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J U LY 2 0 1 6

Official publication of your electric cooperative

75 years of progress


Local co-op pages National Park Service turns 100 Lake Erie islands Outhouse races

19-22 24 30 32

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inside F E AT U R E S



Statewide association celebrates 75 years of service to Ohio’s electric cooperatives — and looks ahead to a bright future.

12 RIDE ’EM COWBOY Buckin’ Ohio offers rodeo-style entertainment — and that’s no bull!

23 AMERICA’S BEST IDEA The National Park Service celebrates 100 years.

26 CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK CVNP is Ohio’s own natural treasure.

30 OFFSHORE ADVENTURES Explore the natural wonders of the Lake Erie islands.

32 TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS Race with outhouses. No magazines needed.

23 40 A VISIT TO WALLY (ROAD) WORLD Take a scenic drive along the Mohican River.



Next month...

The work of Load Control

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Cooperative Connection


Independence through cooperation We hear about independence all the time in our daily lives — independent voters are a hot topic this year, and energy independence has been an important subject of late. Last month’s issue of Country Living featured autonomy and independence as pillars of the seven principles on which electric cooperatives are founded. Independence is a powerful idea that has fueled our country’s growth; that was born of great intellect; and that has been paid for with blood, sweat, and tears. The path to independence is a study in contrast. To achieve independence individually, our forefathers came together cooperatively to achieve this elusive goal. The last sentence of the Declaration of Independence states the reality quite clearly: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” That’s a real commitment to cooperation. Independence is not born of ignorance, either. It requires an understanding of and agreement with the



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principles involved. In its more famous second sentence, the Declaration of Independence once again shines a light on the need for unifying principles: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” While the writers of our Declaration proclaim “these truths to be self-evident,” the record indicates that it took a fair amount of discussion to come to a consensual understanding of these root doctrines. Likewise, Ohio’s electric cooperatives strive to live out their own core principles. They formed a unified band 75 years ago and built an active, structured, statewide organization so that they might maintain their independence and provide you with safe, reliable, clean, and affordable electric service then, and into the future. So far, so good. Hope each of you enjoys a splendid Independence Day. God bless America! 

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July 2016 Volume 58, No. 10

Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives 6677 Busch Blvd. Columbus, OH 43229 614-846-5757 Patrick O’Loughlin Patrick Higgins Rich Warren Magen Howard Adam Specht

President & CEO Dir. of Communications Managing Editor Associate Editor Member Services & Communications Consultant Chris Hall Communications Specialist Nikki Heath Communications Specialist

COUNTRY LIVING (ISSN 0747-0592) is the official publication of Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. With a paid circulation of 294,359, it is the monthly communication link between the electric cooperatives in Ohio and West Virginia and their members. Nothing in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without specific written permission from Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. All rights reserved. Alliance for Audited Media Member

National advertising representatives: NATIONAL COUNTRY MARKET, 800-NCM-1181 State advertising representatives: Sandy Woolard 614-403-1653 Tim Dickes 614-855-5226 The fact that a product is advertised in Country Living should not be taken as an endorsement. If you find an advertisement misleading or a product unsatisfactory, please notify us or the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Section, 30 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215, or call 1-800282-0515. Periodicals postage paid at Columbus, OH and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to editorial and advertising offices at: 6677 Busch Boulevard, Columbus, OH 43229-1101

Cooperative members — Please report any change of address to your local electric cooperative. Check out the mobile-friendly website and digital edition of Country Living, as well as other timely information from Ohio’s electric cooperatives. Online exclusives Focus on pets We offer a package of pet-related stories this month, on subjects ranging from animals in art, a dog bakery in Massillon, and an exhibit of “Divine Felines” in Cincinnati. Under the “Country Living” button, click on the cover of the current issue and go to page 19.

Ohio travel Visit the John and Annie Glenn Historic Site, the boyhood home of the astronaut and senator in New Concord. This story can be found under “Online Exclusives.”

Recipes Check out the recipes for picnic or potluck fare submitted by Cooking Editor Margie Wuebker and Nutrition Editor Diane Yoakam under the “Food Scene” button.

In addition • Find out: “Is your ductwork delivering?” • Learn more about Greenville’s “Jackpot of July Jubilations.”

In this issue: Indian Lake (p. 8) Springfield (p. 10) Burbank (p. 12) Marengo (p. 14) Cuyahoga Valley (p. 26)

Follow us on :

Lake Erie islands (p. 30) Wally Road (p. 40)

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power of working people B Y N A N CY G R A N T


Statewide association celebrates 75 years of service to Ohio’s electric cooperatives — and looks ahead to a bright future “WHAT CAN WE DO BETTER if we team up?” That simple question, asked by the leaders of a handful of rural electric cooperatives in 1941, set in motion a commitment to serving Ohio’s rural communities that continues today. That statewide association, now known as Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives, strives to help member co-ops provide safe, reliable, affordable electricity — and a lot more. 4


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1941 Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc., the statewide trade association, is formed.

In those early days at the end of the Great Depression, the men and women of the fledgling co-ops set up simple offices, talked to their friends and neighbors about the benefits of rural electrification, then worked long hours to build the network of poles and lines, transformers, and electric meters. Pat O’Loughlin, president and CEO of Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives, says, “As I travel around the state, I see more than poles and wires — I see the dedication of those early co-op leaders to improve the lives of the people in their communities. I thank them for their courage and their vision. The association they formed, based on the seven co-op principles, is flexible enough to meet challenges they never dreamed of. Today, we continue our commitment to listening to the concerns of our members and working together to achieve new goals.”

Working for all co-op members Ken Keylor, who retired in 2015 as vice president of statewide services, says, “When the association began, its biggest problem was buying wholesale power. Individual co-ops had to take whatever was offered from other utilities. At first, the co-ops sat down to talk about how they could negotiate better contracts to buy electricity. Then something else happened, something really special. They began to have a vision for all the other things they could do better together instead of one by one.” Those early conversations began a tradition of sharing ideas. Keylor says, “As a statewide association, we’ve always seen the value of talk-

1955 Howard Cummins becomes executive manager of OREC. It’s a position he’ll hold until 1977.

(Opposite page) Then and now: The original headquarters of Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives was a small building in Columbus. Today’s building, constructed in 1974, is shared with Buckeye Power and the Rural Electric Supply Cooperative. (Above) The first pole financed by the Rural Electrification Administration was erected in Piqua in 1935. A historical marker commemorating this milestone stands outside the offices of Pioneer Electric Cooperative.

ing with our co-op managers. To do a good job, you’ve got to know what’s going on. So we made the effort to understand what’s happening on the ground in their systems, find out what their boards are talking about, what their members are concerned about, and listen to their challenges. We have always asked, ‘What can we do better to help you?’” Over the decades, the statewide association’s role and the services it provides have expanded to include: • Communications services, including digital and multimedia projects • Power and technical services • Government affairs • Safety and loss prevention • Scholarship and youth programs • Mutual aid and disaster recovery

Within each area, the focus has shifted during seven-and-a-half decades as circumstances have changed. The power and technical services area is a good example of responding to different needs and concerns. In the late 1950s, instead of purchasing power from outsiders, the co-ops determined that building their own generation and transmission cooperative, Buckeye Power, would make better sense. In today’s world, as interest in renewable sources of energy production increases, Buckeye Power and the statewide group are carefully studying the technical and financial details, monitoring each addition to the mix of power sources to determine which methods offer the most benefits to co-op members. (Continued on page 6)

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1963 The Cardinal Station Agreement is signed.

1958 The first issue of Country Living is published in October.

1968 Cardinal Station Unit 2 becomes the official property of Buckeye Power.

The power of people working together (–continued from page 5) Sharing ideas and best practices The statewide association jumped into the communications realm almost immediately, preparing information packets and articles during the 1940s to help co-ops better serve their local members. In 1958, the statewide group began publishing Country Living magazine to help co-op members learn about the industry. Exchanging information and finding the best ways to use new technology is a continuing theme within the statewide group in every area of service. Keylor says, “When something good happens, news travels fast. Bad news does, too, and we learn from each



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other’s mistakes.” In face-to-face meetings and online forums, the statewide group provides many opportunities for the co-ops to exchange ideas, always looking for the best practices. Several years ago, when many co-ops expressed concern about worker accidents, the statewide group listened — and took action. Keylor says, “The local co-ops said they wanted to focus on safety, so at the statewide level we invested a lot of manpower into new training programs.” The statewide group now manages the Central Ohio Lineworker Training (COLT) program, which provides hands-on training and certification to new lineworkers, as well as ongoing jour-

neyman training and certification for veteran lineworkers. Throughout the year, statewide employees in the safety and loss control program host special safety sessions in Columbus, and travel throughout the state and West Virginia to help individual co-ops maintain consistently high safety standards. The list of services that the statewide group provides is long, deep, and varied, including everything from coordinating mutual aid during disaster recovery, managing the annual Youth Tour, speaking up for co-op members in Columbus and Washington, exploring new ways to use computer technology, offering expert advice about energy efficiency, and member out-

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s .

2001 A decade-long project begins of installing new emissions controls at the Cardinal generating units.

2015 Pat O’Loughlin becomes president and CEO of Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives and Buckeye Power.

