Thursday August 9th
Ok, today was unique in many ways… Shortest ride. Most ‘touristy’. Air B&B letdown :-(. Last night we were poking around on the map trying to figure out which way to go. Drop down into the heartland? Follow the lake? Target New York before starting south? Then we noticed a ferry to Kelley’s Island, hummm, do love ferries. Hey, lets go!
We got out the door at a pretty reasonable hour, followed the Portage River towards Lake Erie. Arrived at Port Clinton starting to get a little hungry. The town is supper cute – old style main street, but nothing we saw really grabbed us so we pressed on thinking there will likely be something near the ferry.
Oh, check that out, nice looking diner. Stop? Oh yes! Place looked like a classic and you know what? It was :-). Bright and sunny inside. Really got a kick out of the staff. The waitress totally busted my chops for being on my phone. Didn’t she know we needed a place to stay tonight? Sent off a message to an Air B&B that looked good and was about where we expected to end the day. Then the cook came out of the kitchen, saw the bike out the front window then the two of them went out to look. Got a few ‘nice bike’ comments :-).
Driving along looking for the ferry doc…. well, some how we managed to miss it! Not sure how we drove past it, seems like there would only be so many options and that it would be marked? As we were coming round the end of the peninsula we could see Cedar Point across the water. Silly me, I really had no idea it was a no kidding point! Well, now I know. All those roller coasters right there. Thought about it, but naw, not this trip. Went just a little further looking for a good turn-around and… What’s this?
Well, gate’s up, guy standing there… sign says welcome ;-). He waived as we rolled past, must be ok right? This was a hoot. Some how it just didn’t feel right (a little hard to see in the GoPro frame) to have a speed boat on a ‘collision course’ with us! Up and over we go…
Drove past a cemetery – interesting, will catch it on the way back, the around the island… Oh, check this out – it’s an old quarry turned marina. How cool is that?
On the backside of the island the road was under construction… give me a little space buddy! Then, supper loose gravel, and that bulldozer is sooo loud. Between engine noise and tracks clanking. Really hard to see it here but I was really feeling for the poor bike. I high centered coming of the added material onto the ‘road’ – was so concerned about dumping between slow speed and loose dirt, but made it. Should have got the GS?!
Back to the start we come. Cemetery. Plain white marble headstones, pretty obvious it was a military burial ground, but what’s this?
What a great stop, now to find that ferry… Ok, I think I see where it is, right next to the loading dock for gravel products where the giant off road dump trucks cross, kind of a cover? No wonder I missed it. Although in hindsight it was actually pretty obvious.
Here are some shots from around the island… It sure was fun just putting along taking in what ever came into view…
Well, time to head back to the mainland. We put a message into a host on Air B&B at breakfast, and still no response. Not looking good. What to do, cancel now then try and find another? Plain old hotel – that’s not so appealing. The problem is a little compounded by the fact that we had to guess how far we would get today, and… we had way to much fun on the island so it’s pretty late. We would have a hard time getting there from here at this hour. Well, that settles it – cancel now. We’ll find something along the way.
A few miles down the road – Huron Ohio, pretty place, river and lots of marinas. Hey, Comfort Inn on the water, looks decent. Sitting in the parking lot thinking. If we stop here it will be such a short day. Still have a little time, let’s keep going. Another 15 miles and we are coming into Vermilion, getting some dark clouds… About dinner time. Hey, a B&B for sale.
Pull out the phone and call the number… Me: “Do you have a room for tonight?” Proprietor: “Are you sitting across the street”? thought: So that matters? What if I say yes? How about no? This is silly. Me: “Yep, do you have a room?” Proprietor: “Yes we do…”
What a find. The guy spent a ton of time and effort restoring the place, and it was so nice. We were the only guests, and he rode so we swapped stories. He gave us the upstairs apartment for the price of a room, such a nice experience.
Wish we were staying longer to really enjoy the accommodations. It was walking distance to a couple of restaurant choices so we dropped the bags and walked a few blocks down the street. The wine cellar he recommended was just too busy so crossed the street to ‘Old Prauge’ – quite nice.
Evening walk on the way home… Wow, check out the library. Oh, and color in the sky – can we make it back in time to get a camera and move to some open space?
Really lite day as measured by the odometer, huge if you count the memories…. More details and geography on the interactive map below. Enjoy!