Looking for Color
Looking for Color
My story thus far: I grew up in Ohio, and always loved the fall colors when I was growing up. But I've spent most of my adult life out west, and miss the vibrancy and the big trees. I've been meaning for years to come back and photograph it.

A few years back I attempted a fall color trip to South Carolina, but my timing was way off. Whether you get good color or not on any given year depends on a lot of variables, and I was worried that it might happen this time too. I felt better after grabbing some quick shots out the plane window. Color ahoy!

Looking for Color
Pumpkin Rows
Pumpkin Rows
My first stop on the way to Circleville is at the Circle S Farm in Grove City, just to get my pumpkin mojo working.

Pumpkin Rows
A Sea of Pumpkins
A Sea of Pumpkins
Hayride through the pumpkin patch.

A Sea of Pumpkins
Young Toad
Young Toad
The irony here is that I spent most of my childhood hunting for frogs, snakes, turtles and various critters, with rarely any luck. So it would figure that they would be sitting there mocking me at my first approach towards a stream edge.

Young Toad
Where's the Color?
Where's the Color?
Panic grips me briefly as I see a lack of Fall color along this river near Circleville. Is my timing off?

Where's the Color?
Color!
Color!
Ah, I start seeing color in the trees, a wonderful sight.

Color!
Big Maple
Big Maple
Near the place I'll be staying tonight, I find a huge maple tree in front of a school.

Big Maple
Backlit Yellow
Backlit Yellow
Now *this* is what I came back for. You may be fortunate to live near trees like this, but I live in NE Nevada near the Ruby Mountains. A beautiful mountain view, but hardly any trees, and not trees like this.

Backlit Yellow
Cool Old House
Cool Old House
I wander around Circleville, Ohio checking out some of the old houses.

Cool Old House
Circleville Street
Circleville Street
Nice row of golds and reds.

Circleville Street
Another Cool House
Another Cool House

Another Cool House
Stone Church
Stone Church

Stone Church
Wow.
Wow.

Wow.
Boom
Boom
That's enough color to poke your eyes out.

Boom
Castle Inn
Castle Inn
For this trip I opt to stay at a couple more interesting places than just the cheeseball hotels. This is the Castle Inn, an old historic Bed and Breakfast.

Castle Inn
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Room at the Castle Inn. This is room 203, the Garden Fireplace room.

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The Parlor. The house was built in the late 1800's.

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The dining room. I love the character of these old houses. The Castle Inn

School Spirit!!
School Spirit!!
Heh.

School Spirit!!
Late Sun on Tree
Late Sun on Tree

Late Sun on Tree
Circleville Pumpkin Show
Circleville Pumpkin Show
The Circleville Pumpkin Show began in 1903.

Circleville Pumpkin Show
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The Mayor at the time "decided that it would be a great idea to try to get the country folks and city folks together so he invited the country folks to bring the best of their produce to town on the designated dates & display them on the streets of Circleville so that the city folks would be able to appreciate their efforts." The show has grown in size ever since.

Pumpkins and Gourds
Pumpkins and Gourds

Pumpkins and Gourds
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I can't resist taking time exposures of rides at night.

The show doesn't technically open until Wednesday morning, (the show is always the third Wednesday of October through Saturday) but they open it up Tuesday night for the locals.

Whirl-a-Gig
Whirl-a-Gig

Whirl-a-Gig
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View from the other end of the street. By the time the display is finished there will be over 100,000 pounds of pumpkins, squash and gourds on display.

Ali-Babba
Ali-Babba

Ali-Babba
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The first thing on the show opening is the giant pumpkin weigh-in.

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Seems like there were at least 20 entries waiting to get to the scales.

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A crane arm lifts them into position on the scale.

That's a Big Pumpkin
That's a Big Pumpkin
The winning pumpkin is "Queen BES", grown by Dr. Bob and Jo Ligget. It set a Pumpkin Show record at 1,635.5 pounds.

That's a Big Pumpkin
PumpkinPanorama
A panoramic shot of the street view.

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The city of Circleville only has a population of about 14,000 people, but over the course of the 4 days of the show, more than 800,000 people will pass through the streets. Over 100,000 pumpkin donuts are sold.

gOt pUmPkIn?
gOt pUmPkIn?
A montage of pumpkiny snacks available.

