Catawba and Put-In-Bay

September 30, 2017- Travel Day 57


Perry Memorial

We’ve finally left Michigan after a two week cruise through the Upper Peninsula, Lower Peninsula and the banks of Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie. We drove through Toledo Ohio with no problem. Unlike Southern California or the San Francisco Bay area suburbia is not so spread out so one is in and out of the city in a relatively short time- 10’s of miles instead of multiples of 10’s. We look back at Toledo and see factory smoke stacks across farm fields of corn. Nice! And not much farther up the road this:


We are staying on Catawba Island at the Cedarlane RV Park. It’s a 500 site park filled mostly with seasonal rigs. People leave their rigs on site during the winter and vacation during the summer. We met a couple from Dayton who vacation in their 5th wheel trailer. We asked if they had stayed at this park long. “No, just 10 years” was the reply. I guess they like it here

We are here to bear witness to Perry’s Victory and International Peace Column, a tribute to Admiral Oliver Perry’s Lake Erie victory over the British fleet in 1813 during the War of 1812. The story is fascinating as Perry’s victory came, literally, against all odds and was thought by many to be the turning point in the war. Read about it here:

The Perry Memorial was built in 1915. It stands 352 feet above Lake Erie, making it the tallest national monument in the U.S. Unfortunately, it’s being renovated and the public is denied access. But I’ll tell you it’s one impressive sight!

Voyage to South Bass Island

The column to honor Admiral Perry is located in Put-In-Bay on South Bass Island. We took a ferry ride into 20 mph headwinds to get there. The lake had wind whipped four foot swells at the time and the ride was a little bumpy. Our muttzo wanted none of it. The ferry is mainly a vehicle carrier, we had to ride on the lower deck meant for vehicles because of her presence, and the trip was noisy due to roaring engines, blowing wind and waves breaking over the bow. When we got to the ferry dock on the island she was a mess. But we had another surprise for her.

Little did we know that town was two miles away- we rented a gas engine powered golf cart. She definitely didn’t like that! So with a 90 pound Lab protesting all the way to town riding between the two of us we arrived in the village of Put-In-Bay.

Downtown Put-In-Bay

The town is not like Mackinac Island. Mack is composed of many historical buildings approaching 200 years old, Put-In-Bay is more modern. It’s a tourist town for sure as all the eateries have huge outdoor seating areas. We like it because we got there early. The bars and restaurants are gearing up for the Ohio State football crowd that will arrive a little later. We did have lunch at a bar and grill, Jil had a caesar chicken salad and I had a beer battered walleye fish and chips meal. Boy were they tasty!

We drove around another half hour or so to time the return ferry trip back to Catawba Island. Our timing was much better than we thought. After turning in the golf cart we saw that the ferry was off loading at the dock so we just walked on board. The ride back wasn’t quite as rough but we experienced a lot more roll as the boat and the waves were running perpendicular to one another. Unhappy doggy was beside herself but we maintained some semblance of control over her. We felt bad for her but she needs to learn to suck it up!

Tomorrow we pick up stakes and head towards Amish country. See you there!




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