September 13 thru 14, 2018 Slept late and hung out on my cot, with an awesome tree view; lazy, very warm morning. Learned the state park’s name, Pokagon, was changed from Lake James SP to recognize the state’s strong Native American history. Leopold and Simon Pokagon, father and son, were significant leaders of the Potawatomi. Also, Pokagon is considered a winter wonderland in Indiana; cross-country ski rentals, toboggan run, ice-fishing and sledding. I’ve always wanted to try ice-fishing in one of those cute little huts, with a heater of course!
Up and moving (thanks to caffeine), spent time with my Atlas, reviewing different routes to Vermont. Excited to meet and visit James’ friend, Stefani, and her guy Jeff in Vermont. Packed up and drove around the property, where I met this very special and handsome furry friend.
Walked a trail and around the toboggan track. Gorgeous park property; definitely worthy of return visit.
Opted for I-20 instead of I-90 to drive at slower pace, avoid toll fee, get better views and check out towns. Took only a few minutes before I crossed the Ohio state line. Pretty agricultural country, small towns and several churches along the drive. Took a few awesome walks, without my cell, to soak it all in.
Stopped at Sunoco in Fayette for potty and gas ($2.82/gal), in Millbury at Sunrise Park (wrong turn but nice little park), and at Walmart in Fremont for coffee. Crossed the Sandusky River to Route 6, and called Mike with Cold Creek Trout Camp in Sandusky to confirm opening for tent. Took me a while to navigate the ridiculous construction on backroads to the camp, almost missed turnoff; finally arrived 7 pm.
Mike drove me to the tent area. Set up, paid $25 and walked around before lights out. Lots of RVs, big and small, but no other tenters. Cool camp! The water is perfect for trout fishing year-round with its constant temp of 48 and quite a few people live in their units for months at a time; it’s like a neighborhood in close quarters.
Morning fog was thick and low, especially over Cold Creek. Spider webs thrived and I could just barely make out fishermen in their waders past the bridge. Trains zipped by through the night (ugh) and morning. A neighbor offered coffee and I happily accepted. Keyed Ashtabula in Garmin to have stops along Lake Erie.
Back on the road with stop for ice and gas at Mickey Moose Mart (couldn’t resist $2.37/gal) before leaving Sandusky. Caught a couple rough photos of downtown Cleveland and Progressive Field, and stopped in BK in Willoughby for a fantastic grilled chicken salad.
Got to Madison and parked downtown to walk around town and through the center’s park. Beautiful day!
A few miles farther and I stopped at Geneva State Park. The park itself was beautiful and I enjoyed lunch by the beach area; however, I wasn’t impressed by the tent camp area, in a clearing by the parking lot of the park office.
Carried on to Ashtabula, stopped in Giant Eagle for restroom and Ohio brewed seasonal beer, then at Busy Beaver (like the name!) for 2-pack of propane and an extra, long-handle lighter.
Just over the Pennsylvania line, stopped in the Dollar General in West Springfield for a $5 tent rug, small $1 chopping board and coffee creamer (hazelnut) before hopping to PA-5. Stopped at a park, but no camping allowed. Did a search and talked with John of Uncle John’s Elk Campground, who said he had plenty room and to give him a shout when I got there.
Had a hard time finding it at first, but drove past houses, down what looked like was a residential drive to a wide-open space, with cabins, campers, playground and general store. It was beautiful! Called John, then set up camp about 6p. Short while later he showed up in a cart to collect $25. Elk Creek runs along the camp and the water is so f*ing clear and cold. Great trout place!
Shelly, a frequent flier to the camp with her husband, an avid fisherman, introduced herself as I cooked and we hit it off. She told me about sunset watch spot by Lake Erie and I headed there after dinner, along with couple other campers, Donny and his girl. They made me laugh and sunset colors were beautiful. Lots of petrified wood!
Back at camp, I hung out between Shelly’s camp and Donny’s. At Donny’s, I totally partied; smoked weed, drank, and sang while his 80’s style strobe light bounced across the trees. At Shelly’s, I drank beer and listened to fishing stories from her husband and their friends. Made it back to my tent and zipped up, so f*ing late. Awesome night!!