Our annual camping pilgrimage to the Lake Erie coast and ferry trip to Put-In-Bay was different this year as it was scheduled for Labor Day Weekend. It was also the Bicentennial of The Battle of Lake Erie where Admiral Oliver Hazard Perry, with a very new United States Navy, stood up to the mighty British fleet and triumphed. We had heard rumors that tall ships would be in harbor and that there was to be a battle reenactment. That was enough of a draw to make the same old yearly trip to the island . . . . new again!
With Tom back in school we left at 3:00 on Friday afternoon for the 2 ½ hour drive to Marblehead and East Harbor State Park where Cindy and Steve Thomas were already set up and waiting.
Walking off the ferry we were able to snatch up the last 6-person golf cart that was available (the rental stand was packed) and were pretty pleased that it was named “GO BUCKS,” after all, it was the first game for the Buckeyes this season, and we thought this would be good luck.
It was 11:30, and with a 12:00 Buckeye game to catch, we headed right for our usual opening game-day spot -- Tippers, the longest bar in the world! As in the past three years, we were the only ones in that bar waiting for the game to start! Not to worry, though . . . we were steadily joined by a supporting crowd, and by half-time the bar was crowded!
By half-time, confident of a Buckey win, we headed back out on the golf cart for a look around the island, anxious to see some tall ships. The Niagra, Admiral Perry’s flag ship, was open for on-board tours, and Tall Ship Windy was offering day sails. In addition there was a Reenactment Village and many activities involving music and dance. It was all pretty expensive, so we opted for a $3.00 trip to the top of the Perry International Peace Memorial where we had a wonderful 360 degree view of the town and harbor.
Back on the ground level we hopped in the golf cart and did a drive-by of the main harbor which is adjacent to the park and the downtown strip of shops and restaurants. We could see some of the tall ships peeking out among the regular boats, yachts, dinghies, and cruisers.
Cruising on around the island, we found a couple tall ships sailing with a full complement of tourists on deck. As they sailed towards each other they crossed paths, disappearing into each other!
We were slightly disappointed that we were not able to see a parade of the tall ships as they entered the harbor earlier in the week, or view Perry’s victory battle reenactment that would be conducted on Labor Day. The battle would take place far out in the lake 8 miles distant from Put-in-Bay, and was able to viewed only by those with boat access. By 5:00 we turned in our cart, hiked to the ferry, drove to the campground and celebrated the great day with a yummy snack spread of cheese, salami, shrimp, crackers, homemade salsa, and chips and another great fire.
What's next on the camping deck? I am heading to Tennessee for a 5-day camping trip with Sister Tink and Sister Beccie! Can't wait!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown