Archive for May, 2014

DSC_0160  The last area of the Hocking Hills  DSC_0162adventure was to the Cantwell Cliffs. As stated I love exploring around rocky outcrops and this site didn’t disappoint me.                                                    DSC_0163

DSC_0183 The cliffs were beautiful to behold. We, also, walked a trail down through a wooded hollow. At the gorge’s end a steep rock shelter was

Fat Woman's Squeeze

Fat Woman’s Squeeze

found. One needs to work through two huge rocks known as the “Fat Woman’s Squeeze”.  Hand hewn rock steps flow through these rocks. Many other man-made steps are located at various places to aid in walking.

DSC_0110  The large trees were quite impressive as well. We later worked another trail, that for the most part, flowed the cliffs upper rim.


The hollow features a small stream known as Buck Run.


View from the rim.

View from the rim.

As we walked these trails the skies darkened and a light rain began to fall. Threats of severe weather forced a decision to abandon the hikes for another time.    DSC_0175

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DSC_0034  While visiting this Hocking Hills, Ohio area, we checked out the famous site known as Old Man’s Cave. (We actually went here twice over our visit.) This is a most interesting place to walk around and enjoy nature’s beauty.  DSC_0042

A hermit named Richard Rowe lived in the large recess cave of this gorge. The man’s family moved to this area of Ohio in 1796 from the Cumberland mountains of Tennessee. Rowe lived the remaining years of his life here and is believed to have been buried beneath the cave’s ledge.

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Nathaniel and Pat Rayon, also, moved to this area in 1795. They built a cabin north of the cave. They, too, are buried in or near the cave.                                            DSC_0117

DSC_0124   The Old Man’s Cave area consists of an upper and lower gorge with three distinct waterfalls flowing through the hollow. The entire gorge cuts through 150 feet thick sandstone. The gorge is about half a mile long.                      DSC_0125

DSC_0127 The actual cave area is about 200 feet in length and fifty feet high with a depth of seventy-five feet. As a boy I would crawl into and around rocky outcrops along the Crooked Creek watershed areas near Cochran’s Mill and Rearick’s Ford of Pennsylvania. I have always loved exploring such places so you might guess I was childlike during these excursions here at Old Man’s Cave.                                       DSC_0130

Laurie and I went to visit Cedar Falls and we noticed a couple of females of the Oriental race. The youngest approached us with a deeply concerned look on her face. they were bewildered.  DSC_0134

They had walked a two-mile trail from this cave area believing the trail would circle back. It ended at Cedar Falls. I pointed to the trail’s end for their return, but finally they admitted they were tired. We gave them a lift back to their car at the cave’s site.                                                        IMG_1811

Another man-made items to see at the Old man’s Cave are the stone bridges; stone fences, hewn tunnels into the rocks and hewn stone steps. These features fit nicely with the natural beauty of the area.

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Mu cousin Donnie and I stood along the field’s edge waiting for the music of gobbling turkeys. A very distant tom gobbled at 5:20 A.M. There was silence for ten minutes and we were wondering why the woods were so quiet with such a beautiful morning. DSC_0004   Suddenly, a gobbler erupted with his morning serenade soon to be joined by a couple of more. Donnie and I moved towards these birds and set up. We were close. I could see something white as I called and the birds gobbled. The white proved to be a skunk with more white on it’s body than black. Another gobbler opened up about way off. The close birds left the roost and thundered away. I called once more to await their next move and then I heard it…soft yelps from the direction of the gobblers. This hunt was over. I contacted Donnie asking if we should move towards the distant gobbler and we were in agreement. We jumped in our vehicles and headed the mile distance. I saw the gobblers and hen in a field below where we were calling from moments ago. Deer and squirrels were prevalent and we lucked out seeing a very young fawn with the mama. What a beautiful sight to see.                                                                             DSC_0007 As you may have guessed the bird that was gobbling his head off moments ago was now quiet. I mustered one “here I am”  gobble from him with a loud call as we walked about. Two hens were in the field. We heard another gobbler off to our right and we headed towards that bird and, it too, was quiet by the time we closed in. Another gobbler began gobbling way across a road and hollow. We began a tour along the ridge and calling. We heard a gobbler answer me down slope and he began gobbling on it’s own. This can be a good sign for the hunter. We set up and I heard hen talk again off in the woods. The tom shut up! I heard two other gobblers off in the distance. Donnie stood around listening and talking about our dad’s and uncle’s and their leaving us. I looked behind me and in the field was a gobbler. He may have seen us as we circled around the woods for a better position for he disappeared. We quit around 9:45 for the heat was becoming stifling. Later my allergies claimed me and made life miserable Oh well! I saw a nice longbeard on my way home.

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This morning I had the honor to have breakfast with two friends and makers of fine turkey calls. Lonnie Gilbert from Greenwich Ohio came to hunt with Kip Feroce. I have completed ink art for both of these fine men.

