The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts from the ‘USA’ category

Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Beaver Marsh and Everett Covered Bridge

We vacationed for a week in Ohio.

We departed home on Thursday, April 20th, shortly after 8:00 am, en route Hudson OH.  Shortly before 9:00 am we stopped at Mel’s Hometown Restaurant in Corry PA.  We were back on the road again at 9:30 am, after a hearty breakfast.  We arrived at Cuyahoga Valley National Park at approximately 12:30 pm.

Our first stop at Cuyahoga Valley National Park was at the Beaver Marsh.  We parked at the Ira Trailhead and followed the short connecting path to the Towpath Trail and turned left. We headed north for 0.25 miles to reach the boardwalk. Shortly before reaching the boardwalk I discovered that I forgot to insert a memory card into my camera. I had my iPhone camera with me. The wildlife at Beaver Marsh is best photographed with a regular camera, preferably with a telescopic lens. For the most part I limited my photography to the landscape rather than to the wildlife.

Towpath Trail at the Beaver Marsh
Bob took this picture of me on the Beaver Marsh Boardwalk.
We saw several turtles, while at the Beaver Marsh.
These four turtles were close enough to photograph with my iPhone camera.

I turned around at the boardwalk and walked back to the Ira Trailhead.

Just south of the Beaver Marsh boardwalk is Lock 26.

Lock 26 is one of 44 locks that allowed boats on the Ohio & Erie Canal to stair-step up from Lake Erie to the Portage Summit in Akron. According to a marker at Lock 26, Charles and Susan Carter lived near Lock 26. Charles served as a canal boat captain and locktender. The family raised corn and hay on their 56-acre farm to feed their dairy cows. A short walk would take them to the former community of Ira, located near today’s Ira and Riverview roads. Though the community did not have any stores, taverns, or churches, it was a distribution point for dairy products. The Carters and other local farmers brought milk to the Hawkins Cheese Factory for processing. It was one of many in the region, which became known as ‘Cheesedom.’ From the community’s railroad depot, farmers shipped their cheese and fresh milk to urban areas.

As I was walking back to the trailhead, Bob continued walking north another 1 1/4 miles to Szalay’s Farm & Market.  I drove from the Ira Trailhead to Szalay’s, where I picked up Bob. 

Our second stop in Cuyahoga Valley National Park was at Everett Covered Bridge. It was a short walk from the trailhead to the bridge.   

Everett Covered Bridge
Crossing over Furnace Run, the Everett Covered Bridge is the only remaining covered bridge in Summit County. In the 19th century, it was one of over 2,000 covered bridges in Ohio.
Bob took this picture of me at Everett Covered Bridge.

Here is one last picture of the covered bridge, before we walked back to the trailhead.

Everett Covered Bridge

We checked in Airbnb “Wildlife and Serenity in Hudson, Ohio” by 2:30 pm. Our hosts allowed for an earlier than 4:00 pm check in.  We unpacked the car, settled into the Airbnb and relaxed.

We ate dinner at Fishers Cafe in Peninsula. We each ordered NY Strip Steak dinners that included 10 oz steaks, choice of potato and a salad. Dinner was delicious and filling. We each brought back to the Airbnb about half our steak.

Please stay tuned, as I have much more to share with you about our week-long vacation in Ohio!

A Week-Long Vacation

We returned home Thursday, April 27th, from a 7-night vacation in Ohio.  The Airbnb “Wildlife and Serenity in Hudson, Ohio” was our home base.  This was our second stay at this Airbnb.  We spent a week there in June of 2021.  

We checked in Airbnb “Wildlife and Serenity in Hudson, Ohio” by 2:30 pm on Thursday, April 20th. Our hosts allowed for an earlier than 4:00 pm check in.  We unpacked the car, settled into the Airbnb and relaxed.

Airbnb “Wildlife and Serenity in Hudson, Ohio” is an ideal location for what we enjoy doing, while on vacation.  The Airbnb is a few minutes drive from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The park is home to several waterfalls, a covered bridge, many miles of hiking trails, the Ohio & Erie Towpath, and a variety of wildlife that can be found in their natural habitats. You can also ride a train through the park via the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The Airbnb is also near a hike and bike trail, a grocery store and several restaurants. In addition the Airbnb is “situated on a protected lake that is home to a bonded pair of bald eagles as well as many other types of waterfowl … There are aviaries in the backyard that house large parrots …”.

When we vacation we try to spend about equal time enjoying our accommodation and exploring the area around us.  With the exception of two or three days, the weather during our vacation was rainy and/or quite chilly.  We ended up spending much of our vacation time at our Airbnb.  As you will see, we enjoyed watching the wildlife at Airbnb “Wildlife and Serenity in Hudson, Ohio”.

