A big thank you to all of you who have served or are serving in our armed forces. That isn't an easy life, and we appreciate your sacrifice.
Today, I had a day off. No show requirements, no costuming requirements, and no work. My first one in nearly six weeks. I could not have been more excited! My plan was to go for a long hike this morning, get some laundry done, prep for the week and relax at home.
But when I woke up this morning, it was raining! First Penelope let me sleep until after 9:00, which is pretty much unheard of. Eventually, we got around and hauled the laundry to Momma's, scoring some lunch in the process (thanks!).
After lunch, the skies cleared up, and about 2:30, we headed out. I had decided to go over to John Bryan State Park, which has some good hiking trails, and also an entrance to Clifton Gorge. Turns out pets aren't allowed in the gorge, so we didn't get in there, but we had plenty of lovely sights in John Bryan! We hiked almost 4 miles along the Little Miami River. It turned out to be a lovely day, and Penelope was an ANGEL the entire time... here's a few pictures.
This is a tiny, disgusting, murky swamp-pond. Why is it in my pictures, you ask? Because this is the site of the burglary almost three years ago. When my car was broken into in July 2012, the thieves threw most of my things in this pond, and Mom and I climbed in after it- I haven't been back out here since, so it seemed fitting to take a picture!
Penelope made a pretty rad trail leader, and, as you can probably tell, she was having the time of her life, bless her.
It was so nice to get out for a few hours, reconnect with nature. As I walked, I could feel the tension and anxiety draining out of me from the past weeks. The trails were fairly busy, but there were long stretches of time where I couldn't even hear another person, just the trees whispering to each other and the occasional bird call. What a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. We stopped once for a water break, and we didn't hurry, just walked at a fairly comfortable pace. I would love to be able to make this more of a habit! There are lots of good hikes in this area.
As for John Bryan itself, I really enjoyed the trails. The paths were neat and well maintained, the park is easy to find, and the trails mostly connect so it's pretty difficult to get too lost. Also, it's really lovely. Lots of huge exposed rock features, the river rushing by... just incredibly scenic. And it's all in the trees, so it's very shady!
After we were done, we drove back through Yellow Springs and stopped at The Corner Cone, a little outdoor ice cream stand. We both got some vanilla soft serve in a cone- they do a "doggy cone"! They keep the broken cones and add a little vanilla ice cream, then give them to dogs for free! This last picture is of Penelope munching on her ice cream- I held the cone for her and she ate it all up, before wolfing down the cone itself. Loves ice cream, just like her mama!
Bonus- she's EXHAUSTED. She's been basically asleep at the foot of the bed for the last 4 hours- the house will sleep well tonight!
Hopefully you got a chance to enjoy the great outdoors today! What's your favorite summer time activity?
Until next time~