Columbus – June 2017 – Comfest

Held in Goodale Park in Columbus, Comfest is a community festival that according to their website is guided by the principals that people ought to work for the collective good of all people rather than for personal gain; The basic necessities of life are a right and not a privilege; People should strive to conduct their lives in harmony with the environment; We recognize that there are primary attitudes which divide and oppress people – We seek to eliminate these attitudes (they are actually longer – check their website for full details)

The festival is full of crafts, music, various groups making various political statements, and thousands of people having a good time – easily the highlight are the people. Another highly recommended event.

Making art to the music.

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One of the members of a band. They had the Dead covers down perfect.

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Someone who decorated one of the portable toilets.

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Promoting Veganism.

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A happy dancer

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Another happy dancer

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More happy dancers

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Bongo session.

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He was in a kilt – and I was standing next to some cool sculpture – what could be better.

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Logan, OH – June 2017 – Whispering Cave

Having made a number of trips to Hocking Hills State Park to hike the trails to the caves and cliffs, we thought we had seen them all. Fortunately this spring they opened a trail to a cave that had been off limits for 50 year, Whispering Cave.

Named so because of the acoustics that allows a person to whisper on one side and someone on the other side can hear what was said. The trail has been opened, and with an early start we had the place to ourselves.

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Leaving Whispering Cave and continuing on the Hemlock Bridge Trail, we passed on great rock formations.

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After a two mile hike we arrived at Lower Falls – Old Man’s Creek

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The climb out of the gorge

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Upper Falls – Old Man’s Creek

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Interesting lighting on the cliff walls. It was a great day of hiking in the cliffs and gorges.

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Mt Vernon, OH – May 2017 – Ariel Foundation Park

The small city of Mt Vernon, Ohio was the home of the largest plate glass factory in the world until 1979 when PPG closed it. Sitting dormant for 30 years it has recently been recreated as a park, with industrial ruins and sculptures as the features.

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The centerpiece is the 280′ high former smokestack, now an observation deck with 244 open steel stairs leading to the 140′ level.

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From the top you get an excellent view of the park, and the town.

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The grounds have been graded to numerous terraces to add to the aesthetics.

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For those who have a problem with heights (me) the stairs can freak you out!

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Back on terrafirma, you can tour the various sculptures including river of glass, which is made up of millions of small clear glass pieces, along with the larger blue ones.

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The Coxley Building Ruins

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Chicago – May 2017 – Cloudy Views from the Lincoln Park neighborhood

With some time to check out the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago I found two places for some quick photos.

First is Oz Park – with Wizard of Oz statues.

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The second were the views from the lakeside in Lincoln Park itself. The hazy, low clouds day made it tough to get clear shots, but with the view it is hard to mess them up.

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Eastern Kentucky – Late Fall 2016 Road Trip – Day 10

We ate breakfast at the hotel opting for oatmeal and fresh fruit rather than the ham and cheesy scrambled eggs. The fatty food probably accounts for the area of Hazard and Perry Counties having one of the worst life expectancy rates in America. Kentucky ranks in 45 out of 50 states and the town of Hazard is even worse than the Kentucky average.

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The morning air was a cold temperature of 26o F. as we left Hazard. The hillside and trees were covered with kudzu as well as a school bus on our drive to Breathitt County.

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As we made our way north we ran into smoky air from wildfires in the area. The smoke was thick enough that we can smell it in the car with the windows closed as we moved along state route 15N through the hills.

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Layers of exposed rock sheered on both sides of the highway rise at least 100 feet. Rock is why we are here; to see Natural Bridge State Park. The park was founded as a private tourist attraction in 1895. It is still cold at 23 degrees as we began our hike on the original trail to see the natural bridge, but with the steep ascent up uneven steps we didn’t notice, and we followed the path up hill to reach the bridge.

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The trail ends under the bridge but a narrow passage called Fat Man’s Squeeze and some stairs lead to the top of the natural bridge. The view from on top of the natural bridge was marvelous. It looked as if their was a laser beam of light shooting outward into the air from the cliff in front of us over the valley of autumn colored trees. I believe it was a layer of thin fog hovering in air; in any case, it looked really awesome.

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We climbed down onto the same trail, and back through the Fat Man’s Squeeze again.

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Leaving the Natural Bridge Park, we headed north on Kentucky Highway 77, reaching Nada Tunnel,  a 900-foot long tunnel that was formerly a railway tunnel.

Since the tunnel is a single lane you must honked first before entering to alert anyone on the opposite end. The tunnel was originally 12 feet in height but when the first train load of logs became stuck and had to be blasted free, the tunnel’s height was increased to 13 feet.

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After passing through Morehead we made our way to the town of Olive Hill to see Carter’s Caves. Unfortunately we arrived at a time that the next tour was hours away. Deciding not to wait, we went for a brief walk on the trail that allowed us to explore the cave park area on our own. The half-mile loop trail from the visitor center led us into a great open cave.

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The cave had a small round opening at its roof, jagged walls of stone with niches and a small stream that flowed among the layers rocky floor surface. We finished our walk and promised to visit again but for now we headed home to end our latest advenutre.