The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Vacation Photos

Don't say I didn't warn you...

What do these have to do with track & field? Virtually nothing. But this is MY blog and I'll do as I darn well please.

Wednesday morning was check-out day at school, and as soon as I turned in my grades my wife & I left for Lake Erie. I'd planned this trip a while back. My original destination was a day or two at Kelleys Island. If you compare the Lake Erie islands to the Florida Keys, then Kelleys is like Big Pine Key--largely quiet and undeveloped as compared to the other islands. (And Put-In-Bay is definitely Key West. Not that there's anything wrong with that.) While I fantasize about retiring to a Greek island, I actually have concrete plans to retire to Kelleys.

So my wife mentioned the trip at work a while back, and her prof/boss said "Oh, we have a cottage at Lakeside. We won't be there that week so you can use it." Considering the tight budget of a couple consisting of a teacher and a full-time Ph.D. student, we said "Free? Taken." But what the heck is Lakeside?

Lakeside bills itself as "the Chataqua on Lake Erie". (If you don't know what a Chataqua is--and these days most people don't--follow the link.) It's a private community of cottages and a hotel on Ohio's Marblehead peninsula, which itself is the closest mainland to the above islands and just a few miles from Cedar Point. The whole joint was started by the Methodist church in 1873 and had its big expansion near the turn of the century. With minor exceptions it still looks that way, and it's still run by the Methodists.

While I'm not a truly church-ey type, I was not about to turn my nose up at free lodging near the lake no matter what it was like. I was pretty stunned when we pulled in. First off, the whole gated-community thing was a bit weird. This "cottage" we stayed in has more square footage than my whole house. And Lake Erie was maybe 100 yards away. This is where I ran every morning.
The photo doesn't do the view justice, as the lake view got washed out. The whole place could only be described as a mix of summer church camp, upscale 19th-century seaside resort, and 1950s small town. Not where I would at first have picked to go, but a neat experience nonetheless and I will probably come back again. This place is pretty much the last of a dying breed.

We did take a day trip out to Kelleys. First off, we had to go to the brew pub AND the winery. (Lakeside, being Methodist and old-fashioned, is dry and our cottage probably had the only bar in the whole town. We made up for lost time.) There's also a lot of outdoor pursuits; the swimming is good and just biking around the island is worth the effort by itself. A relatively short walk brings you to unusual ecosystems and geological formations.
These are the world's best example of glacial grooves.

OK, here's the T&F connection. I just missed the Kelleys Island 5k & 10k races (they're tomorrow). Marblehead & the islands have a lot of races and they're all worth checking out, if for no other reason than the gorgeous scenery. Some are well advertised, and some you wouldn't know about unless I told you. The ones that have already passed? There's next year.

May 12: Lakeside Daisy Day 5k (Village of Marblehead)
June 2: East Harbor State Park 5k
June 3: Run for Humanity 3-mile & 5-mile (Catawba Island)
June 10: Kelleys Island 5k & 10k races
July 22: Raccoon Run 5k (Lakeside)
August 4: JF Walleyes 5k (Middle Bass Island)
August 6: Lakeside Triathlon
August 19: Great Lake Escape triathlon (East Harbor State Park)
September 22: Miller Boat Line 5k at Put-In-Bay (South Bass Island)

No comments: