Day 1-2: Ohio

Ohio is the “new frontier” for us. The first state we have never been to before…

DAY 1 PLAN:
DEPART: Nesconset New York, early a.m.
DRIVE: Nesconset to New York City to NJ to PA to OH (estimated 510 miles / 9 hours straight driving)
ARRIVE: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH, hike-in 1/4 mile to the Stanford House primitive campsites, and set up camp.

DAY 2 PLAN:
ACTIVITY: Optional hike of Brandywine Falls or Ice Cave (Ledges Trail); or take the scenic railroad trip; or visit the beaver marsh
DEPART: Cuyahoga Valley National Park by noon
DRIVE: Cuyahoga Valley, OH to IN to Chicago, IL (estimated 350 miles / 6 hours straight driving), change timezone at IL state line
ARRIVE: Chicago, IL and check-in at the Travelodge Downtown Hotel (for 2 nights)

RESOURCES: DAY 1 PLANNING PAGE | DAY 2 PLANNING PAGE | WEATHER

NOTES FROM THE ROAD: OHIO TRANSITIONS… (arriving in Ohio)

Seeing the “Welcome to Ohio,” sign was a relief. It had taken a whole day of driving just to cross Pennsylvania, and it seemed like we were now back “on schedule,” more or less, to arrive at our campsite by 5 or 6p. Just one problem. Grey skies and steady rain. It was really coming down heavily. Neither “Cactus Killer” nor I wanted to bring it up, but finally we had to. We might have to spend the first night of our “adventure” watching the Weather Channel in a hotel!!! Not at all what we planned … [ read more ]

NOTES FROM THE ROAD: OHIO, CAMPING IN CUYAHOGA VALLEY (about Cuyahoga Valley)

It was still wet everywhere when we began to pitch our tent, but we were just glad to finally be there. It had been a tough day of driving! Unpacking our gear took several short-trips back and forth to the Jeep, but our great reward was that we actually saw a real beaver!!!! Thrilled at the unexpected wildlife encounter, we set out to find the “community fire ring” … [ read more ]

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: PORTFOLIO: OHIO, CUYAHOGA VALLEY (images from the national park)

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park looked hauntingly beautiful when we arrived just after the rain stopped. It was the time of day when the wildlife came out to forage and we delighted in crossing paths. Camping at one of the Stanford House primitive tent sites, we were well-placed for a morning hike to the Brandywine Falls. This portfolio contains a selection of imagery from the area around the Stanford House sites, the hiking trail and the Falls. … [ read more ]

REFLECTIONS & OTHER THINGS: A WHITE BREAD TOWN (looking for bread)

When we got to the Cuyahoga Valley we realized we had no bread. Not a big deal, right? We could just pick some up at a store before we got to the park. Who knew we were embarking on a quest for the impossible! Driving to the center of the town, we passed a few lone motels and headed to what looked like the main crossroad. We chose a direction and made our turn. But instead of supercenters or even strip malls, we found ourselves on a sad street of small industry … [ read more ]

PRACTICAL MATTERS: WHICH WAY DO WE GO… (routing choices via Cuyahoga Valley)

While Route 66 was the raison d’être of our trip, we would actually have to travel a lot more. First, we would have to get from New York to Chicago, to the Route’s starting point, and then we would have to get back to New York from California, once we made it out there. Now we could have chosen to just do the “return” via Route 66, but we thought it might be a good idea to go back another way, and benefit from the opportunity to see and do some other things, too. After much research and some debate, we came up with an itinerary that would take us across … [ read more ]

THE GREAT OUTDOORS: DESTINATION: CUYAHOGA VALLEY, OH (about the national park)

Unlike many other national parks in far-flung corners of the wilderness, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park stretches between two urban hubs, Cleveland and Akron. Centered around the winding Cuyahoga river (the Native American name means “crooked river”) the 33,000-acre park gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. The river once provided water for the 19th-century Ohio & Erie Canal. And today that history is recalled by some of the park’s key attractions. … [ read more ]

THE GREAT OUTDOORS: TIME FOR A NEW TENT (choosing a tent)

We have been going tent camping for years, but never for more than a few days at a time, and as soon as it rained more heavily than a “sprinkle” we’d always bee-line it for the nearest motel. This time it would be different. After outlining our basic itinerary, it became clear that we would be camping out for between 21 and 28 days. And the campsites would vary from large, well-equipped campgrounds to truly remote, primitive backcountry locations with zero facilities … [ read more ]

OHIO THINGS WE LIKE:
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, only a day’s drive from NYC, the winding Cuyahoga river” gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands….
Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, because we learn something interesting while enjoying an amazing scenic ride on a beautiful old train….
The Towpath Trail, a hike that follows the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal….
Brandywine Falls, a short and enjoyable hike in the area near the waterfalls is well worth the effort …
The Beaver Marsh, because we think beavers are cool…
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association, because they administer the Stanford House Primitive campsites…