Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ohio-New Friends and Cayuga Valley

Site 89
Our travel day from NY to OH should have been our longest until we head north next spring, 6.5 hours and 385 miles later we pulled into West Branch State Park in Ravenna OH. We were in sync more getting ready to leave Verona, we did have one slight issue that we hope doesn't continue. While bringing in the living room slides one of them didn't want to come in, after a couple of tries Dave gave a big push on the slide and it came in, sure hope this is an isolated incident. All said we were on the road by 8am, an uneventful travel day resulted in us arriving just around 2:30, this is our second stay here and this time we chose site 89, a FHU pull thru site. Most of the back in sites are not big enough to hold us plus our extra truck, the pull thru is. Once again most of the sites have lots of trees but the one we chose is fairly open (as is most of the pull thru sites) has great dish coverage and our Verizon signal is at 3 bars with our booster, the camp water pressure isn't great so we'll fill the water holding tank and run off the water pump, noisier but such better pressure.

Veal Marsala
One of the added benefits is Emma Marie's Italiano, we first went there last April for my birthday. That meal was so great we had to go back, we were not disappointed. The resteraunt is locatedin a historical home, one of it's owners was a founder of Ravenna Quaker Mill Co which later became part of the Quaker Oats Company out of Akron. Our meal started with fresh hand cut potato chip and a crumbled sausage, followed by entrees of Veal Marsala and Chicken Risotto, these were so good we got deserts to go. The Lemon Cake and Maple Pecan Cheesecake were absolutely superb, the bill of $56 for the meal was, to us, a real deal.
Chicken Risotto

The waitress was attentive, we also received a visit from the chef and enjoyed a few talks with the owner Emma Marie, a thoroughly enjoyable time all around. If you find yourself in the area we highly recommend Emma Marie's, hoping to have my next birthday dinner there again.

During our stay at West Branch we met our neighbors, Toni came over late one morning apologizing for stopping the mowing as acorns had been bouncing off of her rig. We knew how she felt and assured her it was no problem, well as happens in this lifestyle a lengthy conversation ensued. Toni and her husband John are from the Cleveland area and enjoy a few trips each year to West Branch, one thing led to another, we gave her a tour of our rig and then sat and had a lengthy conversation about full timing, something Toni wants to do but John is hesitant to try. Our conversation picked up the next afternoon when we got back from our bike ride, Toni had come up with more questions that we were all too happy to answer if we could. Suggested she read the RV-Dreams journal that has been so helpful to many folks, just hope we can make a rally someday. We finally met John the morning we pulled out, he had been off to work every afternoon, don't we know how that is. Toni and John if you're reading this and I hope you are, it was great to meet you and we'll see you in April on our trip north. Have a safe winter and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Sure wish I had taken a picture of their rig, graphics had gone bad so she had pictures put on, she had actually looked through my brothers pictures when looking for the right pictures, small world stuff again.

One foggy morning we drove over to Cayuga Valley National Park, to the Peninsula Visitors Center to catch the train north 13 miles to Rock Side. While at the visitors center I purchased our National Park Passport book, wish I knew about them years ago, looks like we'll have to go back to all of those National Parks :)  
As a kid I spent time around trains and trolleys thanks to my dad's love of them, the train ride up the valley brought back lots of memories, childhood times and then when my boys were young there were visits from my folks, inevitably some kind of ride on the rails was in order.

What a great deal, $3 a person with your bike, we found a seat and enjoyed the ride up the line.
Peninsula Station-Cayuga Valley Scenic Railroad

Lock 39 is found at Rockside station, the trail follows the historic Ohio and Erie Canal route through the valley. Our first stop just a mile or so down the trail at the new Canal Visitors Center, where there were tons of kids. The visitor center had numerous displays of the orgin and folks who made it all possible, I just can't imagine folks digging the canal, the sheer amount of earth that was moved to put in the canals is astounding, then for the most part they were used for such a short time. I do wonder what it would have been like to travel that way....
Lock at canal visitor center
The first part of the ride just across the canal was a busy road, eventually we lost the road and the trail wound between the Cayuga River and the canal, the railroad follows the far side of the river.

Some OH color

Our final stop on the towpath was at Trail Mix (had to get my passport stamped) in Boston, we were ready for a break and decided to try their featured ice cream, wasn't as good as the Guifords we serve at Maplewoods but it hit the spot.

Boston OH
We enjoyed our ride on the trail but there were lots of folks out, can't imagine how busy it must be on the weekends or during the summer.  We biked 13 miles and are looking forward to finding some bike trails.

We are off to Johny Appleseed Campground, a city park in Fort Wayne IN, the weather is suppose to be cold, the state parks are almost twice the cost and we'll probably be inside more than out. Might as well go for the budget friendly place instead.

Until next time...


  1. Glad to hear you got off OK. I'm wondering about the park. We were at Cuyahoga Valley National Park this past spring and your great pictures make this place looks a lot like it right down to the train that will pick you up and you can bike back which we did too. We only had one day there and really wished we could have done some of the hikes. Hope the cold weather is only temporary for you. Watch out, those passport books are addictive. :-)

  2. Brrr!! But what a great time of year to be traveling :) Beautiful color everywhere!

    Be safe!

  3. We stayed in Johnny Appleseed several years ago. It is a nice little park. We had nuts falling on the roof all the time, however.

  4. We love train rides too. They were always a special treat when we were kids.


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