Caverns and Graves

I’m back.  My plane touched down around 5 in the evening on Sunday.  Of course, I have a shit ton of pictures and I really need to share them with you so at least two days this week you’ll have to indulge me.

Ohio Caverns

The Ohio Caverns was originally an aquifer which held an underground river of melted glacier water. The river eventually receded to lower levels of the ground and is now unseen.  In 1897 a 17 year old farmhand named Robert Noffsinger got curious when he noticed a sinkhole on the property that would fill with rain and then be completely dry the next day, so he began to dig.  After reaching limestone and finding a crack he was able to break through and lower himself into the caverns becoming the first living being inside of them.

 

Ohio Caverns

Ohio Caverns

The Ohio Caverns contain many crystal formations. Approximately 90% of its stalactite and stalagmite formations are still active.

Cavern stalagmites and stalagtites

You will see examples of every type of formation in the Ohio Caverns: iron oxide formations; manganese dioxide formations; calcite formations: stalactites, stalagmites, columns, flowstone, soda straws, and helictites; and Dual Formations.  Dual Formations are extremely rare and the Ohio Caverns is the only known cave in North America, (and one of very few in the world), known to have Dual Formations. In the Ohio Caverns there are calcite stalactites growing on the ends of iron oxide formations.

 

Cavern Crystals

Dual Formations

Did you know there is a difference between a cavern and a cave?  A cave is any cavity in the ground that is large enough that some portion of it will not receive direct sunlight and there are many types of caves.  A cavern is a specific type of cave that is naturally formed in soluble rock with the ability to grow speleothems. So, although a cavern can accurately be called a cave, not all caves can be called caverns.

Ohio Caverns

After we left the Ohio Caverns we were driving down a road taking the scenic route back when we spotted a row of old stones on the side of the road.  We turned around and went back and discovered Bigelow Cemetery State Nature Preserve.

Bigelow Pioneer Cemetery

The cemetery isn’t plowed or mowed as it contains many prairie grasses and wildflowers.  Unfortunately we did not get to see it in its full splendor as the wildflowers bloom in mid to late summer but we didn’t mind.  We felt so fortunate that we found it and were able to see it.

Bigelow Cemetery

Some of the graves dated back to the early 1800’s.

Old gravestone

There was one row of an entire family who all died around the same time, most likely from some sort of disease.

grave stone

I found it so interesting how they wrote the date of death and then instead of a birth year which is commonly seen today, we saw things like ‘aged 75 yrs, 2 mos, 5 days.  It was so interesting.

This next set of stones was off in the corner.  I think some of the pieces may have been broken parts of stones that they haven’t found or damaged gravestones that haven’t been repaired.  Whatever the case I got an overwhelming sense of sadness looking at it.

Bigelow Cemetery

I’m so glad that I was able to see this piece of history which is located at 600 Rosedale Road in Madison County, Ohio.  I was so enthralled by the history of the place that I researched the families who were buried there.  It was quite interesting.  I hope I can visit there again someday.

Have you ever visited an old cemetery?

Have you ever visited any of the caverns in the United States?  I’ve seen Ruby Falls, The Lost Sea, Luray Caverns and the Ohio Caverns.  I have a thing for caverns obviously.

Vacation is over and it’s bacon my heart….

Every time we take a vacation I tell myself that I will not eat badly and I will not over eat and every time, I fail miserably.  This time I decided to just have a good time and come what may.  We don’t keep a scale in our Nokomis house because I threw it out because who wants to worry about what you weigh when you’re on vacation, am I right?

diet

If you remember, I’m under doctor’s orders not to run and also I wasn’t able to walk for a week.  I extended the walking ban a bit further because hey, why not?  Based on the fact that I wasn’t doing any kind of exercise at all and I was eating whatever I wanted, oh, and sleeping in like a boss…….