75 years of progress reach. O’Loughlin says, “Everything we do is centered around bettering the lives of co-op members and the rural communities. The next 75 years will be full of opportunities — and we’re ready for whatever comes next.”  NANCY GRANT is a member of the Cooperative Communicators Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

1941 Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc., the statewide trade association, is formed. 1942 The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is formed. 1952 The first permanent OREC offices open in Columbus. 1952 W. E. Stuckey becomes manager and serves until 1955. 1955 Howard Cummins becomes executive manager of OREC. It’s a position he’ll hold until 1977. 1958 The first issue of Country Living is published in October. 1959 Buckeye Power, Inc., is established. 1961 The Rural Electric Supply Cooperative (RESCO) is formed, allowing Ohio’s cooperatives to take advantage of quantity discounts for purchasing equipment and materials. 1963 Cooperative and Ohio Power officials announce the signing of the Cardinal Station Agreement. 1968 Cardinal Station Unit 2 becomes the official property of Buckeye Power. 1972 Buckeye Power, Inc., and Ohio Power enter an agreement for construction of Cardinal Station Unit 3. 1972 OREC establishes its safety and loss control department. 1973 Buckeye Power, Inc., begins a load management program. 1975 OREC and BP move to their current headquarters. 1977 Cardinal Station Unit 3 is placed in service. 1977 Robert Cleveland becomes president of OREC and Buckeye Power. 1981 Buckeye Power, Inc., purchases 2,100 acres in Ross County for the site of a future generating plant. 1981 Buckeye Power begins a marketing program with Dual Fuel system rebates. 1985 Ohio electric cooperatives observe the 50th anniversary of the Rural Electrification Administration. 1989 Richard K. Byrne becomes president and CEO of OREC and Buckeye Power. 1991 In response to cooperatives’ needs for consulting engineering services, Buckeye Member Cooperative, Inc., becomes Buckeye Member Service Company. 1998 Touchstone Energy is introduced, a




2002 2002 2004


2007 2007 2008 2008 2012

2013 2015

national alliance of local cooperatives providing high standards of service to members and communities. Ohio Gov. Bob Taft signs legislation that will restructure the state’s electric utility marketplace. Ohio’s electric cooperatives announce they will not immediately opt-in to competition. Customer choice comes to Ohio, but after the first six months, few consumers have opted to change suppliers, and even ewer have been approached by marketers. A decade-long construction project begins on new emissions control systems on Buckeye’s Cardinal generating units to meet stricter EPA requirements. Tony Ahern becomes CEO of Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives and Buckeye Power. Robert P. Mone Station, a 510-megawatt (MW) peaking plant, comes online. A lineworker training program begins as a partnership between OREC and Marion Technical College. It is branded as COLT (Central Ohio Lineworker Training) in 2009. A subsidiary of Buckeye Power purchases ownership and rights at two generating stations operated by the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation. Buckeye Power purchases 30 MW of wind generation from the Story County Wind Energy Center in Iowa. Buckeye Power purchases the Greenville Peaking Plant (200 MW). Two biogas generation projects come online at Bridgewater Dairy (1.2 MW) and Wenning Poultry (1.8 MW). Plug-In 1, a plug-in hybrid electric Ford Escape that’s a research and development project for Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives, hits the road. Country Living magazine wins the George W. Haggard Memorial Journalism Award, the highest national recognition among electric cooperative statewide publications. Ohio’s cooperatives score an all-time high on the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The score is surpassed the following year. Pat O’Loughlin becomes president and CEO of Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives and Buckeye Power. JULY 2016



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The Seven Cooperative Principles


Principle 5: Education, Training, and Information IN THIS SEVEN-PART SERIES, you’ll learn how the same principles that guide cooperatives around the world also govern your local electric co-op, keeping you — a valued member-owner — the primary focus. Principle 5, “Education, Training, and Information,” reads as follows: “Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees, so that they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.” A closer look at a rural school district in northwest Logan County provides a real-life example of this principle in action.

The Laker motto: Educate, inspire, empower Imagine glass beakers, hand-drawn graphs, and outdoor field trips where the wind blows away the status quo. For seventh grade science teacher Erika Eley, her classroom is a portal — the place where students use tangible experiments to break down abstract concepts into “aha” lessons. “I enjoy teaching science because it allows me to show students that science is all around them, and it affects their lives on a



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daily basis,” the Indian Lake Middle School teacher says. “I try to make them aware that they can make a difference for the world, even if it seems small and insignificant.” Eley isn’t alone in her passion for education. The Indian Lake School District in Lewistown serves nearly 1,800 K-12 students and proudly maintains high academic standards with rigorous classes. Whether it’s the “Laker Zone” program that instills confidence and compassion in elementary kids, the new middle school robotics team, or revamped high school welding and 3-D printer courses, Indian Lake Schools constantly examines the needs of its students and works to align with them. In the spring, the district even hosted the first-ever Logan County Workforce Expo, bringing in representatives from more than 40 local companies seeking job applicants.

Living the principle Just as educating students is Indian Lake Schools’ main priority, your electric cooperative also emphasizes educating its members, employees, and even the general public about the nature of co-ops, as well as energy efficiency and electric safety tips. In fact, this summer, Indian Lake High School and Logan County Electric Co-op celebrate a decade of partnership through a wind turbine on the school’s front lawn for science classes to study. The turbine is estimated to power one classroom for an entire year and ensures that students learn first-

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hand about renewable energy. Informing and engaging today’s youth is one of your electric co-op’s main priorities, as demonstrated by programs like the annual Youth Tour trip to Washington, D.C., school safety and high voltage demonstrations, and the awarding of college scholarships. Information is also spread through Country Living, co-op website and social media pages, at annual member meetings, and through community events. Co-op employees also receive training through online learning opportunities, conferences, or even continued education funded by the cooperative. Of course, members

can always call or visit their co-op to ask questions or receive personalized advice for saving money on their electric bill. “When a cooperative is involved in education, they are doing what they should be doing,” says Michael Wilson, director of communication at Logan County Electric Cooperative. “They help prepare the next generation of leaders in America and strive to provide information that empowers people to improve the quality of their lives.” 

Be E3 Smart: Saving Ohio homes billions Throughout the past four years, Indian Lake Middle School students have been bringing home unusual items: LED night lights, door sweeps, and shower heads — just to name a few. These giveaways are part of a program called Be E3 Smart, which teaches Ohio students ways to reduce energy demand and use. “The students really enjoy the lessons,” says ILMS teacher Erika Eley. “The most exciting part was being able to bring the energy bike to the classroom and show students how energy is converted and used in small appliances. They were all able to take turns creating electricity, just by pedaling.” Sponsored by Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives and implemented by nonprofit energy education group the Ohio Energy Project (OEP), the program is free to schools and promotes student leadership through its innovative schoolto-home model. In 2015, more than 42,000 energy saving kits were distributed to Ohio homes via students sharing what they learned with their parents. The result? According to OEP, families saved nearly 103,000 megawatt hours and $9 million on utility bills. Through the Be E3 Smart program, Ohio electric cooperatives empower students to become informed leaders of tomorrow’s energy-responsible society. To learn more about the program, visit

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Hartman Rock Garden Springfield B Y DA M A I N E VO N A DA

Location: On the southwest side of Springfield. Provenance: In 1932, at age 48, Harry George “Ben” Hartman was laid off from his job as a molder at a Springfield foundry. Rather than remaining idle during the Great Depression, Hartman began constructing a cement fishing pond in the backyard of the little country house near Springfield where he lived with his wife, Mary, and their children. After completing the pond, Ben kept working in the yard, constructing numerous structures from hundreds of thousands of stones he dug out of a nearby creek bed. He embellished the structures with handmade figurines, and Mary, who was an avid gardener, beautified his designs with extensive planting and flowerbeds. By the time Ben returned to work in 1939, his unique and eclectic rock garden displayed more than 50 structures featuring themes from the Bible, American history, and Depression-era pop culture. They



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included miniature versions of Mount Vernon, Lincoln’s Tomb, the Hoover Dam, and Noah’s Ark; a 14foot-tall cathedral accented by Virgin Mary statuettes, and a rendering of Da Vinci’s famous painting The Last Supper; and a 12-foot-tall castle modeled after one in West Virginia that had been pictured on a postcard Mary got in the mail. After Ben passed away in 1944, Mary valiantly maintained their “garden of love” until her own death in 1997. The neglected rock garden fell into disrepair, but was rescued and restored by Wisconsin’s Kohler Foundation. An organization called the Friends of the Hartman Rock Garden acquired the site and reopened the rock garden to the public in 2010. Significance: The Hartman Rock Garden is revered as a folk art masterpiece and considered an exceptional example of “outsider” art created by a self-taught artist using found materials. “Ben had genius in

his hands and imagination in his head,” says Rod Hatfield, a photographer who is currently the garden’s artist-in-residence and caretaker. Currently: People from around the world journey to Springfield to see the Hartman Rock Garden, which has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines, as well as on travel and tourism websites. Throughout the year, visitors marvel at the picket fence that Ben crafted from concrete or the 20,000 stones he used for his Tree of Life sculpture, but the rock garden looks best during summer, when it’s chock-full of colorful blossoms and Ben’s pond is once again alive with goldfish and water lilies.  The Hartman Rock Garden, 1905 Russell Ave., Springfield. Open daily, dawn to dusk. Self-guided tours are free (donations appreciated); guided group tours by appointment only for a fee. For more information, call 937-325-7621 or visit

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Ride ’em cowboy!


Buckin’ Ohio offers rodeo-style entertainment — and that’s no bull! ACE THORSELL may be only 6years old, but he’s already a rodeo show entertainer. Throughout the summer, the first-grader puts on his cowboy hat and fanciest boots, steps into the arena at Creek Bend Ranch, and announces to the audience, “Howdy, everyone, and welcome to Buckin’ Ohio!” The spectators, of course, heartily applaud. Buckin’ Ohio is a professional bull-riding series that the Thorsell family — parents Denny and Eileen Thorsell, son Shawn, daughter Charis, and grandson Ace — present monthly from May through September. The LorainMedina Rural Electric Cooperative members live on Creek Bend Ranch, where they breed and train registered bucking bulls that go to top-tier rodeos throughout the country. “We raise bulls, we show bulls, and we compete with our bulls,” explains Denny. Located just off I-71 near Lodi, the working ranch is one of



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Ohio’s rare bucking bull operations and provides an authentic venue for Buckin’ Ohio. “We bring a taste of the West to the Midwest,” says Eileen, “with our facilities and events and family’s lifestyle.” A traditional rodeo sport, bull riding has swelled in popularity in recent years, and Buckin’ Ohio annually attracts about 25,000 people, who enjoy both the ranch’s wholesome atmosphere and the excitement of watching PBR (Professional Bull Riders) cowboys trying to stay on rearing and kicking bulls. “The heart of what we do is creating memories around Western-style events,” says Eileen. Although the Thorsells have staged Buckin’ Ohio since 2001, the series actually took root more than 50 years ago in Denny’s hometown of Cleveland. A city kid, Denny developed his affinity for animals when he got his first job — leading ponies at the zoo. His grandmother, who loved

Cleveland’s symphony, also insisted that Denny go to concerts with her. “While we waited for the streetcar to Severance Hall," he recalls, “I’d sneak into a drugstore and look at Western magazines.” One day Denny saw an article about Pine Johnson, the quarter horse trainer at the famous Waggoner Ranch in Texas. He wrote a letter asking Johnson for a job. When Johnson replied with an offer, Denny gave his parents an ultimatum. “I told them,” he says, “that if they didn’t let me go to Texas, I’d run away.” His folks relented, and teenage Denny left Cleveland to learn about horses. Returning to northeast Ohio in the 1960s, Denny married Eileen and built a successful insurance business, but he always kept a hand in breeding quarter horses and raising cattle. For more than 40 years, Denny has been an American Quarter Horse Association-approved judge and has presided at equine competitions in 33 countries. He also is trichairman of the American Quarter Horse Congress, the world’s largest single-breed horse show, which takes place in Columbus every October. The Thorsells branched into bucking bulls when Shawn was in high school and started riding them in rodeos. They initially bought practice bulls for Shawn, and over time they’ve methodically enlarged and improved their herd. “Since bulls are judged on how high they kick, it’s all about how much air they can get,” says

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were on to something. Today, Buckin’ Ohio is carefully choreographed, fast-paced, and fun. “We want each and every event to be spectacular,” notes Shawn, who schedules the riders and selects the bulls. Pre-event activities include ice-cream eating contests and stick horse races for kids, and the shows, which feature barrel racing as well as bull riding, always begin with a prayer and the singing of the national anthem. Charis, a singer and songwriter, also performs her crowd-pleasing “Texas sound” music, and Ace displays his mutton bustin’ (sheep riding) skills. When the event is over, Denny and Eileen personally thank everyone for coming. “At Buckin’ Ohio,” says Denny, “we put our best into what we do.”  DAMAINE VONADA is

a freelance

writer from Xenia. (Above) How long can he hold on? Find out at Buckin’ Ohio’s monthly shows. (Opposite page) The Thorsell family, owners of Creek Bend Ranch.

