Happy Monday friends!
Before getting into the hike, I want to share some brief life updates.
The interview went well on Wednesday, and I was actually having fun. The only downside is that I need a specific licensure to get hired for the role I applied to. I’ve applied to the same position at different agencies and got turned down for the same thing. It’s irritating that every other job description has stated the licensure was “preferred but not required,” and then when I’d get to the interviews, I was told not having the licensure was a problem after all.
Thankfully, the lady I was interviewing with explained the why behind having my licensure, and since I’m tired of getting nowhere, I decided to go ahead and register for online courses.
My main focus for this week is getting all of my courses done before Easter, so I can relax and enjoy the upcoming weekend. The next step after passing the online courses is to sit down for an exam with the state. It’s Day Two of the online classes and amazingly enough, I’m enjoying myself. I loved learning as a kid, and a lot of the material is coming back to me from OldJob.
This past Thursday I had a hair appointment and got my spring/summer color back. If there’s a silver lining to unemployment, it’s that I can schedule appointments during the weekday and get those done without having to wait until Saturday morning. My hairstylist Adrienne specializes in blonding, and I always walk out of my salon feeling awesome for both the hair and the good time talking to her.
My third victory of last week was running 10 miles. The number is wimpy – especially when I compare myself to pre-pandemic running – but considering that I’d been in an emotional slump and wasn’t running at all before, I’m proud of myself for doing something productive, even when I didn’t feel like it.
Sometimes honoring your feelings is not the best course of action.
And now that I’ve shared all of that with you, it’s time to get into the real story: hiking Clear Creek Metro Park.
Back in October, while on the way to Hocking Hills, I asked Sam if we could drive through Clear Creek Metro Park (me note: from now on I’m calling it Clear Creek) to see the rock formations. We didn’t have time that particular day, so I told him that in the spring we were going back down to hike the trails. Being that Clear Creek is down in Rockbridge, where Fairfield and Hocking counties meet and the foothills of Appalachia begin, we both knew the terrain would likely be hilly. And therefore a fun ass-kicking.
And hand our butts to us it did.
This past Saturday was beautiful and sunny, with a slight wind as we started our walk. The Creekside Meadows trail was an easy walk through a field beside Clear Creek. According to our map, the trailhead for the Cemetery Ridge Trail connected to the loop of Creekside Meadows. Sam found a stick and decided to take it with us, swinging it around overhead. I’m pretty sure I saw what my boyfriend would have been like as a child – it’s too bad he doesn’t own a coontail hat. While swinging the stick around, he realized the sound it made cutting through the wind sounded just like a light saber. He’s a Star Wars fan, so this meant The Stick had to stay with us the entire trip.
The Stick also poked me two or three times. I’ll let you all guess where.
Before the hike I decided to run three miles, so I could finish out the 10 I was aiming for. Dear readers and friends, unless the terrain of your hike is completely flat, do not ever go on a run beforehand. Even a short run.
The Cemetery Ridge Trail winds up around 700 feet. I felt it in my post-run calves as we were walking up the ridge, feeling like I was about to die a few times, which rarely happens to me even in moderately hilly areas. The map said Cemetery Ridge was a moderate to difficult trail, and I probably should have heeded that warning.
But if I had, we wouldn’t have had the adventure.
We walked through a beautiful forest of oak, beech, birch and maple trees, feeling completely at peace as the blue sky and sunshine seemed to lead our way and smile down at us. Cemetery Ridge is 2.5 miles long; we walked the entire thing and picked up the Fern Trail to head down the ridge.
Fern Trail winded through a mossy forest and the hemlock ravine. If I thought climbing up was hard, climbing down proved me wrong and naive to the hills. The trails are natural, and while heading down the slopes Sam and I had to hang on to trees and watch our footing closely. We made our way down the winding trail to the main road. At this point we were both thoroughly fatigued and hoped we were walking in the right direction towards the car.
So here’s my final verdict, two days and a sore butt later. If you’re going to hike one of Clear Creek’s moderate to difficult trails, carry water and maybe a hiking stick. The views and experience is worth it, but you’ve got to be prepared to work for it. For people who can’t handle that kind of climb or have small children, there are easy to moderate trails through the woods or meadows such as Creekside Meadows, Good Prairie and Tulip Tree.
As for the park itself, such as the picnic areas, fishing spots and the creek to play in with children – it’s so peaceful and beautiful, and I would absolutely recommend going there. I’m now wanting to go back and hike all of the trails in a loop. I have no idea if Sam is on board with this, but if I buy him a coontail hat, I think he’d be willing to consider it.
Clear Creek Metro Park is located on Clear Creek Road in Rockbridge, OH 43149. You can read more about the park here.
I hope you all have a great day and week ahead.
Yours in writing and running,