The following paragraphs are journal entries.

Friday, April 21st – Bob went for a walk this morning in the neighborhood across the street from our Airbnb.  He walked about 2 miles.  While Bob was walking, I watched the sun rise.  I didn’t really see the sun, only pretty colors across the sky.  After sun rise I straightened up our bedroom and took a shower.  When Bob came back from his walk, he made breakfast (eggs and bacon).  Orange juice accompanied our breakfast, along with a bowl of oatmeal for me. I saw a pair of eagles this morning.  The eagles were perched in a tree a short distance from their nest.  We hope to see baby eagles in the nest sometime during our stay here.

This afternoon I walked down to the lake and spent about 10 minutes talking with four parrots that were perched in the aviary.  One parrot in particular seemed to like me.  Webster would say hello, bob its head up and down, and make what sounded like a laugh, when I imitated him. 

Saturday, April 22nd – It started raining last night around 7:00 pm.  At 6:45 am this morning it is still raining.  There is quite a difference in temperature, too, from earlier in the week…85 degrees on Thursday to 46 degrees now. In between raindrops I managed to take a few photographs of wildlife at the lake.

Monday, April 24th – At 8:53 am this morning the temperature was 38 degrees.  According to Wunderground, “Snow possible around 9:45 am. Rain may mix in.”  A FREEZE WATCH was issued at 6:54 am this morning.  The freeze watch is in effect from late tonight through Tuesday morning.

We decided to stay in today, owing to the inclement weather.  We had much to occupy us.  There were many birds (e.g. blue birds, a robin, sparrows, nuthatches, a cardinal, a chickadee), a Pied-billed Grebe way out on the pond, several Canada Geese, a squirrel, and a mink to watch.  The sky and pond provided interest as well.  At times the sky was nondescript but would then darken and look threatening.  The pond would go from light colored to inky black.   For a short time  it brightened and looked almost sunny outside.  I dressed in four layers and carried my tripod and camera with a focal equivalent lens of 1200mm toward the edge of the pond, where I intended to try to take a picture of baby eagles.  There are two babies in the nest!  Well, there were Canada Geese, who looked menacing, right in the path that I would take to the pond.  Plus the sky was getting darker by the minute.  I decided to try again later.  Soon after I had returned into our Airbnb, it began to sleet outside!

Tuesday, April 25th – At 6:30 am this morning the temperature was 30 degrees. I walked down to the pond this morning.  I have seen two baby eagles in the nest.  Only one baby decided to show itself this morning and only for a short time.  I think it laid down for a nap.

The photographs displayed in the following slideshow highlight the above journal entries.

Over the next few days I will share details and photographs of places we visited while in Hudson, Ohio.

An Overnight Getaway and Motorcycle Sale

On Thursday, March 30th, Bob placed an ad on Facebook Marketplace to sell his motorcycle. One day later Tomas, who lives in the Poconos, told Bob that he had cash and wanted to buy the motorcycle.  Agreement was made to meet in Wellsboro PA to consummate the sale. Bob marked the motorcycle as “sale pending”.

We left home around noon on Thursday, April 6th, en route Wellsboro. We traveled with two vehicles.  I drove the car, and Bob rode the motorcycle.  We arrived in Wellsboro around 3:00 pm and checked into Sherwood Motel for the night.   Bob wore chaps and a leather coat, but he said that the ride from Warren to Wellsboro was chilly.  The temperature hovered in the low 50s.   Thankfully there were only a few drops of rain during the ride to Wellsboro.  

Shortly after checking in and getting settled in our room we walked the short distance (0.3 miles) to Timeless Destination, where we ate dinner.  Timeless Destination is an Italian and all world cuisine restaurant. Bob ordered a Mushroom and Swiss Burger with salad and two beers.   I ordered lasagna, which was accompanied with salad and bread.   The restaurant wasn’t busy, most probably owing to the fact it was only 4:00 pm.  The service was good; the food was delicious.  I brought back to our hotel room half of my lasagna and some of the bread.  Staying at Sherwood Motel earned us a 15% discount on our dinner order.

Back at Sherwood Motel we made use of the whirlpool tub, individually.  It would be nice if the whirlpool bath was  large enough for two people.  Bob wasn’t impressed.  He would rather make use of a hot tub.  I would agree, but still found the whirlpool bath relaxing.  Neither of us would want a whirlpool bath installed in our home.

This morning we walked across the street from Sherwood Motel and ate breakfast at  Dunkin’ Donuts.  After breakfast we returned to our room, where we relaxed for a few hours.

