Day 33 – Friday, July 6th
Presque Isle State Park
We basically had one stop planned in Erie, PA and that was Presque Isle State Park. It’s more of a peninsula than an island because it connects with the mainland. It has a few lighthouses and many beaches to choose from.
We discovered an interesting community of floating houses during our drive through the park.
We had been looking for an opportunity to let the boys swim in Lake Erie because it didn’t work out on our trip last summer. We found a spot that wasn’t too crowded and could let the boys run wild!!
It wasn’t the best swimming day because the waves were rather large for a lake. The boys were trying to outrun the waves and most of the time they did. Except for this time:
After our time on the lake, we made the nearly two hour drive to Cleveland, Ohio and spent the night.
Day 34 – Saturday, July 7th
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The first thing on our agenda for the day was heading over to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We knew the park had some neat waterfalls and were hoping the hikes wouldn’t be too difficult for us.
The park is also known for its’ scenic railroad and we just happened to get stopped by the train as we were entering the park.
Shannon did some quick research and found that Blue Hen Falls might be a good stop for us. The trail wasn’t long, but was quite steep towards the beginning. We were proud of Everett because he did the entire trail without having to be carried. Hey, it’s the small things in life that keep you going!
After talking with one of the guides, she recommended going to Brandywine Falls. It is the most visited falls in the park and there is a boardwalk all the way to the falls. We were definitely glad we went. There are upper and lower platforms from which to view the falls.
Here’s a video of the falls: Brandywine Falls
Sightseeing in Cleveland
After hiking to Brandywine, it was apparent nap-time was upon us. We drove through Cleveland during the boys’ naps. They woke up just in time to see some of the sights.
While doing research for this trip, Shannon found a neat playground in the Cleveland area called Preston’s Hope. It was a neat stop where the boys were able to release some of their energy.
From here it was a two hour drive to our hotel in Columbus, Ohio. We are excited about visiting the Columbus Zoo tomorrow and the possibility of making it all the way back home.
Day 35 – Sunday, July 8th
Our goal for the morning was to get to the Zoo just as it opened. We didn’t exactly make it right at 9am, but we were close. Because we are members of the North Carolina Zoo, we received a 50% discount on our tickets for the Columbus Zoo. Not too shabby!!
We had high hopes for this Zoo and it definitely delivered. There were animals everywhere. The Zoo is not as big as the NC Zoo, which means less walking in between exhibits. We felt like it was a good balance between large exhibits and not being too spread out.
My personal favorite of the day was the cheetah. They did a Cheetah Run exhibition at 11am. Here’s a short video from the experience: Cheetah Run
I asked everyone what their favorite animal was that we saw at the zoo. Here’s what they chose:
Here are some of our other favorites:
By the time we finished at the zoo, it was later in the day than we had anticipated. The GPS said it would take six and a half hours to get home and we really didn’t want to spend another night in a hotel. We decided to push through being tired and hot from 7 hours at the zoo and drove all the way home. We ended up getting home around 12:20am, but it was well worth it to sleep in our own beds for the first time in 35 days.
We have done it!!
We managed to survive five weeks on the road, which included nineteen nights in a tent and sixteen nights in a hotel.
We spent time in fifteen different states and four Canadian provinces.
We drove 6,738 miles!!!!!
We saw 47 of the 50 United States license plates and also saw cars from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.
We saw one moose, out in the wild, in New Hampshire!!
We saw two moose in Ohio…………..at the zoo.
We were able to avoid having any car accidents and came away with only minor scrapes and bumps from falls.
Most importantly, after countless hours spent together in tight quarters (road tripping, tent camping, etc.), we still like each other!
We are looking forward to wherever the wind blows us next!!
Until the next adventure!