Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Hiking in the Hills PhotoJournal

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Since we had a day off yesterday, we made plans to go on an explore with our son and his family. We decided to go for a hike at Hocking Hills State Park. The weather was perfect―warm, sunny and clear, but not muggy or too hot. We got started a little later than originally planned, but arrived at Hocking Hills around 11a.m. We chose to stick around the Old Man's Cave trail and save the longer Whispering Cave trail for another time. 

Come along and see some of the sights!



By the way, that was just some random guy
standing on the 'floating' bridge - not anybody
we know!



Can you see the face in this rock?
There are at least two different faces,
depending on how you look at it.



There were many ledges and overhangs like this one. Just wait for the next one!



As you can see, the sign didn't stop anyone!

I didn't go wading though Harrison and Veronica did.




We were very puzzled by this . . . rectangle? It looked very deep, but the water was really only an inch or two. We joked that this was actually the Devil's Bathtub, which is a feature near the falls that we could not see. I'm not entirely sure, but I think maybe the Bathtub is in the ledge just above the waterfall.


But just past those falls, we started the climb to the bottom of this overhanging ledge. 



From the views above, it looks like a cliff, but when you can see the waterfall over the edge, you realize that the cliff is actually a huge overhang.


We should have counted the steps. There were a LOT, and the stone ones were not all even in height.



This photo is skewed - those are stairs, but they don't go stright up like it appears!


Finally, we reached the Old Man's Cave, so named because an old homesteader lived there in the late 1800s. 




It is huge. And beautiful. We agreed it would be an amazing place to shelter and watch the snowfall or a rainstorm. If I was a homesteader, I would definitely take that spot if I could.


It was time to get something to eat, so we drove into town to find a restaurant. We considered going back to Hocking Hills and taking the shorter Ash Cave trails, but at my husband's suggestion, we went instead to Rockbridge State Nature Preserve. The website promised a natural bridge and indicated a relatively easy hike. 




The trailhead is very unassuming. A gravel walkway leading to boardwalks along a meadow. But once we reached the trees, the terrain changed. The trail was rough in places and very hilly!


The trail wasn't very well marked―it was clear where there was a trail and the trees were blazed, but we didn't have a map, and we only came across one sign directing us towards the natural bridge. We definitely had to work for it, but once we caught sight of it, it was quite impressive!



One understands why there are warnings to stay ON the trail at all times!


Poppy and Veronica making Nonny and Mommy a bit nervous!


We were able to climb down to see underneath the bridge as well. Cliff swallows sighted!


Another group selfie on the trail back.


Last look at the meadow meant we'd almost made it back to the car! Another family group had just arrived at the trailhead, so we answered some of their questions and told them the best trail to reach the bridge, hopefully making their hike a little easier than ours!


Have you visited either of these state parks or any like them? Leave a comment and let me know!

This post will be linked at Pictorial Tuesday, hosted by Peabea Scribbles.


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Monday, May 22, 2023

A Graduation PhotoJournal

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Last weekend, I had the wonderful privilege of celebrating my daughter's graduation from Mount St. Mary's University. 


Some photos from the weekend, and a quick recap of her college history:


There was a Baccalaureate Mass on Friday. There was a hooding ceremony at this Mass. Kennady is in the chorale which sang during the Mass so we decided to attend this as well. It was very interesting, but I've got conflicting information about hooding. It seems that only Masters or Doctoral graduates are hooded in a ceremony, but I'm not certain about that. I would guess that only the graduates receiving a Masters were required to attend, and Bachelors degree graduates could if they wished. 



The commencement exercises were on Saturday, and this gymnasium/auditorium was full to the rafters. Once again, the grads in the chorale and band were not part of the processional, but were in place in a balcony to sing and play during the ceremony. Of course she did come down to walk the stage and receive her diploma. It would have been nice if she and the other graduates up there could have come down to stand with the others when the degrees were conferred as well.



Posing for photos after a very long, but good ceremony:





A couple of weeks earlier, I had been home to attend Kennady's Senior Recital, her Opera Workshop Recital, and the Honors Convocation, at which she received a prize for excellence in choral music.







Hard to believe it's been four years already! Kennady started at Carroll Community College in September of 2019.


And then in the spring of 2020, everyone was sent home to try and figure out how to continue their education in a virtual classroom. This presented so many challenges for everyone, but especially for students taking classes requiring labs, practicum, or performance. Kennady was taking guitar and voice lessons, and was in a rock band class. Guitar lessons really didn't work well at all, thanks to lots of scheduling issues and if I remember correctly, the instructor was ill and missed several lessons. It was very frustrating. Voice lessons went better, but obviously a video call with an instructor and without a live accompanist was far less than ideal. In the rock band class they wound up recording and tracking everything and presenting a video concert instead of live. Recording tracks was a valuable experience, but not the experience the students had signed up for!

The 2020-2021 school year started at home, and we all just hoped and prayed that "soon" we could return to "normal".


An entire school year went by with very little in person instruction for her though. Her graduation with an Associate of Arts was a drive-thru "ceremony".



Kennady transferred into Mount St. Mary's University to continue her studies, and started the 2021-2022 school year with high hopes, as most of the classes were in person. Masks were still required on campus, so her voice lessons and choral class were rather interesting. 


Things gradually opened up and by the beginning of her senior year, everything was open again. Thankfully she was able to enjoy two full years of in-person voice instruction, choral class, opera workshops, conducting class, and performances at concerts and recitals. 



What's next? For right now, the plan is for her to continue working at the music shop, and to start building a studio practice teaching guitar and ukulele. And see what opportunities come her way.

Congratulations Kennady!



This post will be linked at Pictorial Tuesday, hosted by Peabea Scribbles.


 Don't miss a coffee break! Subscribe to HS Coffee Break by email 

 ©2006-2023 HS Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://kympossibleblog.blogspot.com/ 

 We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.