Around 10:40 am we met Tomas at Mountain Notary & Tag Service, which was located just around the corner from Sherwood Motel.  Tomas gave Bob the agreed-upon cash to purchase the motorcycle. He, then, loaded the motorcycle into his trailer, while I counted the cash.  After the motorcycle was loaded, Bob and Tomas went inside the notary & tag service building to effect the transfer of title.  The sale and transfer of the motorcycle went smoothly.  It surprised me that Tomas didn’t want to take the motorcycle for a test ride.  Bob said Tomas didn’t have to, as he knows the motorcycle.  Bob said Tomas was the perfect buyer.

The motorcycle Bob sold today was purchased new in April 2014. It is the first time since 1997 that Bob does not own a motorcycle.

From Mountain Notary & Tag Service we drove to Leonard Harrison State Park for a quick peek at Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon.

Leonard Harrison State Park
Pennsylvania Grand Canyon
Bob took this picture of me at Leonard Harrison State Park.
Bob took this picture of me at Leonard Harrison State Park.

From Leonard Harrison State Park we made our way back home.  We stopped for lunch at Kaytee’s Family Restaurant in Coudersport. We both ordered fish ‘n chips. We have eaten in this restaurant a few times over the years. The service and food never disappoint.

We returned home around 3:00 pm. It was a quick visit, but enjoyable and productive.

South Carolina Vacation: Garden City Beach SC to Warren PA

Sunrise from 10th floor balcony at One Ocean Place

On Sunday, March 5, we left One Ocean Place at 7:30 am, en route home.  

We stopped for breakfast in Rockingham NC at Waffle House.   I ordered the the All-Star Special (two scrambled eggs, with Toast & Jelly; Hashbrowns, a Waffle and 3 Slices of Bacon).  Bob ordered the Breakfast Hashbrown Bowl (Double Hashbrowns, Two Slices of Melted American Cheese, Two Scrambled Eggs and 3 Slices of Crumbled Bacon).   I gave Bob one of my eggs, my toast and one slice of bacon.  In addition to our main entrees we ordered coffee / tea and orange juice.  It didn’t take long to place our order, to have our food delivered, or to eat our food.  We were in and out of Waffle House fairly quickly.  

Another stop was at the Pilot Mountain Scenic Overlook in Pinnacle NC along US 52 /Interstate 74.  The overlook was a great place to stretch our legs and to take a picture.

Pilot Mountain, as seen from the Pilot Mountain Scenic Overlook

Bob decided to leave the interstate approximately 23 miles from the overlook.  We hopped onto NC-89 towards Mount Airy and followed that route into Galax VA.  From Galax we drove to Comfort Suites in Wytheville VA.  Again, we avoided interstate travel, using routes US-58 and US-21.  It was nice not to be driving on the interstate and to see different scenery.

We arrived in Wytheville VA around 2:30 pm and checked into Comfort Suites.

We went to dinner around 4:30 pm.  Instead of eating at Cracker Barrel, our go-to restaurant when in Wytheville, we ate somewhere different.  We ate dinner at Shoney’s Restaurant.  There are no Shoney’s near Warren PA.

We left Wytheville at 7:00 am on Monday, March 6, after a skimpy breakfast at the hotel.  Breakfast was not up to standards, the first time we have experienced subpar service.  No eggs; pancake machine not operational; no coffee.  A breakfast of sausage and hash browns was not appealing.  Breakfast commenced at 6:30 am, and we were there at 6:40 am. Unsatisfactory!

We stopped for lunch in Portersville PA at Brown’s Country Kitchen.   Bob ordered a burger with French fries.  I ordered a chicken salad croissant sandwich with a fruit cup.  We decided to stay off the interstate and take back roads rest of the way home.

We returned home at 3:55 pm.  We left sunny skies to come home to a winter storm advisory.

South Carolina Vacation: Taste of the MarshWalk

Saturday, March 4, I got up around 6:00 am.  I watched for the sun to rise.  It was overcast, so there wasn’t much of a sunrise. 

The sun did come out eventually, though,
bright and shiny peeking through the clouds.

Late morning Marge, Neil, Bob and I went to the 9th annual Taste of the MarshWalk at Murrells Inlet.  Being able to attend this event is why Marge and Neil invited us to stay with them for two nights.  We are so happy that we stayed.  What a great event… good food, drinks, live music and vendors.

