ho-HI-ho: noun. What Addie called Ohio when she was 3.
Today Addie declared she is going to become a professional naturalist, live in Ohio and take people on hikes and show them what plants they can eat, specifically the sourwood because that one is her favorite.
Surprisingly enough, Addie spent the morning with a very handsome young man named Joe who is a naturalist, takes people on hikes, shows them what plants they can eat and sourwood happens to be one of his favorites. In other words, we had a really good day and Addie has a new friend and role model.
Jim, the owner of Hocking Hills Adventure Treks said he’d have a spot waiting for her in about 13 years.
You know those fliers and pamphlets you can find in almost any small town touristy hotel? The ones that advertise the ‘world’s biggest this’ or the ‘world’s greatest that?’ Well this trip is basically doing as many of those pamphlets as possible. It was set up by some lovely ladies involved in Ohio tourism and we have done and will be doing things I never would have thought to do, and we’re having so much fun.
Today started out at a pencil sharpener museum.
Want to see Addie go bananas? Take her to a pencil sharpener museum. We then took a private guided tour of a nature preserve in Hocking Hills, Ohio. It’s downright stupid how pretty it is up here and what a good idea these treks are that Jim came up with. He gathered up a bunch of passionate naturalists, works with nature preserves and parks all over the area and plans these fantastic hikes where you get your own private know-it-all who will feed you roots, leaves and twigs (and you’ll actually enjoy it.)
Joe was our know-it-all today and he answered every question Addie had. When she asked about the dirt he got down on his knees and dug in it. When she wanted to see in a cave he pulled out a flashlight and showed her, when she sneezed he handed her a tissue and when she spotted poop he dug around in it with a stick to figure out what and who it came from.
Basically he’s the world’s greatest dad waiting to happen.
As if that weren’t enough, the hike ended at a huge cave where a Shawnee Indian named Wehyehpihehrsehnhwah was sitting and playing a hand carved flute, it was spectacular. He welcomed us in Shawnee and told us stories that his grandfather had passed on to him. He told us how many words we use everyday come from Shawnee (including hi, Michigan and Mississippi) and that the Shawnee word for elk translates to ‘white butt.’ He showed Addie his flint knife, told her about his nose ring and said that if he didn’t keep his flute warm it would sound like he was killing squirrels the next time he played it.
He was amazing.
The fact that any Native American Indian tribe was ever persecuted or labeled as savages? Blows my mind.
Our next stop was the Columbus Washboard Company and museum. When I saw a ‘washboard museum’ on our itinerary I was a little…huh…okay…but you guys! We bought two washboards and Addie has taken hers everywhere with her since we left the place. Who’s going to have clean laundry when the world ends? THIS LADY.
Cody also bought a kazoo for the girls because he hates me and wants to send both of us into an early grave. We were given a tour of the factory by a charming man named James who showed us how the washboards are made on the same equipment they’ve been made on for over a hundred years and washboards are pretty much the coolest thing ever so don’t roll your eyes when you get one for Christmas this year.
We’ve eaten way too much delicious food, are trying to survive in one big hotel room breathing each others air and hearing each other sleep but it doesn’t really matter because we’re together and together with them is really my most favorite place to be no matter where we are in the world. (And we have a pool, Addie asked that I tell you all we have a pool, and little boxes of cereal in the morning, and washboards, we have washboards!)
Disclosure: We have been provided with lodging, activities, and some meals while in Ohio. Huge thanks to Ohio for being pretty darn awesome.