Denny. “We aim for that ‘wow!’ factor.” A bull riding champion in high school, Shawn attended college in Oklahoma on a rodeo scholarship and later competed professionally. He now manages Creek Bend Ranch and produces bull riding events for the American Quarter Horse Congress and the Medina County Fair. Buckin’ Ohio was born when Shawn brought in riders to test the ranch’s stock. “People carrying coolers just started showing up to watch the cowboys,” says Denny, “and Eileen got the idea that we maybe could put

on bull riding events.” When 500 people attended the first Buckin’ Ohio, the Thorsells knew they

Buckin’ Ohio at Creek Bend Ranch, 8154 Garman Rd., Burbank. For information about upcoming shows on July 16, Aug. 20, and Sept. 17, call 330624-7205 or visit

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Fire Pink

Preserving Ohio’s heritage

one plant at a time B Y JA M I E R H E I N

AS A LITTLE GIRL GROWING UP in Morrow County, Gale Martin could disappear for hours, making a study of and identifying the plant life that surrounded her parents’ farm. Often, her parents had to send a hired hand with a tractor to find her and bring her home. These days, Martin has channeled her childhood passion into Natives in Harmony, her plant business dedicated to preserving Ohio’s native plants — some in danger of disappearing forever. Preserving the future by preserving Ohio’s plant heritage is a perfect fit for Martin, who is also the executive director of the Marion County Historical Society and of the Wyandot Popcorn Museum in Marion. Part of her historical society job is to monitor the prairie remnant that’s part of the Sandusky Plain. Prairie remnants are the bits of what was once a vast landscape of grass prairies and burr oak savannahs. The Sandusky Plain, which used to stretch for 200,000 acres from the Olentangy River to the east and Tymochtee Creek to the west, is now mostly found along railroad tracks, roadsides, and pioneer cemeteries in Marion, Crawford, and Wyandot counties. As Martin traveled from remnant to remnant, the plants captured her attention. “I would see these little plants that were so lovely,” 14


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she says, and she decided to take action to save them, thinking that if something wasn’t done to preserve those lovely plants, they’d be gone. “I collected seeds of the flowers, propagated the plants, and donated them to park districts. The goal was to try to get state and county parks to use plants that were disappearing.” In addition, Martin now has an entire section of prairie plants at Natives in Harmony, which is a member of Consolidated Electric Cooperative. Martin started with the rare Crawford County prairie sedge and the delicate Bicknell’s sedge, which is high on the endangered list. The park gave her the seeds, and Martin grew the plants, but she kept back a couple so she could continue to harvest seeds to grow more plants. Her business model was born. All of Natives in Harmony’s plants are now grown in containers from seeds or from cuttings. By making sure that the genetic material is native to Ohio, Martin’s aim is to help people create habitat for Ohio’s native insects and bird species. The seeds of the endangered Bicknell’s sedge, for example, are food for the red-legged grasshopper, the horned lark, the snow bunting, and the Savannah sparrow, among others.

When Martin’s husband, Dan Grau, built her the potting shed that also serves as a showcase of whimsical yard ornaments and planters, Martin didn’t expect that Natives in Harmony would become robust so fast. Her first thought was that she would develop a business for retirement, but her customers had a different idea. Each weekend, from April through September, new people arrive to load up a child’s wagon with a bounty of possibility. Whether customers come with specific plants in mind or have absolutely no idea which ones to bring home, Martin is happy to offer her expertise and suggestions. “Why don’t we take a little walk, and I’ll give a tutorial?” seems to be a common response

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to customer inquiries. Martin questions her customers about sunlight and soil quality, and finds out what the customer thinks would work in his or her yard. The gardens that Martin has cultivated on her property serve as idea generators and are palates of colors and textures that change with the seasons. Browsing the tidy rows of container plants grouped by the ecosystems in which they naturally grow is like a science and history lesson. Each plant is labeled, and corresponding information cards explain the details of each. There’s the vibrant red of fire pink that blooms on a woodland edge in spring, the dusty pinkish columbine, and the lavender spiderwort. In summer, the coneflowers, sundrops, and milkweed are magnets for bees and butterflies, perfect for a prairie environment. Some plants grow in different amounts of shade, sun, and moisture. Martin experiments to see what grows where, so she can give her customers a variety of ideas of what might work for them at their own homes. For Martin, making customers happy in their pursuit of growing

native plants is a win. “As long as people keep planting them, the plants will always be here,” she says. The Bicknell’s sedge depends on it.  JAMIE RHEIN is a freelance writer from Columbus.

Gale Martin Natives in Harmony is located at 4652 Township Rd 179, Marengo. It’s open on Sundays from 12 to 6 p.m. and by appointment. Contact Martin at or call 419688-9800. Species inventory varies by season.

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Take a prize winner to your next potluck!

Country Living's October recipe contest features apples — the versatile fruit that stars in many dishes other than pie. We want to focus on that versatility, rather than receive dozens of pie recipes. Be sure to include all ingredients, complete directions, and the number of servings. Also include your name, address, telephone number, and the name of your cooperative. You can send up to three recipes to food editor Margie Wuebker in care of Country Living, 6677 Busch Blvd., other varieties. While the original grand Columbus, OH recipe calls for 1 pound of brown prize.” 43229. The sugar, Dale Denten prefers using 3 Runners-up deadline is pounds for a sweeter outcome. His in the contest were August 1. Diane Kortan of the wife prefers the lesser amount. “I do not typically eat processed Wooster area, a Holmes-Wayne EC memmeat, but this dish is hard to ber, and Dianna Mace of refuse,” Susan Denten says. “The Bainbridge, a member of South smoked sausage, baked with the Central Power. sweet onions, apples, and brown Kortan’s recipe for Hot German sugar, is so flavorful it’s impossible to pass up. It has a deliciously Potato Salad came from a 1950ssweet flavor that is so unique.” era Betty Crocker Cookbook. HowFor optimal flavor, the Dentens ever, she made changes to yield generally make the dish several more sauce. Mace contributed days ahead of the scheduled servCoconut Crunch, a light dessert sandwiched between layers of ing. However, it is equally good crumb crust. She first tasted the made just prior to a picnic, party, recipe at a friend’s home.  or carry-in. “This is the first time I entered To see other recipes received for this a recipe contest,” she said. “I knew contest, visit They will I had a good recipe, and I really appear over the course of coming months. wanted the KitchenAid® mixer

Forget deviled eggs. Try one of these entries to our recipe contest. BY MARGIE WUEBKER

Susan Denten, a member of Tricounty Rural Electric Cooperative, decided to enter her “go-to” dish in Country Living’s latest recipe contest featuring favorite carry-in dishes for picnics and potlucks. It proved to be a good decision, as judges selected her Kielbasa Kisses the grand prize winner. The Swanton-area resident receives so many requests for the recipe that she keeps it on her computer for ready access. Her husband, Dale, initially received the recipe from a friend (Beth Holly) nearly four decades ago. The original recipe specified smoked kielbasa links, but the Dentens prefer the flavor of Eckrich smoked sausage. They also replaced cooking onions with sweet onions and used yellow or Golden Delicious apples instead of 16


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Our next recipe contest: Apples

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KIELBASA KISSES 6 smoked kielbasa or Eckrich smoked sausage links, each about 12 inches long 2 medium sweet onions, sliced into 1/2-inch chunks and separated 10 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch chunks 1 lb. brown sugar 1/2 cup cornstarch 1/3 cup water Place three sausage links each into two 13 x 9-inch baking dishes; cover with foil. Bake grease out of sausage in a slow 275-degree oven for 60 minutes. Drain grease, pat dry with paper towel and cut links into bite-size pieces (1/4to 1/3-inch thick). Return sausage to baking dishes. Cover each dish evenly with onions, apples, and brown sugar, pressing down slightly. Bake uncovered in a slow oven (250 to 300 degrees) for 2 to 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes until apples are done. Dissolve cornstarch in water to thicken accumulated liquid. Stir well for several minutes until thickened; serve hot. Serves 25 to 30.

HOT GERMAN POTATO SALAD 6 medium potatoes, scrubbed and boiled in jackets 4 slices bacon 3/4 cup chopped onion 3 Tbsp. flour 2 Tbsp. sugar 1-3/4 tsp. salt 3/4 tsp. celery seeds Dash of pepper 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. water 1/2 cup vinegar Peel cooked potatoes and slice thin. Fry bacon slowly in skillet until crisp; remove from skillet and drain on paper towel. SautĂŠ onion in bacon fat until golden. Blend in flour, sugar, salt, celery seeds, and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in water and vinegar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Carefully stir in potatoes and crumbled bacon. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand until ready to serve. Serves 4 to 5.

COCONUT CRUNCH 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted 1 cup all-purpose flour 1-1/4 cups flaked coconut 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 cup sliced almonds 1 package (3.4 oz.) instant coconut pudding mix 1 package (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix 2-1/3 cups cold milk 2 cups Cool WhipÂŽ Combine the first five ingredients; press lightly into a greased 9 x 13-inch (or a little smaller) baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes to form coarse crumbs. Cool; divide crumb mixture in half; press half into the same baking dish and reserve the other half. Mix dry puddings, add milk, and stir until thickened. Fold in Cool Whip and spoon mixture over crumb crust. Top with remaining crumbs. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serves 8 to 10.

