|It's my birthday|
Today was my birthday. How did I celebrate it. Well, we spent the day in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a very pretty park with no camping. It is about 20 miles long and has over 125 miles of hiking/biking trails. The park is open year round with activities for the summer and winter. The summer activities include picnicking at one of the many areas, golfing at four public golf courses, fishing at one of the many ponds, canoeing and kayaking on the Cuyahoga River and visiting the small farms in the park. The winter activities include sledding at Kendall Hills, cross-country skiing on the trails and skiing at Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort. The park is between Cleveland and Akron. You can ride on a train that takes you through the park. As you drive through the park there are 14 points of interest to see. These don't include the hiking trails. Dogs are allowed on the hiking trails but not the mountain bike trails. The park goes through towns and has private homes and businesses.
We arrived at the park around 9:15 and found that they were in the process of working on the RV parking lot at the Boston Mill Visitor Center. We ended up parking in the ski resort parking lot. We walked over to the visitor center and had to wait a few minutes because it doesn't open up until 9:30. Once it was open we went inside and a gentleman helped us out by giving us some information. While he was talking about places to see in the park a forest ranger said he was starting the movie about the park so we went to the movie, it was about 20 minutes long. It told the history of the park and how the land was purchased to make the park. It was very interesting. After the movie we got back with the gentleman and he gave us suggestions on sites to see and maps of the park. He highly recommended taking the Cuyahogan Valley Scenic Railroad.
We had an hour and half to get to the train station. On the way there we stopped at a couple of waterfalls. The first was Brandywine Falls, which is a 65-foot high fall. We took a boardwalk to the upper part of the fall and then we climbed stairs down to get to the lower part. It was a small fall because they haven't had a lot of rain. The second fall was Bridal Veil Falls. It wasn't a large fall nor was there a lot of water flowing but the scenery was very pretty. The next stop was Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (Rockside Station). We arrived an hour early so we purchased our tickets and then had lunch.
The train ride was three and half hours. We had some stops along the way. A gentleman talked about the different stops and the sites to see in the park. He told us that the train staff were all volunteers and that the railroad company only owns the trains, the National Park owns the tracks and the land around the tracks. There are three stops where you can purchase tickets (Rockside, Peninsula and Akron). There are other places where bikers and kayakers can put their hands up and flag the train to stop. There is a special car just for bikes and kayaks. At Peninsula and Akron you can get off and go shopping or get a bite to eat. At this time of the year the train runs twice a day during the week and three times on the weekend. We were on the second train so we didn't get off because we wouldn't have a way back. As we drove down the track we went by the train yard where the trains are stored and worked on. At times they use a steam engine and it was sitting there running as we went by. The ride was very pretty, we saw a lot of beautiful trees, rivers, beaver ponds and Indigo Lake. We had a great time on the train.
|Larry walking the boardwalk to Brandywine Falls|
|Bridal Veil Falls|
|Larry buying our train tickets|
|A volunteer and me before boarding the train|
|A volunteer and his pet coyote|
|Neil telling us about the park|
|One of the businesses in the park|
|Larry and me on the train|
|A Native American and his kayak at the canal|
|The Ohio and Erie Canal|
We got back after 4:30, since we are very near Cleveland and Akron we knew the roads would be very busy so we decided to wait an hour or so for traffic to die down. While waiting we had dinner. We ended up driving about 60 miles to Ashland Ohio. We decided to spend the night at The Home Depot. After setting up the Minnie for the night we walked over to Buehler's Fresh Foods, which is a grocery store. Larry wanted to buy me dessert for my birthday. He told me to decide what I wanted. It almost killed me because I hate to make a decision. decided on something we never had before, cinnamon raisin biscuits. When we got back to the Minnie I started the generator and heated up the biscuits. They were very good. They remind me of cinnamon rolls but a little heavier in texture.
|One of the cinnamon raisin biscuits|
I had a super birthday.