I am officially done with all of my classes except Shakespeare and the only thing standing between me and summer break is a Shakespeare final Tuesday morning. To celebrate and de-stress, Caesar and I are spending today in Cuyahoga Valley National Park hiking.

As you may recall, we took a trip here in November and tackled 10 miles. Today, I hope we tackle just as much, if not more. As I’m writing this (it’s Friday morning), the weather is calling for scattered showers, but we’ve prepared and the rain is not going to stop us.

The plan for today is to stop in the little town of Boston and head into the visitor’s center to grab a few maps. Then, because it’s not too far, we will head to the Brandywine Falls trail. I went to this place in November, but because of the beautiful falls, I wanted to return.

This semester in my geology class I learned a lot about rock formations. In CVNP there is a lot of sandstone and shale, especially at Brandywine Falls. Shale is what has helped to form the edges of the falls and I’m interested in looking more at that now that I know what type of geology makes up Ohio’s only national park.

After Brandywine Falls, Caesar and I will head to The Ledges. I have never been there, but from what I’ve read, the geology is spectacular to observe here as well. The Ledges trail also includes an Outlook which should give us a nice few of the valley.

I don’t have everything planned out, so after The Ledges I am unsure where we will go until I look at the mileage on a map. Hopefully, we will find another beautiful spot to hike.

I only planned this short trip a week ago, but I’ve really been looking forward to it. Last time was a blast, despite the amount of mud that attached itself to the dog and me.

There is a great sense of accomplishment after finishing a long hike in a place that has a rocky terrain. Last time, my body was so sore that I could hardly get out of bed after taking a nap that evening. I could tell that Caesar was sore too. We can walk miles and miles in Van Wert, Decatur, and Fort Wayne, which are about as flat as you can get, but once some hills are added, it’s an entirely different experience on the body.

After our hiking is done today, we will stay in a dog-friendly hotel in Macedonia. Macedonia is a beautiful little town just 30 minutes away from Cleveland. It’s a town just smaller than Van Wert but has a Target, Giant Eagle, 5 Below, Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, a wonderful outside mall, and more.

This weekend’s trip will be the first of many I have planned when school is out and throughout the year. Hopefully, the time in nature with my best friend will prepare me for the Shakespeare final to come.