A Saturday

Last week I blogged about supporting the economy by buying local and supporting your local businesses.  My lovely daughter-in-law stopped by with a comment and a link about The 3/50 Project.  I had not heard of it.  Thank you, Merdi, for the info and the link.  If you have not heard of it, or you have but you’ve forgotten about it, please take a moment or two to check it out.  Even better, participate if you can.  It’s a wonderful idea.

As you know, my weekend was filled with beans and the processing of beans.  But it’s not all work and no play around here.  Sometimes it’s a combination of the two.

The car was due for its 30,000-mile check-up/tune-up.  M scheduled it for Saturday morning.  I decided to go along to keep him company and because he enticed me with a walk in Kent and breakfast at Wild Goats Café.  It beats sitting around in the waiting room at the car dealership (even if they do have coffee and donuts, a large screen television, and plenty of periodicals to read).

The walk from the dealership to Wild Goats Café is exactly one mile.  It was a nice little walk mostly on Main Street heading into Kent.  The morning was sunny, hazy, and very warm but there are plenty of trees to provide some shade and there are actual sidewalks to walk upon (something we don’t have out here in the country).  By noon it was feeling more hot than warm and we appreciated the shady spots even more than when we started out.

After a delicious breakfast (with plenty of iced tea) at Wild Goats, we walked over to the Franklin Mills Riveredge Park which is only about a block away from the café.  The park follows the course of the Cuyahoga River through Kent and is named after the original settlement along the river.  You may have heard of the Cuyahoga River.  It’s famous for having caught on fire in the late 1960’s.  It was at one time known as one of the most polluted rivers in the U.S.

It has always been my opinion that the shortest, easiest, and least expensive communication with the invaluable back country would be to let the courses and the distances be taken to the mouth of the Muskingum and up that river to the carrying place to the Cuyahoga, down the Cuyahoga to Lake Erie.

~ George Washington

Cuyahoga River on a sunny Saturday in July

The name Cuyahoga means “crooked river” in the language of the Iroquois.  It is indeed a crooked river, as you can see from this map.  The water quality has improved over the years thanks to a lot of hard work from a lot of hard-working people and, as far as I know, the river has not caught on fire since the 1960’s.  (For those interested in such things, Great Lakes Brewing Company has a beer which I think was named for the Cuyahoga River:  Burning River Pale Ale.  It’s an excellent and wonderfully hopped ale.)  Areas that were once devoid of fish now support 22 species.

(Kent Main Street bridge over the river.)

The park has seen a lot of improvements since we moved to this area ten years ago, including the bypassing of the Kent dam (something that was not without controversy).  One of the problems with the water quality in recent years has more to do with stagnation due to the dams along the river than it does with pollution (although I should point out that pollution continues with urban runoff and sewer overflows being two of the main sources).  If interested, you can read more about the Kent dam project here.

It’s a nice little park.  The dam, constructed in 1836 and having some historical significance (I read somewhere but can’t find it now that the dam is one of the oldest in Ohio), was left intact.  The waterfall was reestablished by pumping recirculating river water through a trough around the lip of the dam.

We enjoyed our walk.  There were other people out and about, enjoying the park.  Some were playing in the river, cooling off.

We saw several turtles sunning themselves near the dam area.  The water around the dam seems to suffer from some of the same problems we are having in our pond this year (pond weed and algae, oh my!).  In a way, that was reassuring.  It means our pond weed and algae problems are not unique to our pond and therefore not a result of something we did or did not do.

After exploring “Heritage Park” (the lower area that was “created” around the dam area when the dam was bypassed) and reading some of the interpretive signs highlighting some of the history of the dam and river, we climbed the stairs to the observation platforms and walkways.

I’m not sure how much more there was to explore as we didn’t stay too long or go too far.  One of the things missing in that area of the park is a public restroom.  I don’t know about you but if I drink lots of iced tea with my breakfast, I’m going to be in need of a loo at some point in time.  So we made our way back to the dealership (where they have restrooms for their waiting customers — a good thing to have if you’re serving unlimited free cups of coffee).

You can tell where the dealership is located by looking up for the giant flag.  I tried a search to find out why car dealerships fly giant flags but was unable to come up with a good answer other than what appear to be guesses such as to catch the eye of the customer in order to lure them in and to show their patriotism (which may be good guesses for all I know).  I wonder if they started flying those behemoths around the time “buy American” became a popular theme in car advertisements?

We picked up the car, went to Hartville Market to see what the farmers had for sale, and then it was back home and back to work.  M did some Project Patio work and I took on the rest of the beans.

(At the Hartville Market)

I think I would rather have been doing this:

(Summer scene:  Playing in the Cuyahoga.)

But then, the beans wouldn’t have gotten processed and we wouldn’t have had that gorgeous stir-fry for dinner.  It’s all connected in one way or another, isn’t it?

(Saturday’s sunset.)

