The Family Day Trip Winner Was....

Clear Creek Metro Park near Rockbridge, Ohio.

Actually, the trip suggestion drawn was Wayne National Forest—but, on the drive to the portion of the forest that we had decided to visit, we stumbled upon the Clear Creek Metro Park and spent the day there instead! Proof that compromise is king in our corner of the world!

Initially, we drove into the Creekside Meadows Picnic Area to allow the group, including Max the psycho puppy, an opportunity to experience the Port-A-Potty and in Max’s case, some new sniffing zones. Not a hit with the 3 year old or the 5 year old—and the 15 year old opted to wait. At that point though, we had still planned to move on down the road to a spot at Wayne National Forest, so it was an important stop!

My husband decided to take the middle little girl on a quick walk down the Creekside Meadows Trail loop. The sign said it was about a 20 minute hike. Pets were not permitted on the trail so the other two girls and I played with Max in the picnic area. Once our two hikers returned, with stories of groundhogs, and the creek and a grassy trail, I handed off Max’s leash to my husband and started off with the other two girls—then gained the third girl who was afraid of missing something—onto a walk down the other end of the Creekside Meadows Trail across the picnic area.

Our trail was more sandy, wet and slippery—but, the girls were excited to talk about the potential of snakes and mountain lions—and the inevitable “what happens if we see a bear?” question. The only wildlife we saw was a butterfly—but, the hikes were long enough to have the girls ready for lunch by the time we returned!

My husband had found the one pet trail at the park while the girls and I were exploring. We packed up into the car and headed to the Valley View Picnic area which was adjacent to the pet trail.

Not knowing anything about the area, we stopped at Written Rock—an amazing rock formation along the main park road, simply because it would make a neat photo op. After years of sandblasting and environmental wear, we didn’t see the ancient, presumed Celitc, writings. It was still an impressive rock formation nonetheless. We took a couple of pictures—then were sort of spooked off by a howling animal of some sort in the not so distant distance. Little did we know until we returned home that there are reports of Written Rock being haunted and serving as a meeting ground for satanic rituals and such things. Sort of makes me glad we were spooked off by..uh..well..whatever it was that we were spooked off by!

We went to the Valley View Picnic area, which does have a modern style restroom facility—the girls were relieved! Having planned a picnic to save some money on the trip, I had packed cut up veggies, ham & cheese sandwiches and juice. The girls—and Max the dog—ate lunch, wandered the picnic area, and rested the legs long enough to be ready to take Mister Maxie on a sniffing expedition!

The Pet Trail was the first mile of what became the Chestnut Trail of the park system. It was a harder walk with a couple of steeper inclines than our other trails, but the two little ones were able to handle it with no problems. Max the dog was in absolute heaven! He loved it! Two of the girls—and this Mom—said that that hike with Max was a favorite part of the trip!

After the hike with Max, we hopped into the car with the plan to drive around and let the girls—and the worn out puppy—take a nap. My husband couldn’t pick a favorite part of the trip, but said he really enjoyed just driving around the area, being a “sightseer” for the day.

We had planned a trip to the Wahkeena Nature Preserve, but once again, pets were not permitted, so we had to pass on the spot. To the girls’ delight, especially the littlest one, my husband had found an ice cream parlor in Lancaster, Ohio. Weldon's Ice Cream Parlor on 6th Street was a neat find. The little girls were especially excited about the model train running around the ceiling perimeter of the shop’s dining area. After some hand dipped chocolate milkshakes, we were ready to call it a day!

All in all, we had had a pretty good adventure for our first drawing. Wonder where we’ll go next week?

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