Tag Archives: Tour de Parks

Tour de Parks Finish Line: Climbing Mount McKinley

The Tour de Parks came to and end last week when I climbed Mount McKinley. I know, you are thinking Mt. McKinley does not exist anymore as it is now Denali.

Well Mount McKinley does exist in Canton, OH.


Red Carnation

President McKinley was known as the red carnation president for always having one in his lapel. Then one day he gave his carnation to a young girl in a receiving line at the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo, NY. Moments later he was shot and passed away several days later.

The Ascent

Today we will be walking up 108 steps to the tomb of President McKinley, Mrs. McKinley and their 2 daughters, Ida and Katherine. You will see the park from each of the 4 plateaus.

Ready? Let’s begin at the base camp.


The Starting Line At Base Camp


The shadow is mine and will serve as my “selfie” for this post. I have a Moto X phone and unable to download photos to my computer because of the incompatibility with Windows 10.

The View From Plateau #1

Level 1

The View From Plateau #2

Level 2

Here is the McKinley Museum from Plateau #2

McKinley Museum_Level_2

Here is President McKinley’s statue on Level 2. I walked down several steps in order to get this shot.


This picture shows the words on the base of the statue.


Plateau #3

Level 3

We are on Plateau # 3 looking up at Plateau #4 and the monument.


The View From Plateau 4

Level 4

Part of a sign at plateau #4


The skylight at top of inside the dome




Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not in conflict; and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war.

William McKinley


Eagle below the words “victories of peace.”


The door to the monument. Yes, that is my reflection.

Back At Base Camp

Well here we are back at base camp.


The header of the monument shot from base camp.

Monument Header

The End

Well this is the end of my Faithful Finish Lines Tour de Parks program. I am still in the Faithful Finish Lines program and highly recommend it. In fact, I am working on my next goal which will focus on healthy eating for this 7 week period.

Grieving – Get A Buddy

The first year of widowhood is very, very tough and I wish I had this group with me in 2008 and maybe I would have been more active.

If you are grieving, find and exercise buddy and get moving. Hopefully, reading my Tour de Parks posts has inspired you to find different places to walk. I’ve enjoyed doing these walks and bringing pictures of God’s handy work here in Northeast Ohio.

Canton, OH

I leave you with a view of the building tops in downtown Canton, OH taken from the 4th plateau.


10-10-2011_3by5Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© Award-Winner of JoyReturns.com. She encourages widows and educates society about grief and life as a widow by sharing her widowhood adventures. A graduate of Kent State University with a degree in communications, she has used her skills in the banking, collections, outdoor products and social media industries. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can see more of her photography at OgleOhio.com.

Tour de Parks: Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary

Last week, I got in my new used car and headed south to visit Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary and Wolf Creek Environmental Center. I have been itching to walk this as part of the Tour de Parks but life just kept interrupting.

It was a beautiful late summer day and the scenery was gorgeous, even though the heat has taken a toll and fall is setting in. I walked the 1/2 mile wetland trail but plan on being back once fall color takes hold, and walk the woodland trail.

Ready, let’s head down the path by the green and red trees.


What is that tree with red on it? I do not know but boy did I have a fun shooting pictures of it. I love the color combination of red, green against the blue sky.

Cherry_Saturated Cherry_Saturated_1 Cherry_Saturated_2 Cherry_Saturated_3 Cherry_Saturated_4

See, I told you I had fun taking pictures of the trees.           😉

Now on down the path we go to the environmental center. I left the center with plenty of pamphlets so I can start planning the 2016 Tour de Parks.




This is on the other side of the environmental center. It is here that I leave you to explore this serene place. That is the shadow of my head and it will have to suffice as my selfie for this walk.

Enjoy the slideshow and be still and know that He is God. 


Tour de Parks: Melting In His Clutch

In March when the starting gun sounded on the Tour de Parks, I felt frozen. For several weeks afterward Snow Miser kept it below 40 degrees and kept freezing the area during my weekend park walking time.

This past weekend Heat Mizer forced me to cancel the Tour as I was melting in his clutch. Temperatures were upper 80’s / lower 90’s with the heat index at least as high and maybe even 101 degrees. I barely got the backyard mowed Saturday morning.

So we will see what this weekend brings and hopefully I can safely resume my walking through one of Northeast Ohio’s lovely parks, photographing all God created.

Walking in the parks is fun and I encourage everyone to get out there and walk a park in your neighborhood. You never know what you will discover and the endorphins will help you beat up the grief miser, if you are grieving.

To get you in the walking mood, here is a picture I took yesterday of my lunchroom buddy.

Enjoy and get moving!

Tour de Parks: Patches of Light

Yippee!!! After a 3-week rain delay, the Tour de Parks happened again this past Sunday. The park I walked  is not one of the two places I wanted to walk, but it was where I needed to walk.

