Thursday, January 31, 2013

Longaberger Basket Building

Photo by OHventures

Longaberger Basket Headquarters
One Market Square
1500 East Main Street
Newark, Ohio 43055

By a landslide, the Longaberger Basket Headquarters in Newark, Licking County is the absolute coolest building in Ohio. And by coolest, I also mean weirdest!

If the Longaberger Basket Company hadn't made a name for itself as one of the most successful basket producing companies in the world, it sealed the deal in 1997 with the construction of its new home office building!

The building is regarded as the "World's Largest Basket," but is more than just aesthetics. Every day, 500 employees work in the ornate structure, which soars seven stories high and weighs a total of 9,000 tons (150 tons of which are the "handles," which are heated to prevent ice from forming). The novelty architecture sits on 25 acres of land and consists of 180,000 square feet of office space (30,000 square feet of which is dedicated to the massive skylight atrium).

The basket a near exact replica of the company's Longaberger Medium Market Basket, but 160 times larger in scale (the dimensions are approximately 192 feet long and 126 feet wide at the bottom, and 208 feet long and 142 feet wide at the roof).

The founder of the company, the late Dave Longaberger, dreamt up this peculiar concept, investing $30 million into its construction. Legend has it that most everyone was skeptical of the idea, but being the visionary he was, he forged ahead anyway. Since then, the building has received a number of construction awards and of course a great deal of fame and notoriety (it was one of Time Magazine's 50 Best Roadside Attractions among many other publications).

I happened upon the Longaberger Basket Building by chance, as I was driving along State Route 16 on my way to a winter hike. The building can be seen for literally miles away, and draws you in like moths to a light! You simply HAVE to stop and snap a picture (at the very least). There are also tours available by calling 740-322-5588!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter Hiking 101

Photo by OHventures

Located in Logan in Hocking County, the most visited state park in Ohio is Hocking Hills State Park (pictured above)! On January 19, the park held its annual "Winter Hike" event in which over 4,300 people came to trek through the snow and see all of the iconic landmarks, including Old Man's Cave, Conkle's Hollow, and Cedar Falls. With the new realignment of State Route 664, the park is new and improved and deserves a visit this winter!!

Winter Hiking is indeed just as rewarding as hiking during warmer weather months. Check out the OHventures guest post on to get tips on what to bring and how to prepare for a winter hike, as well as a list of some of the best winter hiking spots in the state:

- Clear Creek Metro Park, Rockbridge, OH
- Caesar Creek State Park, Waynesville, OH
- Alum Creek State Park, Delaware, OH
- Quail Hollow State Park, Hartville, OH
- Prairie Oaks Metro Park, West Jefferson, OH

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fight For Air Climb!

No one should struggle to breathe. That is why I am participating in the American Lung Association Fight For Air Stair Climb Columbus taking place February 2, 2013 at the Rhodes Tower located in Columbus. The Rhodes Tower is the LARGEST skyscraper in the city, with 40 flights of stairs and it will be quite the challenge to climb all of those stairs!!!

STAIRCLIMB EVENTS are sweeping across the country and making their mark worldwide. From Australia to the Czech Republic and from the West to the East Coast, you'll be sure to find one on any given weekend.

In addition to the Columbus Stair Climb, the Buckeye State will be hosting the Fight For Air Stair Climb Cincinnati at the Carew Tower on February 17, 2013 and the Fight For Air Stair Climb Cleveland at the Terminal Tower on March 2, 2013.

The event is seeing tremendous success because of its uniqueness and its test of one's physical strength, stamina and lung power.

At the start line, you'll find marathoners looking for a new way to challenge themselves, corporate executives climbing to build camaraderie within their office, couch potatoes wanting to kick-off the new year by getting in shape, and a family tackling the stairs in honor or in memory of someone affected by lung disease.

Please either join me and register for the climb or make a generous donation to the American Lung Association to support our FIGHT FOR AIR. You can donate to my climb by visiting this site!

Thank you for joining this important fight for children with asthma, teens who are pressured to start smoking, people with lung cancer and emphysema, and everyone who wants to breathe healthy air in our communities.

What are you waiting for? It's your legs vs. the stairs, so breathe in, step up and get ready to experience the climb of your life.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Discover The Ohio Caverns

Photo by OHventures
We previously featured the Ohio Caverns on OHventures, and now our caving endeavor can be seen on the Ohio Division of Tourism's OFFICIAL Blog, Discovering Ohio! Check it out!
Caving (or spelunking) is a pretty intense activity that requires a lot of experience, knowledge, equipment, and guts. Thankfully, there are such things as "commercial" or "show" caves in the world, including Ohio, that allow us everyday folk the opportunity to catch a small glimpse of the majestic underground world that we so rarely get to explore. Down there, it's a world of beautiful crystals and unbelievable rock formations.
The Ohio Caverns, located in West Liberty in Champaign County in Southwest Ohio is the largest of Ohio's caves (the largest geode in the world, however, is located in the Crystal Cave of Put In Bay). For a charge of $14 per adult (a good splurge to make), you are able to take a tour of this wondrous show cave almost any day of the year (they are closed only on Christmas and Thanksgiving). Tours are typically every 20 minutes, so reservations are not usually required. Depending on the size of your group, the tour will on average last about 45 minutes, spanning a mile of pathways.

