Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 4--Day 22--Happy 4th of July From Erie, Pennsylvania!

I'd heard Erie was not such a great town, what with all the steel mills closed, but what I've seen so far looks nice. Of course, a sunny day can make a lot of places look nice.

Several of these frogs along the route in Erie. This one was at the library



I met my neighbors last night, Valerie and Carl. We walked down to the beach to watch the sunset. It was quite nice. Carl picked up a nice flat round rock and said, "Here's a rock for you from the shore of Lake Erie." Little did he know, I do collect rocks from the beaches of the large bodies of water I visit. I have rocks from the Baltic, the Irish Sea (both sides), etc. While I would have, perhaps, chosen a smaller rock, I decided to keep it anyway.

Sunset over Lake Erie at Geneva State Park



This morning's ride was uneventful. I arrived in Conneaut at 11:00. Since I hadn't taken any substantial breaks, I decided to eat in town. There was a place called the State Street Diner, and it seemed to be pretty popular. At first I couldn't figure out how to get in. The obvious entrance was locked. I went around to the side, and went in through a regular door, and I could hear people, but there wasn't another regular door. There was a thin plywood door with just a little handle. I tried it, and sure enough, that was the way in. Kind of strange. I sat down, looked at the menu, trying to decide between second breakfast, or early lunch. I finally decided on early lunch. The waitress took my order, then I waited...and waited...and waited. While I was waiting, I was thinking about where I have been for the last several 4ths of July. Last year, I was in Eugene having ridden the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway. 2015, I was in Stanley, Idaho doing Idaho Hot Springs. 2014, I was in Northern Ireland. 2013, I was home. 2012, I was at Ocean Shores doing the Olympic Peninsula with Carol and Christian. 2011, I was at Crater Lake on Sierra Cascades. 2010, I was in the Redwoods on my Pacific Coast Tour. 


Finally the waitress came over to me and apologized as she had forgotten to put my ticket in. I finally got my food. I guess it was a good thing I ordered lunch, because it was almost noon when I finally ate!


Just a couple of miles out of Conneaut, I crossed into state number 7--Pennsylvania!

State number 7

I won't be here long before I cross into New York. The ride into Erie was pretty good with a fair amount of bike paths. There was even a bike path to where I am camping, Lampe Marina and Campground. I pulled up to the place, and no one was in the office. There was a call box with a number to call the attendant. I called, and the guy said there was nothing available. He wasn't the boss. So, I hung up and proceeded to ride around to ask someone if I could share their site. I asked this one gal and her son, but she said she was camping with her brother and various family. She couldn't say, but she told me where the site was, and said I should go ask the brother. I did, and Don told me the spot by the office was for tenters (there are two picnic tables, and a fire ring. He'd seen tenters there earlier. That was perfect. I went over and set up my tent.

My free campsite

Don came over a little later and asked where I was going, and all that. Then, I was sitting in my chair when his wife, Michelle, came over and told me to not sit here by myself, but to come over and eat. So I did! It was a very good meal--steak, baked potato, macaroni salad, green salad, and fruit with a delicious dressing on it! The gal I'd talked to earlier was Valerie, and her son was Carl (I told them I'd met another Valerie and Carl last night). Don and Valerie's parents are also here as well as a few other family members. They come here frequently (Don is here for a month). They live about and hour south.


After dinner I walked to the pier. There was a great heron standing on the pier (likely waiting for a fish from one of the people fishing). I got some nice photos. 


Take off!



I walked to the end of the pier. It was interesting that, where there is a channel now, there used to be a sandbar. The water was only four feet deep. Still, in the Revolutionary War, they built ships in the protected harbor formed by what is now Presque Isle State Park Peninsula, then "cameled" them over the sandbar. This photo shows how they did that (if you can see it). 

The info



There were lots of boats going through the channel, including this sailboat going through under full sail. 





So, what probably would have been one of my most expensive campsites, turns out to be free (at least, so far). I'll be sure to be up and out early tomorrow!

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