Wednesday, June 18, 2014


"I'm a lucky man, to count on both hands the ones I love
Some folks just have one, yeah, others, they've got none."
-Pearl Jam

Tried to master the elusive "get a 3 and 1 yo to look at the camera" shot. I love the pic, and am truly lucky to get to be the father of these kids and a husband to J. Best Father's day ever on Put-In-Bay Inland, OH.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Valley

Blue Hen Falls

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) is located along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. The park offers so much for the locals, from skiing, hiking, biking, running, concerts, nature centers, fishing, snow showing, cross country skiing, waterfalls, ledges, horse bridal trails, the list could go on and on. Over 20,000 acres of protected land for public use. Until recently, I have only scratched the surface on what is available for use, but since February I have been all over the park.

What a beautiful place.

Top of the Valley! Along the Buckeye Trail.

Even though the park is almost always full of people when I am there, especially on the more popular canal towpath, I think the CVNP is a hidden gem in NE Ohio. I have lived within an hour of the park most of my life and never knew all that was offered. More folks in the area should try out the bounty of offerings. Get your kids out there, let them experience nature, and see something that inspires. The picture above of the view from the top of the valley, was truly inspiring in person, the image only captures a portion of the spirit I felt.

I plan on getting my friends and family out to the CVNP as much as possible. Go out and see a small area of the forest where the sunlight fills a little nook like a cathedral, walk through a patch of cattails, feel like you are on top of Ohio.

I am spoiling the natural beauty for sure.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Nine Days

I have been preparing for my hike for 5+ months solid now, non-stop focus and work. In nine days I will begin the trek, and I cannot believe the time has come. I am excited, nervous, ready, not ready; all these things wrapped up in one ball. I do not think I could have kept my job and family and physically prepared myself anymore than I have is such a condensed time period, yet I feel like I should have done more. I am easily in the best shape I have been in for the last 12-14 years, which took losing over 50 pounds. This trip will be amazing, and a sure physical and mental test of my strength and endurance. I cannot wait for the view from the first summit, it should be inspiring.

I am really thankfully to my friends Scott & Greg, who kindled the fire of inspiration that led to my transformation. I was utterly failing at setting and holding to basic good health and simple fitness goals, this trip got me more focused than I have been in years. The biggest thanks goes to my wife, who has supported my efforts without question for five months. J has manned the house, and managed the kids alone a lot while I was working out, running, or on long practice hikes. Thanks J, you are one of the biggest reasons I am doing this, to be healthy and strong for you and the kids for years to come. I love you.

So that is all for now, I hope to get a prep post or two in before the hike. I will surely have a lengthy post with pics following the hike. I may make two long posts, one for each day on the traverse.