Shortly after returning to the condo from Murrells Inlet, Bob and I walked over to the next building (south tower) of One Ocean Place. We met my cousin and his wife for the first time. I have been working on my ancestry for a few years. Tom and I are Ancestry DNA matches. We share a grandfather. My maternal third great grandfather is Tom’s maternal second great grandfather. Tom’s daughter took a DNA test as well. I found Wendy on Facebook. Soon she and I became Facebook friends. Tom messaged me to ask if I had any photographs of his grandmother. I didn’t have any pictures but told him that another cousin might have a picture. I contacted Carolyn, whose mother is Tom’s grandmother’s sister. Carolyn was able to share a couple pictures with Tom of his grandmother. Tom, Carolyn and I are now Facebook friends. Unplanned, Tom and his wife Geri spent the same vacation time in the Surfside Beach / Garden City Beach area as did Bob and I. We had a good visit. It is nice to make the acquaintance of a new cousin. I hope to one day meet Tom and Geri’s two daughters and grandchildren.

Around 4:00 pm I noticed how clear it was on the beach. The lighting was great too.

The beach seen from 10th floor balcony at One Ocean Place
Clearly visible are Myrtle Beach in the background
and the Surfside Pier (under construction) in the foreground.

Later I noticed the moon shining brightly over the ocean.

The moon above the ocean
Isn’t the moon beautiful?

The sun set magnificently around 6:15 pm.

Sunset from the 10th floor of One Ocean Place in Garden City Beach

Marge, Neil, Bob and I ate dinner at Pizza Hyena in Surfside Beach. 

Bob, Marge, Neil and I at Pizza Hyena

We waited an hour for our pizza.  The pizza was good and worth the hour wait.  There are three restaurants near each other–Pizza Hyena and across the street the Gracious Pig Smokehouse and the Chimichanga Llama Cantina.  All three restaurants are members of the Dining & Design team of restaurants founded by Nate Anderson in 2017. It is a lively part of town near these three restaurants.  The cantina had live music that could be heard throughout the area.  

Do you see Jupiter and Venus aligned in the night sky?
(look just to the left of the umbrella)

This was our last night in South Carolina. The next day we began our drive back home.

South Carolina Vacation: The Marshwalk

On Friday, March 3, after we had packed up the car, we went to breakfast at a nearby Eggs Up Grill.  Bob ordered steak and eggs with a fruit cup and garlic toast.  I ordered a Red, White and Blue Waffle with bacon.  My waffle came with strawberries, bananas and blueberries with whipped topping.  Breakfast was delicious.

After breakfast we drove to Murrells Inlet and walked the MarshWalk.  I photographed several feathered friends.

A cormorant
A cormorant sitting pretty
A cormorant drying its wings
Pelican Sitting Pretty
Pelican in Flight
An American Oystercatcher

From Murrells Inlet we drove to One Ocean Place in Garden City Beach.  We are staying two nights with our friends Marge and Neil in their oceanfront condo on the 10th floor.  We spent the remainder of the morning and afternoon conversing amongst ourselves, reading, napping and, in general, just enjoying each others’ company. Bob and Neil also played music together for a little while.

Bob and Neil at One Ocean Place on balcony of 10th floor condo

We also went for a walk on the beach.

Bob, Marge and Neil on the beach
Marge and I on the beach

We walked to The Conch Cafe for dinner.  Marge and I ordered open-faced tuna salad melts.  I had a cup of seafood chowder with my tuna salad.  Bob ordered a crab cake sandwich.  Neil ordered a grilled mahi sandwich.

In the evening we watched a movie on Netflix starring Meryl Streep called “The Laundromat”.  The movie is based on a real-life story about insurance fraud.

South Carolina Vacation: Goodbye “Nanny & Pops”

On Thursday, March 2, We ate breakfast at Golden Egg Pancake House, located about a mile from our Airbnb rental.  Breakfast was good.  I ordered a Belgian waffle with strawberries and whipped topping.  Bob ordered scrambled eggs, home fries, bacon and French Toast.  After breakfast, we returned to our rental.

We ate lunch at our rental, making use of any leftovers.

We ate dinner at River City Cafe in Surfside Beach. We walked there from our rental.  Bob ordered a burger, onion rings and coleslaw.  I ordered a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, French fries and coleslaw.  Dinner was delicious.

After dinner, we started packing in preparation for checking out of our rental the next morning.

We finished packing the morning of Friday, March 3.

Our Airbnb rental “Nanny & Pops”
Front View
Our Airbnb rental “Nanny & Pops”
Back View

We sure enjoyed our stay at “Nanny & Pops”. The beach cottage was cozy and felt like home from the moment we walked inside.

Goodbye “Nanny & Pops”.
We will see you again next year.

Our time at “Nanny & Pops” had come to an end; however, our stay at the beach is not over. We are moving to our friends’ condo at One Ocean Place for 2 nights. Marge and Neil asked us to stay with them so that we could attend “Taste of the MarshWalk” at Murrells Inlet on Saturday.

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