Monday, January 21, 2019

Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


Blackhand Gorge got its name from a Native American hand shaped petroglyph on the side of a cave found near the gorge.  That has since been destroyed, when in 1828 the cliff face was removed to make way for the Ohio-Erie canal.

The park is 956 acres with hiking paths and mountain bike trails.  The gorge was formed by the Licking River which carved its way through the sandstone.


With other more well known attractions close by like Dawes Arboretum and Dillon State Park, it is understandable that a lot of people from outside the area might overlook this great treasure.

There are quite a few places to find trailheads, but one of our favorites is just off Toboso Road.  There is a main parking lot with a log cabin by it.  Just down is an overflow lot.  We parked there and found a trail head marked on the map as "L".  You'll see some fence posts and a bike rack at the start of it.

Follow the trail and eventually you'll find this cave as seen in the images below.  Along the way, there are flowers of all kinds and easy to follow trails.

Close to the beginning of the trailhead, you'll find a short spur trail that will take you by one of the old Ohio-Erie Canal locks.  Make sure to check that out, especially if you've never seen one before.

Continuing further down, you'll see a path that goes to the left and up the rocks.   Definitely take that path and you'll be gifted with the site of seeing the view from our opening image.

Even if you don't come out to this area specifically for Blackhand Gorge...take some time and visit this little gem.  The hiking trails are great, you can kayak, and there is access to the water.

Not only is the nature beautiful, but the people are very friendly.  You never know, you might find a new friend out here too!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Italian Gathering 2018

Written by Andrew and Dani Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


A Car Show For Italian Cars and Motorcycles


Vehicles.    Italian cars, motorcycles, SUV and even farm equipment.  Farm equipment?   Perhaps that is an odd addition to a car show description.  I assure you though, that is what you can expect at the annual Italian Gathering car show in Dublin, OH - all those things!!

Located at the Wendy's headquarter facility, a field is transformed into an Italian sports car enthusiasts dream.

Here, you will find vehicles likely older than you along with the cars you dreamed of as a youngster.

Andrew had a Ferrari Testarosa as well as a Lamborghini Countach on his wall, right next to his favorite, Porsche 1911 Turbo.

The exotics are here, but there are also some other interesting and rare vehicles too, like these SUVs you see below and the Lamborghini tractor above.

This is the Lamborghini LM002.  A military styled SUV that has the Countach engine powering it.  it was made between 1986 and 1993 with a total of 328 being produced.

Not only is this a car show, but also a fund raiser for the Dave Thomas Foundation.  This year, they raised $20,000 for the charity.

The laid back atmosphere and spacious area allow you to go out and enjoy.

Food trucks are also there so you can stay free and hydrated.

They have many silent auctions, with items for everyone.

Valentino Balboni, chief test driver for Lamborghini, even made an appearance and signed autographs.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Arnold Sports Festival 2018 Recap

We want to welcome back our Arnold Sports Festival Columbus readers as well as any new readers!
You might be wondering why the Arnold articles now?

We wanted to give you a little recap of 2018 and start getting you pumped and excited about all that is going to go on in 2019!

The team is currently looking over the events for this year and building out our schedule of coverage.
We'll update you on anything new that is coming in a future post.

Guns and Hoses Amateur Boxing

This event was held at the Hollywood Casino event area.  Police and firefighters compete in 3 round boxing matches.

Body Painting Competition

2018 was the first official body painting competition at the Arnold Columbus.   Great artists and models came together to showcase their skills.


Art At The Arnold

For many years, art has been a feature at the Arnold.   2018 saw the introduction of the body painting category, other more traditional art forms continue to be made and displayed.  2018 saw the artists move to a more spacious area in the newer section of the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
New location, same great art.


Yoga is also represented at the Arnold.  At this session, sensory deprivation is used to help block out the outside influences of the world and get the practitioners focused.

Pole Dancing

Professional pole dancing is a must see event.  We stop by every year to see the amateurs and professionals display their awesomely choreographed and athletic routines.

Scottish Highland Games

Caber tossing and rock throwing were on display in the Expo.

