Out on a Ledge
Simmer down, nobody’s jumping. In fact, the ledge isn’t what you think it is. It’s a geological formation that, for the life of me, I didn’t expect to see within a hundred miles of me.
I grew up in Michigan about fifteen – twenty miles from a place called Grand Ledge. Contained within Grand Ledge, along the Grand River, was a natural formation of rocks called the Ledges. Great to hike amongst and climb on. Great beginner climbing opportunities.
Vacationed in various places with bigger and better rocks – mostly near Marquette, Michigan. So, naturally, I climbed em. Hey, I was a boy. Still am, I just don’t get up as quick when I fall down. Northern Michigan at any time of the year is beautiful. Harsh in the winter, but no less beautiful. Climbing in the winter, incidentally, is a bad idea. As is hiking too late in the evening and having the sun go down on you while you’ve still got two hours through nearly pitch black woods with very scant trails to follow. Not that I know anyone that’s happened to….
So from Michigan I moved to southeastern Utah. Moab, to be precise. Moab, a place visited by people from all over the world for its hiking and climbing opportunities. It’s another absolutely beautiful place. Most of Utah is, with northern Utah reminding me of Michigan UP. There are many things I can say about my time spent out there but of them not a one is a complaint as to the scenery.
Next we moved to eastern Ohio. What’s Ohio got for me? Lots of civilization and a good job until the writing thing takes off enough to take over. At this rate it’ll end up being something for my retirement. Regardless, Ohio is considered, by me, to be a flat and geographically boring state. Sure, a couple of decent rivers, and some good hills in the southeastern portion of it, but that’s about it.
My wife heard of a place called Nelson Ledges from a friend of hers. We looked it up and decided to risk it. We went there today and I was all but blown away by it. Nothing too tall, although we did find one cross in a fenced off area where someone had slipped and fallen to their death. A couple of smaller waterfalls and a lot of niches, crevices and caves. We tromped around there, occasionally having to carry and assist our kids through the more difficult spots, for a few hours. All in all, it was a blast.
I was reminded of a cross between Utah, with the ledges and crevices, and Michigan Upper Peninsula with the greenery and pleasant temperatures. A perfect blend, in my opinion. We plan on heading back again and doing more exploring. The moral of the story was to not judge a book by its cover. Sure it Ohio and sure it’s flat like the chest of a thirteen year old boy, but it’s got some hidden surprises if you look hard enough.