One of our favorite summer pleasure trips is a weekend on South Bass Island – especially during the annual Historic celebration of Admiral Perry’s victory over the British in the war of 1812. This year a group of 6 trailers planned a weekend at East Harbor State Park with a full day excursion to Put-In-Bay.
During the week the weather did not look promising, but we stuck with the plan, knowing that predictions do not always pan out. If you read all of this blog, you will know how that worked out for us! Leaving at 1:00, Tom and I followed Steve and Cindy for 2 ½ hours, ending up at the end of loop Port Clinton, Ohio, East Harbor State Park, Loop “C”, site #88. By late afternoon we were all there. (Dan and Dawn, in their 2005 31' Classic were not there yet as I took pictures.)
Steve and Cindy had to borrow a truck to attend the weekend. You can see that Cindy's father used to be in . . . politics!
Within a short time we had a variety of awnings and screen rooms set up as the center of operations for the weekend.
Thursday evening was a late bring-your-own-food dinner-gathering and a campfire. Charlie Button enjoyed camping again, and recognized all the other Nova dogs that came: TJ, Sam, and Oliver.
Friday morning started with breakfast -- it is starting to become a tradition at these gatherings. Suzi was the mastermind for this affair with her grandmother's homemade buttermilk pancakes and John headed up the bacon and sausage, while Tom cooked eggs to order.
Plans were a bit hit 'n miss for the morning, with some needing to work from a lawn chair, and different groups heading out for local attractions. We went to the Cheesehaven outlet and picked up needed supplies of cheeses and cheese spreads.
Steve had a flashback of coming up to the mainland as a young boy to go night-fishing with his dad. He described his memories of the fishing pier and Tom said: "I know where that is, in Lakeside." Lakeside is a little private, restricted Methodist community where Tom attended summer band camp. Off we went for a walk down memory lane!
The main city street was just 3 blocks away, and we marched uptown for lunch in a little sports bar. No TVs, no alcohol; the only thing making it a "sports bar" was the name of the items on the menu: The Grand Slam, The Touchdown . . .
Our next stop was at the Mon Ami Winery for a little wine tasting. A group of women beat us to the tasting bar, and they looked like they were going to be staying awhile. We did not wait them out, and we did not buy any wine.
We returned to the campground to link up with the rest of the delegation, to compare morning and early afternoon mainland outings, and to prepare for the open grill/pitch-in dinner. What no pictures? I’m slipping!
A ranger came around on his golf cart to give notice of a large storm with rain and high winds that was coming our way around midnight. That motivated the tear-down of the awnings and screen room and the retraction of the Airstream awnings, and a general clean-up and put-away of all the outside frills.
Saturday we woke to a brief period of overnight rain -- but no high winds. The payoff would be that, when we returned from a long day on the island, all of our outdoor stuff was already put away. The prediction was still for some periods of rain, but we were trusting that they would be brief showers that didn't compete with our touring schedule. We headed out in a caravan of trucks for the Miller's Ferry boat dock just 10 miles away.
Here is a picture of the group that caught the 10:00 ferry to the Island. Back row: Cindy, Rick, Tom. Front row: Steve, Ella, Dan, Dawn, John, Suzie. Later, Bruce and Melinda would join us on the island!
The ferry ride was 45 minutes, and it was sunny and warm and nicely breezy on the top deck. On the other side, at the Kiln boat dock, we offed the ferry and climbed the big hill and walked the short distance to pick up our golf carts. The golf carts are the premier transportation around the island, especially this weekend when the threat of rain storms and wind keep the bicyclists in low numbers.
During the first hour of our trip we did have some brief, hard, rain, but it didn't last long, and we were mostly in the cover of the down-town shops to wait it out. Later, we had one more brief rain shower while we were on the carts -- but it lasted only 5 minutes and we did not get wet. Most of the day was a mixture of sun and clouds and nice weather for touring all over in our carts!
Our first stop of the island was at the relatively new Visitor's Center, for a short documentary updating our knowledge on the circumstances of the war of 1812, and Perry's defeat of the British. Then, a walk out and around the smallish-sized tent city set up by the 1812 re-enactors.
By now, the rain storm had passed, our last couple had joined us, and we selected an outdoor-patio restaurant for lunch. I can vouch for the beer-battered Walleye, and Tom can assure that the cracker-crumbed perch was worthy. Many in our group chose the same lunch fish options with a side order from the beer menu!
After lunch, with a 3-golf-cart-caravan (a 6-seater, a 4-seater, and a 2-seater) our group of 11 headed out for a round-about of the island.
This is a well-worn story, but I have to give an abbreviated version because of this next picture! On our honeymoon, on our first night on the island (in my little Coleman pop-up camper) I was stung inside the mouth by a yellow-jacket. The swelling was immediate and dramatic and, following an emergency drive to the island's police station, we ended up at this little garage/clinic of an 88-year-old doctor. I received emergency treatment and spent the rest of our honeymoon with a grossly swollen upper lip! It is now just a garage, but it is as pretty as the day I first saw it . . . 38 years ago through the haze of my allergic reaction!
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