Circleville Pumpkin Show

gOt pUmPkIn?
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After I get my fill of pumpkin, I head West towards Dayton. I stay at the Mill Pond Acre bed & breakfast in Fairborn. Very nice place.

The Mill Pond Acre

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A snake crawls over the netting that covers a garden pond.

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Just down the street from the B&B is an area with some great halloween shops. This is Foy's.

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If you're a Halloween freak and you find yourself near Fairborn, be sure to check it out!

Foy's Halloween Store

Graveyard Express
Graveyard Express

Graveyard Express
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Love these old front porches.

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Great trees on this street.

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I've come to Dayton to check out the United States Air Force museum.

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It's housed in 3 huge hangars, plus additional buildings.

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Some of the aircraft on display outside.

Map
Map

Map
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Interior of one of the hangars.

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These are just the aircraft in the WWII gallery.

Cold War Gallery
Cold War Gallery

Cold War Gallery
MH-53M
MH-53M

MH-53M
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Looking up in the Missile/Space gallery. This is an excellent museum...if you're into Air Force history, it's a must-see.

National Museum of the US Air Force

Mausoleum
Mausoleum
The lady that runs the B&B where I'm staying mentions the Woodland Cemetery. I decide to check it out.

Mausoleum
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Founded in 1841, Woodland Cemetery is one of the nation's five oldest rural/garden cemeteries, with over 3,000 trees and 165 specimens of native Midwestern woody plants, on 200 acres.

Many of the trees are more than a century old and 9 have been designated "Ohio Champions" by the Ohio Forestry Association.

Schantz
Schantz

Schantz
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A Boy and His Dog
A Boy and His Dog
In the 1860s, five year old Johnny Morehouse was playing near his home by the edge of the Miami & Erie Canal. The boy accidentally fell into the canal water, and his dog, playing by him, jumped into the water and tried to save him. He pulled the boy out, but not in time to save his life. The boy drowned and was buried in Woodland Cemetery.

Legend has it that, several days after the burial, the dog appeared next to the boy’s grave staying by it morning, noon, and night. Visitors to the cemetery began leaving him bits of food. Passersby still bring small toys and other trinkets to decorate the grave marker to express their sympathy.

A Boy and His Dog
Wright Brothers
Wright Brothers

Wright Brothers
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"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die"

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It's a really beautiful place.

Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum

Oregon District
Oregon District
The Oregon District is a historic neighborhood located near downtown Dayton, Ohio. Dating back to 1829, Oregon is Dayton's oldest neighborhood, and its first designated historic district.

Oregon District
Turkish Food
Turkish Food
I ate at the Pasha Grill, located in the Greene Town Center in Dayton. Pictured here is the Appetizer Sampler, with a combination of Hummus, Patlican Salatasi, Yaprak Dolmasi, Ezme, Kisir, Pilaki, Haydari and Soslu Patlican. Also had Mercimek Çorba (red lentil soup) and a dark Efes beer. Everything was excellent.

Pasha Grill

Turkish Food
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Next on my list, the Dent School House. I drive down from Dayton to Cincinnati to visit the haunted schoolhouse in Dent, Ohio, on the West side of Cincinnati.

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Creepy and great fun.

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The Janitor
The Janitor
Be afraid, be very afraid.

The Janitor
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Imagine a strobe light going off so you're confused by what's going on. Then you have to push your way through the hanging bodies, not knowing who's alive and who isn't. Great fun.

The Dent School House

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After Dayton I head East to Yellow Springs. When the rain comes, it has a bad habit of knocking all the leaves off the trees. Makes for awesome ground cover though.

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And of course, I hit up every roadside market and apple orchard I come to. I am a confirmed cider junkie, and the cider at these places is sooooo good! This is Peifer Orchards just North of Yellow Springs.

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More gourds and pumpkins. Wish I could grow some of these, but the summers are too short here.

Glen Helen Nature Preserve
Glen Helen Nature Preserve
Just East of Yellow Springs is the Glen Helen Nature Preserve.

Glen Helen Nature Preserve
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The nature preserve has a 25 mile network of footpaths.

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Glen Helen is the legacy of alumnus Hugh Taylor Birch, who in 1929 donated the wooded glen to Antioch College in memory of his daughter, Helen.

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Antioch College accepted the responsibility of preserving the land in perpetuity. Additional gifts expanded the preserve, which now encompasses 1000 acres.

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Learn more about the Glen Helen Nature Preserve.