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Nutritious ways to feed a crowd BY D I A N E YOA K A M , R D, L D

When presented with the challenge of feeding a crowd, it can be tempting to slide a family-size frozen lasagna in the oven and call it good enough. Seek a better meal route by searching for dishes that are filled with nutrients. From the appetizers, to the main course, clear through to dessert, there’s nothing like sharing fun and memories around a nutritiously delicious meal. Color is the key to a healthy dish. Choose foods from all spectrums for appeal and for more nutritional bang for your buck. Fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains add texture and color, producing a well-balanced meal that contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Give your favorite go-to recipes a makeover. A few simple substitutions transform an ordinary dish into something much more nutritious. Be sneaky with the veggies and add a few finely diced varieties into potato and macaroni salad, for instance. Or, try blending them into casseroles. Utilize natural sweetness by making fruit-based desserts. Ditch the fake-flavored beverages, opting for fruit-based beverages instead, like infused water. Nutritious potluck-pleasing recipes, like roasted root vegetable salad, makeover macaroni salad, and watermelon-mint water, are just a click away at




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Sacred cats, modern cats, master cats Feline exhibits abound at the Cincinnati Art Museum THE CINCINNATI ART MUSEUM becomes a mewseum this summer during the special exhibition “Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt.” “The early Egyptians venerated the dual nature of cats, who they admired on the one hand for their hunting abilities and fierceness and on the other for their


protective and maternal instincts,” said Julie Aronson, Cincinnati Art Museum curator and a longtime cat shelter volunteer for Save the Animals Foundation (STAF). “The works of art reflect not only the tremendous artistry of the Egyptians but also their love of the beauty, complexity, and mystery of cats, both wild and domestic.” An assembled group of 80 representations of cats from the Brooklyn Museum’s world-famous Egyptian collection includes felines in many forms — from mythic symbols of divinity to domesticated cats; from majestic lions to cuddly companions. References to the pyramids, a timeline, and a map of ancient Egypt enhance the thematic sections focusing on feline-headed goddesses, sphinxes, and other male protective deities, as well as the feline form in amulets and objects of daily life. Complementing the ancient objects from the Brooklyn Museum are prints and sketches

from the Cincinnati Art Museum’s own collections. On display in a nearby gallery, “Modern Cat” highlights 20 prints dating from an Art Nouveau color lithograph by Théophile Steinlen to a mid-century Modernist print by Charlie Harper. Another related group of prints, “Master Cats,” shows cats in renowned prints: a cat and mouse in Albrecht Durer’s famous print Adam and Eve; Durer’s Virgin and Child with a Cat and a Snake; and a selection of special Japanese prints on loan from the Joel and Bernice Weisman Collection. Dogs will have their day. “Divine Felines” also includes a small section related to the canine gods that often appear in Egyptian myth, serving as guardians of the dead. Portraits of dogs in “Elizabeth Nourse: Sketchbooks and Archive” showcase the Cincinnati artist’s close observations of animal behavior and of pets and their special bonds with children.  The “Divine Felines” and “Modern Cat” exhibits run until Sept. 11, while “Master Cats” and the Elizabeth Nourse exhibits close in mid-November. For more information, call 513-721-2787 or visit

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Gone to the dogs Nene’s Barkery offers gourmet treats for dogs BY KAREN KIRSCH

IN 2014, JEANINE IACONO’S LIFE went to the dogs — literally. That’s when the Massillon resident abandoned a lengthy career with the Department of Corrections and launched Nene’s Barkery. Judging from customer response, Iacono won’t be returning to prison anytime soon. Business is booming, and while there’s no shortage of pet “treats” available in stores, nothing compares with Iacono’s healthy sumptuous offerings. According to the American Pet Product Association, we spent about $23 billion just feeding our pets last year, and the fastest-growing segment of the pet food industry is gourmet dog treats. Iacono’s entry into this market was timely. Always a dog lover, she had long thought about making treats, but when her dog Max experienced liver failure and the vet said the likely cause was toxins in the commercial food she was feeding, she began researching canine nutrition needs and mak-

ing her own food. Today her line of dog (and limited cat) treats not only exceeds essential nutritional requirements, but they are works of art as well. Attention to detail is obvious in Iacono’s displays at pet fairs and craft shows and at the retail stores that carry her products. A black, white, and red theme is consistent and the items are presented as elegantly as in a fancy patisserie, all cleverly labeled with names like Woofy Pies, Bow-Wow Biscotti, Fido Fortune Cookies, and Barkeyes. (“The Michigan-Ohio State game inspired those,” she confesses.) Gingerbread Mailman Hands, Canine Cannoli, and even pretzels all look yummy. Humans could eat them, but we’d miss the sugary sweetness common in human desserts. Iacono uses only organically grown ingredients and fresh and local produce. She crafts her goodies at the Local Roots commercial kitchen in Wooster and then carefully stores them in BPA-free Rubbermaid containers until presentation or shipping. No preservatives are used, and the products can be frozen. Her 200+ regular customers can feel good about doling out the treats, because as tasty as they are, they are good for the animal too. Each ingredient has a purpose. For instance, we know lemon is good for humans, but it’s a natural dewormer for dogs and cats. Iacono roasts lemons with olive oil, and then uses the juice and zest mixed with coconut milk for some items. The animals love it. They chow down on cooked greens, sweet potatoes, squash, herbs, and grass-fed, hormone-free meats and wild-caught salmon without hesitation. The Tennis Ball Truffles made with peanut butter and coconut are also favorites. Like children, dogs don’t know what’s good for them. They just know Nene’s treats taste good. While Iacono ultimately hopes to open a brickand-mortar shop, for now she’s limited to special events and the few retail outlets that represent her. She also regularly donates baskets to certain animal rescue fundraisers. Her dogs are rescues. “The way to my heart was never through my stomach, but through dogs. My own dogs are my kids,” Iacono says, breaking off pieces of Mailman Hands for her three cocker-mix snackers to share.  Find Nene’s Barkery on Facebook or call 330-617-7737.



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Animals in art

From cave paintings to the present day, artists love depicting furry friends BY KAREN KIRSCH

I COLLECT ORIGINAL ARTWORK of animals, dogs in particular. What appeals to me is not just the depiction, but the artist’s motivation in creating it. Some artists paint animals incidentally, while others focus exclusively on the animal, but there’s usually more to the subject than meets the eye. The paintings on the walls of the prehistoric Pech Merle cave in France are among the earliest artwork featuring animals. They depict Mark Birone creates enormous portraits of dogs to heighten public awarewooly mammoths, horses, and deer, suggesting ness of the number of dogs euthanized each day humans may have been awestruck by the creatures they hunted and ate. Other early artwork gives Animal art evolved significantly during the 20th important historic references. A bronze cat from century, and today, while some artists may simply be 600 B.C. looks much like any modern cat, but may exploiting a lucrative market, Mark Birone paints also show that cats were considered symbolic dogs to heighten public awareness of a tragic social guardians of domestic goodness. issue. His goal is to cultivate compassion through The 16th-century German Renaissance artist Alhis art. brecht Durer was fascinated with nature and be“Education is the bridge to compassion,” he says, lieved animals were worthy of attention, so he drew explaining his 5,500 enormous portraits of dogs, and painted them in exquisite detail. His work coin- which represent the number of dogs euthanized cided with a growing interest in science and exploeach day in American shelters. The heartbreaking but beautiful collection will ultimately be housed in ration, but the vision and control obvious in such the Museum of Compassion, funds for the construcpaintings as The Young Hare enhanced the status of tion of which are still being collected. The museum animal subjects in art. will be built in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In the 17th century, animals were often depicted “Imagine this art as a powerful bridge to help us as companion pets in portraits, but by the 18th cenface what is hard, to feel what hurts, and to fix what tury, George Stubbs had elevated the genre to new we have collectively created,” Mark says. Find out levels of appreciation. He was considered the greatest horse painter in art history. Stubbs literally knew more about his work on the PBS documentary An his subjects inside and out. Horse cadavers susAct of Dog, scheduled to run later his year (check local schedules). It will leave an impression more inpended from rafters were posed and ultimately delible than any painting. peeled layer by layer down to the skeleton. That imCompassion recognizes suffering and commits to peccable anatomical detail led to his Anatomy of the alleviating it, so products based on Birone’s paintHorse (1766), which is still in print. ings are offered through An Act of Dog charity to Nineteenth-century animal art was often sentigenerate funds, 100 percent of which is distributed mental. Edwin Landseer’s popular dogs were frequently depicted as noble creatures devoted to to animal welfare groups in all 50 states. Learn saving man, and hence the black and white Landmore at  seer Newfoundland dog was named after him.

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Ohio’s record bass B Y W. H . ‘ C H I P ’ G R O S S

THREE OF OHIO’S most popular sport fish — largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass — aren’t really true bass at all. Surprisingly, they’re considered members of the sunfish family, including species such as bluegills and pumpkinseeds. Largemouth bass prefer the relatively calm waters of lakes, reservoirs, and farm ponds. Savvy anglers know that some of the best largemouth fishing in the state is found in private ponds. The current state-record largemouth was caught from a farm pond in May 1976, the 13.13pound whopper landed by Roy Landsberger of Kensington. Smallmouth bass are found in rivers and streams statewide, but the species also does extremely well in Lake Erie. Some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in America is along the rocky shorelines of Ohio’s portion of the lake. The fishing is so good, in fact, that the famous Bass Islands (South Bass, Middle Bass, and North Bass) are named for the smallmouth. The Buckeye State’s current record smallmouth bass was caught from Lake Erie. Randy VanDam, a bait and tackle store owner from Kalamazoo, Michigan, boated the 9.5-pound lunker on a jig in 1993. Fishing skills seem to run in the VanDam family, as Randy’s younger brother, Kevin, has been at the top of the

national professional bass fishing tournament circuits for years, earning millions of dollars for his angling abilities. Spotted bass inhabit the waters of the Ohio River drainage and are found in far less numbers than largemouth and smallmouth. These fish resemble largemouth more than smallmouth in appearance and behavior, but don’t grow nearly as large. For example, the current state-record spotted bass weighed just 5.25 pounds. Caught at Lake White by Roger Trainer of Waverly, the record spotted was landed the exact same month and year as the current record Ohio largemouth in May 1976. The Outdoor Writers of Ohio

(OWO), a professional organization of the best outdoor scribes in the state, is the official keeper of record-fish statistics in the Buckeye State. To see a list of all 47 species of Ohio’s state-record fish, or to download an Ohio Record Fish Official Application Form, go online to the OWO website ( and click on “Programs and Events.” Largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass can be caught using a variety of fishing methods, from artificial lures to live bait. Could you be lucky enough to land Ohio’s next state-record bass? Remember, the fish don’t bite till you get there. 

Randy VanDam (pictured at left) holds the current Ohio state record for the largest smallmouth bass.



