Our one or two nights in Ohio, has increased three fold. Our objective was to meet up with Sarah, our “borrowed daughter”. She recently moved from Portland, to Columbus. Just so happened, our daughter had planned a similar trip, and we got to meet up with both of them for a few hours.
Getting our wifi fix at Sarah’s, I stumbled upon a guest post on ProBlogger, which suggested a simple, time saving alternative to become a better writer: talking to strangers. It proposed this as a tool to expose one to new styles, new concepts, new vocabulary. Tools to be a better blogger. I liked the idea. I set a daily goal of engaging in at least one 20 minute conversation with a stranger every day. It’s a lot easier than I anticipated. Until now, I’ve been the type who has been quick to engage in, “let’s wrap this up” conversation. I think it is a hold over from my professional days, and knowing how much work builds, when I chitchat.
Employing this new strategy, I became fast friends with Larry at Burr Oak campground. An elderly fellow, ex-semi truck driver, smoker, skinnier than the day is long, speaks with a bit of a drawl, nice, and quick to help sort of guy. Anyway, we learn his favorite Ohio campgrounds, and one was a state park at Put-in-Bay, South Bass Island. I thought he said Puddin’ Bay, but it became clear when he brought over an Ohio map to show different routes. His truck drivin’ days shown through, “you can take the 78 north, or the 2 west – if you want to avoid big cities. . .” It’s only now that I wish I thought to ask him what his handle was.
We settled on the route which was a cut through, to Burr Oak Lodge. This had the added bonus of taking Thor (the van) through his first covered bridge. The bridge creaked and moaned, but it was solid.
We anticipated a couple days in Put-in-Bay, and wound up here for 5 – a mini vacation of sorts. South Bass Island State Park & campground, has an interesting past. It used to be the manicured grounds of the glorious Victory Hotel, a destination for wealthy vacationers. Opened for business in June, 1892, a whopping 825 rooms (and this is such a little island!), but its story is short, as it burned to the ground 27 years later, leaving only the foundation and a few stone ruins behind.
I’ll tell you why we stayed longer than planned. . . it was the simple fact the golf carts everyone totes around in, allowed us to tote Carlos too.
For $105 we had the cart for 3 days and I felt like a kid again – was it the wind in my hair?, the go-cart sound of the engine?, or, maybe it was the top speed of 15 mph? Anyway, I loved it. I’d plunder empty campsites for left behind wood. I’d run down the hill to fetch more ice. Need someone to do a beer run?, no need to ask twice. We’d go out for dinner!, so much simpler than breaking down camp to make such a trip.
We’d putt for ice cream,:
to sight see,:
we hit their Boardwalk,:
we checked out the other state park on this little island. It was may be one acre, but it had wildlife,:
we saw the National Monument honoring a long peace of the three nations, Canada, Britain & America,:
they even welcomed Carlos in the rotunda of the column, but not to the top – just as well, I don’t think his little legs would handle the descent very well.
And, of course, we’d putt to the post office, where they still hand cancel the postage. This is probably not a big job, with all of 500 permanent residence on the island.
Last, we’d like to tarry to the ferry:to watch people come and go.
We’ll be hitting the ferry ourselves tomorrow afternoon. Woody has a pen pal in Michigan we’re off to see. There are 20 years of postcards between them – and it’s been just about that long since I met him!