Hillbilly hot tub update…

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Dan Armitage,  host of Buckeye Sportsman, Ohio’s longest running outdoor radio showSuccess! Stretching out in an 180-gallon stock tank, my bride and I (finally) soaked in 104 degree water watching the sun set over the Kokosing River last weekend in our homemade hot tub. To boost the DIY rig’s heating capacity, I wrapped the propane heater’s “chimney” with a piece of sheet metal to partially block the vents in order to better contain and concentrate the heat on the copper tubing I coiled within. Then I added a small 12-volt pump to the cool-water outflow from the tub to help circulate the water through the super-heated piping and Voila! Inside an hour we had 104 degree temps and actually had to turn off the heater when the water got too hot.Maria Armitage enjoys the view over the Kokosing River from the couple’s homemade hot tub.No, it’s not totally off the grid, thanks to the tiny 12-volt pump ($12 on eBay) that we hooked up via its transformer plug to a ground fault interrupter-wired receptacle. Try as we might, we couldn’t get adequate water circulation using the thermal siphoning theory that would have had the rig totally self-contained. Perhaps our pipe is too small a diameter? I may experiment further, including using solar power to fuel the pump. But in the meanwhile, all I can say is “cheers!” and bring on the winter! State parks evaluatedThe Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is initiating a new task force specifically designated to evaluate Ohio’s state park system.“We know Ohio has an excellent state park system, and we want to make our 75 state parks even better,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “Our visitors are our top priority, and this advisory panel will offer suggestions on how we can improve our facilities and the experiences of our customers.”The purpose of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Ohio’s State Parks is to complete a comprehensive customer experience review of Ohio’s 75 state parks. The review will be used to develop recommendations for improving management, incorporation of customer needs and interests, and improving the overall visitor experience at Ohio State Parks.Ohio is one of only seven states in the nation with free admission to its 75 state parks, which are found in 59 of Ohio’s 88 counties and an important feature of Ohio’s tourism economy and many local communities, with visitors generating annual business sales of $455.8 million in direct and indirect spending. New Parks and Watercraft Chief announcedThe ODNR Director Mary Mertz recently announced that Glen Cobb is now the chief of the Division of Parks and Watercraft. Cobb previously served as a deputy director for the department, where he oversaw the divisions of Engineering, Forestry, Natural Areas and Preserves, Parks and Recreation, Watercraft and Wildlife. He also served as chief of the Division of Parks and Recreation, a parks assistant district supervisor, park manager at Grand Lake St. Marys State Park and field support group manager.Cobb earned his bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation management from The Ohio State University. A native of Washington Court House, Cobb lives in Fayette County with his wife.As division chief, Cobb will oversee a staff of approximately 1,300 during peak season. Staff are comprised of law enforcement officers, interpreters/naturalists, administrative support and managers who manage and maintain 75 state parks and administer Ohio’s recreational boating safety program. A vision for trailsThe ODNR has released the 2019 Ohio Trails Vision, which updates the statewide trails plan and lays the foundation for the advancement of the state’s trails system.“Ohio’s trails are a passport to some of our state’s most stunning locations,” said Mike DeWine, Ohio Governor. “The Ohio Trails Vision serves as a framework to manage and promote our trails, and I appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in this project to ensure we have a clear path for our trails moving forward.”Created in collaboration with the Ohio Legislative Trails Caucus, the Ohio Trails Partnership and public input gathered from surveys and meetings across the state, the Ohio Trails Vision will serve as a road map for partnerships on trail development, connectivity and maintenance throughout the state.“This is an exciting time for trails in our state, and the 2019 Ohio Trails Vision will help guide development as we continue to build Ohio’s world-class trails system,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “I want to congratulate our legislative leaders, partners in state government, trails advocacy groups and anyone who took the time to share their input on how to make this the best possible plan for Ohio.”The plan lays out a vision — that Ohio is a leader in providing sustainable trails for all users, offering an extraordinary network of world-class recreation and transportation opportunities linking communities, people and places while stimulating economic and social vitality.To learn more about Ohio’s trails system and to view the 2019 Ohio Trails Vision, visit trails.ohiodnr.gov. Fremont finally gets a rampIn collaboration with county and city officials, the ODNR has opened its first public boat launch ramp on the Sandusky River. Called the “Darr-Root Fishing Access” it is located at 201 Walnut St. in Fremont and named after Don and Violet Darr and Hob and Anne Root, the parents of Joe Darr and his wife. According to Joe Darr, his family stopped using the land around 14 years ago and the property lay dormant for years and became overgrown with brush.Darr said his family, who themselves love outdoor recreation, discussed it and decided to donate the property to the state since Fremont previously had no ODNR public access point.“Projects like this are a good reminder of not only how important the outdoors are and outdoor recreation is to all of us, but also about how important it is to get good work in the pipe early,” said Mike Wilkerson, of ODNR.Rehab efforts on the property started in 2010 with a donation of nine acres of land to ODNR. It took nine years for the project to be fully completed. Cops and BobbersLocal law enforcement and students from Toronto came together for the 5th annual Cops and Bobbers event last month, getting local students outdoors in an effort to promote extracurricular activities. This was the 5th year Toronto Schools teamed up with local law enforcement to encourage students to avoid drugs and find other ways to spend their time.Before spending the day by the water at Renegade Ridge ATV Park, the students learned fishing techniques and the dangers of drugs from law enforcement visits to the school including the Jefferson County Drug Task Force, Sheriff’s Office and Juvenile Probation Office, Toronto and Wintersville Police Departments, and the Ohio State Highway patrol. Better boating access to Lake LoramieA new adaptive boat launch has been opened at Lake Loramie. Offered by the Lake Loramie Improvement Association at its namesake State Park, the launch is located between the campground and the beach area, close to restroom facilities, paved parking, walkways, near the camp store and the Lake Loramie Nature Center and Museum. It is also near three accessible wooden cabins, which are available for rent during camping season.The mission of the Lake Loramie Improvement Association is to help improve the visitor experience at Lake Loramie State Park. For more information or to make a donation, visit Lake Loramie & Lake Loramie Improvement Association on Facebook, or lakeloramieia.com.last_img