After promising all summer long to take time out for a day cruise aboard the Goodtime out of Sandusky to visit two of the larger Lake Erie islands, Heidi and Lee suddenly found themselves on the brink of the autumn season without having fulfilled their promises to one another. So the very last Friday before school started for the Fall Semester, off they went (despite the threatening weather), vowing to get through the day, no matter what!
Our cruise ship, the Goodtime, once sailed up and down the Cuyahoga River through the industrial valley at the heart of Cleveland. Now that role has fallen to the Goodtime III, and the original vessel has turned to day trips to Kelly's Island and Put-in-Bay on Middle Bass Island instead.
Our first stop for the day gave us an hour and a half on Kelly's Island, a century-old, very laid back summer retreat only now being rediscovered. We rented bikes to peddle out to see the glacial grooves dating back to the last ice age, then rode around gawking at some of the Victorian summer homes overlooking the lake before heading back to the ship.
About two hours after leaving Kelly's Island, we arrived at Put-in-Bay for a four hour visit.
This proved to be time enough for lunch, a visit to the Peace Memorial ( honoring Oliver Hazard Perry's victory over the British during the War of 1812 but now also memorializing the friendship between and among the United States, Great Britain and Canada) and a quick jaunt around the island in an electric golf cart.
Our luck held out all day long and into the evening -- only brief misty showers marred the day; and, after an intensely hot spate of summer weather, even the cloudy overcast proved bearable.
Back in Sandusky, we wandered around the beautifully preserved and recently renovated downtown area, serenaded by a Friday Night musicale being staged at a new portside park.
Our luck vanished, however, as we left after having a quick al fresco supper at a nearby bar-restaurant: the fierce rainstorm sweeping in at that point battered us all the way back to Shaker Heights as we crept along the highway at a snail's pace the entire trip home!
Still and all, we managed to have a pretty fantastic day -- and won't let another two decades pass this time before retracing our steps and revisiting these two little Lake Erie jewels.
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last updated: August 26, 2002