2021 ~ Adventures with The LovedOne

Well, 2021 started out bleak, then got happier, then got sad again. This was thanks to the two V’s – variants and vaccinations. Too much of one, not enough of the other. But we survived (yet again), with The LovedOne remaining as elusively photogenic as ever. But, thanks to being vaccinated, we were able to have a few big adventures without expiring.

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Lakefront Nature Preserve (Cleveland, Ohio) 14-Oct-2021

After our personal business in Columbus, we headed to Cleveland for more of the same, paying a quick visit to Cuyahoga National Park along the way. There’s a lot going on in this park and it deserved more than a quick visit but you go with what you got.

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Hocking Hills State Park (Ohio) 12-Oct-2021

Personal business once again took us East, this time to Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio. Compared to our little town, we found these “big” cities to be a bit disorienting. 🤪 Lots of freeways, traffic, and people. We enjoyed our visits to them – and had some great meals at small, local restaurants – but decompression time in the woods was still called for.

So we planned in a visit to Hocking Hills State Park about an hour south of Columbus. Every place seems to have a most visited location – think Angels Landing in Zion National Park or Dog Mountain in Southern Washington or anywhere in Great Smoky Mountains National Park – and Hocking Hills seems to play that role for Ohio.

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Hopewell Culture NHP (Ohio) 12-Oct-2021

After our hike at Hocking Hills State Park, there was time left for a visit to the nearby Mound City Group of the Hopewell Culture. This culture was not a single culture, tribe, or society but rather a widely dispersed set of related indigenous populations that were connected by a shared network of trade routes. These people obtained and traded items from as far west as today’s Yellowstone National Park and as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. This culture thrived during the Middle Woodland period (100 BCE–500 CE) and was responsible for building some of the largest indigenous earthworks in the United States. Around 500 CE, for reasons not entirely clear, trading ceased, mound building stopped, and art forms were no longer produced.

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