Saturday, November 21, 2015

LEON and the CAT

We encountered this rock formation while geocaching in the back country of northeastern Licking County.  The cache container was a pill bottle wrapped in camouflaged tape and stuck in a crack near Sue's foot.   Like all traditional geocaches it contained a log we signed to prove our hunt's success.

Someone had painted a mouth and a couple of beady eyes on the rock which someone else evidently thought looked like a cat.  To me, it looked like the head of a giant catfish petrified for eternity.

Actually the stone is likely a slump block, as a geologist might explain.  A ridge of higher rocks behind my camera's angle of view could be the heavily eroded remnants of plate tectonics, the movements of the earth's crust over geologic times, wherein the collision of two continents along what we now know as our country's east coast, formed the Appalachian Mountains.

Those mountains originally rivaled the Rocky Mountains in size but the soft sandstone has eroded to the miniature remnant we see today.  Underlying rock eroded away more quickly than harder formations above which eventually caused a collapse in the formation leaving us with these "slump blocks" which tumbled and arranged themselves in peculiar locations.

So, to the casual observer we have a fanciful and imaginative stone.  If one's curiosity ranges above mere imagination, you could be enjoying something far more historically intensive than a smiling visage of a feline.

Still curious?  Pangea

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Lexington High School Ladies Cross Country Team

Mackenna Curtis-Collins (standing atop #4 above) sneaks a peek as coach Benson (right) waves a championship salute while they are announced at the event in Hebron, OH today.  The girls, who finished second in last year's championship event by an extremely small margin, demolished the
competition this year with a score twice as fast as the 2nd place team.

That's a very proud grandma with the new champion (right), my lady Sue Brooks.

 An impromptu victory lap! the champtionship trophy begins it way home.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Summer's final romp (maybe)

Son Brian and I meandered gently over 145 miles of Ohio's country roads in today's beautiful but waning days of summer.

Here we are paused at the Chambers Road covered bridge in northeastern Delaware County.  This truss-style bridge was built in 1883 and continues to serve traffic on this bucolic country road.

From here we temporarily endured the mayhem of I-71 traffic for a lunch hook-up with Brian's bride Kate and son Dane in Fredericktown where after lunch we treated ourselves to a visit to the village gun shop.

Felt bad about that with Brian's wife and son having to head back to work while we continued our scholarly journey.  

From there we roamed the back roads to Danville for a peek at that town's gun shop which a friendly clerk described as Danville's answer to Cabelas.  Yup, that fits.

Just south of Danville we enjoyed a refreshing pause at the Honey Run Creek Park which hosts the
only natural waterfall in Knox County.  From there we ricocheted back through Danville to Brinkhaven which hosts Ohio's longest covered bridge coined the Bridge of Dreams.

Click here for some earlier blog stories on this marvelous structure.

This bridge (below) is so long a telescope would be handy to see folks at the other end.

Alas, while the day was mimicking mid-summer, failing light was chasing the sun into the western sky and we headed for the barn, so to speak.  Besides, looking down from the side of this towering structure was making me dizzy (below).  Some would say "dizzier".

Those are our two motorcycles parked between the vehicles viewed from far above and with a slight dose of Photoshop applied.

Two covered bridges, two boy's toy stores, lunch with family, one waterfall and nearly 150 miles of mostly gentle meandering on colorful country roads, it just doesn't get much better than that!


Tuesday, November 3, 2015


I asked the uniformed guy just inside the fence at Mansfield Lahm Airport today if he knew any of the specifications on the huge airplane that arrived in town Monday morning.

"T'is a big one, sure 'nuf," he opined.

I guess that about sums it up.

Turns out the airplane was acquired from the European Space Agency in a barter agreement where NASA took ownership of the plane in return for carrying ESA equipment to the International Space Station in two (then) future space shuttle flights.

This aptly named behemoth of an airplane has a cargo compartment that is 25 feet high, 25 feet wide and 111 feet long.  It has a weight carrying capacity of more than 26 tons.
You can see the seam in the above photo where the nose area is hinged and can roll open 200 degrees toward the camera's view on the nose wheel to allow unobstructed access for loading and unloading.

The small photo (right) from NASA shows the nose opened on an earlier model and a loading/unloading platform handling two small NASA jets.

The plane was here to offload future space mission equipment that will be trucked to NASA-Sandusky for further fabrication.