21 Comments on “A Saturday”

  1. Bo Mackison says:

    All sounds like one of those memorable days filled with plain ol’ livin’. Kent sounds ripe for exploring too. And glad you finished all those beans. What veggie is next?

    • Robin says:

      Hopefully broccoli, Bo. I’m hoping it will come in soon so I can get to it. Then it will be tomatoes and peppers. After that, squashes of all kinds. Then I get to rest for the winter. 😀

      I need to get over to Kent and explore with the camera in hand. We used to live in Kent but that was before I was given my first digital camera. Just walking around the Kent State University campus will fill up a memory card or two.

  2. Joanne says:

    Robin, this is a great post; so much information and I could ask you so many questions here. I’ll come back later and follow the links to other sites you have included.

    The first thing that struck me about “Kent Feed and Supply” is that it looks like an old railway station…do you know if it is? And the Iroquois are Indians, aren’t they? Such a beautiful river, and a gorgeous town. Is it far from where you live?

    I hadn’t ever realised how entertaining a trip to a car dealership could be!! I’ll be back to read more later. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Joanne: It is indeed an old railway station. Your question has made me wonder where the new railway station is. I’m sure there must be one somewhere in Kent. I’ll have to look next time.

      The Iroquois are Indians (or Native Americans). They are, according to Wikipedia, an association of several tribes and the name means “People of the Longhouse” (said to imply that the nations of the League of Iroquois should live together as families in the same longhouse).

      Kent is only about 8 miles from where we live. M and I lived in Kent prior to moving out to the country.

      It’s funny how the most mundane things can become interesting. 😀

      • Joanne says:

        Ahhh…that’s where I’ve heard of the Iroquois before; Diana Gabaldon books! (I knew the word was familiar!) In one of the story lines, Jamie’s nephew, young Ian, lives with the Iroquois and there is quite a lengthy explanation of the longhouses they live in. 🙂 I think it must be time I re-read the books, to jog my memory!

  3. Kel says:

    I vaguely recall you have posted about breakfast at Wild Goats before – looks nice

    have to comment on the prices of produce at the market – it is so cheap!

    we’d pay $6-$9 dollars for one of those tomato baskets
    $5-$7 for the peaches and $4-$6 for the grapes

    Kent looks like a lovely town

    • Robin says:

      Kel: Yes, I did post about Wild Goats before. Your memory is better than mine. I was surprised to see “Wild Goats” come up as a tag when I went to type it in (meaning I had used it before).

      I’ve noticed that our produce prices are cheaper than most other places. We’re very lucky. I suppose it’s because there are so many farms and orchards in this area.

  4. What great photos you captured! I sure wish we had something as lovely as that around here, I guess I will just have to live vicariously through you. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Karma says:

    Thank you for sharing your walk with us! I felt like I got to look over your shoulder on a lovely Saturday.

  6. Meredith says:

    You know I’ve lived there my whole memorable life and still had no idea what Cuyahoga actually meant? I’ve always thought it funny that the river caught on fire, but it’s nice to see that the river has improved so much. Especially since a lot of the Lake Erie shoreline still scares me. Personally, I prefer rivers to lake in general, they’re more fun to play around in!

    • Robin says:

      Meredith: I was surprised to find out that the river has caught on fire at least 13 times! The first reported fire was in 1868.

      I like any kind of body of water. Rivers, creeks, lakes, streams, ponds, and especially oceans. 🙂 I can see why the Lake Erie shoreline might scare you. The waves can be rough up there.

  7. jenna says:

    I just went and checked out Merdi’s reference – very cool! It actually got me to thinking that there are only a few staples that I purchase from chains (prescriptions, olive oil, and cleaning supplies) and if I shifted that over to independent businesses, I’d be almost “off the grid” in terms of the big box stores and such.

    Well, save for the occasional amazon indulgence – but that’s only when I can’t find it at my local place 🙂

  8. Dave Q, UK says:

    what lovely photos you captured and thanks for the mini tour.

  9. Nice blog and fantastic pictures. Nothing like a close-up to really make you see things. Thanks for the tour!

  10. sherri says:

    Silly me…the other night I didn’t realize you were in Ohio. I was born and raised in Dayton. (Have a brother-in-law who was from Kent. I married an Arky and live in Arkansas now – don’t hold that against me:-) Love seeing these pics of your area. We normally vacationed in the Smokeys and didn’t venture too far into northern Ohio. It’s nice to be able to get out and about in the summer like you’ve done here and not have to fear snakes and such like we do. I’ve forgotten how carefree it was.

    • Robin says:

      Sherri: That’s okay. I’m not sure many people outside of myself think of Ohio as “the bogs” so it might not have been recognizable as Ohio.

      I haven’t been to the Smokeys in a long, long time. I hope we get back that way sometime in the near future.

      As for snakes, we have them here too. I just don’t worry much about them as they always seem to be more afraid of me than I am of them. That said, having one crawl up my leg one warm spring day was not my idea of a good time and has made me much more cautious about standing still for too long if I’m the warmest spot out there.

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