Scenes from Hocking Hills....

We decided to finish off Summer break with a fairly impromptu trip into the great outdoors. We grabbed a random assortment of things, threw them in our van and drove hopefully toward the Hocking Hills area. Of course as per tradition, we got lost by at least an hour. Add this to the fact that we left late (oh what a surprise) and that as we got closer we drove into the most torrential rain-pour. It was literally coming down in sheets, we could not see a thing. Deafening thunder! Blinding lightening! By this point it was 9pm, and we knew we still had to stop to buy one or two things we'd forgotten. Like food.

Aaron and I started hysterically laughing imagining how much fun it was going to be with 4 whiny tired children, setting up our tiny tents in the midst of a flash flood. I said a few fervent prayers and within moments we drove out of the storm, onto perfectly dry roads and never saw another drop for the rest of our trip. In fact the weather could not have been more perfect for some hiking and some camping.

We were bemused by the fact that in a campground of hundreds, we were one of maybe a handful that were actually camping. Ie: we had not brought along an RV half the size of our house (you think I am exaggerating? Not so much). Our two little pup tents looked exceedingly primitive and humble next to the the trailer with the Direct TV hook up. And there we had been feeling like princesses because we'd brought an electric skillet to cook breakfast on. The trailer you see in this picture was about 1/3 the size of most of them. We were probably considered the ghetto of the campground

So the campground wasn't the best but the Hocking Hills area is so beautiful. We had last been there 4 years prior and agreed that hiking around it was far more enjoyable without toting a newborn on your chest and a tantruming two year old on your hip. The kids were fascinated and hiked for a long time before they remembered that their legs were tired.

Skipping stones..endless hours of entertainment

Benj and Gracie reading about Old Man's cave. An old man really lived there. In that cave. Then they kicked him out and put a plaque there instead so people could come and read about him without having to see (or smell) him. Nah not really. He is buried in there.

The "Lion King" rock. Doesn't it look like the one where all the animals gather to welcome baby Simba?

Finny doing his best not to smile. (On principle)

Cliff jumping

Huge beautiful butterfly. Butterflies seem to be far more cooperative photo subjects then bees. This one actually stopped what it was doing and came and posed for me. Very polite, the butterflies. I suppose they are less busy. Once the whole transformation from a hideous worm thing is complete it is really all about being admired isn't it?

After a few hours of hiking we were hot and tired so after lunch we discovered a beautiful big pool and relaxed. We are trying to create another Bill Bryson fan

Hooray, not one but three water-slides! They tried to all come out of these chutes simultaneously but Benj is still in there somewhere.

After sleeping on a sinking air mattress all night, I suppose this is comfortable. We all learned that camping creates quite a bit of sleep deprivation.

This boy conked out right in the middle of everything. I was amazed at how many people almost stepped on him. (My shrieking, "look out" helped though)

After all afternoon in the sun we went home to skewer stuff on sticks, stick them over a fire and eat them. Because we are mountain men. Grunt!

Some things were more combustible then others.

The fine art of marshmallow roasting

Finny observing the hawk/eagle/large bird of prey which made it's nest in the tree right over us. Happily it did not carry him away for lunch.

Crocodile Gabe-ee

It was a wonderful relaxing way to wrap up the Summer break. We have resolved to do this more often. I made a list of "stuff you need when you camp" for next time. It is helpful to have something ito scrub the greasy skillet for instance. A red serviette is really not that effective. We did have the soap so that is something. Also, a tablecloth. We may be mountain men but there is no need to be uncivilized about it.

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Kim said...

Looks like a fun trip! Your kids will remember these great times when they get older!

nyn said...

This looks so wonderful. I love all the fun pictures. We haven't been camping in many years. This is inspiring to me that maybe we could try it again. Could I get a copy of that list of things you need when camping?

kyle&company said...


I can't believe how big your kids are. They are so cute and Gracie is absolutely beautiful. You are looking so wonderful. Keep up the good work!!

Hocking Hills Tourism Association said...


Thank you for your great blog on your family's Hocking Hills vacation. Your photos are great and we would like your permission to use some of them in the future. What is the best way to contact you regarding your photos?
Again, thanks for the great blog.