Tuesday, June 30, 2015

6/29/15 - Cuyahoga Valley National Park

We went back into Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  Today we drove to Hunt Farm visitor center.  When the government bought the land from citizens, they preserved most of the buildings.  The farms are still active and the produce is sold in the area.  We stopped at Szalay’s vegetable and fruit stand and bought some produce, including a quarter of a watermelon.  Just down the road was Everett Road covered bridge.  We walked across the bridge and then drove to Ledges Trailhead where we took a hike.  There was a big covered picnic area that we sat at and had lunch.  Thank goodness it was covered as it started to sprinkle while we were on the Ledges hike.  We ate the watermelon at lunch.  After lunch we drove to Indigo Lake and Beaver Marsh.  While walking to Beaver Marsh we saw the remnants of Lock 26.  As I was standing on top to get a picture of a water lily, I looked down and saw the fat body of a snake.  Its head and tail were under a ledge.  It looked a lot like a Water Moccasin, but it was a Banded Water Snake.  There were a lot of beautiful flowers in this area.  Later we drove to Medina and had a beer at Lager Heads Smokehouse and Brew Pub.

6/28/15 - Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH

It was 62 degrees when we got up this morning.  Thank goodness the heavy rain and high winds are over.  We ended up with 4 inches of rain.  We left this morning and drove through Cleveland to Stow.  They have a city park with electric hookups and central water and dump for $8.00 per night when you stay for 5 nights.  There is a lot to see in the area so we paid for 5 nights.  We will use this as a base for visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park and sights in Cleveland, Akron, and Canton.  We drove into the park. This is a large park along the Cuyhoga River between Cleveland and Akron.  It has lots of hiking trails and one that follows the old Erie and Ohio canal system called the Towpath.  Mules used to pull the boats down the canal using a path on the side of the canal.

We stopped at the Peninsula Depot visitors center and saw lock 29 on the canal.  This lock is the best preserved in the park.  We saw a movie about the park at the Boston Store visitor center.  There are five waterfalls in the park and we went to the Blue Hen Falls and Brandywine Falls.  Because of all the rain, Brandywine was really pretty.  We stopped at Stanford House, an 1830 farm house that is now used as a youth hostel.  Then Jim drove us to Akron and we went to the Brick Oven Brew Pub where we had a pizza and a beer.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

6/27/15 - Lakeside-Marblehead, OH

It started raining in the middle of the night and it has continued all day long.  A TV news anchor was in our state park today and she commented on the waves in Lake Erie being 6-10 feet - some of the largest waves since the 1970’s.  The waves were crashing over the shoreline and flooding roads and neighborhoods. We thought we were through with flooding after the floods in Houston a few weeks ago.  We received 3 ½ inches of rain so far and the campground lost power today just before we to left go to Fremont.  The winds have been gusting up to 40 mph.

We drove to see the Rutherford B. Hayes museum, house and grave.  Hayes was the 19th President of the United States.  He had been Governor of Ohio for three terms and was a general in the Civil War in which he was wounded five times.  His mansion house, Spiegel Grove, was huge and has been beautifully restored to its appearance when he lived there.  No photos were allowed in the house.  After taking the tours we stopped at Walmart, Goodwill, Dollar Tree and had as Jim calls it “cheap Chinese bulk” buffet for lunch.  It was so good.  We took a different route back to camp that took us through Port Clinton and came upon a VFW.  We stopped to visit with them and had one beer.  On the way through Port Clinton, the cops had some of the roads blocked because of high water from Lake Erie.  We had to drive through one part of the road that was really close to the shoreline and waves were crashing into land and had the road partially covered.


Friday, June 26, 2015

6/26/15 - Lakeside-Marblehead, OH

After breakfast we drove to the ferry and went across to Bass Island and the village of Put-in-Bay.  After getting off the ferry we walked to a nearby lighthouse.  Then we walked to town. The island is about 3 miles long.  Along the way we ate cherries and mulberries off of trees near the road.  Everyone else took a bus, rented a golf cart or rented bikes to get to town.  We needed the steps so we walked - over 8 miles today.

Our first stop was Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. This monument celebrates the great victory of the U.S. Navy over the British navy in the bloody Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.  During this battle Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry captured the entire British squadron and raised the famous “DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP” flag onboard his ship the Niagara. After the battle he wrote to his commander “We have met the enemy and they are ours”.  This victory secured Lake Erie and the northwest territory for the United States.

