While at the bumpy slide park with the children I tempted Nicole with a game of Morton’s List. It has been a few months since we last played a quest. She accepted the invitation. I rolled a six and she rolled a 5. I was once again the Table Master. The first roll of the Morton Boulder was 11 which took us to Lore Galore. A roll of 15 took us to Unknown Entities. The mission is to gather evidence of paranormal or cryptozoological creatures.
The group began discussing which creature we would attempt to catch. The first thing that popped up into my mind was the Bessie Little Bridge Ghost which is a very cool story for another time but was skipped because the bridge Bessie Little haunts is now in the ghetto zone. Ultimately it was decided that we would wait until the next day and travel down to Loveland Ohio to once again attempt to capture my old nemesis the Loveland Frog. The Loveland frog is a 3 to 4 foot tall frog-like creature that lives in and around Loveland Ohio. Having been spotted many times since 1955 by travelers, residents and police officers alike. The most recent sighting was by a teen playing Pokemon Go in 2016. He capture very dark and grainy video and photographic evidence. The best picture from this sighting looks like a guy in a burlap sack with two shiny saucer sized discs on a mask. Irrefutable evidence indeed.
A few days prior to rolling this quest my homie Ben sent a selfie from in front of Loveland Castle. This gave me the idea to take my daughter Macy to see the castle. Chateau LaRouche was single handedly built by World War Veteran and scout leader Harry D. Andrews. When Andrews died he willed the castle to the boy scout troop who continued working on the castle. Friends and enthusiasts from all over the world sent stones to Andrews to include in his castle. Perhaps spirits came along? It is alleged that the spirit of Andrews still sits in the rocking chair housed within the castle which will start rocking all on its own. This would be the starting point for the hunt for the Loveland Frog. The castle sits right on the river, many of the river rocks being dredged up from the river by Andrews and used in the castle's construction. Perhaps the eccentric castle enthusiast was building a fortification to protect the town from something he saw on the plots of land he won by buying one year subscriptions to The Cincinnati Enquirer?
After exploring the castle and looking down into the murky waters from the top of the castle balcony we packed back into the van and moved to the intersection of Twightwee and E. Kemper Rd. According to a local, this was the location of the 1955 sighting. A traveling salesman was driving towards the river on Twightwee Rd. When he got close to the intersection he saw three frog-like creatures standing on their hind legs appearing to speak to each other. The salesman sat in his car observing the creatures but when they noticed him one of the amphibious terrors waved a wand-like device over its head which then shot sparks before the three creatures stepped over the guard rail and slid on their bellies down into the river. Check it out, this is the actual true story. The Loveland frog has a magic wand.
For nearly two decades after this event the town remained safe from the aquatic menace of leathery skinned magicians. In the early 1970’s officer Ray Shockey was new to the force. While on patrol one evening he saw on the side of the road what appeared to be a dog or large cat that had been hit by traffic. When the officer exited his cruiser to move the carcass he was shocked to see the creature stand up estimating its weight to be between 50 and 75 pounds brown and leathery in appearance with a frog like face. The creature stepped over the railing and slid on its belly down into the river. When he radioed for backup other officers noted that where the creature had gone over the railing there were several scratches on the rails. Today when we went to this location the only thing I found in the intersection was a plastic bag full of White Castle slider boxes in the road. Several photos were taken and we drove alongside the river keeping a vigilant eye for the tell tale signs of mutant frog men. Nothing was observed.
Our next destination would be to one of the many riverside parks. The one selected, Bishop City PArk being not much more than a small field next to a bridge but offering river access, my daughter and I went down to the water's edge. This would be the third time I traveled to Loveland Ohio but this would be the time I captured the foul thing. I brought with me an improvised line, hook and the perfect bait for a dirty river mutant. An old warm hot dog that spent the afternoon warming in my pocket. The plan, fool-proof. I parked my daughter on a river rock that looked just about right for a three year old to sit on and tossed my line into the water. Now the name of the game was waiting. No luck the frogmen weren’t biting today. Several photos of the river bank were taken, several of the shots show what might be the four toed track of the Loveland Frog. We packed up into the family van and moved on to the location of the most recent sighting.
In Lake Isabella park there is a campground that sits between the lake and the Little Miami River. Near here on E. Loveland Madeira Rd a local youth playing Pokemon Go saw the colossal amphibian and finally proved the beast's existence beyond any shadow of a doubt. The family unloaded from the van and spent some time near the shore of Lake Isabella throwing rocks into the water attempting to force the Frogman out of hiding. No such luck. There were however at least 50 buzzards sitting on a power line tower with at least 20 flying around some unfortunate animal close to death. While fueling the van on the way to this final location we saw 20 buzzards circling another dead or dying animal. I’ve never seen so many waiting for one animal to die let alone twice. Perhaps the large buzzard population clears out any frogman remains before the locals have a chance to spot one of the dead mutants? While Nicole was backing out of the parking lot I saw something splash out of the water. It appeared to be white and was probably a catfish but who can truly say what it was? Perhaps the frog was simply toying with me in an attempt to embarrass me in front of the family. The cunning bastard!
We drove to the other side of the park near the river where we again spent some time looking into the river for any shred of evidence but once again were cheated by the clever frog.
And by awesome I mean totally sweet.
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