One Summer weekend in the early 1980s while I was attending Summer session, Dad, Sharon (step-mother), Kim (sister) and I, ventured to Hueston Woods, a State Park located just east of the Indiana/Ohio state line near College Corner. The park is 5 miles north of Oxford, Ohio, the home of Miami University of Ohio, one of the nation’s oldest public institutions of higher learning.
It was August, the “dog days of summer”, as the four of us embarked upon a pleasant one and a half hour drive through the countryside of eastern Indiana. We checked into 2 rooms at the Hueston Woods Lodge, one for us guys and one for the gals. The accommodations weren’t crowded when we arrived with perhaps a quarter of the roughly 100 rooms being occupied. The first activity after our arrival was to don our tennis garb and proceed to the courts located across the parking lot. We played doubles on one of the four courts, the others were unused. After a couple hours of getting some exercise, we began back to our rooms to suit up for the pool. Sharon, however, remained at the tennis court in a panicked state – she seemed to have misplaced her wedding ring.
As Sharon continued to comb the area around the tennis courts, Dad, Kim and I, lounged around the pool for a couple of hours. Finally giving up her frantic search for the ring, we all proceeded to our respective rooms to clean-up for dinner, though Sharon was clearly in a state of extreme distress. When we congregated in the lobby to head into the nearby town of Oxford to visit the shops and have a bite to eat, Dad presented Sharon with the ring she had been desperately seeking. Her distraught frame of mind quickly morphed into that of anger as Dad had apparently played a cruel trick by picking up the ring prior to departing the tennis courts.
We visited the square in downtown Oxford with it’s many shoppes and bookstores before grabbing dinner at a quaint little college eatery. Before heading back to the lodge, we stopped at a convenience store where I picked up a 12-pack of Miller Lite to assist me in getting my “mind right” to study the texts I brought along. As I did math problems in my bed while sipping on the beer, Dad watched movies on TV until late into the night, long after I had dropped off for the night. The next day (Sunday), we all slept in until about 10AM before meeting in the Trailblazer’s Dining Room for brunch. It was a gorgeous day and the view of the lake through the large dining room windows was memorable. By this time of the weekend, the occupancy rate seemed to have increased considerably as the dining room was nearly full of folks eager to participate in the “all you could eat” buffet. As the four of us filled our plates, sat down at a table and began to eat, we all tried to conceal our snickering at a family waiting in the buffet line. Last in line of the clan was a quite chubby little girl, still in her Sunday dress, anxiously ogling the heaping piles of food, her face aglow, licking her lips, bouncing on her toes, and flittering her chubby little fingers together in uncontrollable anticipation of the voluminous intake of foodstuffs soon to take place.
With all of the activities available in the park and surrounding area such as golf, sailing, archery, camping, hiking, and bicycling, we had left the remainder of Sunday open. I suggested we go horseback riding at the nearby riding stables. Sharon was still sore, Dad was indifferent, but Kim was very gung ho about it, so off we went! When we got to the ranch, we were assigned our horses, given a briefing and sent on our way down a trail that extended a couple of miles. I was in the lead, followed by Kim, who was followed by Sharon, then Dad. The horse assigned to me had a chronic case of flatulence and would boldly sound off after every other step for most of the ride. Kimberly, directly behind me, got so tickled by my rude horse that she almost fell off of hers several times, but was able to stay on. The hilarity was contagious and before long the others looked like they were struggling to stay on their mounts. The end of the trail didn’t appear soon enough as we had all had our fair share of horse riding for awhile, perhaps forever. Though the trip was a little on the expensive side for the length of time it entailed, it turned out to be the climax of the weekend, at least for Kim and I!
Hueston Woods has much to offer all year long and is an enjoyable getaway for anyone and everyone, especially if you reside in Eastern Indiana, Western Ohio or Northern Kentucky. I have extremely fond memories of it and strongly recommended it to those looking for a quick getaway!