Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Travels With Clancy: Long Branch Farm & Trails

After hitting some roadblocks in August, Clancy and I decided to get our Travels project back on track again with a visit to Long Branch Farm & Trails in Goshen, Ohio. While we did make the trip, I'm not sure I would say that our experience got us back on track.

My sister decided to accompany us to the Farm, so we had a visitor along for the ride again. Long Branch is part of the Cincinnati Nature Center, and is open only to members. As I had joined CNC back when Clancy and I visited Rowe Woods, I was all set and had my membership and guest cards ready to go. We set off early Sunday morning, and headed for Goshen.

Long Branch is about an hour's drive from where I live, so we were prepared for a fairly long ride. But, that ride turned out to be a great deal longer than we planned, as I missed the turnoff to Long Branch and ended up at least 30 minutes out of our way, on a country road that seemed to be leading nowhere. By the time we realized we had missed the turn, there was nowhere to turn around for what felt like 100 miles. Even Clancy the car-ride junkie got sick of the drive, and stretched out on the back seat with an irritated harrumph. In addition, the winding country road made my sister start to feel car sick. It wasn't a pleasant morning drive, to put it mildly.

At long last, we finally reached the Farm, and set off to walk on the trails, anxious to put the irritation of the drive behind us. We chose the Salamander trail, which was a 1.6 mile loop around the farm. As was the case at Rowe Woods, the trail was clearly marked. Thank goodness, as I'd already been lost enough for one day.

The trail was quiet and quite peaceful, and Clancy and I enjoyed stopping to sit for a picture on some old logs. As is often the case, Clancy refused to look at the camera.

He had no problem looking towards the camera a few moments later, though, when we reached the trail overlook, and my sister held his leash while I look a picture. As he had when my brother was with us, Clancy once again acted like a lunatic, crying and carrying on as if he was frantic to get to me, even though I was only standing a few feet away. He's known my sister since the day he came to live with me, so his behavior was truly ridiculous.

The overlook was a pretty scene though, and we were much higher up than we would have guessed while walking towards it.

After leaving the overlook area, we hiked down a fairly steep descent, and ended up in a creek bed that was filled with more rocks than water.

We climbed around on the rocks, which, based on my limited memory of high school geology, I would say were probably shale. I can't even call this an educated guess though, as my memory is so limited in that area that it's more like a shot in the dark.

We hopped around on the rocks, then made our way back up from the creek bed, where we found our friend the Salamander. We followed him back around the loop to the Farm entrance.

Unfortunately, our drive to the Farm had been so muddled that we couldn't remember which way to turn to get back to the main road. We debated, and I'm sure it's no surprise that I chose the wrong way. Fortunately, it didn't take us long to realize this, but we did spend more time than I would have liked on yet another windy country road with no street signs or markers to be seen.

This debacle is probably enough to get me to finally buy a GPS. I don't know why I've resisted it, as I am among the most directionally-impaired people on the planet and a GPS seems like it was made just for me. I think I am finally going to have to break down and buy one before I head out on any more country roads.

Long Branch is a nice place for a quiet and undisturbed walk, but I can't say I will have fond memories of this trip. With a new month and a new season in front of us, I'm hoping Clancy and I can really get back on track for the next installment of our Travels. I think a trip to Best Buy is in order so I can get that GPS installed before we venture out again.


  1. Your memories may be a shot in the dark but th pictures aren't. They are beautiful!

  2. Ha! I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't find their way. Yes, GPS is our friend. :)

    Again, a lovely place for a hike. That Clancy is one lucky dog.

    AND it isn't too late for your Campaign flash fiction challenge. You don't get off the hook that easily. It isn't actually due until the 9th, so you have time. Think of me as your long-lost bossy older sister. Or ignore me. That works too. :PP

  3. @Giggles, thanks! It really was a beautiful place, I just wish I hadn't nearly had a nervous breakdown trying to find it!

    @LG, oh, I thought the flash fiction had to be posted today! I'm already so scattered with this, I can't keep track of anything LOL. I will try to get something by the 9th so you don't yell at me. ;)
    And, I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets lost so easily!

  4. Wow you've got a lot of beautiful places around where you live! It looks so calm and peaceful there. :) Nice view from the lookout! Clancy's antics always crack me up, he's such a character. :D If there was an award for "worst sense of direction" we could be competitors in that category seeing as I even manage to lose my way in the city where I live from time to time. A GPS would probably come in handy for me as well. ;) Thanks for sharing another one of your travels with Clancy with us, sure looks like you guys had a good time.

  5. I'm totally surprised that there was a hill to walk up within an hour's drive of Cincinnati! I always think of any part of Ohio within a 2hr radius of me as being 'flat Ohio', while I live in Scioto County, part of Appalachia. The pictures are lovely.

    If you can stand the drive(and if you've never been) Serpent Mound is in Adams county and it's one of my favorite places. They've, of course, put in a paved trail around the Serpent, and have a silly little museum, but the energy there is amazing. And there are hiking trails!

  6. Wonderful post to read and the pictures were awesome.


  7. Hey fellow campaigner! Your tale reminds me of something my DH likes to say..."If it doesn't kill me, it'll make a good story!" Thanks for sharing yours.