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best idea S TO R Y A N D P H OTO S B Y W. H . ‘ C H I P ’ G R O S S

The National Park Service celebrates 100 years On Aug. 25, 2016, our National Park Service will mark its 100th anniversary. I’ve had the privilege of traveling to more than a dozen national parks, and listed below are several of my favorites. Here’s hoping you can visit at least one, if not more, of our 407 national parks sometime this summer. Acadia National Park (Maine) Most of this park is located on Mt. Desert Island, but in reality, the park is anything but desert. Lush, mixed forests of spruce, fir, pine, and hardwoods cover much of the island, rising from the water’s edge of the rugged, rocky Maine seacoast. Acadia was officially designated a U.S. national park in 1916, the first one east of the Mississippi. An excellent way to quickly become familiar with the park is to drive the 27-mile Park Loop Road. Pick up a map and pay the park entrance fee at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center. From there, proceed south along the oceanfront to view some of

the most spectacular scenery found anywhere along the Maine coast. Not to be missed are such places as Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and the granite cliffs at Otter Point. For visitors seeking a little culture to add to their outdoor experience, tea and popovers are served each afternoon at Jordan Pond House. To experience Acadia at a slower, more relaxed pace, 45 miles of packed-gravel carriage roads are open to hikers, bikers, equestrians, and, during the winter months, crosscountry skiers. The carriage roads were financed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in the early 20th century, as a gift to the park. (Continued on page 24)

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National Parks

(–continued from page 23)

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho) Yellowstone not only was America’s first national park, designated in 1872, but it’s also believed to be the first national park so designated anywhere in the world. An icon of the National Park Service yet today, Yellowstone has it all: magnificent wildlife, stunning mountain scenery, and spectacular geothermal activity. Half of the world’s geothermal features are located in Yellowstone, one of the more famous and popular being the geyser Old Faithful. Erupting about every hour, it is one of the most predictable geothermal features on earth, shooting water nearly 200 feet skyward. In addition to offering great natural beauty, the park is also the largest and most famous mega-

fauna site within the continental U.S. — which means that you’ll see large wild animals. Grizzly and black bears, wolf packs, and freeranging herds of elk and bison live within the park, as do moose. The bison herd is the largest and oldest public herd in the country. Just 10 miles south of Yellowstone is Grand Teton National Park, named for the tallest mountain peak in the 40-mile-long Teton Range. Snow-capped and saw-toothed, Grand Teton juts upward some 7,000 feet from the valley floor known as Jackson Hole and is one of the most photographed vistas in all the American West. If you visit in winter, don’t miss the National Elk Refuge, located immediately south of Grand Teton National Park.

Denali National Park (Alaska) Located in the Alaskan interior, just a two-hour drive from Fair-

banks, Denali National Park and Preserve is a staggering 6 million acres in size, larger than the entire state of New Hampshire. But surprisingly, even at that size, it’s not America’s largest national park. That honor goes to Wrangell– St. Elias, also in Alaska, at more than 13 million acres. Denali is a world-class travel destination, attracting visitors from around the globe to its breathtaking mountain scenery and spectacular wildlife, such as grizzly bears, moose, and caribou. The park has only one road, but it’s 92 miles long. Private vehicles are allowed on the first 15 miles, but, at that point, visitors must ride a park shuttle or tour bus to go farther. Denali Park Road eventually ends at Kantishna Roadhouse, once the location of a gold-rush town. The tallest mountain in North America (20,320 feet) lies within the park. Early Native Americans

(Clockwise, from left) There’s a good reason they’re called the “Smoky” Mountains; bison herd by the hundreds at Yellowstone National Park; a humpback whale takes a dive at Haleakala National Park in Hawaii. 24


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Denali is now the name for the national park and the highest peak in North America, recently changed from Mt. McKinley.

named it Denali, meaning “The Great One.” Those Americans who came later called it Mt. McKinley, honoring our 25th president. The mountain’s name was recently changed once again to Denali. I suggest visiting this national park in mid- to late-summer, keeping in mind that snow closes most of the park’s visitor facilities by mid-September.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee, North Carolina) The most popular park in the national park system, Great Smoky Mountains hosts some 10 million visitors annually. The reason for its popularity is two-fold: its central location in the eastern U.S. and the fact that the park does not charge an entrance fee, as do most other national parks. It gets its name from the nearly constant mists that rise from moist valleys, making the mountains appear smoky much of the time. The mountains are the oldest on the continent, created before dinosaurs roamed the earth. In the

hills and valleys are more varieties of trees — more than 130 species — than are found in all of Europe, some the largest and oldest of their kinds. There are also plants and animals (such as salamanders) that exist nowhere else on earth. In addition to a driving tour, the best way to experience the park is by hiking. Some 800 miles of marked trails spiderweb the area, ranging from easy, level walks to strenuous, rocky climbs. The famous Appalachian Trail — 70 miles of it — runs nearly the entire length of the park.

Haleakala National Park (Hawaii) The Hawaiian Islands, located 2,400 miles from the nearest continent, are the most isolated major island group on earth. But even though this national park (pronounced Holly-awk-a-la) is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it still averages nearly 1.5 million visitors annually. The park is divided into two distinct sections, the Summit Area and the coastal Kipahulu Area; more than half of its 33,265

acres are designated wilderness. The main attraction is Haleakala, a dormant “shield” volcano — meaning gradually sloping sides — that last erupted sometime between 1480 and 1600 A.D. The volcano’s summit is stark, lunar-like, and made up of multicolored cinder cones. Sunrise and sunset are popular times to view the volcano’s crater. After dark, stargazing is outstanding, thanks to the absence of artificial lights or air pollution. Located on the island of Maui, the park makes for a good wintertime visit. Not only will such a trip give you a break from Ohio’s cold and snow, but hundreds, if not thousands, of humpback whales surround the Hawaiian Islands at that time of year, their spouting and aerial breaching nothing less than awe-inspiring.  Outdoors editor W. H. “CHIP” GROSS, a member of Consolidated Electric Cooperative, is interested in hearing from you about any outdoor story idea you might like him to investigate. He can be reached by email at; his website is JULY 2016



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Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Ohio’s own natural treasure

B Y JA M I E R H E I N A N D W. H . ‘ C H I P ’ G R O S S

IT DOESN ’ T HAVE snow-capped mountains, rock-strewn seashores, bison herds, or wolf packs, but Ohio’s national park does have a certain uniqueness. Located between Cleveland and Akron in northeast Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s 33,000 acres straddle the Cuyahoga River and are a mosaic of both wildlife and human habitats. The park is a combination of deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. A number of “indicator’” wildlife species have returned in recent years — peregrine falcons, bald eagles, river otters, beavers, and others — demonstrating that the park is becoming a healthier habitat. In addition to natural history, the park also highlights the human and cultural history of the area, including industry, farming, and transportation, such as the Ohio and Erie Canal. The park came about when urban sprawl threatened the grand beauty of the Cuyahoga Valley in the 1960s. Concerned citizens and public officials fought the tide of pollution, commercial development, and environmental waste. Their efforts persuaded Congress to create the Cuyahoga National Recreation Area in 1974. The designation changed to “national park” in October 2000, ensuring the vitality of this unique stretch of northeastern Ohio. A visit to the park offers many options. Take a leisurely stroll or a bike ride on the Towpath Trail that follows the historic route of the Ohio and Erie Canal where mules once pulled canal boats laden with passengers and goods. Hike to the vista at Ledges Overlook or the cascading water of Brandywine Falls, or view nature’s splendor from a scenic railroad. The craggy gorges, marshes, meadows, and hills high enough for a ski resort embody the spirit and importance of the National Park system. For a park overview, stop in at the Boston Store Visitor Center. Built around 1836 as a storage building, the center also houses a canal boat-building museum. Also, don’t miss Beaver Marsh. The pristine wetland, once a junkyard, was cleaned up through community efforts that have allowed beavers once again to make their home here, while at the same time creating a bird watching mecca. More than 240 species have been documented. On July 17, celebrate the National Park system at Blossom Music Center, located inside the national park, when the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra pays tribute in a special centennial concert. Come on Aug. 20 and 21 for the National Park system’s official birthday celebration. Thanks to the farmers who lease land within Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Countryside Farmers Market at Howe Meadow in the town of Peninsula, also within the park’s boundaries, is a bounty of fresh vegetables, fruit, baked goods, spreads, eggs, and handicrafts on Saturday mornings through Oct. 29.  Check out the park website ( for a schedule of ranger-led hikes and other events throughout the year. Call the Cultural Arts Hotline at 440-546-5998.



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My favorite national park Everglades National Park is my favorite for several reasons. It was the first national park I visited. During my freshman year of college, several students and professors crammed into a van and drove nonstop, more than 20 hours, to Flamingo at the southern point of the Everglades. We camped under the stars and awoke each morning to the sound of the ocean. At sunset, we watched the curvature of the earth blend the horizon into the sea. During the day, we explored every part of the Everglades, watched alligators and other wildlife, and even walked with a park ranger out into the swamp hammocks. We celebrated New Year’s Eve at the Buttonwood Lounge, the only watering hole for miles. The adventure enhanced my love for the outdoors and gave me a special appreciation for our national parks. Daniel Caron, Bellaire South Central Power My favorite national park is the Great Sand Dunes. There is one animal that lives nowhere else in the world except there. It is the sandy-colored kangaroo mouse. While on vacation to the dunes last summer, I was lucky enough to see one digging a hole to escape my sight. I also love this park because it has endless sand, formed into enormous mountains, which are very fun to sled down even in the middle of the summer! At the base of the mountains is a wide, shallow creek, where my sister and I sculpted a pool with wet sand. The park is an amazing place; look one direction and there are golden sand dunes, in



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another there is vast open land, and in yet another direction are the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. I had a thrilling time there. Michael Riley (age 10), Ostrander Consolidated EC For those familiar with the coast of Maine, Schoodic Point in Acadia National Park is a treasure. The surf beats constantly below its rim, in shades of blues and greens, systematically rising and falling, with undulating currents and swirling white crests of foam. Tumultuous waves crest over the rocks’ edges, making thunderous sounds, thrusting high, violently falling, collecting in puddles hewn in granite, for all to contemplate. Gray gulls feed upon the surface of the churning waves, while others swoop down to snatch offerings from outstretched hands. All that power displayed makes this my favorite national park. Daniel Winer, Nova Lorain-Medina REC Our family has visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park numerous times, enjoying the scent of pine and campfires. Its diversity of Appalachian history, split-rail fences, and dulcimer music is amazing. The mountain laurel, rhododendron, and azaleas in the hills along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway in the spring are magnificent. Beautiful lights, music, and holiday festivities in Gatlinburg or at the Biltmore in Asheville get you into the Christmas spirit. When they were younger, our girls enjoyed camping in the Smokies. One liked horseback riding, the other swim-

ming. We have often seen black bear cubs near Cades Cove and always visit the Apple House in Pigeon Forge. My favorite visit was an autumn trip with my sister and her husband. We shared a condo, complete with hot tub. The fall vista of maples and oaks was spectacular. Sheran Cherrington, Circleville South Central Power Our 10,000-mile round trip to Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska was an adventure, especially our visit to Exit Glacier inside the park. Remains of old snow, tumbling waterfalls, rushing streams, and distant snow-capped mountains greeted us upon our arrival. Storm clouds and snow squalls contributed to the spectacular view. From the ranger station, we walked on a wooden ramp toward the glacier. Up the hill, we climbed over rocks and looked down on the breath-taking, crackling blue ice. A Mother Nature wonderland surrounded us. The storm clouds parted and sun rays illuminated the area. Every mountain around us was glowing, creating a panorama of majestic scenery. Jaunita Joyce, Ashville South Central Power My most memorable visit was to the Grand Canyon. Twenty-something and hale, my hubby and I decided to hike a trail on the North Rim. We started early, with refillable water containers and snacks. It was a perfect fall day. The signs posted warned us how easy it was to descend into the canyon. But unlike climbing a mountain, the ascent comes last.

