Thursday, September 27, 2012

Park #27: Avery Park - Dublin

   This place is an absolute oasis for the soccer set. Dublin is far enough away from Columbus proper for big green spaces like this. Another thing Dublin has going for it is a quite well-done network of off-road paved bike paths which came in quite handy for me during the then-continuing COTA strike. I noticed later while looking at this place through Google Earth that the baseball fields are aligned in a clover formation; appropriate for Dublin Ohio.

Kinda funky looking playset.

I've got Big Balls

This place was really huge.

The artwork on this tower was really cool, depicting various sports.

This was such a trip to stumble upon. I'm guessing the storm that caused this was the crazy windstorm that caused much of Columbus to be without power for 3-7 days. This tree was beside the creek right by the water tower in case any of my ones of readers wants to check it out.

I should know what pepper is, being a lifelong diehard Reds fan, but I do not.

Groovy little (<5 acres) bit of woods basically left alone from the rest of the park.

A very friendly and cute hepcat.

Does a tree make a sound blah blah blah

Park #26: Audubon Park - Columbus

Not to be confused with Scioto Audubon Park (which is awesome, but gimme about 3 years to get to that one), this is an OK sized park not far from the Ohio State Fairgrounds. Just your basic ball fields and shelter sort of things. Good place to exercise your feet, although I wouldn't try it at night because the neighborhood is a bit dicey. The most notable thing about this park is that one of our police choppers landed here in what was the first of 3 emergency landings. The first & second, which occurred within 2 weeks of each other were minor. The third was not, involving all sorts of mayhem although everybody got out relatively OK.
This place has some really big-ol' trees.

Pretty scuzzy looking shelter. Typical non-usable toidys for good measure.

Park #25 - Astronaut Grove - Westerville

    This place was kinda a mind-blower. As usual, I never look up any park in advance before going there, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I figured it would be another boring pocket park off of an Astronaut Street or something like that. Instead it was a lovely little place across from Alum Creek Park North. The park was dedicated to the Astronauts lost in the Apollo 1 & Challenger disasters. I first learned of Virgil "Gus" Grissom in the classic film The Right Stuff which documents the original Mercury 7 astronauts. Gus, along with Roger Chaffee and Ed White perished when the Apollo 1 capsule burst onto flames on the launch pad due to a spark igniting the pure oxygen they were breathing. Poor old Gus never got to rebuild his reputation after losing his Mercury capsule upon the controversial splashdown recovery effort.

    If you're of my generation, I really don't need to explain anything about the Challenger incident.

    I got unexpectedly emotional visiting this place, as the Walsh family has a history of Air Force service, and any loss due to flight tends to kinda get me worked up. Anyway, this was a really tidy, well landscaped place that I would highly recommend for a few moments of introspection.

Go get 'em, Gus!

Each Challenger astronaut had a tree planted for them. Unfortunately the spring storms of '12 (100MPH winds) knocked down/destroyed a couple of them.

Quite a nice sculpture.

Westerville should be proud of their parks.

This is not a very big space, but I wonder if they would have room for a memorial to the Columbia astronauts?