The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.


Steele Creek Lake

For my birthday, I headed back to my roots --- home to Bristol to visit family, friends, and parks new and old. There's far too much to include in one post, so I'll just hit the highlights here.

Old mulberry tree

Our favorite mulberry tree at Steele Creek is showing her age, with ailing limbs and lots of woodpecker damage. In another couple of decades, there may be no tasty treats for children and geese to fight over.

Lake ridge trail

On the other hand, there are plenty of new attractions, like this trail winding up the side of a hill that previously saw only off-trail traffic.

Waterfowl exhibit

Plus a brand new addition to the nature center, full of highly impressive and educational exhibits. If you live nearby and haven't been, put it on your list!

Crawl through cave

There's even a crawl-through cave that puts the one at Bays Mountain to shame. Okay, so Steele Creek's isn't as big...but this one feels like a real cave inside, complete with fossils and rock formations. An imagination builder, no doubt.

Nature's Christmas tree

And how could I miss the natural Christmas tree, decorated with dried flowers, berries, and bird nests collected throughout the year at the park?

Mossy beech

Next stop was the King University (no longer King College) woods, full of old trees I never noticed while illegally sledding down their hills as a child.

Hexagonal pond

This pond gave me ideas --- I loved the way straight, concrete lines could look so nice amid nature. Maybe I could save my pennies and get a concrete truck to come create one of these to harvest roof runoff for the Ohio garden? Some day!

There was also a lot of delectable ice cream, an adorable two-year-old who will actually be able to have her name and face on the blog in four weeks time if all goes well, and plenty of board games. What more could I ask for from a philopatric holiday?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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This looks like a beautiful place! I live just less than 2 hours from Bristol. We visit occasionally for shopping, I think our next visit we will have to allow more time for exploring.
Comment by Katie Thu Dec 21 09:21:42 2017

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