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We practically ran down the narrow trail, stopping several times to allow mule tours to pass. Nearly four hours later, we arrived at the springs, rested, replenished our water, and began the steep climb back up. It was slow going. The sun set. A quarter moon rose to light our way. Alone with bats and coyotes, we remained undaunted. The painted rocks and canyon shadows were hauntingly beautiful. We felt a supernatural presence. Like two great explorers, we triumphantly crested the rim around 11 p.m. Maryanne Moore, New Riegel North Central EC The summer of 2012 that I spent working in Yellowstone National Park was one of the single greatest experiences of my life. In June 2012, I headed west as a shy kid who just needed a job. Fifteen unforgettable weeks of work and fun followed as I shared a backyard with bison and elk, ascended the peak of a 10,500-foot mountain, and played games of Frisbee with new friends from all over the world. By September, this shy kid was molded into a strong and hearty individual, with a determination to live life to the fullest and a deep love for the American West. Even four years later, I can still smell the sagebrush and sometimes expect to see the Rocky Mountains looming on the horizon. That’s why Yellowstone isn’t only my favorite national park — it’s home. Haley Bourne, Leesburg South Central Power

— Woody Woodson

An editorial endorsement Yellowstone and beyond B Y R I C H WA R R E N

Editor’s note: I made my own first trip to Yellowstone last year and can heartily endorse the accolades everyone else bestows on it. We saw hundreds of bison walking down the highway, as if they owned it. At Old Faithful, we were surprised to see several other not-as-predictable geysers erupting nearby, while we waited to see Old Faithful do its thing a second time. Of course, we stopped and had a “God Bless America” moment at Yellowstone Falls. We stayed at the completely renovated Lake Yellowstone Hotel, built in 1891 and so incredibly romantic that its dining room with sweeping views is a popular place for marriage proposals. We also toured the Old Faithful Inn, built with gnarled and twisted logs. The 76-foot-high lobby has a huge roughstone fireplace and overhanging balconies. We also saw two brand-new lodges that opened in 2015 to replace 300 aging cabins built in the 1950s and ’60s. But here’s another tip: The entire area surrounding Yellowstone in both Wyoming and Montana is almost as beautiful as the park itself. Consider staying in the hyper-Western town of Cody, Montana, only 54 miles from the park and filled with many attractions of its own. A full day is warranted in the huge, world-class Buffalo Bill Center of the West — actually five museums in one, covering Plains Indians, Western art, firearms, natural history, and Buffalo Bill himself. There’s a popular nightly rodeo in Cody and Old Trail Town, a collection of historic cabins gathered from all over Wyoming. Near Cody, you’ll find dude ranches, whitewater rafting, wild mustang tours, and the sobering but fascinating Heart Mountain World War II Japanese-American Relocation site. If you use Cody as your base to explore Yellowstone, consider taking a loop into the park via the Buffalo Bill Highway, and its spectacular rock formations with colorful names like Laughing Pig, Snoopy the Dog, 4 Men on a Toboggan, and (my favorite) Henry Ford in an Edsel Chased by a Grizzly Bear. Come back to Cody on the also-beautiful Chief Joseph Highway with vistas of canyons and mountains. Yellowstone and the Wild West. It’s a complete vacation!

— Chip Gross

The vistas don’t end at Yellowstone’s borders. The photo at the top of the page was taken on the nearby Chief Joseph Highway. Great blue herons make their homes nearby.

JULY 2016



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Offshore adventures Explore the natural wonders of the Lake Erie islands S TO R Y A N D P H OTO S B Y DA M A I N E VO N A DA


Nearby Kelleys Island State Park possesses one of Lake Erie’s loveliest beaches and multi-use trails where you might encounter the remarkable Lake Erie water snake, which lives only on the islands. The park also includes North Pond Nature Preserve, a waterfowl-rich wetland with a boardwalk trail and observation deck, and North Shore Alvar Nature Preserve, where rock formations foster rare plants such as the northern bog violet. Elsewhere on Kelleys Island, Scheele Preserve is a Cleveland Museum of Natural History site where meadow and forest habitats harbor bluebirds, butterflies, and state-threatened rock elms.

NOBODY WOULD SUGGEST that you ignore Valravn, Cedar Point amusement park’s newest, wickedly fast roller coaster. Or that you shouldn’t soak up the African ambiance at Kalahari Waterpark Resort. Nor would they suggest you skip the venerable Marblehead Lighthouse. Those mainland places certainly are popular elements of any visit to Lake Erie. Yet just a ferry ride away on Ohio’s archipelago of islands, you’ll find attractions that offer eco-friendly alternatives to typical tourist activities. “Many people are surprised by how much green space we have on the islands and by how beautiful their nature preserves are,” says Lake Erie Islands Conservancy Chairperson Lisa Brohl. “They just don’t know about them.” Indeed, the islands’ green destinations afford a respite from the lake’s summertime bustle and deliver enjoyable experiences that help everyone appreciate why Lake Erie truly is a Great Lake. Want to spend some down-to-earth time on the islands? Check out and enjoy these natural wonders.

Remote and rustic, this island is accessible only by airplane or personal watercraft. The state of Ohio permits only primitive camping at North Bass State Park, which has meager visitor amenities but abundant woods and marshlands for sighting waterfowl, shorebirds, and snakes.

Kelleys Island

Middle Bass Island

Not only is Kelleys Ohio’s largest island, but the entire island — where quarries and vineyards once flourished — is on the National Register of Historic Places. The island is served by Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, and on West Lakeshore Road, Hancock-Wood’s scenic overlook includes an observation deck and “welcome” sign that’s a prime spot for selfies. While the south-facing overlook has stunning water views, you’ll want to go to the island’s north side to see Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve, a National Natural Landmark that reveals how glaciers shaped the islands and lake. Formed by massive ice sheets that gashed Kelley’s limestone bedrock, the 400-foot-long grooves are a world-class example of glacial striations.

Although Middle Bass Island State Park is a boaters’ haven, birders flock to the island’s side-by-side preserves — Petersen Woods, where bald eagles roost, and Kuehnle Wildlife Area, a wetland at which Carolina wrens, dragonflies, and water lilies delight visitors. On the island’s tip, East Point Preserve is a birding hot spot with an osprey nesting platform.


• JULY 2016

North Bass Island

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South Bass Island Though South Bass is a lively summer playground, many families time their vacations to take advantage of natural science opportunities at its two unique facilities — the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center, which boasts surprisingly diverse exhibits of North American animals, and the Aquatic Visitors Center, which lends kids bait and tackle so that they can fish from its pier. The Nature and Wildlife Center’s butterfly garden doubles as a monarch waystation, and inside the center, you can examine monarch wings under a microscope. Besides supporting “Wild Tuesday!” events featuring wildlife activities, the center sponsors nature camps. This summer’s theme is “Birds and Trees,” during which, says education coordinator Jackie Taylor, “We take kids outside, where they’ll experience things they’re not normally exposed to.” A joint Ohio Sea Grant and Ohio Department of Natural Resources wildlife project, the Aquatic Visitors Center has live fish displays highlighting Lake Erie species. Saturday children’s programs focus on ecosystem topics, such as plankton, bugs, birds, and water snakes. “The center,” notes education and outreach coordinator Kristin Stanford, “is one of the few free things on the islands, and a place where you’ll learn about the lake you’re visiting and how to protect this wonderful natural resource.”  DAMAINE VONADA is

a freelance writer

from Xenia.

JULY 2016



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Taking care of


Race with outhouses. No magazines needed. B Y DA N I E L WO O DA R D

— Photos courtesy of Ross

OUTHOUSE RACES have been held in Ohio at least as far back as 1981, when the Good Old Days Outhouse Race was first held in Avon. An outof-control careening outhouse almost hit a police cruiser and eventually brought the races there to an end,

Outhouse trivia • Historically, an outhouse with a crescent moon on the door meant it was reserved for women, while one with a sun was for men. • Thomas Jefferson personally designed two octagonal brick outhouses for his vacation home. • In Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, the National Park Service once spent a third of a million dollars on a twoseater outhouse. • As a student at Whittier College, Richard Nixon procured a multi-seat outhouse to burn atop a huge campus bonfire. • During the last week of February, the world’s largest outhouse race is held at Trenary, Michigan, with more than 3,000 folks converging on the town in the dead of winter.



JULY 2016

but the idea spread to other parts of the state, where it has seemed to gain in popularity over recent years. Participants like to joke that you don’t want to be number two in the outhouse races. It’s all in good fun, with the races typically helping to support the 4-H junior fair or local tourism. Some races are for youths only, but others have added adult competitions. Usually two to four pushers propel the outhouse and a single passenger a relatively short distance, from 100 to 300 feet. In addition to honoring the fastest team, many of the events also judge teams on their outhouse artwork and team name creativity. At the Ross County Fair, there have been 150 participants in the preliminary races, and 18 teams at finals. They’ve been hosting the outhouse races there for more than 20 years. 

County Extension

Outhouse races in Ohio Here’s a sampling of where you can see outhouse races this summer and fall. Tues., Aug. 9 — Ross County Fair (Junior Fair Night festivities, starting at 7 p.m.). Sat., Sept. 5 — Millersport Sweet Corn Festival, 3 p.m. Two age categories, teams of 3 persons. SCFFestivalSchedule.html Sat., Oct. 1 — Van Wert Outhouse Races, 9 a.m. Adult outhouse racing, kids’ games, chili cookoff. Additionally, the Jackson County Fair (July 15-23) and the Noble County Fair (Aug. 30-Sept. 4) are also likely to have races again this year, but dates weren’t confirmed as of press time. Check their websites for more information: and

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The invasion has started! B Y M AU R A G A L L AG H E R

ANY BUG with big, bulging eyes, a large body, and clear wings with orange veins looks scary, but in fact, the 17-year cicada, which emerged this spring and infested eastern and southern Ohio, is harmless. After spending 17 years underground drinking the juices of plant roots, it’s the point in the cicadas’ life cycle for them to come above ground to spend a few weeks looking for a mate. They’re generally just a nuisance to humans, especially given their sheer numbers, but cicadas will strip new or weak trees of their leaves if given a chance, and their clumsiness with flying can make for awkward encounters. What most people will remember after a cicada infestation is the noise. It’s the males making the high-pitched sound most com-



• JULY 2016

monly associated with cicadas, but female cicadas flick their wings, making a softer sound, to respond to the males. In places where they’ve emerged in the tens of thousands, the sound can be almost deafening. In 2004, when a brood of cicadas emerged in central Ohio during the annual Memorial Tournament, their “songs” were so loud they drowned out the cheers for Tiger Woods. But they’ll be gone two to four weeks after they emerge, and the quiet will last for another 17 years. Ohio has broods of cicadas that emerge in different years in other parts of the state, so their turn is coming. There’s also a 13-year cicada. Every 221 years, they emerge at the same time as the 17-year cicadas. Now, that’s something to worry about! 

