Halloween Seasonal Food Hoovering and Hocking Hills Hiking

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

I was thinking that the maitre'd was looking a little green around the gills at the Wildflower Cafe in Clintonville when I realized the homecookin' joint wasn't the kind of place to employ such a fellow. I let him seat me nonetheless.

After ripping into an Ohio-raised, grass-fed steak, I began to doubt what I thought I knew about Wildflower.

Then I had some of these homey Chicken & Noodles (better than Nancy's) and I became re-convinced about Wildflower's identity as I ate The Mash-- I ate the Monster Mashed Potatoes underneath the chicken & noodles.

OK, just havin' a little seasonal fun...which I also had last week after I polished off that food and worked (at least some of it) off the next day on a long-ass hike...

...at Hocking Hills. My favorite scoot there is a killer 5-6 mile loop that starts at the visitor's center, heads toward Cedar Falls and winds up climbing out of Old Man's Cave. Here's a look:

A highlight is Rose Lake, where you can catch a fish like these people did!

Then there's this neat suspension bridge...

...and finally Cedar Falls--though last week, it wasn't falling due to lack of rain.

But the sights were still popping, like this Old West-looking rock face...

...and this fun/challenging sandstone-y path you have to be careful when traversing...

...and this trippy-looking tree 'path".

Eventually, you want to head back toward Old Man's Cave...

...which leads to this fairytale-like scenery...

...and a preponderance of steps!

But when you finish, you can stare back into the black hole you just emerged from with a feeling of accomplishment!

And that's a feeling that's certainly a lot sweeter--and much longer-lasting--than a handful of cheap candy corn!

Happy Halloween!