August 7, 2023 - Today, we drove from Berlin, Ohio for four and a half hours to Erie, Pennsylvania and the small town of Lake City and Camp Eriez RV Park. We had rain before we departed, so we delayed the start of the drive until about 10:15 am. We encountered some drizzle along the way, but not much. In Akron, the construction on the freeway really messed us up and we ended up making several circuits of the immediate area trying to get on the right road. We finally opted to take a different route to Youngstown, Ohio. Just before we arrived at the RV park, we encountered a bridge that was listed at 13 feet, 4 inches. We are 13 feet 3 inches, so we we made and about-face and took another route to the RV park.
We were able to get into our space and get set up at Camp Eriez. We met "John" the camp host and he was very nice and helpful. We paid by check here, They take cash or check. The cost is $58 per day and their are no sewer hookups. After setup, we began to plan our activities in this area. We have a full week here.
Tuesday, August 8, 2023 - Today we drove into Erie, Pennsylvania, about ten miles north of us, to check out the Presque Isle State Park. Pennsylvania is pretty neat in that all state parks are free for entry and use. Basically, Presque Isle is a point of land that stretches out into Lake Erie like a big hand that is kind of lying down parallel to the shoreline. It makes a large bay for the City of Erie. It also has many lakes that can be great for kayaking and also a paved bike trail that extends around the land for about 13 miles of total distance. The wind was blowing pretty hard to start the day, so we decided to just drive and check out the location and then either ride or kayak tomorrow. As it turns out, we were also able to take a three-mile hike out to the end of the point of land making up the bay. The hike was mostly on sandy beach, dunes and through brush. It was a fun hike with a small game refuge at the end of the point of land. We then drove back into Erie for lunch and to then take a drive around town.
Lisa had read about a very good deli called "Theresa's" the was highly recommended in the reviews of the campground. We set the GPS to go there and headed into Erie to check it out. It turned out to be very poor choice as the food was not that good and there was not much to go with the sandwich. It turned out to be a bust. As were were heading back to the RV, we noticed another "Theresa's" deli about a mile from the campground. Yep! There are more than one Theresa's in the local area and the one closest to the campground was likely the one that they were talking about. Goes to show that the GPS is insidious and can take you down in so many ways!!
We explored the bayshore of Erie, Pennsylvania and then returned to the RV. We rested and then decided to go do our laundry and wash the same truck that we had washed just the day before yesterday. We should have known it was going to rain. The RV is in need of a wash too. We will do that tomorrow or the next day. We can use a bucket, but we cannot use a hose to wash the rig. They are on a well here and they do not want us to use too much water. Luckily, the system we have to wash the rig uses only a bucket full of water with baby shampoo and vinegar. The baby shampoo is easy on the paint and the vinegar cuts down on spotting from hard water.
Met Sam and Lorrie from Kleen Tank. They will professionally clean our RV holding tanks and they recommend solutions to clean the tanks while we travel.
Wednesday, August 9, 2023 – Today, we rode a 31-mile bike ride around the Presque Isle loop. This is a very popular trail, so we had lots of walkers and riders going in both directions. A lot more people on the trail than yesterday for some reason? In some places, the roots had pushed up the asphalt, so you had to watch closely for these bumps and, in some cases, holes or dents in the asphalt. This made the trail-riding a little slow at times as we dodged other riders, so we would venture out onto the street and ride out there. The speed limit is 25 mph, so it was reasonably safe. We also rode a couple of other roads that ventured back to the marina and to the Coast Guard Station. This gave us more miles and allowed us to go faster than most everyone else on the trail. We have found that we like to go faster than most people when we are out riding. I want to get some exercise on my single bike, so Lisa has to pick up the speed to closer to 18 mph. This often forces her to put her EBike into the third power setting called “Sport.” At this power setting, we are a match for speed. If she goes to “Turbo,” she will kick my but, especially on the climbs. Lisa likes her EBike and she is very good at riding it. It is a stable bike with very wide tires and good disk brakes. We still have to watch out for animals that might run out in front of us like squirrels, and snakes. We also had to deal with some pretty stiff headwinds that seem to blow out of the west off of Lake Erie. This can really drop down a person’s speed when heading into the wind.
After kayaking, we went to a nice little ice cream shop where we got soft serve cones. Lisa was smart and got a small one, whereas, I was not so smart and got the largest one I could get. I also had it dipped in chocolate. It began to melt like crazy as soon as it touched my hand. I did what I could, but a significant portion of the cone fell to the ground and my hands were covered in sticky residue. It tasted good, but was a mess. We still enjoyed the ice cream and then cleaned up our mess before heading back to the RV.
Thursday, August 10, 2023 – Today, the day started with some light rain. We waited it out, and by 10:00am the weather began to clear. We took the kayaks and went to Presque Isle to tour their inland ponds area. We put in and began the tour of the lily ponds and mossy areas. We say some turtles, fish, ospreys, and several bald eagles. We were going to make a large loop by going past the marina and then as we began to head out into Misery Bay, we decided that the waves were too high due to the wind exposure in that area. We could have made it, but it would not have been any fun, so we turned around and headed back to where we had entered the Marina bay. This was against the wind, so it took us a while to get across the open body of water and Lisa did not like it very much. We basically reversed our route, and, with the help of a tail wind, returned to where we had launched. It was fun and a very nice trip. At the end, we met a very nice couple of people and their niece who were kayaking also. They want to do some RV traveling, so we had a great conversation with them.
