2010 Race 2 Finish travel blog

Ohio has lot's of yellow signs

this Amish buggy warning is slightly misleading

they do not stroll leisurely out onto the highway - they wait...

sometimes these things are slower than the horses

the signs are behind us now and we're clear to the Pennsylvania...

courthouse or church?

this printing shop is open for business

 

roadside mowing

causeway across Mosquito Lake

don't see many causeways in California

but they use them a lot in other states and in Canada

 

it always feels good to get back to Pennsylvania

the state where I was born

yup - that's Pennsylvania for ya - a sight to strike terror...

nice farms

nice towns

Whoa - what's this??

Mennonites? Amish escaping? there's a story there somewhere!

it's always nice to leave something to the imagination

Orthodox church in Erie PA

once the Erie Engine and Manufacturing Company - EEMCO

then the Erie Mill and Press Inc. - and now a broken...

lots of Orthodox immigrants in Erie

a dead lake no longer

a vineyard on the bluffs

this is the Concord grape belt - a glass of Manischewitz anyone?

we finally reach New Yawk

but we're a long way from Brooklyn

we finally find a public marina where we can stop and see...

looking northeast toward Buffalo

there are whitecaps beyond the breakwater

which is why you need a breakwater

 

 

a girl walks the shore and a creek feeds into the lake

these gulls watched me out of the corners of their eyes -...

when I stopped moving they went back to foraging

wait - I think he moved!

nah - he's too old to move!

to hell with the gulls - I'll take a picture of a...

while Madolyn fixed lunch another RV drove up - even without bikes...

near the entrance this funky old boat sat at dry dock -...

while I checked it out Madolyn went into the Visitor Center

the ship has an interesting history

so does Madolyn - and she never comes back from a Visitor...

a coal fired power plant

more Concord grapes

and a rickety bridge into Erie County

our campsite at Evangola State Park

the lake is just past those trees

but be careful where you walk - there has been a lot...

Lake Erie

looking southwest and back the way we came

 

the coal fired power plant we passed earlier

sandstone and shale - typical Great Lakes shoreline

both sides of the fence are public land so it's not clear...

or you might fall down this

 

this beautifully painted sign tells boaters they are sitting off the shores...

Buffalo is that-away - too far to hit with a cannon but...

that there is Canada

beautiful, friendly Canada

that's our home there through the trees

at this point the lake is no longer north of us -...

and in the setting sun isn't it lovely?

 


To paraphrase Snoopy, “It was a dark and stormy day

Sunday

We had planned to go to Cleveland today, but we woke to a hard aggressive storm. Wind rocked the motorhome and rain pelted our windows. Yesterday a tornado hit Sugar Creek, and Sugar Creek is just down the road. It wrecked homes and barns and it killed a man. We decided to stay home and keep a nervous eye on the sky.

By late afternoon the sun was out but another tornado had hit near Toledo. This one killed seven people and leveled everything in it’s path. A police department lost every car they had, wrecked before they could get out of the yard. Where a high school stadium had been, a principal stood in the rubble and expressed gratitude that graduation had been cancelled. “Had the stadium been full . .” he said in a trembling voice, “ . . hundreds could have been killed!”

It looked as if someone was sending us a message.

Monday

The storms ended for the moment. A high pressure system moved into Ohio, clearing the sky and bringing down the temperature. It was clear all the way to Niagara Falls - and that’s where we headed.

We turned our wheels east and took route 303 toward Pennsylvania. The day was clear, the road was smooth and the wind was at our back. An hour later we were across the state line. We turned north and headed for Lake Erie.

If you’re used to California where access to coastal beaches is protected, trying to find a Great Lakes beach to walk can be frustrating. With the exception of a few public beaches and marinas, land surrounding the Great Lakes is mostly private property. You can drive for miles seeing the lake from a distance, and never get close enough to get sand in your shoes.

Like our experience three years ago in Saginaw, Michigan, Lake Erie is as elusive as Lake Huron. To even get a picture you may need a zoom lens, but it still beats driving the Turnpike. On this day the once ‘dead’ lake was bluer than the sky - except near shore where the blue turns turquoise. Wind raised white caps on the surface and sent waves against the shore. It was hard to keep our eyes on the road.

Erie, Pennsylvania is a city I’ve heard about all my life. I’ve never seen it, but I’ve always pictured it at it’s industrial worst - pumping smoke and soot into the air, and dumping sludge and filth into the lake at it’s doorstep. And maybe it did once, but today it’s a clean and attractive city. Driving through Erie we saw worker's housing and remnants of it's factories, but time has given them a rust belt patina that mutes the impact and softens the edges.

Erie, Pennsylvania looks better than Flint, Michigan did the last time we saw it, but the jobs are gone with the dirt. Like Pittsburgh, these cities are struggling to balance economic survival with ecological survival, but looking at the lake the future seems hopeful.

Half an hour past Erie we entered New York, and by late afternoon we were within a cannon shot of Buffalo. We found a nice state park on the shores of Lake Erie. From our windows we could hear the waves and watch the sun set over the water. The lake is narrow here and across the water we can see the Canadian shore. There’s something comforting about being this close to Canada again.



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