Cows, caves, Buckeye Lake and my folks

It’s a shame that October flies by as fast as it does.

My boyfriend and I have been spending as much time outside as possible, going on day trips and hikes to see all the fall colors. Last weekend it was running in Lancaster and taking in how the trees are slowly starting to change colors during my virtual half marathon.

The next day we took an afternoon trip to Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills. The plan was to go to Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave, and then get dinner in Logan. However, we made two pit stops on the way to Old Man’s Cave.

Sam (my boyfriend) had mentioned wanting to go to a farm in Ohio’s Amish Country and see the animals. He showed me the pictures a Facebook acquaintance shared from his (the acquaintance’s) family day trip, and the farm did look like fun. However, the only day we’d be able to go is Sunday, and we learned back in January when we stayed at The Inn at Honey Run that in Amish Country, the only things open on a Sunday are gas stations and Taco Bell.

He seemed a little bummed, but I assured him not to worry. His birthday weekend is two weeks away and your girl has had his surprise planned for quite a while.

He doesn’t know that last part yet. Anyways, on with the post.

A Google search showed us Sharp Farms in Sugar Grove, a rural community right on the border of Fairfield and Hocking counties along Route 33 in southeast Ohio. We saw a petting farm and were set to go.

The verdict is: we loved Sharp Farms. It’s smaller than what we usually see in Columbus, but they have a lot to offer visitors. Pick-your-own pumpkins, a corn maze, treats and the petting farm. I was thrilled to discover ample sunflowers with the pumpkins – since it seems that all the sunflowers near us came and went in late August – and we both felt so relaxed and carefree after a stressful few weeks.

Then we went into the petting farm. There were goats, sheep, a donkey, a pony, two llamas, and three cows – two cows and a bull. The bull was feeling randy and decided to mount one of the cows, much to the chagrin of the parents of small children. Sam and I just lost it at the, um, couple. The cows heard us and made eye contact. The bull came down and all three of them came up to us. It wasn’t a run, but it was definitely a power walk.

We got chased out of the petting farm by horny cows, and we weren’t the only ones laughing. Some hipsters were also enjoying the show.

We made a second pit stop to drive through Clear Creek Metro Park so I could see Leaning Rock, which is exactly what it sounds like – a leaning rock that cars drive under going into the park.

And then we finally made our way down to Old Man’s Cave.

There’s really not much to say aside from I love Hocking Hills. We didn’t make it to Ash Cave though – a rain storm with cold, heavy drops rolled in and it was getting close to dinner time.

Fast forward a bit to Saturday, October 10th.

The pumpkin soft cookies were baked and iced. Fesh coffee was in the pot. My place was cleaned, including the counter tops that always seem to have a dusting of something on them (usually confectioners sugar.) And I got my 10 miles in to complete a 20-mile week.

My folks got here at 1 and quite simply, I didn’t realize until yesterday how much I missed them and missed having company at my place.

Sam showed them around his new-ish apartment – he moved into his own place at my complex in late June – and then the four of us piled into his Civic to go out to Buckeye Lake, about a half hour east of Columbus and Sam and my favorite retreat.

We had a late lunch/early dinner at the Buckeye Lake Winery and got to see the setting up for a wedding. I’m slowly acquiring the taste for wine and got my wine slushie fix, and my folks were impressed by their entrees – the Bradwich for Mom, the Waygo (American kobe) burger for Stepdad Bill.

After dinner we went for a walk on the recreational trail around the lake to show my folks the elaborate rental homes, Buckeye Lake Yacht Club and our lakeside bar pit stop.

We couldn’t leave the lake without a stop at Weldon’s Ice Cream, which is something I pretty much insist on doing whether I’m hungry or not. Blue Moon is my favorite ice cream flavor and it’s damn near impossible to find it – until I got it at Weldon’s. Now whenever I go out to Buckeye Lake I have to get a waffle cone of Blue Moon.

Ice cream and some back roads into Columbus later, we finally got back to my place and my folks went home with a container of cookies I’d made for them.

I didn’t realize until last night how much I really was missing my folks and having them come out to my place. I’ve gone home a few times this year when I needed the break from Columbus, but with the craziness of 2020 they hadn’t been able to come out here and we hadn’t gone anywhere fun. That’s normal to me and not having it for a while started to take it toll.

I’m glad we all got to see each other and had a great time at the lake. Here’s to a few more adventures in October and for fun in the middle of madness.

Randy cows and wine slushies,


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