Photo by John Halley of the Athens Messenger

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Member interactive: Send us your photos and stories! If we use your photo, you’ll get a Country Living tumbler: If we use your essay, you’ll get:



For September, send us by July 15, photos of “Sports superstars.” For October, send us by Aug. 15, photos of “My best Halloween costume ever.”

Guidelines: 1. Stories no longer than 150 words 2. Digital photos should be a minimum of 300 dpi 3. One entry per household per month 4. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope if you want anything returned 5. Include your name, mailing address, and the name of your electric co-op 6. E-mail: By U.S. mail: Editor, Country Living, 6677 Busch Blvd., Columbus, OH 43229

JULY 2016



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NORTHWEST THROUGH NOV. 23 – “Fighting for Freedom: WWII in Fulton County,” Fulton Co. Museum, 229 Monroe St., Wauseon, Tues.–Sat. 12–5 p.m. Exhibit shows how everyday life was affected by the war. 419-337-7922 or JUL. 4 – Star Spangled Spectacular, Faurot Park, Lima, 3–11 p.m. Kids’ activities, car show, food, music, fireworks, and a restored 1944 M4-A3 Sherman Tank on display. 419-8793502 or

– Lagrange Street Polish Festival, 3106 Lagrange St., Toledo, Fri. 5–11 p.m., Sat. noon–11 p.m., Sun. noon–7 p.m. $5. Polish food, drinks, and entertainment. 419-255-8406 or

JUL. 8-10

JUL. 8–10 – Huron River Fest, Huron

Boat Basin, 330 N. Main St., Huron. Free. Competitions, parades, entertainment, games, car show, fireworks. 419433-4848 or – Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival, Maumee Bay State Park, Sat. 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Lighthouse boat rides, weather permitting. Live entertainment, kids’ activities, and food. 419691-3788 or

JUL. 9, 10

– Paddle Palooza, Maumee Bay Inland Lake, Maumee Bay State Park, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Free. Great opportunity for the whole family to test drive canoes and kayaks and learn how to stand-up paddleboard. 419-836-6003.

JUL. 10

– 1940s WWII-Era Big Band Hangar Dance, Liberty Aviation Museum, 3515 E. State Rd., Port Clinton. $40 advance, $45 at the door, $75/couple. 419-732-0234 or

JUL. 15

JUL. 15–17 – Kite Flyers Weekend, Maumee Bay State Park, 1400 State Park Rd., Oregon.

– Flag City Daylily Tour. Fri–Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun. noon–6 p.m. Tour six daylily gardens in and around Findlay. Free. 419-889-8827 or

JUL. 15–17

– Malinta Festival, Monroe Twp. Fire Station, Road K-2, Malinta. Flea market, BBQ, entertainment, kids’ area, auction. 419-966-2392 or 419966-0880.

JUL. 16



PLEASE NOTE• Country Living strives for accuracy but strongly urges readers to confirm dates and times before traveling long distances to events. Submit listings AT LEAST 90 DAYS prior to the event by writing to Country Living, 6677 Busch Blvd., Columbus, OH 43229 or Country Living will not publish listings that don’t include a complete address of where the event takes place or a number to call for more information. JUL. 17 – Lakeside Wooden Boat Show

and Plein Air Art Festival, Hotel Lakeside Grounds and Lakeside Dock, Lakeside, 12-4 p.m. More than 50 wooden boats will be featured. Also, 30 plein air artists from across the Midwest. Artwork sold on Sunday. 866-952-5374 or – Pizza Palooza, Centennial Terrace, 5773 Centennial Rd., Sylvania, 5 p.m.–midnight. $5, C. $3. 419-885-7106 or

JUL. 22, 23

NORTHEAST – Chagrin Falls Summer Concert Series, downtown Chagrin Falls, every Thur. 7–9 p.m. Free. 440-247-6607.


JUL. 1-4 – Rib, White, and Blue, Lock 3, 200 S. Main St., Akron, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Rib vendors from all over the state, music, and fireworks. 330-3752877 or

– Car Show, downtown Loudonville, 131 W. Main St., Loudonville, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. More than 500 cars from all decades and eras. 419-994-4789 or

JUL. 2

JUL. 8, 9 – Ashland Co. Yesteryear Machinery Clubs Annual Show, Ashland Co.-West Holmes Career Ctr., 1783 St. Rte. 60 S., Ashland. Free. Live music 4 p.m. 419-651-4109.

– Great Mohican Indian Pow-Wow, 23270 Wally Rd., Loudonville, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. $8, C. $4. Two- and three-day passes $14/$6, $21/$9. Native American live music, dancing, and drum competitions; storytelling. 800-766-2267 or

JUL. 8-10

– Beginning Blacksmithing, Zoar Village, 198 Main St., Zoar, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. $100. Advance registration required. 800-262-6195 or

JUL. 9

– Love Fest, Chardon Square, Short Court St., Chardon, 2–10 p.m. Local, up-and-coming stars of the next generation of music. 724-259-2066 or

JUL. 9

• JULY 2016

JUL. 9, 10 – Summer Festival of the Arts, Youngstown University, 1 University Plaza, Youngstown, Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. 330941-2307 or

– Olde Canal Days Festival, 123 Tuscarawas St., Canal Fulton, Thur./Fri. 5–11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Ride a canal boat, tour historical sites. 330-854-9095 or

JUL. 14–16

– IslandFest, Memorial Park, 112 Division St., Kelleys Island, Fri. 5–11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. A variety of family entertainment. 419-746-2360 or

JUL. 15-17

– F.A.R.M.® Tractor Show, New London Rec. Park, New London. Donation. Featuring Cockshutts and CO-OP tractors and equipment. 419-929-0502.

JUL. 16, 17

–Doughty Valley Steam Days, 5025 St. Rte. 557, Millersburg. Antique farm machinery, tractors, and steam engines. Horse pull Thur., antique tractor pull Fri. 330-763-0303. JUL. 21-23

– The Summer Market, Veterans Memorial Park, 32756 Lake Rd., Avon Lake, Fri. 3–9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Vendors, food from local restaurants, live music.

JUL. 29, 30

– Wild West Fest, Pleasant Hill State Park, Perrysville. Wild West–themed events and contests, Outlaw Cowboy shooting show, horseshoe pitching. 419-938-7884 or

JUL. 29, 30

CENTRAL – “Blooms and Butterflies,” Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. $13. 614715-8000 or



– “Celebrating Victoria, the First Woman to Run for President,” Victoria Woodhull exhibit, Robbins Hunter Museum, 221 E. Broadway, Granville, Wed.–Sat. 1–4 p.m. 740-587-0430 or

JUL. 1 – Red, White and BOOM!, downtown riverfront and the Arena District, Columbus, 11 a.m.–midnight. Ohio’s largest fireworks display. 614299-9221 or JUL. 1, 5, 7, 9, 11, 14–16, 19, 21, 25, 26, 30 – Trumpet in the Land,

Schoenbrunn Amphitheatre, 1600 Trumpet Dr. NE, New Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. $18/$20, Srs./Stds.$18, C. (3–12) $8/$10. Ohio's longest-running outdoor theater production. 330-3391132 or – Barn Dance, Malabar Farm State Park, 4050 Bromfield Rd., Lucas, 7–10 p.m. $1, free for kids under 12. Round and square dancing with caller and live music. 419-892-2784 or

JUL. 2

– “Oral Histories: Life on the Ohio River,” Ohio History Ctr., 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, open noon–5 p.m. 614297-2300, 800-686-6124, or

JUL. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

– Central Ohio Symphony July 4th Concert, Philips Glen, 61 S. Sandusky St. Includes 1812 Overture with cannon and fireworks. Free. 740362-1799 or

JUL. 4

JUL. 4 – Civil War Memorial, Old Methodist cemetery, corner of Walnut St. and Anderson Ave., Frankfort, 9 a.m. The oldest Civil War Memorial in Ross Co. 740-998-4315.

– North Market Ohio Wine Festival, North Market, 59 Spruce St., Columbus, Fri. 7 –10 p.m., Sat. noon– 9 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m. 614-4639664 or

JUL. 8-10

– Car Show, Lancaster Country Club, 3100 Country Club Rd. SW, registration 10 a.m., trophies 4 p.m. 740407-1532.

JUL. 9

– Miami Valley Steam Threshers Assn. Annual Show and Reunion, Pastime Park, Plain City, horse pulls Thur. 7 p.m., grand parade Fri. 6 p.m., tractor pulls Sat. and Sun. 614-270-0007 or

JUL. 14-17

JUL. 15, 16 – Harding Symposium: “The American Presidential Candidate: Reality vs. Illusion,” OSU Marion, 1465 Mt. Vernon Ave., Marion. Registration deadline Jul. 8. 740-7256253 or

– Catfish Tournament, A. W. Marion State Park, 7317 Warner Huffer Rd., Circleville. 740-869-3124 or

JUL. 16

– Lancaster Festival, various venues in Lancaster. Music, art, and more. 740-687-4808 or

JUL. 20-30

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– Whispering Sun Music and Arts Festival, Frontier Ranch, 8836 York Rd. SW, Pataskala. $70– $85. A variety of music genres at this outdoor site. 937-407-9522 or

JUL. 22, 23

– Jazz and Ribs Fest, downtown Columbus riverfront, Fri./Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.– 8:30 p.m. Free. 614-645-7995 or

JUL. 22–24

JUL. 23 – Blast from the Past Cruise-in,

downtown Delaware, sunrise to sunset. 740-815-8328 or 740-816-1178. – Ohio State Fair, Ohio State Fgds., 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, daily 9 a.m.–10 p.m. $10, Srs./C. (5–12) $8, free for kids under 5. $5 parking. “Ride-All-Day” wristband vouchers available. 888-6463976 or

JUL. 27–AUG. 7

– Lorena Sternwheeler Civil War Re-enactment and Encampment, Zane’s Landing Park and Riverside Park, Zanesville. One cruise Fri. night, four on Saturday. Reservations required. 800-743-2303 or JUL. 29, 30

– “Sunday Drive” Car Show, Malabar Farm State Park, 4050 Bromfield Rd., Lucas, 12–4 p.m. Free admission; entrance fee for those entering a car. Take a Sunday drive to a bygone era to enjoy the cars, music, and old-fashioned foods. 419-8922784 or JUL. 31

SOUTHEAST – Marietta’s Red, White, and Brews Festival, Lafayette Hotel, 101 Front St., Marietta, doors open at 5 p.m. $10. 740-885-8194 or

JUL. 1

– Mound Cemetery Tour: Patriot Edition, beginning at Fifth and Scammel Sts., Marietta, 10 a.m. $5. A stroll through Marietta’s historic cemetery to learn the stories of Revolutionary War soldiers. 740-3735178 or

JUL. 2

– Monroe Independence Day Pow Wow, River’s Edge Activity Ctr. and Campgrounds, 34396 St. Rte. 7, Sardis. 740-472-4800.

