I do a lot of hiking, and today was just so gorgeous . . .
I ended up going to Hocking Hills, and decided to do a bit of bushwacking around. If you are not familiar with the area, there a a bunch of really nice sandstone cliffs, make up of what is called “Blackhand Sandstone.” This sandstone is well-cemented near the top, and well-cemented about 100 feet lower down, but the stuff in the middle is rather crumbly. So a lot of what are called “recess caves” are formed, and they are the main feature of Hocking Hills. I started out parking at Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve and walked along the west rim to get to where I was headed: Burgoon Hollow. I bushwacked down into the Hollow, taking pictures of just what the formations were (I’d never been there before).
The cool thing about doing it barefooted (aside from all the usual benefits) is when one has to climb back out. That’s were toes come in extremely handily. The hollow walls are pretty step, and toes are just perfect for grabbing into the soil for a very good grip.
Here is one of the recess caves in Burgoon Hollow (on its west side). I went by it as I was climbing out of the hollow:
(You’ll easily see that I stitched together two photos I took. I need better software.)
Farther up the slope (up to the right there) there was yet another small recess cave:
Really, really fun.
I then hiked around a bit more, and ended up back at Conkles Hollow, where this time I took the trail on the east rim. Here is what things looked like today looking south towards the entrance to Conkles Hollow:
Just goes to show: bare feet are just fine for all sorts of hiking.