G-Men win streak hits 5 Runners compete at Vern Hawkins XC Invite Lady G-Men stand at 3-2-2 SHAC play begins for Ripley golfers Week 3 football roundup Jays rise to 5-2 with win over Williamsburg Audrey F Staten Rural Heritage Quilt Show winners RULH Elementary first graders take on new technology 2017 DAR Charity Golf Scramble St. Michael students visit “Living Lands and Waters” RULH High School reaches out to those in need Lillian E Cowdrey Catherine A Houk Warriors win Jim Neu XC Invite Week 2 football roundup Broncos unbeaten at 4-0 Lady Broncos compete in Bob Schul XC Invite Ronnie L Day Nettie F Lightner Buildings demolished, Village waits to be paid Ohio Rural Heritage Festival celebrated Henry E Fields Anleah W Stamper Maxine M Garrett U.S. 68 reopens Drought ends for Lady Rockets G-Men rise to 3-1 with back-to-back victories Rockets cruise to 4-0 win over Jays Lady Broncos start off SBAAC American Division play with 3-2 win over Goshen Week one football roundup Preparation begins for Ripley River Village Christmas celebration 3rd Annual Job Fair sponsored by Open Arms*****Always helps Veterans and others Evelyn E Smith Peggy A Wiederhold Thomas P Neary Warriors kick off SHAC play Lady Broncos stand at 2-1 Late Devil goals lead to Lady Warrior loss David R Carrington Sr 2017 Ohio Rural Heritage Festival Ripley DAR contributes towards new village flags Rural Heritage Festival event schedule Betty G Schatzman Robert L McAfee Paul V Tolle Herbert D Smith Helen R Little Eugene M Press Lady Broncos out to defend league title SHAC holds volleyball preview Lady Warriors packed with experience, talent for 2017 fall soccer campaign Georgetown’s Sininger off to excellent start for 2017 golf season RULH BOE recognizes Dr. Naylor for years of service as superintendent RULH Superintendent invites public to district open house Bob Groh Memorial Show set for August 26 at Heritage Festival ‘Support Your Veterans’ Car & Bike Show Danny F Dickson Eva J Smith Michael R Stewart Sr Charles McRoberts III Marsha B Thigpen Michael L Chinn William A Coyne Jr Woman found dead in Ripley A girl’s life on the gridiron Rockets face G-Men in preseason scrimmage 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk draws a crowd William C Latham Over 20,000 pounds of trash picked up in and around Ohio River in Ripley Ripley Village Council approves water plans Steps at Rankin House closed Marilyn A Wren Larry E Carter Virginia L McQuitty Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Ripley officer receives commendation for quick action Bicentennial at Ripley First Presbyterian RULH welcomes new school principals Aberdeen’s Police Dept. continues to grow Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Rickey L Hoffer

Hiking boots, coyote calls & memories

Hiking boots, coyote calls, and enduring memories — those are just a scant few things that vacation conjures up in my brain, and those things are on my brain a lot lately as we prepare to set off on this year’s family adventure.

I’m very fortunate that my younger years were full of travel. I’ve seen a little bit of Canada and Mexico, most of the Caribbean, and a large portion of our United States.

This summer, my family and I are heading into New England. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be able to color in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut on that map I’ve kept since childhood. And I’m pretty thrilled too that my husband and I are able to show our kids something other than what’s right here.

There is so much to see and do right here in our own state, and we do go see and do right here, but that’s not really vacation to me. Those are long weekends, little getaways.

For some, vacation means going to a resort on beloved sandy shores, for others, it may mean staying home and not answering the phone for a week.

To me, vacation means being confined to the car for too-long hours and watching the scenery change in between reading sessions and naps and rest stops.

It means parking your fanny at a picnic table at a rest area to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that you put together out of the trunk of the car (because that’s where you have to keep the cooler because the kids have the backseat jam-packed).

It’s seeing something, a part of the country that is so different from your own neck of the woods, and buying post cards to send to the poor souls back home.

It’s the bickering that ensues from the days on end of too-close quarters and all that melting away in two shakes of a lamb’s tail when you stand as a family in front of some spectacular site.

Our family loves the outdoors, and our vacations reflect that.

Our travels mean that we pack more hiking boots than sandals, and more light-weight cargo pants than nice slacks (does anyone call nicer pants slacks anymore, or did I just do a little throwback to my beloved Granny?).

We’ve talked about cruises. We’ve talked about Disney World, and even LEGOLAND, but we always come back to the natural things that we can explore and at the end of the day, reminisce about over a campfire.

I love that. And I think it’s good for the kids, too.

Last year we were in South Dakota. In one day we did the touristy stuff – stood in front of Mount Rushmore, drove the loop in Custer State Park, and marveled at the Crazy Horse Memorial.

While those things were splendid and absolutely worth seeing, it was our four days in the Badlands where our family shared and bonded as we kept a vigilant watch for rattlesnakes, trudged through washed-smooth valleys, and climbed craggy peaks to take in a stunning view of protected grasslands that stuck with us all the most.

We tried to camp on that trip, but God had other plans for us. What the locals called a “normal” summer storm for the area, we regarded as rather mighty. And when the heavens were through unleashing, we took down our newly erected tents and promptly rented a cabin.

One of my enduring memories is the lonely sounds of coyotes in the wee hours of a South Dakota night as I made my way to the bathroom, all alone and wondering how secure I really was should a few of those animals decide to come onto the campgrounds.

You know, on that first night after hearing those coyotes yipping and howling, I sat in the dark on the porch swing of our cabin trying to find out from the all-knowing Google just what these canines might be up to. And as spooky and scary as it was in the dark, under all those stars, and hearing those calls from all directions, it was an encounter well worth having.

It’s something I would not have witnessed had we stayed in a hotel. And a lot of our experiences are tied to where we chose to lay our heads every night.

That’s what we like. And that’s what was in our thoughts as we planned this year’s vacation.

And we are doing the same thing this year, only without the tents, as we make our way through New England, and a little smidge of Canada. There’s something to be said for a sturdy rooftop above your head when you don’t quite know what a “normal” storm for the area you’re in brings.

When I was 13 years old, my younger cousin and I accompanied my maternal grandmother and our aunt on a road trip to California.

We dragged a pop-up camper with us across the country and back again. Gone for about a month, we stopped here and there along the way, and even spent a week in the Grand Canyon just hiking around and exploring.

That vacation has always stuck with me, and it wasn’t centered so much on a particular destination. Each place we stopped was a destination, and all those experiences have stayed with this girl.

Whatever vacation might mean to you, may you enjoy it, may you have safe travels, may you venture off the beaten path from time to time, and no matter what, may you take away with you those enduring memories.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.

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