Tara and I have had some action packed weekends here recently, so we haven’t really been able to keep up with our hikes. Last Saturday we celebrated my 31st birthday by visiting a few breweries and finished up with a date at a local favorite of ours, Cantine. Cantine is a tapas restaurant. There’s a lot of delicious food and beverages to choose from. Sunday ended up being a day of catch up; chores galore! That being said, Tara and I went back our roots of meeting after work during the week. I was tasked with picking the spot and wanted something as centric as possible, so I chose a new trail in Cuyahoga Valley National park – the Oak Hill Trail.
It was sunny but a bit brisk. The drive was full of twists and turns, peaks and valleys. I was very pleased to see how far back in the forest this trail was. I knew it was going to be a good one when I turned off the main drag into the parking lot and it was a quarter mile of loose gravel. It brought back a lot of childhood memories for me. I’m from a small town and Sundays were usually reserved for long back road drives deep in the country with my family. We’d all pile into our 1990 something Dodge Caravan, get some beverages at the store and take off for hours on end. My brothers and I always got Sprite, it’s right when they came up with the under the cap game. We’d always be looking for bragging rights as to who won the free 20 ounce.
Anyway, the gravel road dumped into a huge parking lot, which made little sense, because this place was E-M-P-T-Y. I put it in park and just heard the vast nothingness. It was so quiet in fact, I didn’t even need to look up when Tara was coming. I could hear her car slowing churning down the gravel. I don’t want to be too mushy here, but I get so stinking excited when we meet up at a park and she pulls along side of me. I’m thrilled with the fact that I’m about to get out in the woods and just catch up on our lives and get lost in nature for a bit. This week was no exception. We hit the Oak Hill Trail and chatted away.
This week was especially notable for me. I made the decision to accept a job offer and start new with a different company. With everything laid out in front of me, it was a mixture of excitement and nerves as I talked through the potential with my new employer. We kept the walk relatively brief, only 1.8 miles, because we still had to get home and make some dinner. I’m telling you though, this one is worth the drive. There’s also a larger four and a half mile trail, called the Plateau trail, that is intertwined with the Oak Hill trail. (I’ll make a strong push to go back and tackle that one.)
We did our lap, laughed and talked the whole way through. We game-planned through the rest of our week and snapped some excellent pictures. All and all, it was just a great walk and it made me reminisce on old times I had with Tara and memories of activities I used to do with my family. There’s nothing like getting a little lost in order to find a piece of yourself again. Nature always finds a way to help me do just that.