Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Road-Trippin in the Midwest! Day One in Hocking Hills Hiking Cantwell Cliffs and Rock House

This post is day one of a travel series of our road trip in the midwest where we traveled to four states Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky, to visit one state park and two national parks.

Today I am excited to start a new travel series with you!  Normally I write my travel posts in the winter as I do not have the time during the summer due to garden season, but I seem to forget a lot by the time winter rolls aroundπŸ˜„, so I'm gonna try to write my travel posts more promptly after taking my trips.

Rock House, Hocking Hills Ohio

This year our travel plans were made by the arrival of a new grand baby.  We knew the baby was due in May, sometime around Mother's Day so we planned a trip around the new baby.  Our first stop on our adventure was Indiana to welcome baby Lazarus into the world and to celebrate Mother's Day.  

We made a road trip loop beginning and ending in Indiana.   We first went east to Ohio and West Virginia, then we headed southwest to Kentucky,  ending our trip back in Indiana again.

After spending Mother's Day weekend with family, we headed out bright and early Monday morning for Hocking Hills, Ohio.

I had never heard of Hocking Hills before and I was absolutely blown away by it!  How has this incredible place been kept a secret for so long, and more importantly how is this in Ohio?  πŸ˜†  Sorry my Ohio residents, but when I picture the state of Ohio in my mind, these images do not come to mind.

Hocking Hills is a state park in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio.  Within the park are 25 miles of hiking trails, rock formations, waterfalls, and recessed caves.  

Cantwell Cliffs

Our first stop was Cantwell Cliffs.  This is the most remote part of the region, but it worked out perfectly for us because it was the first stop coming from the direction we were originating from, so it wasn't remote at all.   

This trail is a one way one mile in one mile out loop and the highlight of this trail is the narrow rock steps in-between two large rock formations.  It was so funny taking this trail because one minute your literally standing on top of a hard, flat surface (the top of the rock) and the next minute you see a narrow opening descending down into a mysterious abyss.

It is tricky getting down these narrow, steep, stone steps, I sure appreciated having my walking sticks with me.

This area of the trail is known as "Fat Woman's Squeeze". Don't worry, I managed to squeeze through.  πŸ˜‚

The trail then leads to this recessed cave that stands about 150 feet tall.  During the rainy season a waterfall (you can see remnants of the waterfall in the photo below) falls over the edge.

The trail goes through a beautiful forest. 

There is an old stone bridge on the trail, you can see it at the very top center of this picture.

And here I am standing on that very same bridge.

Rock House

The next stop on our route was Rock House.  Wow! This is definitely not to be missed if visiting Hocking Hills.  

Once again, there are lots of stone steps...bring those walking sticks!

The trail to get to Rock House was gorgeous, filled with so many interesting rock formations.

Rock House Loop Trail is only one mile long loop.

I'm always fascinated by moss and tree roots!

And here I am, standing just outside the entrance to Rock House. 

The inside of Rock House was incredible!  I loved the gothic arched "windows" and the great sandstone columns.  I loved how the light poured in through all the "windows".  

Seriously, how is this Ohio?  πŸ˜†

I liked how the windows framed in the scenery.  It is just as interesting to look out from inside the cave as it is to be looking at the inside of the cave.

Here is a short video showing my excitement at seeing Rock House for the first time:

After exiting cave another 'dry' waterfall greets you.  I imagine during the rainy season there is much more water flowing over the edge into the pond below.

There's also another beautiful old stone bridge that is no long used for safety reasons.  They build a new one right alongside it.

 Next week I'll cover more trails inside the Hocking Hills region...the best is yet to come!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Bless This Nest Handmade Card

My daughter asked me to make a few baby cards for her as she has a number of showers she needs to attend.  Papertrey Ink has daily deals where everyday a new stamp/die set is drastically marked down.  You can subscribe to their email service to see these daily deals.  I've purchased several new sets from them and have been anxious to play with them.  I must say, as a stamp and color girl, these new die cuts are a big learning curve for me.  I've been noticing for a while now that stamping/coloring seems to be on the way out and die cutting is what is hot, hot, hot in the paper-crafting world.  I actually find it harder to make a card using die cuts, but since most people probably don't like to color or purchase hundreds of different shades of markers, this is probably easier for them.

Whenever I work with a new set, I first like to just case a card to familiarize myself with the set.  This is the card I cased:

As you see, I changed the colors, the sentiment, and added flowers to the branches,  but the layout and concept remain the same.

I used a tree branch Cuttlebug embossing folder for the background, stamping the sentiment first before running it through the machine.  Everything else you see was just cut with the die cuts provided in the Papertrey Ink set and then stamped.  It's actually a very fussy, time consuming process especially gluing all the little blue dots into the center of the flowers.  I think I'd rather color.  I like the look of coloring better than a die cut/stamped color look.

 So what about you?  Do you prefer stamping/coloring or are you a die cut kind of gal (or guy).  I'd love to hear from you.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Spring Flowers

Another year, another spring garden.  Walk with me as we tour this year's spring blooms in my garden:

My spring garden began with one single crocus bloom.  I then excitedly posted the photo to Facebook with the caption "We have life!"

That one single crocus bloom was then followed by other crocus in many different colors.

Then the daffodils made their appearance, of which I had to promptly gather a bouquet and bring life into my house. 

Photos can never caption the scale of all the daffodils I have, so here is a short video.

After the daffodils, come the tulips.  Although this year my heart was broken as the deer had gotten to many of my tulips before I got to enjoy them.

With the arrival of the tulips also arrived my favorite bird:  the oriole.

Other perennials, shrubs, and trees also start to bloom about the same time as the tulips, and the garden soon started to explode with life.


Grape Hyacinth

Lamium Shell Pink Spotted Dead Nettle

Pink Flowering Crab Apple Tree

Weigela Bush

White Flowering Crab Apple Tree

Bleeding Heart

Vibernum Bush

One of my favorite places to sit and rest a spell.  The bench sits high above my yard so I get a nice view.

White Crab Apple Tree with my neighbor's Creeping Phlox in the background.

Cushion Spurge

Laminum Maculatum Purple Dragon

Viburnum Bush with Ornamental Onions in background

Ornamental Onion

Snowball Bush

I love the view from my third floor master bedroom window.  The room is up in the tree branches and when the Honey Locust tree is bright yellow it is breath-taking.



Hosta with Little Princess Lilac Bush in background

White Peony

Dame's Rocket

Bachelor Buttons

Lilac Bush

 And now, a video of my garden in the morning.  Be sure to watch this video with the sound on:  the birds singing with the sound of running water in the background from a nearby waterfall is a treat for the senses.

I hope you enjoyed touring my spring garden.  I will be back soon with a vegetable garden post!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!