Despite having spent 27 years living in Ohio, I didn't get out and enjoy all of Ohio's natural delights nearly as much as I should have. Ohio is home to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park—comprising 32,572 acres—and I grew up only a few miles away. One place I did visit frequently was Virginia Kendall and I walked the ledges loop often with my dad, friends and alone. Millions of years ago (!!) fast-moving streams flowed into an inland sea covering Ohio, carrying sand, gravel and quartz pebbles that compacted over time and formed the ledges.
I fell short trying to think about "Ohio" things to show David on his first visit to my home state (my list began and ended with lunch at Swensons) but then the ledges hike popped into my head and I knew it was perfect—David loves hikes and physical challenges of all kinds. The ledges loop isn't exactly a physical challenge, but it was nice to walk—after a few days of being back in car-centric Ohio I have to remind myself to keep moving my body.
I loved showing David around my hometown, but it was definitely weird to have my New York life and my Ohio life collide. I have this bizarre fear every time I go back home that my entire New York life has somehow been a dream and I never actually left Ohio. Having David there was a good physical reminder that my New York life is definitely real, and I kept saying that I wished for a way for us to go back in time and tell my teenage and early-20s self that everything really was going to work out, eventually. A large portion of my Virginia Kendall walks were angsty and alone—I wrote endlessly in a journal and confided in friends, but there's nothing like a contemplative nature walk to set your mind straight (for a while, at least).