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Cool house in Yellow Springs.

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I head South from Yellow Springs, following the "Little Miami Driving Tour". There's a cool list of Fall driving tours at discoverohio.com, here.

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I reach Lebanon OH. I head over to King's Island for some spooktacular night rides.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...
5, 4, 3, 2, 1...
Heh, I love just watching people get strapped into these things.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...
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Whooooosh.....the screaming is fun too. I go on rides, eat trash food, have fun, but don't want to stay out too late. Tomorrow is the Ohio Renaissance Festival, and I want to get there early.

Huzzah!
Huzzah!
Now I know that a lot of people thing renaissance fairs are goofy with all the thee's and thou's, but I love these things.

Huzzah!
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The Ohio Renaissance Festival takes place in a 30 acre permanent village re-created in the flavor of 16th century England.

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Theater in the Ground.

Albannach
Albannach
These guys rocked. Going to have to get one of their CD's.

Albannach
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The Joust!
The Joust!
Note the piece that has snapped off and is behind the left rider's head.

The Joust!
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Musician. I actually shot a lot of photos here, too many for this group of general Ohio pics. I'll be putting up a gallery of just the Renaissance Festival soon.

Ohio Renaissance Festival

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Another apple orchard, another quart of cider down the hatch. 8)

This is Iron's Fruit Farm just East of Lebanon.

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Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums
My mom always grew these. Fun Fact: "Chrysanthemums are "photoperiodic"; i.e., they bloom in response to the shorter days and longer nights experienced (in the Northern Hemisphere) in fall.

Therefore, do not plant chrysanthemum flowers near street lights or night lights: the artificial lighting may wreak havoc with the chrysanthemums' cycle."

Chrysanthemums
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Tree with flag at Iron's fruit farm.

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Checking out a park in Lebanon, I find this old cable suspension bridge. The wobbly kind that bounces and sways when you walk on it.

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Backlit maple leaves.

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View from the bridge.

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I head South from Lebanon to get to Loveland, to see the Loveland Castle, also known as Chateau Laroche.

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This placed amazed me, because it was built by one guy, stone by stone. Harry Andrews was a boy scout leader, and he and his group called themselves the Knights of the Golden Trail.

Harry decided if they were going to be knights, they needed a castle. So he built one.

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Entrance with historical photos.

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One of the stairways.

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One of the many rooms. Note the blocks in the far wall. People would donate empty milk cartons, and Harry would fill them with cement, then later peel the paper away to make his own bricks.

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One of the outer walls.

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Back of castle. To the left are a series of terraced gardens. If you find yourself near Cincinnati, be sure to visit Loveland and check it out!

More info here.

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I just had to cut across on route 28 to Blanchester, to see the World's Largest Horseshoe Crab!!!one111!

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That's a big crab. If you're wondering why this crab, purchased by a church, is sitting here, wonder no more.

Cincinnati Chili
Cincinnati Chili
This is a 5-way, and a cheese coney. You probably already know that a coney is a hot dog, but a 5-way takes some explaining if you're not familiar with Cincinnati chili.

A 3-way chili is spaghetti covered with chili, topped with shredded cheddar. A 4-way means you add either onions or red beans. So a 5-way is spaghetti, chili, onions, red beans, and cheddar.

This is very popular in many parts of Ohio. For some reason, it's usually served with oyster crackers. Also note I'm drinking a "sweet tea" which seems to be more of an East-coast phenomenon. It's basically iced tea with a boatload of sugar added.

It's served that way, and I think you actually have to request it *not* be sweetened if you want regular iced tea.

Cincinnati Chili
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I head South, towards the very bottom of the state. I'll then travel along the Ohio river and loop back up the East side of the state.

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A creepy-ass fog is rolling in off the river through this cemetery near Portsmouth.

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Okay, I know there's a big difference between Three Mile Creek and Three Mile Island, but somehow the idea of fishing next to a power plant is like something from a Simpson's episode.

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Mmmmmmm...I bet the fish are jumpin' here!

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"Hey kids, grab yer fishin poles!"

On second thought, this is less like a Simpson's episode and more like a Steven King movie. I'm outta here.

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I started wondering as I drove past Mail Pouch tobacco barns if there was a web site about them.

Sure enough.

Also check out the wiki article.

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A fallen leaf lies in an old water pump drinking fountain.

