Tag Archives: physical fitness

In-Town Tourist: Hockhocking Adena Bikeway


Sometimes spinning your wheels can actually get you somewhere.

We caddied bikes to a high school cross-country meet with only the vague outline of a plan. The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway* looked to be nearby on the map and was un-cycled territory yet to be discovered. Once we located the trailhead near the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway and unloaded our bikes, we were on our way. The low grade paved “rails to trails” way follows the former path of the Columbus and Hocking Valley Railroad, connecting Nelsonville and Athens, Ohio. The mostly shaded trail was an easy ride. Winding our way alongside the Hocking River through the Wayne National Forest was a great way to “reset” both mind and body. Rock outcroppings and verdant ravines, the remnants of an old canal basin, a train yard with relics of times past and the Ohio University campus in Athens were among the highlights.

Once in Athens, we did a leisurely loop around the elegant campus, thick with trees and collegiate charm, and refueled with a snack and water break on the banks of the Hocking River before heading back north. At the end of the day we’d put an additional 35 miles on our bikes and some much needed outdoor time into our Saturday.

*”Hockhocking” comes from the Adena Indian word for”twisted” -an accurate description of the Hocking River.

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When Mom Can’t Pitch


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

Our trips to the local batting cage began with an aberrant pitch (mine) that connected rather solidly with Matt’s forehead a few years ago.  No amount of pleading on his part could bring any subsequent pitches within the three foot safety zone my horrified brain immediately froze into place around him.

I finally suggested the local batting cage, theorizing that mechanical beanballs would be less psychologically traumatizing than maternal ones -and so began our summer treks to Westerville Golf Center.

minigolf sign copy

We were already fans of the lushly landscaped miniature golf courses and the ice cream vending machine in the Pro Shop that transports each frozen selection via a suction hose.  Prices are quite reasonable with plenty of weekly specials for those interested in deeper discounts.  The hand-lettered sign with weekly promotions is local commerce at its best and attracts a well-mannered clientele of families, dating couples and groups of friends.

At the batting cages, $5 buys 84 pitches, 14 at a time.  $10 wields 14 tokens and almost 200 pitches; plenty for an evening outing for Matt and a friend or two.  The eight cages feature a two-wheel ball shoot for a more consistent pitching experience than many kids will have with their enthusiastic, under-skilled parents who are (most definitely!) better with spirals than curve balls.

What are the favorite summer hang-outs where you live?

Updated from September 11, 2009.
View Westerville Golf Center in a larger map

Columbus Things To Do


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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