a little off course.  We soon caught up to them again and repeated the event, resulting in another incident.  After catching up to them once more we all laughed and refused to give high-fives.  We soon caved though and gave each other high-fives but this time, survived the endeavor and made it up the river.  Soon though, we turned around after hearing loud shouts and a decent amount of obscenities to see our high-fiving friends in the water after capsizing their canoes.  Needless to say it was quiet and not quite so much fun after that.  We made the two hour trip in an hour and fifteen minutes because of our pro skills and endless rowing power.

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Outside the Canoe Livery

 

Tired and dirty, we dragged ourselves up the stairs to our room to clean up before dinner.  After doing so, we headed on into town to a place called Sandstone.  It was a small place with one person running the entire thing so service was a bit slow but pleasant none the less.  We ate our meal and talked about the long day and all the stuff we did.  This being our last full day, we planned some things to do in the morning just before making the drive back home.  Leaving Sandstone we got back to our hotel to sprawl out and relax.  We ended up watching the Matrix and working on the blog.

Tomorrow should be a short yet fun day up in Hocking Hills.  Thanks for reading so far but don’t forget, I’ll be posting up one more thing tomorrow on our Hocking Hills trip.

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Doing my thing

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