Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘camping’

Life is an Adventure for Jo Lucas Master Gardener of the Year 2018

 

Jo Turkey hunting 001

Turkey hunting has been a long time family tradition.

Everywhere she goes, Jo Lucas finds something to enjoy. For her, life is discovering new things on a daily basis. Part of this she credits to meeting the love of her life, Don Lucas, who had a spirit of adventure like no other.

   Their adventure began in Cody, Wyoming where they were married…with an elk hunt for a honeymoon. Since then hunting, fishing, gardening and many other activities filled their lives until just recently when Don died as a result of an accident.

   Their adventures could fill a book and have created many fond memories for her. They made friends wherever they went.

Jo with bear 001

Don and Jo with the bear she shot in New Hampshire.

   In New Hampshire, they both shot a bear and the bearskins still hang in her house today. She was sitting in a log yard when a bear appeared lumbering through the logs, getting closer and closer. She decided there was no choice but to shoot it and killed it with one shot.

   But bears aren’t the only thing on her hit list. Moose, elk, antelope, turkeys and other small game have all been part of her adventures from Maine to Alaska. She’s visited 49 of the 50 states with Hawaii still on her bucket list.

Jo Ice Fishing 001

Ice fishing in Maine was a very cold but fun experience.

   Ice fishing in Maine provided an unusual experience as temperatures were down to -20 and -30 degrees when they took a snowmobile out on the ice. Sometimes when they were ice fishing, they had a portable shanty to use as a windbreak. In Alaska, salmon fishing captured their attention.

Jo Cooking Tent 001

Their cooking tent is packed with supplies.

   Sometimes they used a camper, but most often tents. They had a special cook tent and then several sleeping tents a short distance away just in case an animal would decide to invade the cook tent overnight. Two dogs and a pistol kept her feeling a little safer wherever she happened to camp.

Jo Farmers Market

Jo sold her salsa and jams at the local Farmers’ Market.

   Back home in Guernsey County, Jo enjoyed large gardens and a fruit orchard. From these, she made delicious salsas and jams that she sold at the Farmers’ Market during the summer season.

   As a youngster, she grew up in the 4-H program in the Millersburg area, where horses were her passion and project. But on Thanksgiving, everyone went turkey hunting. It was a family tradition!

Jo salmon 001

Fishing for salmon in Alaska was a real success.

   Since Jo’s move to Guernsey County, she has been involved in the community in so many ways. Jo was the auxiliary president who brought back the idea for Wonderland of Trees at the hospital. That first year, there were six trees and six wreaths.

Jo fruit trees covered

Fruit trees are covered with parachutes to keep birds from eating the fruit.

   Other community organizations that are lucky to have her assistance are the Soil & Water Conservation Board (vice-chairman), Ohio Association of Garden Clubs (district treasurer), Mt. Herman Church (treasurer), Hopewell Homemakers, and Adair Ladies Bible Study at Antrim. Perhaps it should be mentioned that Jo has a degree in accounting.

Jo Raspberries 001

Her raspberry patch is used for jams, pies, or just a bowl of berries!

   In the last couple of years, she decided to go back to that early passion from 4-H of training and showing horses. These days she assists at Breaking Free Therapeutic Riding Center near Norwich. This facility helps the handicapped improve their physical, psychological and cognitive behaviors through association with a friendly horse. Veterans are always welcome.

   Working here has given Jo real pleasure as she volunteers as barn manager. She gets horses ready for riding by exercising them beforehand. Yes, sometimes she even rides herself.

Jo Tomatoes 001

Her delicious salsa was made possible through this large tomato patch.

   Jo Lucas loves the out-of-doors in so many ways but gardening is one of her favorites. She was recently named OSU Extension Guernsey County Master Gardener of 2018, a well-deserved honor. Jo was one of those original Guernsey County Master Gardeners.

   She remembers her days in 4-H and all the help the advisors gave, so felt it was her turn to “give back” to the community. She has shared her knowledge of gardening with hundreds of Guernsey County elementary school children.

Jo Cherry Tree Pruning

These trees were used to demonstrate proper pruning methods.

   Ag school days, master gardener classes and workshops are a few of the ways that she has given back. Over the past few years, she has hosted three pruning workshops at her home.

