This past weekend, Honey and I took a 75 mile motorcycle ride to Hell Hollow Wilderness Area up near the lake in Leroy Twp., Ohio. This gorgeous park is part of the Lake Metropark system. It's off the beaten path (ever take a motorcycle on a gravel road??) and we parked in a very small, non-descript gravel parking area that lead us to a path at the edge of a high cliff top. The highlight of this area is to descend more than 100 feet to the ravine where Paine Creek winds it's way around with dry beds, waterfalls and rushing water. Once upon a time, glaciers pushed and gouged out this beautiful area that got it's awful name because of the steep, rugged slopes which made it hell to access and leave the "hollow"
Just as we arrived, it begin to sprinkle. And as soon as we entered the tree canopy the rain started to pour. Thankfully the canopy protected us and the rain quickly ended.
We had no sooner began walking the trail that would eventually lead us to the 262 timber steps to descend to the river valley, when my eye caught this beautiful brown hooded owlet caterpillar. (And no, I had no idea that's what it was called until I got home and looked it up.) This little creature was spectacular in color. Orange, blue, yellow, red and black... if you enlarge the picture (click the pic) you should be able to make out the details of it's markings.
Just steps away from the caterpillar was this pretty little moth, or butterfly. It sat still long enough for both Honey and I to get a few pictures of it too.
Once we got to the bottom of the ravine, we walked along a low creek bed and came across this leopard frog. (yep, I knew what this guy was. I totally dig frogs and toads). He also sat very still. I think he thought we couldn't see him. We kept moving in closer, snapping our cameras until we were practically on top of him. We were the ones who moved away first.
Later on I spied this little brown toad. He didn't move either as I snapped to take his picture. What a cutie. (OK, only folks who really like toads and frogs thinks they're cute, and I am one of those folks.)
The ravine was mostly green, but there were sprinkles of color in the midst of the fauna. I have pictures of red and orange toadstools and other fungi as well as this bright pop of fuchsia in this pretty little flower. The visitor collecting pollen must have thought it was attractive as well.
In the creek bed where it was dry, I came across this uniquely shaped rock. I wanted to bring it home with me, but I guess the park people frown on folks taking things out of the parks. So I took it with my camera instead. How cool is that? Can you feel the love??
This small waterfall in the ravine was very pretty and a peaceful sight and sound. Wish I could take THAT home with me and put it in the backyard.
Honey wanted to get a picture of me on the other side of the creek bed. I told him it looked deep, but he assured me that my new hiking boots were waterproof and that I'd be fine. So I rolled up my jeans and waded to the other side.
He stands corrected.
Waterproof boots are great as long as the water stays on the outside of your boot. Once the water tops your boots, well, I can vouch that the inside of the boot is not waterproof.
Considering I had to take off my boots and ring my socks out, I decided to wade in the clear cool creek while my socks lay out across some sunlit rocks. I also took advantage of some flat rocks to practice a PiYo move I've yet to perfect.
After we explored the ravine a little longer, we began the trek back up to the top.
Did I mention the 262 timber steps we took down into the ravine? There's only one way up that we were aware of. Yep, 262 timber steps back up out of the ravine. I am so glad I decided to start working out again earlier this year, otherwise, I don't think that would have been quite as enjoyable as it was.
Did I also mention I had on wet socks and boots?
I still love you Honey.
Thanks for a great day.