It’s no secret that we love Kimpton Hotels, and that we’re probably loyal to a bit of a fault. This week in Cleveland a brand new one, the Schofield, opened and made an offer we couldn’t refuse: a room on a Saturday night for just $19.02 (the year the building originally opened). Since the weather was supposed to be perfect for hiking on Saturday it seemed like the stars had aligned for us to make the 5.5 hour trek to Ohio. We’d be able to spend the day exploring Cuyahoga Valley National Park AND the night helping to celebrate the opening of a new Kimpton.
We left immediately after I got home on Friday, with Molly skillfully navigating us through surface streets to avoid the massive gridlock on the interstates. As we drove past Zetta’s Ribs and Chicken I commented that I bet they have some amazing food, but since it was only 4:45 we continued on. This decision would later come back to haunt us. We ended up googling Zetta’s and drooling over the food pics customers had posted. Next time we’re stopping. We did find it odd that they have a hushmail.com email address. Apparently they’re concerned about someone stealing their secret recipe? or perhaps it’s mob owned?
In any case we soldiered on and crossed the Indiana line. We’re all seasoned car trippers so the trip was completely uneventful until we decided about 6:30 that it was time to get serious about finding dinner. We pulled into a Indiana service plaza to find our only option to be a 3 star Hardee’s. I think “A Google User” summed it up best with their one word review: “Nasty”. So we piled back in the car and continued on wishing we had some Zetta’s Ribs and Chicken in our bellies. We did eventually find a Burger King in Ohio. As Chad Crofoot notes in his review: “No one working knows how to run the register” but the food was average. We reached Streetsboro by 11 Eastern where I was once again complimented on my beard by a guy with a beard making me feel especially cool.
The next morning we were all up by 7:30, and after a quick breakfast Molly dropped the three of us off at the Brandywine Falls trailhead in CVNP. We knew immediately that this was going to be a great day for hiking. The weather was perfect, the trails were dirt and mostly deserted, and everyone was in a good mood. We stopped to take some pictures and proceeded on our planned route which had us circling to the North of Brandywine Creek before crossing back over a mile downstream. Zoe and I had noticed the signs warning us of the “Bridge out ahead: Dangerous Crossing”, but I decided to ignore them and she didn’t comment either.
I actually had a solid (I thought) reason for ignoring them. First, there are a lot of trails in this particular area and many bridges. Since the sign didn’t specify which bridge was out there seemed to be a decent chance that it was one that wouldn’t affect us at all. Second, we’ve crossed rivers before (some more voluntarily than others). Since it had never been too awful I thought that we’d probably be able to make the crossing if we needed to. As I’m sure you’ve figured out, we soon discovered that we would have needed the bridge in question, and we would not be able to make the crossing. That’s not to say we didn’t try!
The track from our hike and lots more pictures are available here.
As you’ll undoubtedly notice we spent an awful long time walking back and forth along the creek in the Northenmost part of the hike. We made at least four attempts at crossing in different parts of the river and made it as far as halfway across before finally admitting defeat and doubling back to our starting point. As you can see in the pictures below, we would certainly have gotten wet.
Of course, these are the kinds of obstacles that make hiking fun, so I can’t say any of us really minded. We just decided to call it our practice hike of the day. From then on the day went perfectly so there’s not a lot more to say other than that we can’t wait to go back!
We eventually met up with Molly at the Winking Lizard in Peninsula where I had my traditional post hike Coors Light and we shared a plate of Nachos.
Finally, we were ready to head to Cleveland to experience the newest member of the Kimpton Family! I’m happy to report that it lived up to all our expectations. The lobby and rooms were beautiful and the beds were luxurious. We also had an awesome welcome treat of wine, beer, lemonade, cookies, and even a local popcorn ball. The highlight may have been that we got to experience the Schofield’s very first wine hour (they had just gotten their liquor license that day!).
After wine hour we headed to the butcher and the brewer for dinner. Everything we ate and drank was amazing – highly recommended. One of the things we ordered came with a tag explaining the different parts of the menu. We had also noticed that there was a hole in the wall next to our table. We decided to put the two together to leave our mark for the ages.