Don’t Give Up the Trip!

Or - Not Much Fun in Erie.

If you are from or live in Erie, I apologize.  I’m sure it’s a great place when the weather is warm, the amusement park is thronged with people, and the beaches are a great destination on a sunny summer day.

We had trouble enjoying ourselves in Erie.  And we stayed longer than we should have.

We chose Erie because it was a good distance from where we had been in Columbus.  We found a campground that was part of the Passport America plan and was near the entrance to Presque Isle State Park which looked interesting.

The experience?  Here’s just a taste…

We arrived in mid 40-degree weather and rain.  We arrived during office hours but the office was closed with a “back at 3:00” sign.  The attendant rolled in about 3:30.  They advertised wifi that turned out to be in a coffee shop in between the two campground sections.  I felt compelled to buy coffee to work there a while, but each time I tried the uncomfortable booths and loud obnoxious music drove me out.  My Iphone was only getting 1 bar so reception was slow.

And it rained.

The showers had coin boxes on the hot water line.  No sign.  No hint as to how much hot water you’d get for a quarter.  Just an unlabeled box.  No worries we thought - we have full hookups (except for the sewer connection that was further away than our hose would reach).  We’ll just shower in the trailer.  So I did - then chanced to look under the trailer afterwards and discover a small puddle. I traced it back to a leaking shower cleanout trap.  While trying to tighten it further I broke it - so additional showers were out.

Anyway - you get the idea. Cold. Wet.  Muddy.  No internet. 

Looking at radar, the rain was moving east - the direction we wanted to go.  Using West Michigan weather logic I made the call to stay a 3rd night to let the rain move out. Silly me - the rain here doesn’t move in a linear fashion.  It circles.  Around us.  More rain.

Oh - we tried to find distraction.  We drove through Presque Isle Park.  We checked out the Oliver Perry Monument (We decided his “Don’t Give Up the Ship!” battle flag would be our cry with a slight edit of “Ship” to “Trip”). We skipped stones on Lake Erie while it sprinkled.  We shopped (tried to find raincoats for the kids but failed at the under $65 price point).  We hit WalMart and McDonalds on the same day (joy).  We decided to leave regardless of the weather - and I had the great fun of prepping the truck and bikes in a nice rain.  Did I mention the rain?  A clothes drying rack has become the 5th family member, sharing living room space and a spot at the dinner table.

So Erie, I’m sorry.  We didn’t really enjoy our time with you.  I did manage to get a few decent photos and videos, but otherwise our time with you was a wash (out).

Perry Monument

Perry Monument

Erie Sunset

Erie Sunset

Erie Sunset

Erie Sunset

Skipping rocks abound.

Skipping rocks abound.

Our longest?

This was all Storybirds Fault. She just can't pass up a good skipping stone.

Including a clunker.

3 Comments Don’t Give Up the Trip!

  1. Picture of Joel Joel October 06, 2010

    Time to head south and west.  Go east in the spring.  Keep the posts coming.  They’re fun to check each day.

  2. Picture of Emmanuel Emmanuel October 06, 2010

    Tell us: do you plan your journey far in advance or do you choose your final destination of the day given the weather, the temperature, kids’ assignments or something else?

    Another quick question: what expressionengine add-ons are you using to manage your google map data and inputs?

    Thanks and good luck!

  3. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink October 06, 2010

    @Joel - we have a boy wanting to see Cooperstown before we turn south, otherwise we would have already.

    @Emmanuel - We’ve only been out a week and half so don’t really have a system yet, but so far being as last minute as possible feels best. We paid in advance for two nights in Erie and should have gone night by night as there was no financial advantage to pre-payment. 

    Currently we are in a spot where, if the weather cooperates, we’ll extend our stay as the park is quite nice and the scenery pretty.

    Some sample EE templates for this site can be found on Train-ee and an overview of the EE build can be found on

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