Route – Summer 2017

RATING: ♦♦♦

We started the summer off at Wilmington Thousand Trails just northeast of Cincinnati. We then went through Columbus on our way to Toledo.

We worked as camper hosts at Maumee Bay State Park for four weeks in July, and then stayed another two weeks to visit family. In August we finally headed out for the Finger Lakes Area in Upstate New York, which we enjoyed very much.

The plan is to be in New England for the Fall before heading back to Florida for the Winter. A fairly slow summer for traveling. 

Hickory Hill Family Campground – Bath NY

RATING: ♦♦♦♦
  • Length of stay: 6 days
  • Cost per night: $33.50
  • Discount: Half off seasonal rate
  • Hook ups: 50 amp electric, water, and sewer. Cable TV.
  • Site number/quality: #5. Large grass pad. Fairly level. Some tree branches were in the way on the site, but maintenance came within a few minutes and cut them back for us. Very helpful staff. 
  • Park quality: Nice park. Multiple swimming pools. Lots of activities for kids.
  • Access: Easy access off I-86 through the small town of Bath NY. 
  • Connectivity: Verizon strong, Cricket/AT&T strong with antenna, T-Mobile strong.
  • Return yes/no?: Yes
  • Notes: Visited nearby Finger Lakes and wineries. Town of Bath is a pleasant, and well maintained village that retains its historic charm. Nearest big box store is 20 miles away, which is fine by us.
  • Website: Hickory Hill Family Campground

Allegany State Park – Salamanca NY

RATING: ♦♦
  • Length of stay: 1 day (reserved two nights, but left early)
  • Cost per night: $40 (but had to pay for two nights)
  • Discount: None
  • Hook ups: 50 amp electric, water, and sewer
  • Site number/quality: #31. Small paved pad. Most sites were dirt and not level. 
  • Park quality: Nice old state park, but old campground had mostly small unlevel sites. We were unable to get into our original site because of deep ruts. The entrance to campground was very tight. Really not suitable for big rigs. Lovely old Administration Building on the lake built in the 1920s. Unfortunately, the weather was poor so we left a day early.
  • Access: Easy access off I-86. 
  • Connectivity: Verizon none, Cricket/AT&T weak with antenna, T-Mobile none
  • Return yes/no?: No
  • Notes: Visited nearby Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino.
  • Website: Allegany State Park

Kenisee Lake RV Campgound (TT) – Jefferson OH

RATING: ♦♦♦♦
  • Length of stay: 13 days
  • Cost of stay: $52
  • Discount: Thousand Trails. However, there was a $4 per night surcharge for the 50 amp hookup, which are premium sites. 
  • Hook ups: 50 amp electric, water, and sewer
  • Site number/quality: #14, large, level gravel pad, gravel patio with picnic table. 
  • Park quality: Above average Thousand Trails park. Nice park.
  • Access: Tricky access off OH 45. Google Maps and GPS take you under a very low bridge. However, the park’s website clearly warns against taking that route, and provides clear directions by an alternate road. A good reminder to always check the park’s website before arrival.
  • Connectivity: Verizon 3G only, Cricket/AT&T weak with antenna, T-Mobile none
  • Return yes/no?: Maybe
  • Notes: We spent the first weekend in Phoenix for sister Debbie’s birthday party. We both got sick on the flight back and spent Becky’s birthday and most of our time here recovering from the flu. We were able to take a nice day trip to visit several of the local covered bridges and wineries. Surprisingly picturesque area.
  • Website: Kenisee Lake RV Campground

Ferry to Put-in-Bay OH

RATING: ♦♦♦♦

Put-in-Bay is a village located on South Bass Island in Lake Erie on the north coast of Ohio, a few miles from the Canadian border. The full-time population is between 100 and 150. The village is a popular summer resort and recreational destination with several hotels and many restaurants and bars. Ferry and airline services connect the community with the mainland.

We took the speedy Jet Express catamaran ferry from Sandusky, which made a quick stop at Cedar Point and another at Kelly’s Island, before docking at Put-in-Bay. Our visit capped a summer of exploring some key locations during the War of 1812, which included Fort Meigs, Prophetstown, and related locations in Cincinnati. We didn’t intend to have a theme for our summer travels, it just happened.

The bay played a significant role in the war as the location of the squadron of U.S. naval commander Oliver Hazard Perry, who sailed from the port on September 10, 1813 to engage a British squadron just north of the island in the Battle of Lake Erie. 

Nine vessels of the United States Navy defeated and captured six vessels of the British Royal Navy. It is the only time in history, before or since, that an entire squadron of the British navy was completely defeated. This ensured American control of the lake for the rest of the war, which in turn allowed the Americans to recover Detroit, win the Battle of the Thames in Canada, and break the Indian confederation of Tecumseh. It was one of the biggest naval battles of the War of 1812.

Oliver Hazard Perry was one of three national heroes of the war, along with Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison. Most Americans at the time credited these three with saving the country. (Our former home town of Perrysburg OH is named after Perry.) Sadly, Perry died of yellow fever in 1819 while on a naval expedition to negotiate an anti-piracy agreement with Venezuelan President Simón Bolívar. Jackson and Harrison both survived their military service and each in turn went on to be elected President of the United States.

At the 100th anniversary of this pivotal naval victory, the United States began construction of an impressive tower on South Bass Island to commemorate Perry’s victory over Britain and to celebrate America’s long-standing peace since the war with England and their former colony, Canada.

Construction of the monument, officially called Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, was completed in 1915. It is 352 feet tall and made up of 78 layers of pink granite, topped with an eleven ton bronze urn.

There is an elevator and stairway to an observatory at the top of the tower. Its height makes it the highest open-air observatory operated by the U.S. National Park Service. However on the day we visited, the monument and the observatory were closed for renovations.

Fortunately, there is a wonderful visitor’s center in front of the monument which provides a vivid description of the battle with scale models and explains it’s significance to American and Canadian history.

Over 2 million people annually visit the little town of Put-in-Bay. Some come to visit the memorial, but most come to party. Nicknamed the “Key West of the North”, Put-in-Bay offers lots of nightlife with live musical entertainment, strolling barbershop singers, bagpipers, steel drums, and lots of golf carts zipping around town. It actually reminds me more of Catalina Island than Key West. But basically, it’s a great place to have a good time, which we did, while including a bit of history in the process.

Website: https://www.putinbay.com/