Sunday at Put-in-Bay. Boats everywhere!
Glacial Groove on Middle Bass Island. My DH is taking pic(in shadow while I'm gingerly watching my step.)
Believe it or not, this is an Amphicar or a boat car and actually traveled overon Lake Erie from Put-in-Bay to Middle Bass Island.
From a distance we thought this was a real eagle. At a former state park that now serves as a nature preserve and great place for bird watching.
This is at the National Park which is right next to the nature preserve. It's known as one of the best bird watching areas in the country, especially in May and October.
My husband, Phil, and I love to spend holidays up on Put-in-Bay, the major resort town in the Lake Erie Islands. Since Phil had to work on Saturday we decided to go up on Sunday. It was a beautiful day and there were so many cars parked in the various parking lots that we had to park quite a ways from the ferry. We got our tickets and just missed a ferry that was leaving. We had hoped they could get just two more people on since at that moment we were the only ones waiting. We did have to wait for the next ferry that came about 25 minutes later.
We had found a hotel which was more economical than where we stayed for the 4th of July. This hotel is supposed to be non-smoking. Unfortunately as soon as we walked in our room, you could tell someone had been smoking sometime in the nearpast. We opened the window but it still couldn't entirely get rid of the smell. There were only two pillows on the bed so I did request a few more since I usually need to sleep on two pillows. When I went to get ice, I had to go down to the main desk. The ice was kept in a cooler. We also had real keys for the room rather than card keys. As I said this was an economical hotel. It was clean and had soft towels. In addition our king size bed was comfortable so I guess we will stay there again in the future.
After checking in and unpacking we were ready to head over to Middle Bass Island. While we waited for the Sonny S, the small ferry that goes between the two islands, we sat on the Boardwalk and enjoyed the view. When we got over to Middle Bass, the first place we went was to the glacial grooves. I had been all over the island many times but somehow I had missed seeing them before. After Phil took some pics, I was ready to eat as it was 4:30 and we had finished brunch around 11. We went to the restaurant and micro brewery where we usually go. After sitting outside for about 15 minutes or so and not having anyone come over to even take a drink order (we had tried to pull over a waitress but she told us in broken English that it wasn't her station), we decided to go to the bar. We've learned that you often get better service there. After we sat down, it was announced that the kitchen was closed to new orders. They were over an hour behind on the food orders they had. We decided to leave and try the other restaurant on the island. As we were leaving we met some people who had just left that restaurant as they were unable to get any food there either. By this time I was really getting hungry! But as we hadn't been over on the island very long we decided to stay around for a little while. We visited the state park marina which was packed, which is why the restaurants were so far behind. At the office I was able to get a Drumsickle that had to tide me over. I eventually visited a store that is closing after this season since the State of Ohio is buying it for the state park. I did some retail therapy and picked up a few Middle Bass items on sale. I also found a cute Ohio State purse marked down 30%.
We finally left Middle Bass on the 6:15 ferry. We went back to our hotel room to change clothes and shoes and get ready to go to someplace that actually served food! We went to the Put-in-Bay Brewery which is one of Phil's favorite places. We were served our drinks immediatly. We were able to order food and it actually came very quickly! It's amazing how you can take the ability to order food for granted! Put-in-Bay is used to big crowds and there are a lot more restaurants there. After dinner, we went for a walk around the town and checked out the end of season bargains. By the time we got back to our room my feet were dead. We had walked over 5 miles and my feet aren't used to that.
Monday morning we went out to breakfast. We then went to one of our favorite stores. They have a cockatoo there and sell a lot of parrot and bird related items. Of course I had to pick up a few things. What made going there special was that the owner was taking pictures of an African Grey Parrot (which is what we have). The grey was owned by one of the taxi drivers. We had tried to take his taxi when we arrived on the island but it was full. We went back to our room to pack since we had to check out by 11 am. We then called the taxi which had the parrot. They picked us up and then went to pick up the grey. We got to watch it play while we picked up other passengers. Most of us were going to the ferry to go back to the mainland.
We got our tickets and I ran down with the tickets to try to make the ferry that was then loading. Unfortunately we just missed it! (we were 2 for 2 for missing ferries). Luckily there was another ferry waiting so we didn't have a long wait. Since most of the passengers had been on the first ferry, we actually had a lighter ferry. Right after we took off, the ferry changed direction to face another ferry that was coming in and blew it's horn for a fairly long time. We later learned that the mayor of Put-in-Bay who had just died and his remains were on that ferry and that blowing the horn and facing the ferrry were a tribute to the mayor. The funeral was held on Monday.
We walked the half mile to our car and headed out to find some bird watching places in the area. The weather was overcast and rain was predicted. We finally found the one place we were looking for. It wasn't on any of our maps or on the GPS as it was a former state park that is now a nature sanctuary. They had a trailer which was manned by volunteers. The only restroom in the entire place was a porta potty near the trailer. The person there was very knowlegeable about bird watching and recommended some things to us since we are rank amateurs as we are just starting to do this. We left with lots of information. We drove through the park to see what was there. We found the watching tower and saw what we thought was an eagle. We then walked along the path to try to get a picture of the eagle. We were hoping not to scare it away. We kept getting closer and closer, only to realize it wasn't moving. It was actually a carved wooden eagle. And here we were getting excited that we might actually be seeing a real eagle! This preserve actually does have some eagles.
We left the preserve and went next door to the federal park. They have a beutiful nature center. They even provide binoculars for those who want to bird watch from thier viewing sites. They had a movie which told how the wetlands where the park is had been saved by hunting clubs. They had a few exhibits which provided information about the many migrating birds that stop there in the spring and fall on thier way to either their nesting or wintering places. Some travel all the way to South America. When it started raining we left for home.
It was a very intersting and educational weekend with it's ups and downs. I definitely got plenty of exercise in. It was certainly one of my more memorable Labor Day weekends!