Kip Feroce on the left with Lonnie Gilbert

Kip Feroce on the left with Lonnie Gilbert

Their morning hunt was a good one. They worked a gobbler for some time. The big bird was close, but not visible. The hunt took a different turn when a coyote seeking out Kip’s calls came within five feet of  Kip. The coyote wanted turkey pot pie for it’s meal. The hunt would be over. Kip called me about 9:00 to meet them which I gladly accepted.

One of my personalized "Ferocious" Box Calls by Kip.

One of my personalized “Ferocious” Box Calls by Kip.

Kip is the owner of Ferocious Turkey Calls. He makes a mighty fine box call. He uses various woods of interest from cedar, walnut, sycamore, chestnut and many others. I have a cased set of many wood types from Kip.  His calls sound great!!!! Kip’s web site is: http://ferociouscalls.com Lonnie is another great call company. His calls have received awards from the National Wild Turkey Federation. They, too are beautifully made. I am the proud owner of one.  Lonnie’s company is called: Buckeye Boxes! His phone number is: 419-750-0104. His e-mail is: katidid4@verizon.net. Give him a call or check out Kip’s web site. You won’t be disappointed with their calls.

My personal Lonnie Gilbert Turkey call

My personal Lonnie Gilbert Turkey call

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A listening Bob!

A listening Bob!

Friday, May 24, my step father, Bob and I walked across the field early to be posted at a common roosting site. This area has seldom failed to produce gobbling, but it is a place difficult to set up on the birds without detection.                                                         DSC_0013

We waited and two birds in two different directions and far off. I held tight waiting a closer bird would sound off where I had hoped. Nothing happened here so we elected to move closer to the one bird.

Foggy Morn!

Foggy Morn!

We closed in until we could move no farther. The roosting bird was down over the hill near homes and a road and in unhuntable grounds. The only chance would be to pull him a distance. The gobbler seemed interested and he later came off the roost. He quit gobbling after a time when another gobbler gobbled from the point where we had just came from. He gobbled only once!

Great blue heron against the fog.

Great blue heron against the fog.

We moved back towards him when the previous gobbler started singing again. He seemed closer so we tried to see his next movements would be and moved back towards him again. Our feet were soaked from the dew-laden field. Unfortunately, he continued to move away and cross the road. We tried to stir up the other birds , but failed to do so.

Bob said my buddy was playing out and my allergies were beginning to irritate my eyes so we quit after 8. We saw some squirrels, two deer and a hen.


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Inside looking out!

Laurie and I visited a unique site of the Hocking Hills experience. The site is known as the Rock House.  The huge rocky outcrops common to this area didn’t fail us with this view either.

This House of Rock features a ceiling of about 25 feet and is 20-30 feet wide. However, this corridor/ cavern within the rock is 200 feet long and open on both ends.   DSC_0094

IMG_1761   Local folklore claim robbers, bootleggers and horse thieves and such would often hide here. Some called it Robbers Roost.

DSC_0082  Also, in 1835 a 16 room hotel was erected here. There were no signs of that building now!

There are various color patterns within the rocks depending on the material used during their formation.     DSC_0080

The trail continues past the Rock House to a 150-foot cliff and cave-like conditions.


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Small barn spotted along way to Conkle's Hollow.

Small barn spotted along way to Conkle’s Hollow.

The Conkle’s Hollow area of the Hocking Hills is considered to be one of the deepest gorges in Ohio. The slopes are rugged and steep with rocky outcrops jutting from high above the gorge’s sides. They are 200 feet high in places. The gorge, itself, is about half a mile long.             DSC_0064

The valley floor is thick with vegetation thus not allowing much sunlight to reach the bottom of the gorge.

DSC_0066  The width between sides at the end of the gorge is only about 300 feet.

Laurie and I hiked the rim trail that circles the gorge. The trail is usually made of smooth, sandy rocks. The length of this trail is over two miles. As it states at the trail’s beginning, the hike is potentially dangerous with injuries and even deaths occurring from mishaps or carelessness.

One of many breakages within the rocks.

One of many breakages within the rocks.

At the gorge’s end a waterfall tricking down over the rim.  the rocks are all very high and impressive to behold. Breakages in the rocks in times past are evident and one can study these breakages and see how they once fit to the rocks above.                                           DSC_0068

Winter hikes could be even worse with snow and/or ice being on the rocky outcrops. Today was cool and sunny allowing for some photo opportunities.

The hollow became known as Conkle Hollow after a name and date was discovered carved onto the rocks. The carving was “W.J.Conkle 1797”.

Squawroot, a parasitic plant. It usually grows in clusters.

Squawroot, a parasitic plant. It usually grows in clusters.

Some areas of our Hocking Hills adventure showed many wildflowers such as trilliums. We, unfortunately, were about two weeks late to witness their beauty for they had completed their annual blossoming time.  Jack-in-the-Pulpits and Golden Ragworts were in full blossom as were the Wild Geraniums.

DSC_0032  Turkey vultures were common throughout our hikes and journeys since they like to nest in rocky areas.

In times past the Shawnee and Wyandot Indians used the areas.



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