Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kelleys Island June 14th 2009

Sunday morning. White clapboard church surrounded by flowers. Sunlight on Lake Erie. Summer is here!!!

Paul and I had an extra day to deliver the load we were hauling to New York, so my dear husband decided that we ought to spend the day paddling out on Lake Erie to Kelleys Island. The island was once inhabited by two indian tribe and was later owned by the Irish Kelley brothers who developed small industries and a winery there.

The sun was shining, but the wind was blowing and had just enough of a chill to make me hesitate. Paul tried to convince me how nice the water was by having me dip my toes into the lake's edge. It did NOT convince me. In fact, I became sure that I was not going to enjoy this wet adventure, but there was no way I would tell Paul that when he had that eager and excited look in his eyes. There is nothing more rewarding than making your spouse happy. I believe that 110% of the time I end up happier than Paul when I go along with his seemingly crazy ideas!

I slipped out of my sundress and into several layers of clothes as I prepared for the worst the Lake might throw at me. Paul inflated our kayak and we were off. I don't know what I had been thinking! I've paddled often enough to know how quickly it warms you up, but my brain seemed to have filed that fact away for the winter. It only took a minute and a half to pull that information out and dust it off. Whew.

Sailboats darted across the waves, their sails filled like lungs with air, leaving a mighty wake. We bobbed over one swell after another as we made our way further from from one shore and closer to the other. I felt as though I were a brightly colored rubber duck floating in God's wading pool. Looking out over the water and up at the vast blue sky you recognize how truly tiny you are in the grand scheme of things. Shore seemed so far and out of focus. Then, one by one, objects came into focus. A home, the marina, a golf cart. the sound of a live band performing Jimmy Buffet music at a dockside marina greeted our ears. Five miles of paddling and here we were on one of the cutest islands I'd ever seen. I'm so glad I listen to my husband!

We wandered along the waterfront enjoying the music and looking at all the high speed motor boats painted in shimmering shades of purple, blue, red, yellow and green. Paul was a bit awe struck by all the fun "toys". Most of the boats were from Ohio or Michigan. My question is how did the one from Florida get there? Puddle hopped North for the summer I suppose?

Once again my husband had another ingenious idea and once again I was slow to appreciate it. Paul found a bicycle rental shop that rented out bright yellow bike with large seats. Very beachy. I was a little hesitant after our trek over the water, but I went along with the scheme. It was fabulous! I hadn't been biking since last fall when we rented similar bikes with our friends Hannah and Nathan while camping in Michigan. It felt so good to let my arms rest and use my legs. We rode along the waterfront ohhing and ahhing over stone cottages and victorian homes. Okay, I did all of the ohhing and ahhing, but the houses were so charming!!!

We rode into the center of the Island passing the tiny grocery store, police station, school and a smattering of shops. The center of the Island is a 675 acre state park with waterfront campsites and yurts. We found a picnic area in a little meadow and unpacked the roast chicken that Paul had carried in his backpack on both the kayak and the bike. Thanks to the appetite we had worked up, we enjoyed every bite.

Our last stop on the bikes was to the Glacial Grooves. The historical marker reads "due to their size and ease of accessibility, these are the most famous glacial grooves in the world." I would have liked to have run my hands along them. They were truly amazing to see.

After we returned the bikes, Paul took me for ice cream. The adorablely freckled redheaded college student who worked there had grown up on the island along with her family. Her grandfather owned the shop and they were working there together. A little boy toddled in looking for ice cream cone from "Pop-pop". Seems like an idylic life, but our ice cream serving friend admitted that living on an island with 350 people means that everyone knows everyone and that can have its down falls. Hmmm, guess you'd have plenty of opportunity to perfect your "Love thy neighbor" skills.

The five mile trip back to the Ohio mainland was pretty exhausting. Paul strained his wrist to the point that it ended up needing to be wrapped and rested for several days. It was well worth it though. We enjoyed our Sunday and hope that God sends us back that way soon. If anyone is in the Sandusky/ Cedar Point area (its only hours from Steubenville!) I would highly recommend a trip to the island. If you don't feel like paddling 10 miles you can take the ferry that runs to the island regularly. Hope you can find something fun near you next Sunday!

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