Monday, August 15, 2011


Ohio like Montana is a state we may well return to in the future as our visit was very short…we literally traveled across the north of the state on I 90 with our first stop at Port Clinton, a pretty vacation spot on Lake Erie situated on a small peninsula southeast of Toledo. Like many other RV Parks we’ve stayed at this had many permanent sites occupied by local people who know one another; all staying for the summer or weekends.  The parks are really busy at the weekends, yet it’s very evident that business, because of the economy and high gas prices, is slow this year in many rural places. When people we speak with discover that we are from CA and Ireland they immediately stop complaining (I wonder why?). There is a lake on site - not Lake Erie but almost! It was so hot and humid that we plunged straight in once we had got the car off the dolly. After dinner we drove around the peninsula and paddled in Lake Erie. By now we were getting a bit tired of the hot humid weather; my face cream was still on top of the moisture on my face at night when I was going to bed. Our AC was employed a lot and we were eating outside “real camping” - we still don’t light fires so still have that barrier to cross - neither of us is too fond of the idea of lighting a fire in the woods. That said the RV Parks provide fire pits essentially the rim of a wheel from a truck, on every site. Some nights there are so many fires lighting that our swimming gear gets that smoked aroma. The wood is sold onsite for $4 a bundle and the bundles are small so if anyone is willing to chop wood there is a good business in supplying firewood to RV Parks. There’s a wood beetle or some other pest causing problems so much so that “Burn it where you buy it” is the motto in every State we’ve visited. On Friday last we were stopped at a road  check by NY State Troopers checking on firewood for “an invasive species” Tom spotted that the troopers name was Kelly and said “we’re an invasive species from Ireland” this got a laugh from the trooper and handshakes all around.  

Back to Port Clinton…the next day we had intended going on a boat trip to Kelley Island but as there was a big storm coming our way, serious thunder and lightning - with a chance of a tornado we had to drop that from our plans. We were watching the weather channel with bleeps every few seconds telling us to go to our basement immediately!  Tom spent his time sitting up front looking for the tornado just like the storm chasers on TV. I’m thinking I should call the weather stations of America to ask them where RVer’s should go. No prize for answer suggestions! Thankfully, the worst of the storm passed about 10 miles west of us (close) and the tornado never dropped. It was the afternoon by the time all the excitement was over and as like in most places we had booked in for two nights which effectively gives us one full day and a half day on the day on arrival we missed the opportunity to go to Kelley Island to see the Precambrian Glacier Groves. Check in is after 2pm and check out is usually 11am; we struggle out of bed around 8.45am (5.45am in CA) and are usually pulling out of the site at 10.45am. As we travel approximately 150 miles on each journey we’re spot on for a 2 pm check. We break our journey at about 75 miles at the roadside service area, have a coffee, walk and a potty break - we’ve even Skyped our grandchildren in England!

Our next stop was Conneaut on the eastern side of Ohio close to the Pennsylvania border where we arrived at about 1.30 after 150 mile journey. This stop was at a golf course with an RV park attached.  We ate lunch and headed out for a round of golf, Tom had a good round while I mixed the very good with the very bad (my usual) - the water swallowed 3 of my balls so as well as our customary logo ball I bought 6 used balls from the Pro shop.  Afterwards we went to downtown Conneaut to a local Pub and Pizza joint and had their Tuesday special a 12” pizza one extra topping for $6.95, one could do half and half, so I did. My right eye was very itchy and when we got back to the RV I looked in the mirror to discover the pupil was much enlarged. I went to bed early but hardly slept as I was bothered about my eye however, in the morning all was back to normal TG.

Next day was overcast and cool with a threat of rain, after such muggy weather we were delighted with that forecast.  We drove around the Ashtabula area to see their much coveted covered bridges and saw 11 of them all different; some old (over 100 years) some new, mostly over rivers, one in a field beside the river - this bridge was swept down river and bought by a local farmer for $5 who very nicely put it on his land beside the river for all to see, walk upon and enjoy, another was owned by and named for a local family called Olin. While looking at that bridge we met an older gentleman whose name was Olin – the grandson of the original owner. He told us that his Welsh grandfather’s surname was Llewellyn (Clue-Ellen) and was changed by the authorities on Ellis Island to Olin – go figure! (Probably resulting from the combination of his welsh accent and some geek who couldn’t spell). For him this was the most beautiful part of the USA. A little piece of trivia - the longest covered bridge in the USA built circa 2006 crosses the Ashtabula River.

We stopped and had our coffee and muffins at a village called Jefferson - the first “village” we have seen on our travels and it was a big village. The day was meant to be wet but it wasn’t bad, it rained while we had coffee and again when we were touring but hey, we were touring “covered bridges” so we just parked on the bridges! There were heavy thunder showers around 10pm that night.

On to Upstate New York…

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