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Must...control...self.

It's no use...I can't help myself when I see old dilapidated buildings like this. Gotta get pictures inside.

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I always wonder about the people that used to live here. How long did they live here? Where are they now?

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Ivy determined to crawl through the window and take over.

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Heading North on 335 following the "Shawnee Driving Trail".

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I cut across heading West to Locust Grove and then up a bit to see the Serpent Mound. Came here as a kid on a school field trip.

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Shot taken from a tower, which is the only way to see the whole length of the mound.

EarlyAmericas21
I found this shot online...you'd have to be in a helicopter to see the whole thing like this. At the left, the snake's tail is curled into a coil, and at the far upper right the snake's mouth is open and it looks like it's attempting to swallow an egg.

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A re-creation of one style of huts the mound builders lived in.

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The Hopewell Trail Driving Tour takes me up from Serpent Mound towards Chillicothe.

"This fall foliage driving tour connects some of the country’s most important Native American sites. About 2,000 years ago, the Hopewell people inhabited the area and created enormous earthworks. The Hopewell Culture National Historic Park in Chillicothe is one of the largest preserved collections of mounds in America."

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I stay in a cabin at the Lake Hill Campground in Frankfort.

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There's a law that if you're in Ohio, you have to eat at Bob Evans, at least once.

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I head East towards the Hocking Hills area and arrive at the Hocking Hills State Park.

The "Camper Cabin" that I've reserved looks suspiciously like a garden storage shed with an extended roof.

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Yeah, pretty much.

Now, I don't mind the rougher side of things, my wife and I like to go camping and we frequently do the sleeping bags in the tent thing. But this is just funkadelic. I decide to stay here for the first night, but upgrade to a "Cottage" for the second night.

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Yeah, that's more like it. The cottages have full kitchens, full bathrooms, 2 bedrooms, and a living/dining area.

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Great view from the porch as well.

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Yeah, this is better.

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Okay, to be fair there's a big price difference.

The garden shed is $40.00 per night and the cottage is $120.00 per night. But if you were to share with another person or another couple, that would bring the price down to almost the garden shed price.

There are actually TONS of rental cabins throughout the Hocking Hills area, since it's such a popular place. Just do a google search for "hocking hills cabins" and stand back.

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Looking down into a ravine near the upper falls.

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Upper Falls. Beautiful!

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Walking along the ravine towards Old Man's Cave.

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Upper right shows edge of Old Man's Cave.

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Lots of places where paths are cut through stone.

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The "Sphinx Head" profile can be seen at the upper right.

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Old Man's Cave.

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Lower Falls.

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If you haven't been to Hocking Hills yet, be sure to check it out. All kinds of trails and just beautiful scenery.

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As you make your way along the lower path at Conkles Hollow, it becomes narrower as you get further back.

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Eventually the trail ends at a small pool fed by a waterfall.

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After Hocking Hills I head East to Nelsonville to ride the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway.

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LOL @ hillbilly billboard. "Behinde the collage" indeed.

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Nice day for a ride.

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I head North from Nelsonville up to Columbus, and then over to Pataskala to see the Haunted Hoochie.

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Heh, ticket office.

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The Haunted Hoochie (also known as Dead Acres) is another of Ohio's haunted houses.

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This is what happens when a strobe light is going off while you do a timed exposure. Pretty freaky.

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...and that's as far as I got before security threw my ass out. NO PHOTOGRAPHY.

The annoying part is that I contacted their web site before I went to make sure non-flash photography would be ok. They assured me it was. Apparently those that run the web site don't communicate too much with those that run the attraction.

Actually, they didn't throw me out, they just made me leave my photo gear at the ticket office. So don't bring a camera!

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Crowd outside waiting to get in.

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Check out Haunted Hoochie

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Next day I head over to the Franklin Park Conservatory. A very cool place, especially if you're into plants, like me.

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Part of the tropical area.

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During my visit they were also having a display of the glasswork of Chihuly Studio.

"An exhibition of Dale Chihuly's glass artwork at Franklin Park Conservatory in 2003 and 2004 drew a record number of visitors and made a lasting impression on all who viewed it. Installations of Chihuly’s vibrant work were placed throughout the Conservatory, among the plant collections."

The full collection represented by thousands of individually blown glass elements is now on view, along with new work by this world-renowned artist in an exhibition titled "Chihuly Reimagined".