Toughman Competition

New for 2018, the toughman boxing was exciting and entertaining.  We are hoping that this event returns in 2019.
These fighters left everything in the octagon.

Wheelchair Bodybuilding

After we saw this event for the first time a few years ago, this has been a must see every year.  Showcasing the strong will of the human spirit.  These bodybuilders overcome some of the biggest adversities and prove that you can be whatever you set your mind to!


we knew very little about this sport, but it is easy to understand once you watch for a little while.  This fast paced sport is great to watch.  Definitely check it out!   This event is normally at the fair grounds along with gymnastics, cheerleading and the kids expo.

Professional Wrestling

Yes, there is that as well!  We stumbled across this high energy match whilst making our way through the kids expo.   It was so good, we stopped to get some coverage of NOW - New Ohio Wrestling!

There are so many competitions at the Arnold every year, we have a tough time trying to figure out what to cover!  There is something for everyone at the Arnold, so make sure to look over the 4 days of events and find your favorite!  Or better yet, find something you've never seen or heard of before and give that a go.

Here is a link to the 2019 schedule of events.
Official ArnoldSportFestival Website - SCHEDULE 2019

Remember, if you can't make it, checkout our coverage February 28 through March 3!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Arnold Sport Festival World Strongest Man 2018 - Hafthor Bjornsonn

Hafthor Bjornsson

Hafthor Bjornsson, a.k.a. "The Mountain" secured an Arnold Worlds Strongest Man title in 2018

Securing his victory with strong performances in all events, but most notably are the 1041 pound world record breaking deadlift and a first place in the weight over bar event 95 pounds.

Weight over bar bags.  Extra heavy bags needed to be added in 2018.

Hafthor Bjornsson with his 95lb bag throw over the bar

Brian Shaw, a perennial favorite did not seem like himself.  His explosiveness seemed a little lacking.   This could possibly have been from fatigue due to hardships during his travels to Columbus.  Regardless, he was still pushing hard and was constantly close to the top in most events.

Brian Shaw

We also want to express our utmost respect to Mateusz Kieliskowski who lifted the 410 lb rock 4 times.   He completely got the crowd going wild with his show of strength.  Most other competitors managed to only get the rock off the ground, but Kieliskowski put on a clinic by powering through and scoring 4 complete lifts.

Mateusz Kieliskowski
The Arnold Strongman competitions are always crowd favorites and for good reason.  These athletes will astonish and amaze you with what they can do.  Definitely check out the competition this year!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Cincinnati Museum Center - Guitar Exhibit

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


The Cincinnati Museum Center Guitar exhibit not only showcases various guitars but also explores the science of sound.


While we are definitely fans of music, we often do not take the time to look at the instruments that make it possible.

The guitar has been with use for a long time and has gone through many iterations of change.   Going from a primitive wooden box with a hole and strings on it to expertly crafted acoustic and thanks to people like Les Paul - electronically amplified versions.

The Cincinnati Museum Center's exhibit, Guitar shows the progression of this evolution.  Not only of the instrument itself, but you'll also have the opportunity to learn the science behind sound as it relates to music and the featured instruments here.

One of the greatest guitarists and musical pioneers, B.B. King has his famous guitar "Lucille" on display here.    I also saw that Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath fame had a guitar featured here.

The world's largest guitar is also here on display.  A Fender Stratocaster of 43 feet is just inside the exhibit room and to your right.  It was so big that I honestly didn't realize what it was at first.  I thought it was just a large display for information placards.

The Air Guitar area was both funny and fantastic.   I thought it was a great addition to the displays.   It is truly the best sounding guitar that is affordable to and playable by all.

I do not know of one person that does not like music.  Even if you have a passing interest in the instrumentation that creates a large portion of music through out history, this is a great exhibit to check out.  This exhibit is even good for kids, as there are some hands on areas where you can design your own guitar or see the physics of how guitar strings vibrate.

Just note that at the time of this writing, the Cincinnati Museum Center is still undergoing a large renovation.  The other larger museum areas are closed and the only areas open are the kids museum and the Guitar and Chocolate exhibits.