How To Have An OHventurous 2013

2013 is upon us and if one of your resolutions is to be more active, do more, or travel more, then OHventures is here to see to it that that you fulfill that goal!

Half the battle of keeping active and involved is having enough energy to do so! People often ask me how I have so much energy and time to embark on all of the adventures that I do, given that I have a fulltime job (at ODOT) on top of keeping up with the blog, taking care of my dog, spending time with my family, and maintaining a social life. Oh yeah, and sleep.

I admit that most of the time I don't get nearly enough sleep (something that I am working on changing this year), and probably drink way too much caffeine (but black cofee is good for you, right?). I definitely tend to commit to many things and schedule so much that I am burning my candle at both ends. But that's part of the thrill and challenge in life. Last year, I successfully completed the P90X workout program while training for my half marathon. Most people would think that's pretty crazy, and they are right. But it is possible. You just have to try it!

Here are some of the ways I am able to be as adventurous as I am. First, I do not have cable television. All I have is CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX, and that's all the TV I need (I can't give up Jeopardy). This way, I am spending money on things like races and festivals and gas money rather than a highly overpriced cable bill that I wouldn't use anyway. If you want to experience more, consider pulling the plug on your TV, too!

Next, I try to fuel my body in the right ways to give me the energy and nutrients to be more active. I take a men's daily multivitamin (the gummy ones are the best), and also take supplements like fish oil (which is good for joints and for the heart), flaxseed oil (good for cholesterol and skin), and Vitamin C (good for your immune system). Protein shakes, Clif Bars, and a swig of some N.O. Xplode before a workout are also good energy boosting tricks.

The most important step in filling your year with adventure in Ohio is to have a gameplan. Figure out what types of things you want to accomplish. The OHventures Buckeye Bucket List is a great starting point. Do you want to do a lot of hiking? Biking? Running? A little of this and a little of that? Whatever your goal is, start planning now so you will be sure to have things lined up for the whole year! Pick 10 things off of the Buckeye Bucket List that you would like to accomplish in 2013 and try to do one adventure a month!

Websites such as,, and are fantastic resources for anything related to running, biking, or walking in Ohio. Signing up for their weekly emails gives you a heads up as to what races and events will be taking place in the near future! I am signed up for all 3 and that is how I was able to find out about the 10 Races I Ran In 2012!

Lastly, keep checking OHventures for great ideas on fun things to do in Ohio. We live in an awesome state with so much to see and do! It would be a shame to spend your year in your living room! Below is a sample of events to get your list started!!

Upcoming OHventures in 2013:
Canton Marathon (6/16/13)
Foam Fest Columbus (6/29/13)
Foam Fest Logan (6/29/13)
Pelotonia (8/9/13-8/11/13)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ice Skating in Akron

Photos by OHventures

Just because the mercury has been rapidly dropping in your thermometers doesn't mean you should stay cooped up indoors all winter. Staying active in Ohio during the blistery months of December and January can be possible, thanks to the seasonal ice skating rink located at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron. The 10,000 square foot rink (which is the largest seasonal rink in all of Ohio) allows every member of your family the opportunity to perfect their triple axles and figure eights in the heart of the Rubber City.

Lock 3 magically transforms itself from a concert venue and park with biking and running events in the summer, into an ice skater's haven in the winter! A massive decorated Christmas tree sits majestically on one end of the rink while holiday music blares from speakers to add some extra holiday flare. Folks of all ages circle around the man made tundra while others watch on nearby benches with their cocoa and coffee. If this doesn't make you like winter in Ohio, I'm not sure what will!


It’s amazing how powerful a series of numbers assigned to each day is and the effect it has on the human race: 01/01/2013.

Had it not been for the Gregorian calendar dictating that January 1 marks the beginning of a new year, we would be going about our normal routine, treating it as just another dreary, snowy, groggy day in the cycle of our existence. Most people would rest their heads at a more respectable time, and in a more sober manner, waking up for work or school like the first of any month.

Instead, it empowers us to do things we hold back from, motivates us to change our current ways by breaking old habits, and inspires us to move forward. It causes us to reflect on what we had done the past 365 days and how much has truly changed – for better and worse.

But, it’s just another day.

Why do we need a calendar date to psychologically manipulate us into becoming empowered, inspired, and motivated? Why do we need this day to reflect on our past? Not long from now, old habits will resurface, and resolutions will dissolve. Thoughts of brilliant nostalgia will be in the backs of our minds, and grumblings of the bothersome and tedious chores of everyday doings will be expressed more often.

We put too much pressure on this one day; so much pressure, that soon our plans will shatter if we aren’t careful (there are of course those steadfast few). This is why we need to learn to treat each day how we treat January 1. And by this, I don’t mean by sleeping in and being hungover. What we need to do is wake up each morning motivated to accomplish something new. Reflect on yesterday, but live today to make a better tomorrow.

Our year is not set by what happens or what is said on January 1. Our January 1 is set that way. Our year is how we treat each day and how we handle what God gives to us.

So, inadvertently, I have therefore urged everyone to make a resolution, which is, in a roundabout way, to not limit making resolutions, changes, and new beginnings to just January 1. New Years Resolutions are in no way a bad thing to set, but we need to think on a micro level with our lives and not so macro.

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." - Edith Lovejoy Pierce

 Sometimes you can’t help but be drawn to the appeal of having a “clean slate” and “starting anew.”