Man do I long to be deep in the belly of The Gorge!!!! We have successfully arrived in Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio. There is supposed to be good hiking in the area with some beautiful waterfalls and I’m close to a good friend we will visit between here and Cuyahoga National Park, which we plan on visiting. Driving here was really beautiful. We got to watch the scenery change, leaving the thick mountains that stole my heart, entering historic cities, crossing the Ohio River and driving trough the gentle rolling hills that housed huge farms all with a more stunning old barn than the last. I smiled often at the beauty of each barn, noticing the different characteristics that made each one majestic in it’s own way! Barns bring me such joy for all that they represent both culturally and in my own personal history. I loved watching the sunlight dance across the corn fields as they changed a thousand different shades of gold and green. As much as I loved the gentle nature of these rolling hills, my mind kept wandering back to the severe drops alone the mountains that were perfectly carved by the creeks and streams that fed The New River to create the dramatic Gorge nestled deep into the “No Service” areas of West Virginia.
We got within 30 miles of Hocking Hills area and in my classic form of heading off into the next place with no plan, I pulled into a Wal-Mart to use the restroom and figure out where we would stay for the night. It was 5:30 pm, so there was still plenty of daylight to find a cool spot. After 30 min of searching I realized all the free sites in National Land or Land Management were about 2 hours away and I decided to bite the bullet and pay to stay in the State Park. As we pulled in, Sienna’s heart was practically bursting out of her chest with immense excitement to see how many families with kids were here!!! The last 10 days we have been in a free site which has it’s pluses and minuses. (Some of the pluses are that you are deep in some sort of National Land area, you are surrounded by nature, there are few people because there is no electric/water/dumping hook-ups so it’s mostly primitive campers or at least people who know how to deal with the elements, there are no big RV’s and you are usually surrounded by people who are out in nature to be out in nature not bring everything they own into nature (although we defy this thought lol) and you are usually surrounded by people who are budget conscious! Some of the minuses are there is no electric/water hook-ups, there are no shower facilities, there is no running water even for brushing teeth or doing dishes or to fill your water reservior for hiking, and there are few kids for Sienna to play with. I’m sure there’s more in each department but these are the meaningful ones for us right now.)
So we pulled in and Sienna completed her set-up responsibilities in record time and set out on her bike to make some friends. Within minutes she was coming to get her babydoll to bring to play with two young girls her age in the next site over. I was overcome with the concrete and commercialism of the space and felt one lonely tear drop down my face. I was happy she was happy, but I wanted to be back, deep in the forest where the mountains met the river and we were the only constant campers in the place. I felt the heat in the exposed site and with a mixture of sadness and gratitude I turned on the AC in the camper and was glad to have electric to plug in to. As I continued to set up I chatted with neighbors as they set up their beer pong table for the tournament they were planning……. This is a far cry from where we just came from. I know there will be so many experiences that effect us both in such different ways, and I know they are all necessary, as the Universe provides us BOTH with what we need….. But, I can’t help but long to be back in the belly of The Gorge!!!
Love & Light