Hocking Hills Hills.
Grandma picked up the kiddos and off I went to the college to attempt to study for finals week and to visit my husband, Sean, who works in the college's IT department. I had this lingering idea that visiting Hocking for a little R&R was in store and so I located a very nice cabin at a reasonable price last minute and next thing I knew we were on our way. Arriving in the evening, we met the owner who lived right up the lane and stayed at a retreat called Two Trees Inn. It was decked out with large windows which welcomed the morning sunlight for that cup of coffee, a wonderful hot tub, pool table rec room, and was secluded nicely among the Hocking Hills Forest. If you ever decide to escape to Hocking, look up Two Trees Inn, a great place that sleeps up to 12 guests and lots of open space and friendly owners.
Today we awoke and the clouds slowly left the area to bring in the warm sunshine which paved our path to Ash Cave for a small hike and photo op before coming back home. Before our arrival to the trail path, we drove through a small town called Laurelville. We were hungry for a good lunch and decided to stop at a small diner called The Ridge Inn. This was an unexpected delight and everyone would find something delish on their menu to try. The restaurant was elegantly decorated and featured beautiful photo images for sale by local artists as their wall decor. Pottery was on display at the front counter from the local potters as well. The food was superb, we started with a chicken quesadilla appetizer and I went for a Gwen's Favorite Chicken Salad sandwich halve paired with a tasty bowl of loaded baked potato soup. My husband tried the Cobb salad and all was excellent to the palate. We would make the drive to this restaurant again in the future!
After our lunch, we made our way to Ash Cave and the experience was picture perfect as always with the sunlight gracefully kissing the Eastern Hemlocks and moss covered sandstone throughout the hike. It was so serene, calm, and peaceful. I almost couldn't bring myself to depart the waterfall area of the cave. Hocking Hills clears the mind of the clutter and releases the soul into a state of tranquility and happiness. The beauty that the Hills beholds is the perfect medicine for the worried mind, the stressed, and those who need clarity to continue their creative abilities. Hocking is a cleansing of the heart, mind, and soul.
Now at home again, I feel relieved and ready to resume my day to day hectic routine. Everyone needs that one place to escape to even if it is just for a day or a couple of hours at a time in order to regain their energies to deal with our fast paced society and all of its demands. Sometimes it is hard to pull ourselves away from what we are doing in order to enjoy life and to rest. Life is too short to not enjoy nature's beauty that is all around us. My hope is for everyone to have that sacred place that helps relieve the troubles, worries and stresses that our daily activities may bring to us. If you are ever in Ohio, take my advice and check out Hocking Hills for the spectacular hiking opportunities, local artisans, great food and people. You won't regret it!