Wednesday, September 8, 2010


We rolled into the Buckeye State on the afternoon of Labor Day, skirted Cleveland, and arrived in the lakeside town of Vermilion, Ohio. The Riverside RV Park and Marina has many seasonal sites each with their own dock on an inlet off of the Vermilion River, but it also has a group of overnight sites along the river itself, and these were all vacant. So, we dropped our jacks in one site that has 10 vacant ones as its yard, and it is so awesome to have the quiet and the space after the noise and crowds of the last camp. We had a coupld of issues to overcome, though: wasps in the electrical hookup box, and no water at our spigot. Linda, the manager, found me some wasp killer, but I had to make due with our limited on-board supply of water.

Here is the rig all by itself at the campground. Dogs were able to be off-leash most of the time, which was really nice for all of us:

Toby enjoys his freedom, looking contemplatively out over the river:

Thankfully Kinsey and Toby were napping and did not see this young visitor to our site:

The Vermilion River is part of a 27 mile long kayak trail. We paddled from camp down to town and back, a stretch of river lined with homes, camps, docks and marinas. The closer we got to Lake Erie the denser and nicer they got. Here's Nancy paddling down river:

Toby and I went out again the next morning and pushed on all of the way down to the lake. Here we are near the river's mouth:

And here is Toby sitting on the jetty with the broad expanse of Lake Erie behind him:

We met Sharon on Mount Desert Island: she lives and works out of her airstream trailer and we have kept in touch.
She has family in Cleveland, and she and her trailer were getting fixed up at the nearby Airstream factory, so she happened to be in town during our stay. We met up for a tasty meal at Sokolowski's University Inn, a Polish Restaurant, and then walked around the streets of the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland to admire the local residences and village green. Sharon then took us on a drive around Cleveland, through some really nice parks, upscale neighborhoods, and cultural centers. It was great to get a flavor of the city in a way that we probably wouldn't have done on our own. It was nice to catch up, and we hope to see Sharon again as we both criss-cross the nation.

Here is a view of the city from Sokolowski's:

The architechtural wonder of the Peter B. Lewis building:

And the city and some of its many massive bridges:

The next day we went to Cuyuhoga National Park, which is just south of the city. The park's focus is the Cuyahoga River, along which there was a canal for transporting goods and passengers. The towpath that was used for teams pulling the canal boats up and down the canal is now a multi-use trail, popular with hikers and horseback riding, but especially great for cycling. Nancy and I took our bikes in and spent a pleasant afternoon riding along the old canal, and then caught the awesome park service train back to the station that we parked at.

Here we are at one of the old canal locks:

Nancy tries not to flinch as the massive engine thunders past her:

Back at the truck we collected the dogs and walked them along some of the towpath, stopping to admire some of the bridges that span the river:

So, we've had a great experience here in Vermilion and Cleveland: beautiful campground, kayaking, visiting with Sharon, seeing the city, and biking in the park. But, the road beckons, and now we're off to the endless cornfields of Indiana!

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