Just a tank away, Part 1

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This is the time of year when you have that “got to get away” feeling. You don’t want to fly because you’re not up for the pat downs and the limits on your luggage. You don’t want to drive too far but you want to go somewhere and relax.

I had heard about Put-in-Bay but I never had the opportunity to visit. Last week I went on a great tour of Lake Erie Shores and Islands. My trip began in Sandusky, Ohio, with a lakeside lunch. I already felt like I was far away from home. After lunch we took a ferry to Kelleys Island. The 20-minute ferry ride was fun and when we got to this quaint place with no movie theater, no mall, no four-lane highway, I was impressed, I couldn’t be in Ohio, but I was.

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We toured the island and saw some pretty amazing things. Right next to Kelleys Island State Park Campground and public beach on the island’s north side, is the Glacial Grooves State Memorial. I’m told this is the finest example of glacial scouring in North America and probably the world. This is like seeing something from the ice age, totally amazing. Everything is laid back on Kelleys Island, so if you are looking for a place that hands the entertainment to you on a platter, this is not for you. As for a place to stay, you have your choice of cottages, condos, inns or a small hotel. I felt welcomed and comfortable during my short visit.

Kelleys was originally called Cunningham’s Island, a 2,800-acre island was purchased by Datus and Irad Kelley and became known as Kelleys Island. The Kelley family no longer owns it, that’s why there is no possessive apostrophe in the name.

It was now off to Put-in-Bay. Once again we boarded the ferry and off we went to the next great spot. Put-in-Bay is a lot livelier and the basic mode of transportation in this part of the country (where the voting population is about 400 but the visitors total more than 6 million) are golf carts. If I had been there longer I would have rented one.

Once again I swore I was far away. Even my cell phone company told me I was on international rates. I think it was the close proximity to Canada (three miles from Canada’s border). While on Put-in-Bay we took a tour on the South Bass Island Train. This is a 55-minute historical narrated tour. We stopped and toured caves and the Butterfly House. I loved the Butterfly House. They were so beautiful. I took pictures of them that will end up as note cards and holiday gifts.

If you are wondering about the name Put-in-Bay, the island is actually named South Bass Island. Put-in-Bay is the village located on South Bass Island and it is also the name of the township.

While on the island I enjoyed walking, shopping, dining, watching my friends in kayaks and the fun of being somewhere else, if you’re thinking of going you may want to plan your trip around the Rib Burn Off or Christmas in July. And for the chocolate lovers there is a Chocolate Museum. You will love it.

(Just a tank away, Part 2 next week)

(E-mail the columnist at debbienorrell@aol.com.)

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