I was pretty sure I gained the equivalent of at least a brain or half a dachshund, or 2 boxes of wine, or 6 packages of bacon, (which actually makes sense considering how much of that goodness I ate.)

eat skinny

We got home late last night and I stepped on the scale this morning and squinted through one half open eye to see the damage.

Lord Jesus

I weigh exactly the same as I did when I left for vacation!  If I had any idea how I managed to do that, I’d put it all down into words, write a book, and then sell that sucker and watch the millions roll in.

I wish I had a thousand photos to show you from our vacation because it was wonderful but even when I had a large part of my family over on Wednesday for a cook out, I neglected to take even one single picture.  I can’t help it.  When I’m having fun, taking pictures are usually the last thing I think about.

I did take some pictures from the week though so indulge me for a bit and I’ll share.

This is a bistro set that was brown and horrible looking.  My nephew helped me paint it and then I found these cushions on sale for half price and they matched perfectly!

Bistro Set

This is my blender which is from the 50’s, I think.  It’s pretty awesome.

50's blender

You know you want one!

My niece and I used it to bake a cake.  A blue velvet cake.

blue velvet cake

This is a picture of the cake BEFORE baking it.

smurf cake

It’s a smurf cake!  It was actually delicious according to my niece.

This is a MacGyver rescuing a gopher tortoise on Manasota Beach Road.

gopher tortoise

This is a soft shell turtle in our canal.  He is not a rescue, even though y’all probably think I rescue all of God’s creatures.

soft shell turtle

When my brother came over on Wednesday we were all standing around the canal and my brother said, ‘the water looks like motor oil.’

canal

I think he might be right.

And this is a picture of the awesome snook that I caught on Saturday morning.

snook

We catch and release at this time of year in case you’re wondering and also, this snook is way too small to be a keeper. But I caught one!

This is a random book store that we saw in Punta Gorda when my sister in law and my niece and I went to pick up a bird cage.

copperfish books

The next day I looked it up online, Copperfish Books is an independent bookstore that sells new, used and antique books.  They also support local artists.  I am determined to make it back to this place and to visit this store.  I love independent bookstores and you NEVER see them anymore.

We got home yesterday early in the evening and I got up this morning and walked.  It felt so nice.  I’m still looking for a bike.  I can’t decide if I want to get a brand new one since I’m not sure how dedicated I’ll be to the sport.  MacGyver found some really good used ones online so I’m going to take a look at those and see if anything jumps out at me.

Also, we have to save all of our pennies right now because we have some exciting things we’re working on, but I can’t tell you about it yet.  How’s that for a teaser?

Do you gain or lose weight on vacation?

Do you like independent bookstores?   

Do you like antiques or vintage things, like my blender?

We Vacatin!

Hey y’all!

balcony view

I may have forgotten to mention that we are on vacation this week, oops.

We’re actually just down in Nokomis and Englewood because a large portion of our families are in town.  Both brothers and their families and also I have a cousin and his lovely wife in town and also my Mom.

I’ve been hanging out with Thing 1 and 2 this week and loving it.

Here’s Thing 2 in the pool last night with my brothers niece.

the girls

I’m pretty sure they swam themselves into a coma.

Over the weekend Thing 2 and I were shopping and she wanted me to buy her a fish.  The conversation went something like this:

Thing 2:  Can you buy me a fish please?

Me:  I would love to buy you a fish but you would have a hard time getting it back to Virginia with you and your Mom and Dad would probably say no.

Thing 2:  That’s okay when I leave you can keep it for me.

Me:  I would love to but I already have 2 dogs and 2 birds and a big MacGyver to take care of.

Thing 2:  I know.  That’s a lot of things to be responsible for you but if it dies, just face time me for the funeral.

I swear! Out of the mouths of babes.

Today MacGyver and I have planned a big cookout and if all totals are correct, there will be 13 people, 2 dogs and 2 birds at my house this afternoon.  And except for the ones swimming in the canal, no fish.  I’ll update more tomorrow but for now, I have a party to get ready for!

When is the last time you went on vacation?  Where’d you go?