JUL. 2, 3

– Ohio Hills Folk Festival, Fair and South Sts., Quaker City, 10 a.m.–11 p.m. Parades, car show, country store, pageant, flea market. 740679-2704.

JUL. 6–9

JUL. 8–10 – Lilyfest, Bishop Educational Gardens, 13200 Little Cola Road, Rockbridge, Fri. 10 a.m.– 6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. A celebration of arts, crafts, music, and gardens in the Hocking Hills. 740-969-2873 or

JUL. 30, 31

– Cowgirl Boot Camp, Smoke Rise Ranch, 6751 Hunterdon Rd., Glouster. $20 (to camp) to $175 (for a cabin). 740-767-2624 or


JUL. 9–12

– Jamboree in the Hills, 43510 National Rd., Belmont. Singleday ticket $75, multi-day passes $150–$235. The nation’s longest-running country music festival. 800-5948499 or JUL. 14–17

– Sweet Corn Festival, 300 block of Front St., downtown Marietta, Fri. 5–9 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–8 p.m. See antique tractors and gas engines or take part in the pedal tractor pull, corn hole tournament, and corn eating contest.

JUL. 15, 16

JUL. 15–23 – Ohio Brew Week, Athens. Sample more than 176 craft brews in 33 venues. JUL. 16 – Romantic Moonlight Canoe Trip, 7–10:30 p.m. 31251 Chieftain Dr., Logan. $45 per canoe. 800-686-0386 or

– Railroad Days Rendezvous, Pike Lake State Park, 1847 Pike Lake Rd., Bainbridge (Ross Co.), 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Free. Displays of model railroads, collectibles, memorabilia, exhibits, and model train displays. 740-947-5409 or

JUL. 16

– International Sunflower Festival, Frankfort, Fri. 5–9 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.–8:30 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Free.

JUL. 29-31

– Adams Co. Prairie Tour, Shawnee State Park, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Tour four separate preserves. 740858-6652 or shawnee_state_park_in_ohio.html.

JUL. 30

JUL. 30 – Ohio River Ferryboat

Festival, Fly, OH, and Sisterville, WV, 9 a.m.–9 p.m. Come celebrate the nearly 200-year ferryboat connection between the states. Festival takes place on both sides of the river. 304-7718835 or events/1034876283214645. JUL. 30 – Gateway to the Hocking

Hills Trade Faire, Tarlton Town Hall, 105 S. Harrison St., Tarlton, 9 a.m.3 p.m. Local artisans, crafts, produce and community yard sale. 740-4778696.

– Harmar Days Festival, Harmar Village, Marietta. Celebrate the historic Harmar Bridge, our country's oldest operating railroad swing bridge, circa 1880. Food, music, and entertainment. 740-373-5178 or e-mail

JUL. 16 – Buckeye Bourbon and BBQ

Festival, Miami Valley Gaming, 6000 St. Rte. 63, Lebanon, 1–11 p.m. More than 60 bourbons for tasting, plus craft beers, BBQ, and food booths. Live music. 513-932-1817 or – Cincinnati Music Festival, Paul Brown Stadium. Jazz, soul, and R&B performers. Tickets starting at $55. 800-452-3132 or JUL. 22, 23

JUL. 4 – Americana Festival, downtown Centerville, East Franklin St., Centerville, 7:30 a.m.–11 p.m. Parade, fireworks, concert, and 300 craft and food booths. 937-433-5898 or

– Red, White and Blue Ash, Summit Park, Blue Ash, 4–10:35 p.m. Fireworks, entertainment, music, food and drink, and family fun. Featured band is Styx.

JUL. 4

– Greenville Farm Power of the Past, Darke Co. Fgds., Greenville. $5, free for kids under 12. Annual tractor, gas engine, and hot air engine show. Car show on Sunday. 937-547-1845 or

JUL. 7–10

– Summer Skating Competition, Hobart Arena, 255 Adams St., Troy. Figure and freestyle competitions with 300 participants from across the country. 937-339-8521 or

JUL. 7–10

– Quilts of Highland County,, Hillsboro High School, 550 U.S. 62, Hillsboro. 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. $5. 937393-3031.

JUL. 8

– Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival, Middletown Regional Airport, Smith Park, Middletown. $4, free for kids under 13. Parking fee. Balloon rides (including tethered rides), biplane rides, car show. 513-435-6361 or

JUL. 8, 9

– Fire in Your Mouth, Fire in the Sky, Hannon’s Camp, 8501 Camden College Corner Rd., College Corner, 4 p.m.–midnight. $5 parking. Spicy food, music, fireworks. 513-7982794 or

JUL. 9

– Hamilton County 4-H Community Fair, Stricker’s Grove, 11490 Hamilton-Cleves Rd., Hamilton. 513-305-9445 or

JUL. 13-16

– USRowing Club National Championship Regatta, East Fork State Park, Harsha Lake, Bethel.

JUL. 13–17

– Sock Hop ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, Hueston Woods State Park, College Corner. Prizes for best dressed and an ice cream social. 513523-1060.

JUL. 15, 16

– Rock ‘n’ Green Tomato Festival, Riverfront Park, 3 North Miami Ave., Miamisburg, noon–11 p.m. Food, vendors, contests, corn hole tournaments, live music. 937-8472442 or

JUL. 23

– Annie Oakley Festival, York Woods, 6129 Reed Rd., Versailles. Shooting contests, bullwhip exhibitions. Parade Sat. 10 a.m. in downtown Greenville.

JUL. 26–30

– Annie Oakley Sidewalk Sales, S. Broadway, downtown Greenville. 937-548-4998 or

JUL. 28–30

– Miami Valley Music Fest, Eagles Campground, 2252 TroyUrbana Rd., Troy. 937-371-7228 or

JUL. 29, 30

– Gathering at Garst, 205 N. Broadway, Greenville, Sat. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Living history encampment with re-enactors representing eras ranging from the French and Indian War to the American Civil War. 937-548-5250 or

JUL. 30, 31

WEST VIRGINIA – 4th of July Celebration at Oglebay, Wheeling, Sat. 8 a.m.–Mon. 5 p.m. Live music, crafts, and food. Fireworks at Schenk Lake on Jul. 3. 800-624-6988.

JUL. 2–4

Ohio Quiz

(Answers from page 39) U

1. Canoe 2. Kokosing River 3. Great Miami River Watershed River Trail 4. The Great Miami, Mad, and Stillwater water trails 5. Mad River Water Trail 6. East Sandusky Bay Water Trail 7. Mahoning River Water Trail 8. Mohican River Water Trail 9. Vermilion-Lorain Water Trail 10. Mohican River Water Trail 11. Lake Erie Islands 12. Kokosing, Mohican, and Stillwater rivers

JULY 2016



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Largest circulation of any Ohio rural magazine.


Rich Warren 614-846-5757



• JULY 2016

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OHIO QUIZ Buckeye ‘blueways’ This month’s quiz features Ohio’s water trails, recreational routes along or across bodies of water where the public can use nonmotorized watercraft to enjoy natural and cultural resources. We’ll provide clues about these “blueways,” and you provide the answers. For example, if the clue is “Although Ohio communities typically initiate them, what agency officially designates the state’s water trails?,” the answer would be “Ohio Department of Natural Resources.”

10. Which water trail encompasses the longest navigable river located entirely within Ohio? 11. What proposed Ohio water trail will be located largely offshore? 12. Which three blueway streams also boast the state’s “scenic” designation? ANSWERS ON PAGE 37

CLUES 1. What kind of boat is featured on Ohio’s water trails logo? 2. What stream was named Ohio’s first water trail in 2005? 3. Totaling 265 miles, what is Ohio’s largest water trail system? 4. What three blueways comprise Ohio’s largest water trail system? 5. Which water trail has one of the state’s best trout streams? 6. What was the first Ohio blueway on a Lake Erie bay? 7. Which water trail includes the Newton Falls Covered Bridge and vestiges of the Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal? 8. Traversing heavily wooded valleys, which water trail has a wilderness-like landscape? 9. Which blueway follows both a river and Lake Erie’s shoreline? JULY 2016



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A visit to Wally (Road) World Take a scenic drive along the Mohican River B Y R I C H WA R R E N

FANS OF THE 1983 FILM National Lampoon’s Vacation will recall how the bumbling Griswold family drove across the country to visit Walley World, a fictional amusement park, that ended up being closed when the Griswolds arrived. Ohio has a similarly named vacation mecca, one that’s never closed. The 10mile-long Wally Road traverses alongside the Mohican River through segments of Ashland, Holmes, and Knox counties. Because of its natural beauty, it’s an official Ohio Scenic Byway. Plus, it’s got a lot to offer vacationers! Several liveries along the Mohican River offer rentals of canoes or kayaks for time periods as short as half an hour or as long as several days. Alternately, you can just leisurely float down this peaceful river on an inner tube. The Great Mohican Pow-Wow is one of the largest gatherings in the state and features Native American dance and drum competitions, craftspeople and artisans, and music. Held twice a year in July and September, the pow-wow this month will be July 8–10. Zip lining can be found throughout Ohio, but Tree Frog Canopy Tours is one of the most scenic, with its longest 1,100-foot line offering a breathtaking view of the Mohican Valley. You might just hit a speed of 50 mph! Sleep in a treehouse! Alternately, stay in one of the Amish-built rustic cabins at The Mohicans, a quiet forest-surrounded venue that’s also popular as a location for weddings and other events. Both The Mohicans and the nearby Tree Frog Canopy Tours are members of Licking Rural Electrification.



• JULY 2016

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Country Living July 2016  

Country Living July 2016

Country Living July 2016  

Country Living July 2016