We saw a movie at the visitor’s center then took the elevator up to the top of the monument.  From there you can see Canada.  After leaving the National Memorial we walked through town and looked in a few shops.  Then had lunch at Put-in-Bay Brewing and Distilling Co.  We walked around town a little more and saw a memorial at the site where the six officers who died in the battle on Lake Erie were originally buried. They were dug up and placed in the rotunda of the National Memorial when it was being built.  Three officers were American and three were British.  Our last stop was at the Historic Round House Bar.  We had another beer and listened to a very entertaining singer and jokester, Mike “Mad Dog” Adams.  He has been an institution at this place for over 36 years.



Thursday, June 25, 2015

6/25/15 - Lakeside-Marblehead, OH

We got up early this morning, I needed to wash my hair and wanted to get a jump on other people coming in to shower.  We wanted to leave by 9 am and we left at 8:45.  We hadn’t been gone 5 minutes before it started to rain.  Thank goodness we were ahead of schedule.  On the way to our camp today we saw a sign for the Warren G. Harding home.  We took a detour into Marion, Ohio and went by the house.  It didn’t open until noon and we were there at 10 am.  Since we didn’t want to wait around until it opened, we took pictures and then left.  This was Harding’s home for 30 years before he became president.  He used his front porch for campaigning – over 200,000 people visited him on this porch.  He was elected by a landslide but was only in office for two years before he died.

Harding’s grave is also in the town of Marion and we drove by the cemetery to see it.  His wife purchased 10 acres and had a beautiful marble monument made.  This is considered by many to be the most beautiful monument outside of Washington, D.C.  We continued on and got an RV site at the largest state park in Ohio,  East Harbor State Park in Lakeside-Marblehead.  After unhooking we drove to the ferry to get information about riding to Put-in-Bay tomorrow.  Then we went to Catawba Brewing.  We met Keith & Karen Ritenhouse there, who are on Untapped.   Before going back to camp we drove to Marblehead Lighthouse and stopped at VFW post 7572 for another beer.


6/24/15 - Columbus, OH

We slept with the windows open last night - we didn’t need the air conditioner.  We washed the Casita off before leaving this morning.  It was looking pretty grungy.  Our plans were to drive to Chillicothe and get a site for the night, drop the Casita and then go to the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park, Mound City Complex.  We came upon Hopewell Culture Visitor’s center and decided to stop there instead of coming back to it. This is the site of a 2,000 year old Indian mound complex.  We watched a movie about the site and walked around the mounds.  At the beginning of World War I the military chose this area to construct a training camp.  They completely obliterated half of the mounds and earthworks and degraded the rest.  After touring the site and visiting the museum (which had many artifacts found in the mounds) we drove to Alum Creek State Park just north of Columbus instead of staying in Chillicothe.  On the news they were reporting that there might be a serial killer in the Chillicothe area.  We chilled out for the night at camp with a fire made from wood the previous campers left.  It was another cool night and we didn’t need to use the air conditioner.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

6/23/15 - Cincinnati, OH

Today we went to the Cincinnati Art Museum.  Then to Listermann Brewing (which was a combination homebrew shop and microbrewery), Mad Tree Brewing and a DDD – Blue Ash Chili.  At Blue Ash I had 6 way chili spaghetti and Jim had chili lasagna.

6/22/15 - Cincinnati, OH

After letting the rush hour traffic clear out some we drove to Taft National Historic Site.  This is the birthplace and boyhood home of President Taft.  Then we visited three breweries.  The first one was Christian Moerlein Lager House.  It is across from the Great American Ball Park where the Reds play.  The brewpub is on the site of the old Riverfront Stadium and the site of the prior stadium's home plate is just inside the door.  The old first base is in the parking garage.  Next we went to Taft’s Ale House.  It is in a beautifully refurbished 1850 St. Paul's Protestant Church and has a lot of decorations related to President Taft.  The last stop was Rhinegiest Brewing.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

6/21/15 - Cincinnati, OH

This morning we didn’t leave camp until 11 am.  We needed to go to one more brewery. Lexington has a brewery tour and the Visitors Center will give you a t-shirt for visiting all eight.  We went to the last one at noon today - Lexington Brewing and Distilling.  First was the tour for the brewery side and then across the street was the distillery.  After taking the tour we left around 1:30 and drove to East Fork State Park near Cincinnati, Ohio.  We went into a nearby town and visited a VFW and then to Walmart for some groceries.