  8. Another fun installment Julie. I don't know, a country road leading to nowhere sounds pretty good right about now.

  9. Hi Julie .. regardless of how long it took you to get there .. it's a beautiful park - how lucky that you're relatively near by. Great photos of the area .. and lovely to have your sister along for the ride - oh yes and Clancy for the walk! .. cheers for now .. Hilary

  10. Wow...cool pics, fellow-campaigner!

    Stopping by to invite you to the The Rule of Three Blogfest ---a month-long shared-world fiction extravaganza in October with some great prizes, comment love, and of course, a lot of exposure and constructive feedback for your writing :).

  11. @Carina, maybe we could start a club for the directionally-impaired LOL. I'm glad I'm not alone in this problem. Thanks for your comments!

    @Amalie, oh, Cincinnati is very hilly, so we do get lucky with some nice parks. I've actually got Serpent Mound on my list, I'm hoping Clancy and I will make it there. It sounds really interesting and I've always wanted to visit there.

    @Yvonne, thank you!

    @Tess, hi, thanks for visiting! LOL, your DH has a good way of looking at things, that's definitely true.

    @Tim, oh, I hope you're not having a stressful time if a road going nowhere sounds good. I can't deny it seems like a nice escape at times!

    @Hilary, thank you! We are lucky as far as parks go, I honestly didn't know there were this many nice ones around here until I started this project.

    @Damyanti, thanks! Oh, thanks for letting me know about the Blogfest, that sounds great. I will check it out, thanks so much.


  12. Most of my life has been spent wandering on "scenic routes", but that's okay. There's a lot of interesting things to see on those inadvertent detours. And hey! You got there! Isn't that what matters?

  13. @Susan, that's true, you make a good point! I admit, patience is not my strong suit, so it doesn't take me long to get wound up when I make a wrong turn. I should learn to relax a bit, I'm trying LOL.

  14. Husband loves GPS. I'm less than enthusiastic. It always takes us the long way to where we're going. I do better with a map, although I have my moments with those, too.

  15. YUP! Time for a GPS so you don't get lost again but the story and photos are great.

  16. I wish I didn't miss Karen's BBQ, or the platform building camp...That's what I get for taking August off, huh? Now I'm glad to be catching up on blogs. Good to 'see' you again (though I've seen you commenting on my blog - thanks so much).

  17. Sounds like a wonderful day and what a lovely place. I don't have GPS either, but out here ... not sure it matters. There's nothing then nothing then more nothing. LOL

  18. It's a good thing my hubby "speaks" GPS - I can't use to save my life! Haha!

    Thanks for taking us along on this wonderful trip! :)

  19. It's never fun to get lost! Cooper is a road warrior too, but often falls asleep. I think the movement lulls him to sleep the same way it can quiet babies. :)

  20. I'm deprived, I guess . . . I've never owned a GPS. An unfortunate side effect to buying used cars.

    These pictures are beautiful, though. What a peaceful, serene, environment you and Clancy got to walk in.

  21. Hehehehe nice pictures. Sorry to hear that it was such a pain to get there. Hope next trip goes better.


  22. @Carol, I'm totally hopeless with a map, I'm just the worst when it comes to directions, period. I have always felt like the GPS would kind of annoy me and I wouldn't like having it "talk" at me while I'm driving, but now I'm thinking I better just go for it.

    @LynnMarie, thanks! I definitely think the GPS is the way to go for me now LOL.

    @Michelle, great to see you too, thanks! I've been distracted by pesky real life and haven't been able to participate in the Campaign the way I wanted to, but I'm glad there is still a lot of time left with it.

    @Mary, LOL, I can imagine where you are the GPS wouldn't do much good. I like those directions, turn at nothing, LOL.

    @Samantha, LOL. I probably wouldn't be able to use it either. I'll end up with a new way to get lost LOL.

    @Janel, Clancy is usually totally alert in the car but even he lost interest with this fiasco LOL.

    @Angela, thanks! I've been deprived as far as a GPS too so I'm clueless about them, but I'm thinking I should probably look into one now since I am the queen of getting lost LOL.

    @Misha, thank you! I hope so LOL.

  23. Clancy's behaviour makes a lot of sense: he clearly knows where the food comes from. ;-)

    Beautiful scenery and wonderful pictures!

  24. @KC, you're probably right, I hadn't thought of that LOL. Clancy always acts like he is starving so this is probably what he's thinking. Thanks!

  25. Sounds like a peaceful place to walk, with some lovely scenery, but getting lost would definitely take some of the fun out of it! I hope GPS proves to be your friend.

  26. As always it looks beautiful. My dog is the same as Clancy (Bob) She won't have her photograph taken and always looks away.

    I don't know how I would survive without my GPS (Sat Nav in the UK). I have a terrible sense of direction and am completely in love with the little box that can get from from A to B without problems. :)

  27. @Shannon, thanks, I hope so too. I won't be surprised if I can't figure out how to work it LOL.

    @Rebecca, oh, how funny that Bob is like Clancy with photos. He's the first dog I've known who just hates to have his picture taken LOL.


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