Jo Lucas and Clif Little

Clif Little presents Jo with the Master Gardener of the Year Award.

   Local OSU Extension Educator, Clif Little, praised Jo by saying, “I can sum up her work as a Master Gardener volunteer as hard-working, energetic, friendly, generous and very interested in learning. She is the type of person that will always help when we offer gardening classes.” That says it all!

Jo Flowers 001

This flower bed contains crazy daisies, daylilies and iris.

But one place that Jo is a bit dangerous is in a plant nursery. She enjoys trying new plants and searches for them wherever she goes. Sometimes she comes home with almost too many.

   There are still a few places on her bucket list and both relate to ancestry. Her grandparents came from Austria and Ireland so those are two places she would enjoy exploring.

Bear Skin 2

This bearskin hanging on her wall at home makes her smile as she remembers her adventures.

   Of one thing you can be certain, Jo Lucas will not be sitting in a rocking chair watching the world go by. She’s always ready for an adventure as she strives to learn something new each day.

If you have interest in becoming a Master Gardener in Guernsey County, contact Clif Little in the Guernsey County Extension Office at 740-489-5300.

Summer Relaxation at Seneca Lake

Step away from the hustle and bustle of life. Relax as you drift along on the placid water of Seneca Lake, the third largest inland lake in Ohio, touching Guernsey and Noble Counties. Not many places still provide such a peaceful atmosphere.

Sailing along on Seneca Lake

Sailing along on Seneca Lake

Built in 1937 to control floods on the Seneca Branch of Wills Creek, today Seneca Lake Park provides the perfect place for a permanent camping spot, a getaway weekend, or just an evening escape.You can hear the pride in their voices as residents and frequent campers tell about the wonders of Seneca Lake.

Here you can find entertaining things to occupy your time, or sit in the shade of a tree and watch the world go by. Being at Seneca Lake makes you feel like you’ve stepped out of this regular busy world, and been given permission to unwind.

Seneca Lake

Seneca Lake under a cloud filled sky

When you think about going to the lake, boating, fishing, and swimming come to mind. And those things are all part of the charm of Seneca Lake, which some call East Central Ohio’s Playground. But there’s more.

Seneca Lake Fish Hatchery

Aerial view of the Senecaville Fish Hatchery and its 37 ponds.

Here you will also find the Senecaville State Fish Hatchery, which supplies fish- over twenty million in April alone – to over fifty different lakes as well as the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers. They have 37 one-acre ponds where walleye, saugeye, hybrid striped bass and channel catfish are raised.

Their campground has the honor of being the fullest campground in the Muskingum Watershed District. Once people discover this treasure, they come back frequently. There are a limited number of rental cabins, so bring along your tent or camper for a pleasurable stay.

Seneca Lake Beach

Families enjoy the activities of the beach area.

The recently installed water toy makes the beach even more fun for the children.It resembles the American Ninja Warrior Course and keeps the children squealing with pleasure.

Moms can sit under the shade of a tree while keeping an eye on the children. A concession stand nearby provides cool drinks and snacks as needed. If you decide to have a family gathering, a shaded picnic area complete with grills and picnic tables is located very close to the beach.

Their campground has the honor of being the fullest campground in the Muskingum Watershed District. Once people discover this hidden treasure, they come back again and again. There are a limited number of cabins for rent,so you might want to bring along your tent or camper for a pleasurable stay.

Seneca Lake Pontoon

Rent a pontoon boat at the marina for an enjoyable ride around the lake.

Seneca Lake is a Boater’s Paradise, where courtesy is practiced on the water. There are some special places that are only available by boat, such as a boater’s beach, volleyball sand bar and picnic on the Big Island.

If you need a way to get out on the water for the day, Seneca Lake Marina has pontoons, kayaks, canoes and fishing boats available for rent. With 3,550 acres of water, ski boats, jet skis, and sail boats will most likely drift past. You can rent a boat for a couple hours or a few days.

Seneca Lake Marina

Dockside Restaurant provides a great place to relax here at the Marina.

Need a vacation from cooking? Dockside Restaurant provides a menu where you might enjoy Big Island Nachos, Camp Fire Fries, or BBQ delights from their smoker which are sure to please your family. Have a delicious meal while sitting out on the deck with a grand view of the lake.

