Hers – Bradley Woods Reservation

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This may disappoint some of you, but there were no angry car rides or trips to the hood this weekend. There was just some good, ol’ fashioned walking in the woods with nice people and stupid jokes. It was like old times!

Bradley Woods was refreshing. Not just for Casey and I to get back to somewhat normal after a week of illness, but also just to be outdoors with other people who are happy to be outside too.

After a week cooped up with the flu, I was anxious to get out. So excited that I started the day with a chilly 3-miles run before Casey and I headed out to the woods. The reservation is located just 25 minutes from downtown Cleveland on the west side of town. It’s a quiet area, and much of the traffic noise disappeared once we made our way through the park to the main parking area. There’s a massive picnic shelter, some bathrooms, picnic tables and open fields.

We checked out the trail map and decided to do the Quarry Loop Trail (2 miles) and the Burns Lake Loop (.6 miles). The trails were some of the best marked in any metropark that I’ve been to. And yet, we both felt that we didn’t do the full Quarry Loop…or maybe we just walk a lot faster than we think! Either way, that trail was unpaved through the woods and led to some really cool, random concrete structures that became our playground for a bit. We later learned these are remnants from a 1920s sandstone quarry.

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The loop took us back to the main picnic/parking area, so we decided to hit the Burns Lake Loop. It was paved and less wooded, traversing around the central lake, which was mostly frozen over. Casey took it upon himself to throw any possible object he could get his hands on (sticks, rocks) onto the frozen lake because it made a fun noise. While we were walking, three geese kept flying overhead and honking loudly. So we naturally started narrating their conversation. My interpretation went a little something like this:
Head goose: You mother***ers! I told you we’d be late. I told you we should’ve left early, but no, you two wanted to wait two more weeks and now look?! We’re stuck in the cold with a freaking frozen lake.

Casey’s interpretation was something about a love triangle or a dad with his wife and teenage daughter. Anyways, it was fun to be goofy while walking around the lake and there are plenty of benches to sit and take it all in.

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Nature is funny sometimes. Like the Pine Oak Loop trail that we decided to tackle next. It’s less of a loop and more of a rectangle. It took us back through the woods, but literally had us turn 90 degree angles until we made our way back out.

Overall, it was good to get into the woods on some easy trails. The easily marked trails and overall ease of the landscape meant that we could turn our attention to laughing. And I’m glad we got in the laughing when we did, because we followed up our awesome hike with a less-than-stellar trip to wal-mart (my absolute least favorite store in the world where dreams go to die) in which we waited in line for 20 minutes while the chick in front of us paid for her $64 purchase in dollar bills and the cashier counted at about the pace of molasses in the middle of, well, January. We should’ve just stayed in the woods.

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