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Cactus chair.

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Part of the Palm house.

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Crotons with glass spheres.

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Koi pond with glass sculpture.

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Large glass sculpture in tropical area.

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I really liked the lines of this outdoor patio area.

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Conservatory and garden.

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German Village
German Village
In my book, no trip to Columbus is complete without a visit to German Village.

German Village
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...and no trip to German Village is complete without a trip to Schmidt's Sausage Haus!

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Oh yeah. Hoffbrau schnitzel with mushroom gravy, potato pancakes with applesauce, bratwurst, spatzel, and a dark beer. I'm a happy camper.

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Don't forget their legendary jumbo cream puffs. I'm not usually a desert freak, but these things are incredible.

Schmidt's Sausage Haus

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Sign on an old school building.

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If you like used book stores, check out the Book Loft. 32 rooms of used books.

Schiller Park
Schiller Park
An elderly gentleman saw me walking around with my camera gear, and said "You're two weeks too late!". Hah, he's right...I'm definitely on the tail end of the Fall color. Glad I was able to see what I have seen though!

Schiller Park
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These squirrels are making me crazy. Every time I try to get a picture of one, they run to the other side of the tree. Maybe later.

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Cool old houses.

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Success
Success
Ah, a squirrel finally poses for a Kodak moment.

Success
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COSI
COSI
The Center of Science and Industry in downtown Columbus is a great place for kids. Lots of hands on exhibits.

COSI
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A sculpture outside the museum.

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There's a cable suspended about 20 feet off the floor with a balanced unicycle you can ride.

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Foucault Pendulum.

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Water cannons at the ocean exhibit.

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Partially submerged sub that you can climb down into.

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A view out COSI's window showing part of Columbus.

Center of Science and Industry

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Halloween arrives, and I head over to the Short North Arts District near downtown Columbus.

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Going to be a concert and costume party tonight. The locals prepare.

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A pair of contestants get ready for the dog costume contest.

dogshow
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Artist works on the side of a building.

Magnolia Thunderpussy
Magnolia Thunderpussy
If that's not an epic name for a record store, I don't know what is.

Magnolia Thunderpussy
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Let the costumes begin!

Surly Girl Saloon
Surly Girl Saloon

Surly Girl Saloon
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You ain't had a slider till you've been to White Castle. Gah! You can't get 'em out West. Apparently, the nearest White Castle to Nevada is Shakopee MN.

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Street party commences.

Short North Arts District

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Along with a wild fashion show featuring local designers.

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halloween
Some costume highlights.

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I head out from the Halloween festivities, and the next morning go to my final destination, Worthington Ohio, where I grew up. The first thing I notice is how everything looks almost unchanged since I lived here as a kid.

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Talk about feeling like you've gone back in time. The names of some stores have changed, but the Worthington hardware store looks identical, as do others. Some areas in and around Worthington have been designated historical areas, so will probably stay the same for quite a while.

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I had brunch at the Worthington Inn (which was excellent.) The inn has been here in one form or another since 1831. I used to walk past this place on my way to the drugstore to buy candy around 1968...42 years ago...sheesh.

The Worthington Inn

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I realize now why I like trees so much, and why I miss them. I grew up surrounded by them.

Josephinum
Josephinum
On my way back to the hotel, I realized that there's a place called the Josephinum and I never really knew what it was or what it looked like up close when I was growing up here.

Josephinum
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I'm not really supposed to be here. There were a lot of "No Visitors" signs and such, so I just took a few quick pics and headed out.

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Monsignor Joseph Jessing. Founder of the Pontifical College Josephinum.

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So the Josephinum is "a Roman Catholic seminary whose mission is to prepare men for the ordained priesthood through human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation. The seminary consists of two academic divisions: The College of Liberal Arts and The School of Theology, which includes a Pre-Theology Program."

map2
I used google maps to plot out the whole trip in advance. It was really helpful to be able to check on locations and directions by laptop wherever I was. I ate pumpkin everything, drank a lot of fresh-pressed cider, saw beautiful fall colors, and shot over 4000 photos.

Time to Head Out
Time to Head Out
Bummer! It's the last day of my trip, and time to head back to the airport. It has been a great trip, and was good to see all those things from my childhood again.

Time to Head Out
Thanks Ohio!
Thanks Ohio!
I had a great time...see you again someday!

Thanks Ohio!