Monday, January 30, 2012

Harding Memorial

Photo by OHventures

Harding Memorial
380 Mount Vernon Avenue
Marion, OH 43302

Ohio is known as the "Mother of Presidents," as it claims home to eight United States presidents, which is more than any other state! The 29th President was Republican Warren G. Harding, who served from 1921 until his death in office in 1923 from congestive heart failure.

President Harding was born and raised in Marion, Ohio in Marion County, which is where one can find his former residence and The Harding Memorial. He was laid to rest in this beautifully designed tomb alongside his wife, Florence Harding. The magnificent structure is a circular formation of columns, 53 feet high and 103 feet in diameter. The sarcophagus containing the late President and First Lady lie in the middle of the structure. The tomb is found at the southeast corner of Vernon Heights Boulevard and Delaware Avenue. It sits on 2 acres of land, atop a slight hill and surrounded by trees. It's truly a remarkable structure.

The above address is Harding's nearby residence, which has been deemed by the Ohio Historical Society as a historic house museum, and a memorial. Harding was born in nearby Blooming Grove, but lived for over 30 years before his presidency with his wife at this house.

It is a privilege to be able to live in a state that bred so many great national leaders. Visiting the tomb and home of President Warren G. Harding makes you stop and think about how much historic significance lies within our great state. Everyone should take a moment to stop by the tomb at some point on a road trip (I stopped through Marion to visit the Harding Memorial on my way back to Columbus from a visit to Toledo). It's truly a national treasure.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Clear Creek Metro Park

If you are looking to embark on a hike that is both challenging and picturesque, Clear Creek Metro Park in Rockbridge, Ohio has you covered. This mammoth park spans over 5,000 acres of land, contains over 12 miles of hiking trails, and is home to over 150 species of birds. According to the official website, one could also potentially spot coyotes, turkeys, vultures, bobcats and other wildlife at the park.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tackling A Half Marathon

If anyone remembers, I used to have a love/hate relationship with running. Thankfully, I have learned to love it bit more, after conquering a 5K this past summer, and following some tips for beginner runners.

If anyone also remembers, I also mentioned in my interview with Columbus Alive that I had a goal to run a half marathon in 2012. As luck would have it, Kristen Foley was also featured in Columbus Alive in the very same issue as me, and she took it upon herself to hold me to my word to run a half marathon in 2012.

With Kristen's persistence, I (skeptically) agreed to attend an event at the Scioto Mile that would serve as a "kickoff party" of sorts for other people running the half marathon. All I knew is that there would be some trainers there I could talk to, some folks with the American Cancer Society to mingle with, and some finger foods (a big draw!).

I was second guessing my highly ambitious goal and, for a moment, I wished I hadn't been published as saying that I would run a half marathon. I mean, a half marathon! That's 13.1 miles! I had only ever run 5 miles before (and not very well, for that matter). What was I getting myself into?!

I came to find that this was all serepdipitous. The article, my big mouth, Kristen also published just pages later in the same paper. It was meant to be! Truth be told, I was so glad she contacted me so I could knock this off my Buckeye Bucket List. But, I was still a bit nervous of the huge undertaking!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Eat. Drink. Crave.

Photos by OHventures

57 E. Market Street
Akron, OH 44308

Downtown Akron's hottest restaurant is - hands down - Crave. It's modern, chic, affordable, and adventurous with its food. Crave isn't afraid to push the envelope when it comes to finding fantastic flavors that are both interesting and mouth-watering. Dining at Crave makes you feel like you are at a five-star restaurant in Manhattan. The decor is eye popping: from the flowing curtains, to the blown-glass light fixtures, down to the curve-shaped glassware.

