I love scenic, spacious state park campsites. East Harbor State Park near Marblehead, Ohio, does NOT offer the site privacy that I have come to love. The sites are far from commodious and seclusion is out of the question. In fact, the crowded sites create the ‘good-ole-boy’ ambiance of a pick-up-truck, parking parade. We are packed in like sardines, as the saying goes.
However, most campers are aware that beach destination campgrounds tend to be overcrowded, so this did not come as a huge surprise. Unwelcome, but not unexpected. The park, itself is quite large. It is clean and the trails are well marked. It is situated right on Lake Erie and boasts a nice swimming beach.
The surrounding area offers a major amusement park (Cedar Point), multiple water parks, ferry rides to various islands, fishing expeditions, a safari wildlife park, boating, wineries and breweries. We opted to take a ferry to Put-In-Bay.
Don’t bring about a cloud to rain on my parade.
We explored dog-friendly options in the area, because Gypsy is the queen of our caravan. The Miller Ferry welcomed furry friends, so we opted to boat out to South Bass Island. The ride was smooth and comfortable and we were excited to explore the isle. We should have paid a bit more heed to the increasingly ominous skies.
My dear friend Lynn has remarked that we always seem to encounter that “fly in the ointment” during our adventures and she is, once again, correct. We got to the island, and for the sake of expedience, rented a golf cart. Gypsy does not always walk well on a leash. It diminishes the pleasure of the journey if you have to drag her for miles. We managed to drive through a portion of the town before it started to drizzle. Our golf cart had a roof, so we were only a little bit wet. We made it to the Commodore Perry Memorial, which commemorates his victory on Lake Erie during the war of 1812. Then, the skies opened up, pouring pails of cold water. Next came the thunder and the lightning and the wind. Now we were a LOT wet and had to seek cover.
If you’re going to be dripping wet and chilled to the bone, you might as well do it with a Margarita in your hand. This delightful spot, with a covered porch, let us take shelter. They welcomed our four-legged friend and our server (Jasmine) even gave me her jacket when she noticed my goosebumps and blue lips. We had to order a drink. It was the right thing to do. We’re conscientious like that.
When there was a break in the clouds we headed back to the RV to plan our next junket.
We started the next day with a morning trip to the dog beach. We needed to wear Gypsy out so that we could put her in her kennel for a few hours. We wanted to do some biking on the North Coast Inland Trail and our puppy still needs training wheels. She would have to forego this excursion. The dog beach was the ideal spot to tire her out. She ran into the lake, chased sticks on the sandy beach, and frolicked in the marsh grass. Other than the fact that she has an affinity for disgusting, dead fish parts it would have been a perfect morning. There is nothing quite like grappling with a dog for slimy, scaly, smelly carcasses.
We did manage a 25-mile bike ride that wound through pristine, private farm land. The path was asphalt and the grade remained fairly flat throughout. We did have to battle some strong wind gusts that pushed across the wide, open fields. The trail was lined with blackberry trees. Did you know that groundhogs like blackberries? They kept sneaking out to gobble them off the trail but would scamper as the bikes approached.
I wish I had a bit more time to explore Kelly’s Island, or perhaps go to Cedar Point, but the road trip continues .
Indiana wants me…. Stay tuned.