Brief notes on the trip, state by state, with sights, places, and photographs.
The first stop in Ohio was Geneva-on-the-lake, which my road trip book described as a resort town that the chains hadn’t yet found. The description was fitting as the main strip in Geneva-on-the-lake was lined with carnival type food stands, arcade games, mini golf courses, small hotels and cottages, souvenir shops, and even water slides. The town sits on Lake Erie and there are beautiful views along much of the town, including a very large town park. We only stayed for one night but that afforded us enough time to take in the night scenes, wander around the next morning before a rainstorm, duck into the coolest antique store ever, and find coffee before leaving town.
After Geneva-on-the-lake we continued on US-20 across Ohio, most of it through less than thrilling towns. I say less than thrilling because we were hoping for fun downtown scenes, but really we saw strip mall America and felt like we were back on Long Island. It was tempting to just jump on the interstate and head to Cleveland, but we stuck to our plan of no interstate. And usually just about when we felt like we’d had enough of the highway, it would turn into a worthwhile downtown.
Cleveland, from the outskirts, looked like it needed much help. East Cleveland had many closed neighborhoods, but it brightened up (not weather wise) as we approached Cleveland proper. We passed through a university on our to downtown Cleveland, and it looked brand new, including bus stops in the middle of the street. Knowing nothing of this area, we were wondering if any neighborhoods were demolished to make way for a university or research park and when. Anybody know?
We stopped in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame and enjoyed the exhibit on Bruce Springsteen, perfect for a couple of Long Island kids.
After Cleveland we continued on US-20 and US-6, traveling through gorgeous towns just west of Cleveland. I wanted to photograph every single house. I didn’t. We had to make our way out to East Harbor State Park*, which is a beautiful state park for camping, running, bicycling, and picnicking. There happened to be a Civil War reenactment that weekend! It was less than thrilling mostly because we had no idea what was going on (though it did look like the Yankees were winning). I suppose it’s hard to see what’s going on since there are cannons and guns and other explosive devices. And there were other people dressed in costume sitting in the crowd. Are reenactments like living history? I know nothing of them.
We drove around the area and saw some small towns and Marblehead Island Lighthouse, which had a free museum on the local history and lighthouse history. It was a beautiful state park right on Lake Erie with picnic tables and nice spots for sitting on the rocks and sticking your feet in the water.
Before East Harbor State Park we stopped in Sandusky for a quick bite to eat and to get groceries for camping. It’s a very sleepy downtown with mostly empty storefronts, but we did manage to find a small section of stores and restaurants. Hopefully Sandusky continues to revitalize since the neighborhood is beautiful; there are boulevards and grand houses. Strangely enough, Vinny and I were in Sandusky five years ago for another trip (Cedar Point) but we never saw the pretty parts of Sandusky. All we saw then was the strip of highway with the grocery store. (Yes, we did visit the same grocery store this time.)
After East Harbor State Park we headed to Michigan driving on more state highways into Toledo, which didn’t have much to offer. We were hoping to find breakfast, but no luck. Has anyone been to Toledo? We obviously couldn’t find the good parts.
…and that’s all for now on Ohio. We’re way past there now – the posts will catch up.
*Note: I’ll have a separate about all of the campgrounds.