The menu is set up in a clever fashion with the categories "First," Next," "So On," "So Forth," and "Last." Very handy for determining just how much food you're in the mood for. In the "First" category, the grilled cheese & tomato soup is one of the restaurant's specialties. This is not a sandwich, but instead, it is a classic tomato soup with delicious cheese mixed in. You can NOT go to Crave and not start out with this staple!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Winter at Alum Creek State Park

Photos by OHventures

Alum Creek State Park
3615 S. Old State Road
Delaware, OH 43015

Alum Creek State Park is located in Delaware County right off of Interstate 71. With over 3,000 feet of beaches, it is the largest inland beach in all of Ohio's parks. It is widely known for the 3,387 acres of water for boating, swimming, and kayaking on the breathtaking Alum Creek Reservoir. There is also a popular 18-hole disc golf course with equipment rental.

Many people, however, may not know that Alum Creek State Park is also a fantastic destination for outdoor winter activities. The Reservoir (in the right conditions) is the perfect place for ice fishing, ice boating, and ice skating. Additionally, there's a number of hot spots that are great for sledding.

There are two hiking trails for those wishing to cross Winter Hiking off of their OHventures Buckeye Bucket List, and both are ranked as "easy" trails. The Park Office Trail is 1.5 miles, and the Hollenback Trail is about double that length. A Multi Purpose Trail is available for snowmobiling, dog sledding, and cross country skiing. 38 miles of bridle trails also exist.

One important tip for OHventurers heading to a large state park such as Alum Creek: check out the actual park map rather than using your GPS when finding your way, as there are many entrance ways. Plan ahead to see which is the entrance best for your adventure!! Click here to download a trail map.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Winter Hiking Photo Blog

Who: Alone, with a friend, or with a group through Central Ohio Metro Parks
What: Winter Hiking
When: Wintertime (December-March)
Where: Any hiking trail in the state, such as Prairie Oaks Metro Parks (pictured)
Why: To beat the winter blues and stay active despite the cold and snow
How: Bundle up and read up on OHventures' Guide to Winter Hiking

Prairie Oaks Metro Park

Photos by OHventures

Prairie Oaks Metro Park
3225 Plain City-Georgesville Road
West Jefferson, OH 43162

Prairie Oaks Metro Park located in West Jefferson (just west of Columbus in Madison County) is part a very nice location for hiking, fishing, picnicking, and horseback riding. I went recently for one of the "Winter Hikes" put on by the Central Ohio Metro Parks and I was pleasantly surprised by my great experience (be sure to read up on the OHventures Guide to Winter Hiking if you should choose to go during wintertime)!

The scenery is fantastic here...the lakes make everything look and feel calm and serene, and the trails have great views (none of which involve can't complain about that). The path crosses over the Big Darby Creek via a pretty impressive bridge...and the paths wind through open fields and forested areas alike. There is an open area with big rocks perfect for a photo op!

When embarking on a trip to Prairie Oaks, keep in mind that there are a few different entrances to the park, which should not matter on most occasions. However, you won't mistake the main entrance as anything but, as there are three big parking lots and a pavilion to indicate it as the main entrance. By the pavilion there is a fire pit as well, which comes in handy when you are on a "winter hike," be it official or unofficial.

Columbus Alive Q&A!

I was honored and humbled when I received a message from John Ross, a journalist for the Columbus Alive, saying he wanted to feature me for the weekly "Locals: Q&A" Section of the publication. I have long admired John Ross for his work for Columbus Alive, as he specializes in Ohio Outdoors, which holds a very similar concept to OHventures. He writes all about canoeing, hiking, bird watching, and anything adventurous in Ohio. He also writes the weekly "Locals: Q&A" column which features a different Columbus native each week. There have been business owners, activists, artists, and a plethora of other interesting individuals from the capital city. I was pretty speechless and so thankful to have been featured.

You can read my interview with John Ross in the Columbus Alive by clicking here: Q&A: Michael Evans. I talk about where the idea came for the blog, some goals for 2012, and what I would bring with me on a desert island!

As a sidenote, since many people have asked, the above photo was taken at The Scioto Audobon Metro Park, with the Columbus skyline in the background. Can you believe it was taken on a Saturday morning in December? We had a beautiful December in 2011!