Friday, March 23, 2012

On Lake Erie

I suppose I am starting this travelogue backwards, but it's my blog so I guess I can do that, right?

After leaving my friend Lorna in Buffalo I followed my GPS carefully out of the city and on to Interstate 90. But I soon realized that I was missing something I wanted very much to see: Lake Erie. Now on the way up to Buffalo I had veered off course to find the lake but was only able to see a little bit of it. I didn't want to miss it on the way home too, so I left the interstate and found Route 5, which traveled right along the edge of the lake. The exit I chose led me to Westfield and a small harbor.

Anchored in the harbor (called Barcelona or Portland, take your choice), I found this:

What is it? I wondered that too, but a sign explained its provenance:
Click the picture to read the details. Basically she was built as a replica, sailed, was admired by Queen Elizabeth II and now needs donations to restore her to her original glory.

The fog was impressive; the lake was so socked in that there was very little visibility. Somehow, this felt right and made me understand the need for a lighthouse. The Barcelona lighthouse was built in 1829 and was the first to be powered by natural gas that was run through wooden pipes to the light. It was decommissioned many years ago and today is private property, with no signs to tell its history. (While I respect the property owner's rights, I think it would be a nice public gesture to provide a little information about such an imposing landmark.)


I left the lake reluctantly and drove on, enveloped in the thickening fog. Soon I came upon this sign:

Really? Ripley, WV is the town closest to where I live, but this was Ripley, NY. And it was a completely different kind of place,

with fog shrouding a tiny downtown and no people or traffic visible when I passed through. A very small town indeed.

I pushed on down Route 5 and eventually the fog lifted. I followed the signs to a public access point on the lake.

Ahhh. Blue water, an almost limitless horizon, water lapping gently at my feet...it was just what I was looking for. I dawdled, picking up stones,

 
admiring driftwood,
 


picking up sea glass

and watching a gull bob on the water.


I'd had my water fix, so it was time to re-set the GPS and make tracks for home.

I brought back a few stones and sticks from the lake to create something to remind me of the small amount of time I spent by its shore. Maybe one day I will return to spend a week getting to know this lovely place. For now a few sticks, a bit of glass and some pebbles will serve to remind me of a place and a time that seemed suspended in the fog and the sun.

15 comments:

Carolyn Stearns Storyteller-Announcer said...

I laughed when I saw the town sign Ripley I thought you were going to say the next sign said "Believe it or not"

Neat discoveries, I love to do that on trips too!

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

I get my 'water' fix along the ocean every 6 weeks when I get my hair cut. Dundrave in West Vancouver BC. A pier, a beach, lots of logs to lean against or sit on, big ships anchored, birds, walkers, kids on swings. Ocean smells. I only stay 15 or 20 minutes and I take pictures of rocks, logs, seaweed, waves, ships... sort of meditating happiness. I enjoyed reading your post today and certainly look forward to the next and next...

Wendy said...

What an adventure! The photos are beautiful!

Angel said...

Great pictures! My hands got itchy with the one of the rocks. I love rocks. I would have gone home with at least one bag full. :D

Rowan said...

I love doing these little side trips when I'm travelling. The Sea Lion looks rather sad, I wonder why they let it deteriorate that way? Hope they get sufficient funds to restore her.

Jenny said...

I love to gather stones from travels like this. I do live in a rocky part of northwest Arkansas so I don't really need stones - we can grow enough of our own. (In southern AR they have to haul rocks in for the mud/dirt roads all the time)

My mother-in-law lives in the other edge of the Ozarks from me in southeast MO. She has the most beautiful creek running through her farm & I always bring home a carload of rocks from her house. My husband says I'm slowly trying to level out the edges of the Ozarks! I would not have been able to resist the rocks on Lake Erie. :o)

Granny Sue said...

I didn't have a bag, Angel, or I would have certainly come away with more! I got a few and one big one though :)

Granny Sue said...

I wondered about that too Rowan. Often its an inspired volunteer who envisions these things. Then others have to buy into the vision to keep it alive. I hope someone steps forward.

Granny Sue said...

Thanls, Wendy. You would be right at home there i think.

Granny Sue said...

I want to see Vancouver someday, Joy. All pictures I've seen look so beautiful.

Granny Sue said...

I never thought of that Carolyn! How funny. Ifeel cheated if i can't do some exploring on a trip.

Mary said...

I love the meandering part of a journey -- well done! Thanks for sharing the feeling and the photos.

http://www.myspace.com/simplesue said...

Beautiful, thanks for sharing these photos.

jessica tefft said...

I live in ripley ny! its a very small town indeed, but i grew up here, I love it. (:

Granny Sue said...

Small but so pretty and charming in its off-the-beaten-path location, Jessica. Thank you for writing! Friends told me they got married in Ripley, many years ago. Small world.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...