Escape to Cuyahoga Valley National Park
These days a trip to the GoAsis — the massive, snack-riddled truck stop directly off of I-71 north in Ashland — is enough to spark adventure, so I’m giving myself a proverbial pat on my back for managing to write a year’s worth of travel columns in the middle of a global pandemic.
In the past year, I managed to travel a couple of thousand miles around the state, keeping safety and common sense at the forefront. I never found myself in a crowd or a compromising interior setting. Most of my sojourns were to desolate locations: graveyards, Ohio History markers, dead malls and small towns and villages. I did visit a few museums, but usually I was met with empty exhibit halls and masked, welcoming docents. You have to applaud all of the institutions and restaurants who are doing it right, and have been the entire time (kudos, Akron Art Museum). It’s been a slippery slope.
But what now? Are we in the clear as far as responsibly taking that hard-earned getaway and traveling into situations that could pose potential risk? I’m fully vaccinated, my partner is not. So despite the invitation from the Indianapolis Tourism Board to come revel in the March Madness bubble for a weekend of basketball and Indiana dive bars, I had to decline. That’s a bracket too far. And as we found on our anniversary celebration away from the city, trying to vibe with the outside world is definitely going to take some adjustment.