I mentioned last time I hiked with John Deike, the editor of this publication right here in Cuyahoga Falls, that I usually take my Northcoast homies to the Gorge and to Virginia Kendall when they come here. John really seemed to enjoy the rocky ledges and the boulder scrambling we did at The Gorge so I figured I'd meet up with him at Virginia Kendall Park for an afternoon jaunt.
It was a good choice for the day, we could get a decently challenging excursion in before the evening rain that would eventually roll through began. John texted me to let me know he'd be a bit late so I took advantage of the time for a proper stretch. Virginia Kendall is known for its sunset views over the ledges and for climbing and rapelling done by folks that train at nearby Appalachian Outfitters. Many folks don't even really notice the meadow that spans the front of the property and how long it really is. I did today.
The storm that would roll through later in the eve was pushing chilled air up underneath the cloud cover, making awesome puffy-topped giants that towered so high I could only begin to grasp their girth when laying down on my back to stretch in the middle of that field. When I heard my phone ring, I sat up and really saw a new side of this park. I was so dazed by the clouds' shadows rapidly rolling completely over me and the grasses being blown in wavy patterns as if there where 1000 tiny unseen velociraptors charging all through it, that I almost missed John's call.
"I am running more late than I thought, I am trying to find a suspected meth cook", said John. I love the things my friends jobs lead them to. It turns out that methheads don't really like talking to the media about lab busts. So as I waited, I finished stretching out and gawking at the awesome sky.
John arrived and we used Virginia Kendall's terrain as our playground, climbing boulders, jumping small slots in the rocks, bushwhacking a small pine stand, and tracking small paw prints through the stone fields. We chatted about the presence of giant millipedes in the park, about how the trees that shoot up through the vista at the overlook used to be smaller and less view-blocking. We rapped about the hippie kids and the drum circles that used to form every night at sunset. I told him about the backpacking route ideas I was developing through the area that would connect a few local features.
We had a nice couple hours there for sure.
Now that we have my two home parks out of the way, I think John is ready to get down and dirty as we move on into some mixed bag adventuring that we will use in future trips to see more nature in the area. Look for my next Hike With Deike post and we will get into the sport of adventuring, and how it will revolutionize how our park system is enjoyed by folks!