Seneca Lake Crane 2

A sand crane takes a stroll along the water’s edge.

While there you might spot the nest of an osprey, watch a sand crane feed along the water’s edge, or see numerous varieties of ducks and geese floating along with the boats. Wonder what animals are lurking in the surrounding woods?

The best feature of Seneca Lake may be that it’s family friendly. Everyone looks out for everyone else. For those who enjoy time near or on the water, Seneca Lake Park is a great place for a family picnic  or a hike on one of their many hiking trails. It’s one of those special places that families return to year after year.

Be soothed by the water of Seneca Lake sometime soon.

 

 

Jackson Hole Beneath the Shadow of the Tetons

Welcome to the majestic Tetons.

Welcome to the majestic Tetons

The majestic, 7000-foot-high Teton Range signals arrival in scenic Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which is located on the floor of a valley surrounded by mountains. John Colter was the first white American to view the valley and his reports were viewed with skepticism as people doubted any place could be so beautiful.

Elk Antler Arch

Elk Antler Arch

Town square serves as the main attraction of downtown Jackson Hole, as each corner has an arch composed of hundreds of elk antlers. Each winter, local Boy Scouts gather the antlers from the National Elk Reserve nearby. An auction is held to sell the antlers with proceeds going to the refuge. However, first of importance is maintaining repair work on the arches with any needed antlers.

Downtown hums with the sights and sounds of many gift shops and restaurants. Million Dollar Cowboy Bar featured in many Hollywood movies, Jackson Drug with its old time soda fountain, and the Victorian style Wort Hotel, home of the Silver Dollar Bar,  provided interesting stops during this visit. After an exhausting day, we devoured a delicious Mexican dinner at an old established restaurant, Merry Piglets.

This area abounds with treasures to behold and even a week’s stay would not give one a chance to enjoy them all thoroughly. While the town of Jackson Hole delights many visitors, camping in the foothills of the Tetons gives an entirely different perspective.

Rustic cabin below the Cathedral Group

Rustic cabin below the Cathedral Group

Snake River, which flows from its headwater at Yellowstone River, meanders along the base of the Tetons. The old Cunningham Cabin situated at the foothills of the Tetons seemed like a perfect place to live. Imagine sitting here with your morning cup of coffee or tea and watching the Snake River flow past the towering mountains.

Just outside of town can be found the largest elk preserve in North America – the National Elk Refuge. During the summer months the elk head higher in the mountains, but during the fall and winter, up to 7500 elk can be found here in the basin.

Jackson Hole Ski Resort

Jackson Hole Ski Resort during summer

Jackson Hole Ski Resort contains the longest ski slope in the area, although many slopes exist. The first ski slope, Snow King Ski Area, was developed way back in 1939. Makes you want to return for the winter snows.

At the Menor-Noble Historic District nearby, exploring Menor’s cabin provides a taste of life in the early 1900’s. His white washed cabin was used as a supply store while he ran a ferry across the Snake River. Cost was twenty-five cents for a horse and wagon to cross. In winter when the water was too rough, they crossed on a flat raft-like apparatus using a pulley system.

Museum of Natural History and Art

Museum of Natural History and Art

Tucked away in the foothills of the Tetons, National Museum of Wildlife Art displays spectacular paintings and statues that tell the story of Wyoming wildlife. Frequent spottings of buffalo along the road to the museum, add to the road trip’s delight. The museum also sponsors many musical and informative programs as well. On this particular day a piano duo playing jazz, Keith and Pam Phillips, entertained the crowd.

Camping along the Snake River

Camping along the Snake River

Leaving town, a stop at Jackson National Fish Hatchery provided viewing of trout from 2″ to 12″, ready to place in area lakes and rivers. All National Hatcheries were listed, and included was one from home – Senecaville Fish Hatchery.

Whether you stay in town at one of their many hotels, or camp in the shade of the Tetons, innumerable adventures await in the area of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Just a short drive to the North is the bubbling Yellowstone National Park, which you won’t want to miss.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming can be found on the western border of Wyoming, very near Idaho. This is not a place of major interstate highways, but the drive is beautiful from any direction.

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