Sunrise 43: Alms & Anderson Park (Marina & Ohio River, Baby Snapping Turtle (aww!), Downtown Skyline, and the Meridian)
Looking up the river from the Ohio River Launch Club
Today was one of those days where the combination of a beautiful sunrise, temperate spring air, and being well rested results in a longer morning ride than usual. All in all I didn’t take that much longer than a typical morning ride, but I covered more grounds and explored Anderson Park – a location that is making its debut in the project today. If you’re on the front page you might as well skip to the bottom and click “more” to see the entire post because there are some great pictures in this set that won’t all make the cut to be displayed on homepage.
I left my apartment this morning with the feeling of wanderlust. With the scorching heat of the past few days, it was downright refreshing to be out in the cool morning air. During the past few sunrises I noticed that the sun was creeping far to the left of the overlook and the first rays of light after the sun crests over the horizon are obscured by trees. I believe this won’t get any better until the second week of June (holy crap thats coming up) when the sunrise time bottoms out at 6:11am for several days. I imagine that the sun will maintain its position until the sunrise time starts to advance further in the morning. Until that time, however, I have to wait a bit to get a good “head-on” picture of the sun in the morning sky. Knowing this, I made a quick decision to ditch the left hand turn that would take me to Ault Park and instead took the right hand turn to Alms Park. I found out a few days ago that Alms Park has a more unobstructed view of these left sunrises. The idea of going to Alms Park – while more difficult both because it is a longer distance and has several steep climbs – seemed to resonate with me now that the officially 40 days of Ault Park have been accomplished. These “post-40” days are about exploring the future direction of the sunrise project. So off to Alms Park I go!
The ride to Alms Park is, like Ault Park, almost entirely uphill. But where the climb to Ault Park is mostly at a slight incline with a bit of a steeper section at the park entrance, the journey to Alms Park is more dynamic. It consists of several respectable climbs that flatten out for a bit. By the time you reach the base of the hill that St. Ursula’s Villa sits atop, you’re actually almost at the elevation that Alms Park sits at. It is at this point that the road takes a steep dive down through the forested residential hill for several hundred yards. The entrance to Alms Park sits at the base of this dive at which point you have to climb up the steepest part of the trip – an excruciating but worthy workout. Alms Park really makes you work for it.
The overlook. You can see this bench from the Lunken Trail. If you’re on the front page, click “More” to continue! –>
Not knowing how late I’d be for the sunrise, I arrived at the overlook just in time to see the red glowing sun crest over the horizon. There was still a thick haze in the valley but not nearly as dense as yesterday’s. The Ohio River to the west had a thick blanket of fog over it and the valley to the east had patches of low-lying condensation. The early sunrise had the same qualities that I’ve gotten used to over the past few days. The hazey clear skies provide a deep saturated red and the misty air makes it possible to look directly at the sun for several minutes after sunrise.
As I was sitting at the overlook with my bike and coffee, it occurred to me that my little SD1200 was capable of taking sepia pictures. It hadn’t ever crossed my mind to figure out exactly “why” sepia pictures exist as a common color filter, so I played around with it. I found that the sepia coloring highlighted some of the contrast in the valley below that otherwise would be lost against the dynamic colors of the sky. After getting home I found an interesting photography article about the use of sepia. I’ll continue to explore the sepia filter to find when it becomes appropriate.
While taking pictures of the airport down below I said good morning to a young lady and her dog. She recognized me as the Ault Park Sunrise guy – that would be the forth “recognition”. Rebecca said she followed the project regularly, something that will never cease to be a shock to me! It was nice meeting you – thanks for the support! 🙂 It’s rare enough to see someone else up so early, let alone someone who actually knows about Ault Park Sunrise!
Final view from Alms. The Ohio River is below (and Kentucky is across the river). Looking east down to the river bend. We can see the apartment buildings in Mt. Adams in the distance and the light fog above the river.
I decided that I’d like to take the trip down to the river before checking out Anderson Park – a park that I haven’t visited during these morning sunrises.
A bit of pink in the water. I see the brick structure up on the river and recognize it as being connected to a water or chemical plant off of the bike trail by Lunken Airport. I’ll have to investigate it on a future day although I’m not sure how close I can get.
When I took this picture I was reminded of Mark Twain’s tales of the Mississippi river. Then it struck me that I wasn’t too far off – the water in the mighty Ohio was headed down to the Gulf. The swampy wet air probably resembles a humid day in Missouri.
Looking back up towards the apartment building that I now know is the “Meridian”. Now that there are leaves on the trees it doesn’t look quite as symmetrical as the last time I visited this spot.
As I was about to leave the marina a gentleman and his dog came down from the bike trail. I said good morning to them, and he told me he had found a baby snapping turtle on the trail. I asked if he would mind if I took a few pictures, and he suggested to set him on a log. Great advice – the pictures turned out great :). He put hi back in the river on the sandy beach. Good luck little guy!
I didn’t notice his expression until after I got home. He seems to be thinking “Oh crap! Who is this guy?!”. I have a soft spot for turtles – our 7 year old Painted Turtle, Michaelangelo, was about this size at one time. Just bigger than a quarter. Now mike is pushing 10″!
The Lincoln School. I’ll save this historic building for another day. It has a beautiful courtyard off to the side of it, another remnant of the Cincinnati Public School system. Check out Queen City Survey’s article on the historic school buildings.
This could be my personal motto. “No Outlet”. Would you go down this road in a car? Why would you? I wouldn’t unless I was exploring – something I much prefer to do on my bike. About 3/4 a mile down the road is Anderson Park, another hidden gem at the end of a “no outlet”
I decide to head up to the entrance to the Meridian to see what I can find out. A thought struck me that it would be worth seeing if they would let me see the sunrise from atop the building. I was rejected by the Carew Tower staff due to security reasons (last fall someone BASE jumped at sunrise and broke the trust and risk-management policies, ruining the fun for the rest of us). Seeing as how this was a private residence and not a typical tourist spot, I figured it was worth a shot.
The concierge gave me the card of the general manager. He said that the top of the building was one of the coolest spots to watch incoming storms blow through. This gives me hope that they’d let me up there with supervision :). I’ll contact the manager soon and we’ll see what happens.
At the end of the street is Anderson Park. There is a new grassy area that sits at the dead-end from which you can see the downtown skyline. I haven’t been up here in months and I forgot how beautiful the view is. Definitely the best place to see the skyline from eastern Cincinnati. Even in Alms Park you can’t see the skyline due to the bend in the river. Not sure where the sun sets relative to this location but I can’t imagine being disappointed.
A close-up of downtown. The tall building on the left is the new Great American Insurance Building, the tall one on the right is Carew Tower.