Tag Archives: In-Town Tourist

Can’t Bike it? Hike it.

An In-Town Tourist Feature:
…because Adventure begins in the heart and Travel starts at the end of your own driveway.


In another month, I would be risking serious injury and the rightful wrath of serious cyclists. But with only the beginnings of a winter thaw underway, there was little danger of running into two wheels on the Alum Creek mountain bike trails this past weekend. So we hiked the intermediate trail bike-less and enjoyed a uniquely lovely bit of central Ohio woodland that would be rather difficult to photograph when used as intended.

I’ve mountain biked once -in Mammoth Lakes, California. Loved it. Felt lucky to be alive -and felt fully alive, when my feet finally touched ground at trail’s end. Flying through stunning flashes of tall pines and vivid blue sky -it had felt a little like my first time driving the Blue Ridge Parkway. Knowing there was a gorgeous view to my right or left but acutely aware of the danger of lengthy admiration and left to to gather it all in with but a hasty glance here and there.

Trekking up and down hills and along the ridges of the bike trail in Alum Creek State Park, I could sense the adrenaline released into those woods and felt a twinge of lingering challenge. I also felt just a little lucky that this time my glances could grow into gazes and that I could focus not only my own eyes, but my camera lens as well.

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Bison at Batelle Darby Creek

An In-Town Tourist Feature:
…because Adventure begins in the heart and Travel starts at the end of your own driveway.


The half dozen furry females were a draw, but so was a last chance to hike in the atypical temperatures of our brief February heat wave.  So last Saturday we headed for Galloway, Ohio and Battelle Darby Metro Park to see some newly relocated bison (on loan from The Wilds) and hike temporarily thawed trails.

We found the big gals -females can weigh almost half a ton, grazing prairie land as contentedly as their ancestors must have before they were hunted to the verge of extinction in the late 1800s.  They ambled comfortably in a distant field, oblivious to the crowd peering at them through binoculars and superzoom lenses.

An observation tower will soon allow for closer viewing, and a nature center is slated for the spring of 2012.

Currently the beasts can be viewed off of the Greenway Trail after a short mile stroll north from the Cedar Ridge entrance.  The flat trail was fairly soggy with mud which only accentuated the fact that the day was warm, sunny and un-February in all the right ways!


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Dog Days of Winter

An In-Town Tourist Feature:
…because Adventure begins in the heart and Travel starts at the end of your own driveway.


Our dog Lily has had a touch of cabin fever.  Begging to run out in the snow after every squirrel, deer and rabbit she thinks she might have spotted through one of the back windows (while pretending it’s an urgent call of another nature) and then scurrying back in after a rejuvenating roll in the snow.  Over and over and over again.  She’s bored.  With the shorter days and colder weather, the ball tossing sessions in the yard have been less frequent.  I readily admit that. And there’s not much in the way of smelly stuff to roll around in unless she were to trek into the laundry room -and to give her credit, she’s much smarter than that.

So we took her to a running/biking path this afternoon to burn off some doggy energy, enjoy the white wealth of winter -and coincidentally, to relive some memories.

The Olentangy Bike Trail is well known to Columbus area cyclists and runners.  It hugs the Olentangy River stretching away only occasionally to access expansive fields graced by stately sycamores and dotted by the occasional soccer goal, neighborhood playground or exercise apparatus.  I ran it daily for several years, the most memorable run being a plodding jog through thick snow the day before my first son was born.  It’s a great bike route as well, passing through Antrim and Whetstone Parks before hitting the Ohio State University and then downtown Columbus.

Sunday afternoon, we walked as far as the athletic fields of my old high school, Thomas Worthington, turning back when we reached the boat launch site.  The same river bank to which I had once solo paddled a two-man canoe after leaving a jealous high school boyfriend behind on a river island…  I no longer remember the “why” of that escapade but am slightly impressed that my scrawny teen self could have piloted that canoe back upstream fueled only by righteous resolve.

Lily’s only resolve as we shivered our way back in fading sunlight was to roll herself into a chocolate (Labrador) snowball and to meet and greet every animal along the way.

Old trail, new memories, another cold winter day frozen in time as a treasure.

Columbus Things To Do


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