The park where this prestigious event was held was Plum Creek North in Brunswick, OH and is also part of the Medina County Parks System. Even though part of the path was paved, there were plenty of hills and flat surfaces. I need to find time to walk this one more often because walking it will whip me into shape in no time.

So without further adieu…let’s start our journey through Plum Creek North.



We will be walking the yellow trail.

Here is the entrance.



Our first glimpse of the North Pond


The North Pond in all her glory.


Before we head on down the path, anyone hungry?



Uh Oh! Look what’s ahead…



Well at least they apologized for the mess! Life does not apologize for the mess it leaves.

So put it in reverse, back up and let’s head up the stairs.


Here we are, at the top of the stairs and going to turn left.


This is where I got the idea for today’s post. It is dark along this path and it will get darker, but along the way you will see patches of light. Just like in life, when you walk the paths covered in darkness there are patches of light along the way. It is God working through the people in your life. They may only be there for a minute, day or the entire season of darkness but they are there, shining just as bright as the stars at night.

Here is where I leave you. As you walk this path to the South Pond and back, watch for the patches of light. And watch for the patches of light in your own life today and the rest of this week. I bet you will be surprised at how many you find.

The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1

Tour de Parks: An Encounter With A Bumble

My walk in a local park last weekend did not happen. It was not postponed because of weather or a cold but because of a bumble bee. The bumble bee that I stepped on when I opened the door to let Rommie in through the garage.

Bumble bees do not have barbs on their stingers so unlike honey bees, they can sting you over and over again. I only got stung once, but it was a doozy. Benedryl prevented the site from swelling and itching but since it makes me sleep all day, I could not take it Sunday night otherwise I would fall asleep at work on Monday.

It is Wednesday night and my foot is much better. Cortaid has taken care of the itching and I can make it through the day at work without wondering if there is a hack saw in the warehouse.

Tour de Parks will pick up this weekend – weather permitting.

Blog Colors

The color scheme for JoyReturns is now the same as the Cleveland Cavaliers who are in the NBA Finals starting tonight, 6/4 at 9:10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time. They are playing the Golden State Warriors in California so they are 3 hours behind Cleveland, which means I will probably be watching the inside of my eyelids when the game starts.

Once the Cavaliers are basketball champions this site will return to normal – whatever that is.       😉


Tour de Parks: The Other Side of Brunswick Lake

Last week I went into the woods at the Susan Hambly Nature Center on the west side of Brunswick Lake.

This week I decided to walk the east side. Well, that did not go so well. I guess it was because I mowed the yard on Saturday that walking the east side was too much.

I pulled into the parking lot only to find that it was full. So I parked at the next logical place – the bar. It is in a strip mall across the street from the nature center. It added a few more steps to my walk.

The starting point for this walk was the ending point for the last one – the boardwalk.


Come on along as we journey across the boardwalk and see the sights on the other side of Brunswick Lake – at least the part I could walk.

I encourage you to get out and walk parks that are in your area. You never know what sights and sounds you will see and hear. Plus, it makes exercise fun.       😀

Tour de Parks: Lock 39 – Ohio & Erie Canal (Part 1)

I planned something else for this week’s Tour de Parks but I went to the G.R.I.N. membership meeting on Saturday in Independence, Ohio and Lock 39 was close, so I changed plans and I’m glad I did.

The Ohio & Erie Canal (link to Wikipeida article about the canal – including a picture from Lock 39) stretches from Cleveland, Oh to New Philadelphia, Oh.  

I walked a 1/2-mile stretch of the towpath trail from the Lock 39 Trailhead to Stoney Road and back to the Trailhead. It was a trip back to another era where mules pulled packet boats (60 – 80 feet long and over 14 feet wide) along the canal, but reminders of the modern world were all around. So join me on a trip down the towpath.


C’mon, let’s step through the entrance and journey back in time.

lock 39 entrance

How a picture of the entrance to Lock 39 Trailhead – Ohio & Erie Canal might have looked in its golden days.


The entrance in full, living color.



First Stop

Our first stop is the information booth on your right.

The Ohio & Erie Canal

The Ohio & Erie Canal


Basic Facts:

Opened in 1827 connecting Cleveland to Akron

Completed in 1832 and connected Cleveland to Portsmouth, OH (308 miles) which linked the Ohio River to Lake Erie.



Now that you’ve read a brief history of the canal, it is time to set off on our journey. One foot in front of the other as we head south on the canal’s towpath trail. Don’t worry, I am not going to make you walk the 1 3/4 miles to the Canal Exploration Center – at least not today.       😉







And we’re walkin…

Heading South

Heading South

While it is in the 80’s, there is a lovely breeze to keep us cool.


The Resident of Lock 39

The Resident of Lock 39



Lock 39 is in sight.  Come back tomorrow as we get an up close and personal look at the lock.




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