Back Home in the USA

Lower Falls, Hocking Hills

Oh well, oh well, I feel so good today
We touched down again back home after being away
After driving around it’s good to be back home, from all over the USA
New York, Washington DC, oh, how I learned from you
Ann Arbor, Rochester, Cleveland, and Malden too
Let alone just to be at my home back in old St. Lou
Did I see the skyscrapers, did I see the long freeways?
From the coasts of the Great Lakes to the shores of Boston Bay
You can bet your life I did, when touring the USA
Looking hard for a drive-in, searching for a corner cafe
Where hamburgers sizzle on an open grill night and day
Yeah, and a jukebox jumping with records like from the 60’s in the USA
Well, I am so glad I’m living in the USA
Yes, I am so glad I’m living in the USA
Anything you want, we got right here in the USA
— With Apologies to Chuck Berry

This morning, we hiked the second half of the Old Man Trail. Anne is seen above posing with her souvenir old man ($9.99 at the gift shop). After leaving the park, we headed west and eventually arrived home, safe and sound. After three weeks on the road, it will be good to sleep in our own bed tonight.

Hocking Hills

Lovely breakfast with Jane this morning, at Avalon, on the site of the former Pretzel Bell. Late launch afterwards from Ann Arbor. down US-23 towards Columbus. Twenty-three just happened to be the points spread in Michigan’s big victory last week, over their archrivals Ohio State. As we approached Columbus though, things began to fall apart. Anne was still behind the wheel, even though I usually drive the big cities. Size wise, Columbus looks to be the largest city in Ohio, at least by area. The reason was that I was trying to score us a dinner reservation at the brand-new, it opened in September, Hocking Hills Lodge. While Anne was battling traffic, I was bouncing back-and-forth between the lodge’s restaurant, the front desk, Open Table and Ohio’s statewide helpline. I eventually got a manager on the line and satisfaction. Lesson learned, when booking lodging also book your meals. As it turned out, there were plenty of tables, just not on Open Table. We hiked the gorge for a little over an hour, in the gathering dusk. There is more water in the river now than when we last visited Hocking Hills. We will likely hike again tomorrow, before finally heading home again after three weeks on the road. OBTW, I am smiling.

Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor

We left Cleveland and headed to Michigan. Swinging by Michigan Fine Yarns of Livonia, Anne was able to stock up on all of her knitting needs. Then Ann Arbor, with check-in at our motel, then downtown. Checked out TK Wu for dinner later and Avalon for breakfast tomorrow. Anne found 10,000 Villages on Main that was having a Midnight Madness sale. We barely got away with all that she could carry. Swinging by Harry’s new digs we picked him up for another downtown run. I must say that driving around Ann Arbor tonight was pretty hairy and this from someone who has already driven DC, NYC and Boston on this trip. It is unusually warm this evening, so everybody and their brother was out and about. Mostly on foot, ignoring all traffic rules, but also by bike. I got a dirty look from one cyclist, who decided to pop out of my blind spot and also my all-seeing car’s. The biggest surprise I saw was on the face of one young woman who was in a crosswalk and stared at me with incongruity, when I stopped to let her cross the street in front of me. With Harry in tow, we stopped again at TK Wu, this time for dinner. The food was amazing. Returning to his place, I fixed his TV, and we spent time with him reviewing our travels, until it was time to leave.