Yesterday a friend and I went to Quail Hollow, a 701-acre state park accompanied by a large manor that was built in 1838 and expanded throughout the years. We didn’t see everything the trails had to offer, of course, but we spent a good deal of time walking the paths.
As far as scenery goes, there wasn’t much besides trees. From what we saw there were no crazy rock formations or waterfalls, although I do know that there is a lake somewhere in the park. For some adventure seekers this might sound a little boring, but I really enjoy the feeling of being surrounded in a tunnel of trees with just the sound of birds chirping to keep me company. The paths we followed weren’t particularly strenuous, but it felt nice to get away from the streets and stores and cars that I see every day.
We walked for a bit more, even stumbling upon a momma raccoon and her babies up in a tree. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a raccoon just living its life out in the woods before, so it was pretty special to see. And, of course, the babies were super cute and made my heart happy.
After we were done walking we headed back to the manor to check it out. We found an herb garden behind the manor, featuring a bunch of different flowers and, you guessed it, herbs. It was nice, although the plants looked like they had seen better days. After exploring a bit more we headed towards the parking lot, coming from the back of the manor. Earlier we had noticed that a bunch of cars were parked in the lot and had no idea why, but thought it might just remain a mystery. That was when I heard music coming from inside the manor. We headed towards the back door and went inside (there was an “open” sign, we did not break and enter) and found a bunch of people playing instruments and singing.
There were four or five different rooms, all within close proximity of each other, containing a group of people jamming out (as much as you can jam out to folk music, anyway). I don’t think there was a person under 50 there and it was absolutely amazing. We cycled from room to room, listening as the music of one group overlapped the tunes of another, musicians jumping in if they felt like it or just listening. And man, they sounded good. I’m always impressed by musical talent, and watching their fingers move deftly from string to string and producing a sound that I could’ve listened to all night was a real treat. I think the best part was that it didn’t feel like they were trying to sound good; they were just there to hang out with friends and do something they love.
We found out that they do this twice a month (1st and 3rd Thursdays, 6-9 pm) from June to November, but happening upon it by chance made it 100 times better. Finding cool things when I least expect them is one of the best parts of life for me. I can plan and plan and plan to visit the amazing things in this world, but I hold a special place in my heart for the random things that cross my path.
If you live in Ohio or ever happen upon Quail Hollow during the time that they play, I would definitely recommend stopping by and listening. Hell, bring your own instrument and jump in. I’m sure they’d be glad to have you.