After getting back to the RV and showering, we relaxed for a couple hours before heading into the small town of Craneville to go to a very nice restaurant called, “Madeline’s.” This restaurant specializes in steaks and Thursday night is their special on sirloins and fillets. We both had the sirloins with potatoes and vegetables. It was a very nice meal and the meat was prepared just as we like it. It dawned on us that we had not been out for a formal nighttime meal in quite a while. Lots of lunch opportunities, but not much for dinner. It was very nice and we really enjoyed the entire experience.
Friday, August 11, 2023 – Today we washed the entire trailer and, boy, did it need it. We have been traveling through some rainstorms and the dirt was hugging the sides of the trailer. You cannot wash a trailer at this RV park since they are on a well and do not have extra water. I explained how we use a bucket of water and no hose, so they okayed our wash job. We ended up using one and a half five-gallon buckets of water. The trailer came out very nice and we have received many compliments on the looks of the rig. It only took us about two hours to wash the RV. We then had lunch and relaxed for a while. In the evening, we drove to a town called “North East” that is very near the border of New York State. From Erie, Pennsylvania, we drive about 40 miles east to get to New York State and 40 miles west to get to Ohio. North East is a huge winery area and there are grapes galore there. We went to a winery to listen to a band that was playing from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm. It turned out to be a three-member band that was “okay,” but somewhat repetitious. They played many songs that we knew, but at a very slow pace. There was a mix of older and younger people there for the food, wine, and music. We stayed until 8:30 and then headed home.
Saturday, August 12, 2023 – Today we started the day by going to breakfast here at the RV park. The owners of the park have a large meeting room that doubles as a place to eat dinner on Friday night and for breakfast and dinner on Saturday and Sunday. The prices are very good and the food is pretty good too. The owners of the RV park cook and serve the food, so it is great to get to meet them. Today, we had breakfast omelets and pancakes with coffee. The cost was just $19 for both of us. So, after a very nice breakfast, we unloaded the kayaks and packed up the bikes for a trip of about 35 minutes to the Western Reserve Trail for a bike ride. This trail starts in Ashtebula, Ohio and travels south for 43 miles to Warren, Ohio. It is entirely paved and travels mostly through the countryside. There are many places where the trail is completely covered by trees, and it feels like you are in a tunnel. We planned to ride for 20 miles out and then 20 miles back for a total of 40 miles, but when we got to the 19 mile point, we noticed that a significant thunderstorm was forming to the west and it would be heading our way. We turned around and began riding back to our start-point. At about halfway back to the truck, the rain started, so we stopped and hid under a small shelter for a map sign that had a roof of about four feet by six feet wide. It was just enough to keep us out of the heavy rain. We stood there and waited out the storm that lasted for about 20 minutes. We then rode on the wet trail for about two miles until we came to a part of the trail where there had been no rain. I decided that I wanted to pull off the trail and take a video of the beautiful sky with the white and black cumulus clouds and as I was leaving the path, my front wheel seemed to enter a hole in the grass. My front wheel stopped, and I went over the handlebars. I was okay, but my pride was somewhat destroyed. My phone went flying, but it was okay with the massive Otter Box case I have it in. This is the third time that I have come off my bike in the last six months. Some pretty wild rides. The previous two have been on my gravel bike. The first one I simply fell over sideways after coming to a stop and my clip was broken and would not release. The next time on the Virginia Creeper Trail, I tried to move up onto some grass and hit a rock that forced the front tire to slide out on me. So far, I have bounced pretty well with no injuries, but it is surely not a pretty sight. We rode back to our truck and loaded the bikes for the return trip to Lake City and the RV park. On the way back, we stopped at a small boat launch on a river to see if we could kayak there. There was just not enough water for a decent kayak trip, so we aborted our plans to kayak tomorrow.
After returning to the RV and showering, we went to dinner here at the park and had a pretty good pizza. We also met a gentleman named, Ed, who had been in the Air Force and flew F-4 Phantoms. We had a great conversation with Ed. His wife, Dixie Lee, has not been feeling well today and he was taking dinner to her.
Sunday, August 13, 2023 - Today, we decided to do a little exploring and then go for a hike at Presque Isle State Park. We drove to a small beach park just a couple of miles from our RV called Avonia Beach Park. Some people were sifting through the small rocks on the beach for small pieces of class that were rubbed smooth by the waves. We visited with some folks and it turned out that the man had a military background from the air force. We then drove to Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA and drove all the way to the back side of the lake to go for a walk. There were lots more people going to the beaches and our "recreating," so we had to keep and eye out for joggers, bikers, and cars. They rent two and four person surrey-type bikes at the park, and quite a few of those came by. After the five mile hike, we drove to a store called "Whippy Dips 2" for self-serve ice cream. Lisa wanted to try the Banana Cream and I settled for the vanilla with chocolate chips. It was very refreshing on the warm day with temps just below 80 degrees. We then drove back to the RV to prepare it for travel tomorrow. We had to load the kayaks, bikes, and containers in the garage area and also about a dozen small chores that need to be done before we move to a new spot. We met some very nice people during the course of the evening. It would have been great to be able to get to know them better over time, but we were on our way to Buffalo tomorrow.
Monday, August 14, 2023 - We left Erie, PA for the Daisy Barn RV Park northeast of Buffalo, New York.