Back in August my husband & I decided that we were going to go on a mini-trip this year for Thanksgiving. The first few years we lived in Ohio we hosted a Friendsgiving for some of Kevin’s studiomate’s that couldn’t get home for Thanksgiving and last year we went to be with Kevin’s family. Thanksgiving isn’t a big holiday in my family and since we see both families around Christmas, we booked a cabin down at Hocking Hills State Park for 3 nights.
Let me back up a bit to the beginning of the week. As I mentioned last week, I wouldn’t be able to get a run in on Monday or Tuesday. This was actually because my husband left on Sunday morning to go hunting with his dad. I don’t feel comfortable running outside that early when he’s not home and since I had to take care of both of the pups it would be tough to get to the gym. I headed out Sunday morning for 5 miles and then when he was back on Wednesday I did a workout that totaled 5 miles with my warm up and cool down. My plan was to do 6 today, but because we did way more hiking than I expected, I’m giving myself another rest day!
The good news is that my husband got a deer which means lots of delicious chili, jerky, and other yummy winter eats. I got off of work a little early on Wednesday and then we made the short drive down to Hocking Hills. We stopped at McDonalds for dinner which was really exciting for me. We rarely eat fast food, I’m pretty sure the last time I ate McDonalds was Christmastime last year when we traveled to Virginia, so it’s always a treat. The firm I work at does some regional work for McDonalds and I have been craving their chicken nuggets since I started working there four months ago.
The cabin we rented was on a property with three others and had great reviews, but was even nicer than we had expected based on the pictures and reviews. Thursday morning we got up and headed out for our first day of hiking. We started around 10 and hit some of the more “touristy” spots (Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls) which were pretty empty that early. The weather was awesome. It was in the 50s as we got started and warmed up into the 60s. When we headed down to the cave areas, it was a lot cooler which felt so nice. The weather could not have been better.
We hiked about 7 miles, the last 3 being the most difficult. There were a lot of climbs and steep descents and it was really impressive to watch Gus figure out the best way to go. It was Archie’s first time hiking and he did great as well.
We headed back to the cabin and my husband cooked up our Thanksgiving dinner. I had made green bean casserole and crock pot mac & cheese on Sunday to pack and bring with us so we just had to reheat it. We picked up a turkey thigh from our grocery store and roasted it in the oven and my husband made some garlic mashed potatoes. Of course there were rolls and wine as well.
After dinner we soaked in the hot tub for a bit and then watched a marathon of Rehab Addict on HGTV. We don’t have cable at home, so when we go somewhere that does I need my HGTV fix! Luckily, Kevin doesn’t seem to mind the home renovation shows.
Thursday morning we were up early again (not as early, Archie apparently actually sleeps in after 7 miles of hiking) and headed out for our second day. It was another perfect weather day. We started out by hiking from Cedar Falls to Ash Cave. The hike itself was uneventful, but Ash Cave was beautiful and my husband’s favorite. There were a lot more people out on Friday. There were two little boys that wanted to pet Archie and the youngest just had the sweetest look on his face while Archie sniffed him. The hike to and from Ash Cave was almost 3 miles, but it was still early so we decided to move onto Rock House.
Rock House was the shortest hike we did, but it was awesome. The only downside were some children inside that felt the need to yell and scream and treat it like a play ground. I’m glad they were enjoying it, but it would have been nice if they would have let others enjoy it as well.
We ended the day at Cantwell Cliffs. This might have been my favorite. The hike through the gorge wasn’t that impressive, but the upper cliffs were so beautiful.
Friday night the dogs zonked out pretty quickly and after dinner we hopped back into the hot tub to soak our tired legs. There were a lot of stair-like climbs that I liked referring to as the “glute busters.” It was so relaxing to get away for the long weekend.
We reluctantly headed home yesterday morning. Neither of us wanted to come back to reality which I think is a sign of a great vacation. It was nice to be back once we got home and the really short drive was an added bonus. We headed over to my friend Nicole’s house for the first half of THE game (OSU v UM) before heading home to nap, start putting up the Christmas decorations, and watch Home Alone. Today we will go get our Christmas tree!
Between running and hiking this week, I put in a total of 26 miles. Now that it’s December, I will be adding my 5th day of running back into my routine to help build up my base to start training in January. Since we were away I didn’t participate in any Turkey Trots, but I am registered for a 5K on New Year’s Day.
I hope everyone had a wonderful & relaxing Thanksgiving!