324: Out on the water

Rowboat in fog and grass

I’m not sure what this day will bring so I’m scheduling this post to go out in case I’m either not home in time to do it live and in person, or I’m too tired.  M and I have a date with M the Younger and his lovely wife to go canoeing on the upper Cuyahoga River.  We’ll be having lunch after that, and then M and I have talked about taking a hike or going on a bike ride.  It depends, in part, on the weather.  There are scattered thunderstorms in the forecast for the afternoon.

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Maryland Heights

Today we hiked Maryland Heights to the Overlook Cliffs. It’s about 4.2 miles round trip, and took us 3 hours (which is the typical time given for this hike).

It’s hot (near 90) and extremely humid after yesterday’s storms. By the time we finished the hike we looked as though we’d spent the 3 hours in a steam bath.

It was worth it for the views.

Most of the hike goes through the woods so we didn’t have the sun beating down on us. The first half, as you might have guessed since it goes to the Overlook Cliffs, is all uphill. One part was described as “moderate, but pleasant.” Ha! Moderate ain’t the half of it. Even M found it somewhat strenuous. We’ll both probably have sore legs tomorrow from all the climbing.

I took lots of photos (and hope to post them when we get back, but you know how that goes… I’m still trying to finish posting photos from our San Diego trip!). The cool thing was being able to see, and shoot pictures, from the other side of Harpers Ferry. It’ll be fun to compare the views from our last trip with this trip.

We’re going to Sheperdstown for dinner tonight. We’re thinking of going to Shaharazade’s since we both enjoy Middle Eastern food, but a final decision has not been made yet. The Blue Moon Cafe is a possibility too (since it’s supposed to have a large selection of vegetarian fare).

I’ve been sick with tummy troubles since Monday. Healthy, vegetarian fare sounds like just the thing. Either one of those restaurants will meet my requirements without breaking the bank.

Tomorrow we’re going canoeing or tubing. Because it’s supposed to be in the 90’s and humid, tubing is the most likely activity. We drove around to check out the Shenandoah River today, to make sure canoeing would still be ok for novices after all the rain from yesterday’s storms. The river is muddy, a little fast, but nothing we couldn’t handle. Still and all, I’m voting for tubing. It’s gonna be a scorcher out there. Might as well take a leisurely float in the cool water. We both dipped our feet in the river first chance we got to make sure it wasn’t too cold. I thought it felt just right.

Some trivia for you:  The Shenandoah does something most North American rivers don’t do.  It flows to the north.


Face shots

Alto2 asked for a face shot of the kittens. Now that they’ve settled in a little and aren’t bouncing off the walls quite as much, I did manage to get one or two. Here’s the best of the lot:

(Izzy & Bella)

And here’s the funniest of the lot:

(Bella & Izzy)

I caught Bella mid-yawn. For a kitten who usually looks very stately and queen-like, this is a most embarrassing shot. Thank goodness her internet prowess is confined to walking over the keyboard and sitting on top of the monitor.

Izzy, on the other hand, is the clever clown of the Dynamic Duo. She picks up on how things work very quickly. I’ll have to watch that or she’ll soon be surfing the internet on her own.

M and I, along with two friends, went canoeing on the Tuscarawas River today. We took the 2-hour (6 miles) Canal Fulton to Crystal Springs trip. The river was high, but slow. It turned out to be a 3-hour tour for this group of Gilligans. But we were taking our time, enjoying the tranquility of being out on the river by ourselves. We went early, before the air temperature warmed up, and there was no one else about. When we got to the take-out point, the driver who picked up the canoes said business was starting to boom as the day warmed up.

It was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to doing it again. M and I discussed the possibility of getting up early and walking along the Ohio & Erie Towpath, hiking the 6 miles from where we were going to leave our car to the canoe rental place, but then decided we probably weren’t up for it this time around. Maybe next time. I’d like to go again when the foliage becomes a bit more colorful. It’s already starting to change. I think it would be a beautiful trip when the leaves are at their showiest. This may not be the year for it, though. The trees in this area are looking pretty raggedy this year. First we had hot temperature at the end of March – beginning of April followed by snow and freezing temperatures (so that the pond froze over). The summer was hot with drought conditions, and then we had the August monsoon/deluge rains.

The August rains left quite a mark on the banks of the Tuscarawas. Huge trees came tumbling down along with entire stretches of the bank as a result of the flooding. We had some obstacles along the way, but nothing that required us to get out and portage the canoes.

We had lunch at a biker (as in motorcycle) bar across the street from the take-out point. I can’t remember the name of it. A search on the internet turns up nothing that even remotely rings a bell. I suspect they don’t have a website. They seem to do well enough without it. The beer was average (the usual name-brand lagers) and the food was filling. We were all pretty hungry when we sat down, and we all left feeling stuffed. There were some interesting looking biker folks in the place. Business was beginning to pick up about the time we left (around 2:30pm).

Once again I have no photos from the canoe trip.  Although we didn’t end up in the water and it probably would’ve been safe enough to take the camera, it’s impossible to know that ahead of time and I don’t want to risk dunking it in the water.

I hope to get back to the county fair stuff sometime this week. Now that the kitlets are settling down a bit, it should be easier for me to keep up.