In which our intrepid hero slakes his lake thirst…
When I was a kid, my dad had hunting friends who owned a gas station and convenience store (with a rare New Mexico liquor license) at Caballo Lake, a reservoir in southern New Mexico formed by damming the Rio Grande. We would occasionally go up there (a two hour drive) and spend the day there. However, the place was still a bit of a distance from the lake—too much for a kid—and so we didn’t really see the lake except as a distance. I think I may have only been out on the lake itself once, on a small boat. So I truly was “underexposed” to large bodies of water as a kid. I remember when I was 17 or so and had to fly from El Paso to Pennsylvania. The plane changed in Chicago and I was able to see Lake Michigan (from the air) for the first time. It was remarkable—like an ocean to me (who had not yet seen one).
[Remember that you can click on each image below to see a larger, better version]
Lake Erie is less impressive than most of the other Great Lakes, but it is still pretty great. It beats Caballo Lake, anyway (that’s going from the 5th largest body of water in New Mexico to the 10th largest lake in the world). As we began to see in Part 1 of this excursion, much of its southern shore is dominated by lake shacks—second homes, timeshares, rentals, and trailer spots. Here are some more examples of lake shacks.
You can see a speedboat starting to come into view in the distance.
Some parts of the Lake Erie shoreline are more sandy than others. When it is very sandy and there is no other vegetation around, the buildings have a rather stark appearance.
Some of them are built on pilings, though this I suspect this is more to save space than to protect from the elements.
As I mentioned previously, most of the Lake Erie shoreline is private property and Ohio law does not make its shoreline public (unlike some other states). And those property owners are bound and determined that you not enjoy the lake, regardless of whether they are around or not.
As we have already seen, the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station dominates much of the landscape along Lake Erie’s southwestern shores.
Every now and then I would see a house on pilings even though it wasn’t on the lake itself—this example was some distance south of Lake Erie. Some of these were built on “pilings” that seemed to be nothing other than stacked cinder blocks. I can only hope that there were steel beams or concrete running up through the cinder blocks.
There are a number of marinas, of different sizes, and I decided to explore one of them. I don’t know the exact name of this one, but it was near Oak Harbor, Ohio (there are several possibilities). I find boat-owning rather interesting (and foreign; as I can’t even swim, much less handle a boat).
Small boats often tend to look more or less alike, but have individuality in the odd tradition of naming boats, even very small craft. It’s sort of a last bastion of manliness, to have and to name a boat. Here is one, the Her-A-Cain, with the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in the background, as always.
Here is the Rookie. Maybe in five years or so, the owner will rename it the veteran.
Names suggestive of recreation are another common boat name theme, as in this example, the 5 O’clock $um Where.
Here, “Capt. Mel” has the Nauti Dreams II. I know everybody is dying to know what happened to the original Nauti Dreams. Its end was apparently not as famous as that of the Hesperus or the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Here is the Adam Had ‘Em. That name is actually the entire text of a famous poem by Strickland Gillilan. The title? “Lines on the Antiquity of Microbes.” Not very nautical, though.
Below we see the Little King IV. I don’t know what became of Little Kings II and III, but the original was clearly a penis reference.
Here we see the Fish On. I bet that this belongs to someone who works at the nuclear power plant and this boat name is a “fission” reference.
Here’s a relatively rare “inclusive” boat name: the Boat-Of-Us.
Lastly, we see the Right Turn Clyde.
I’ll end this segment with a shot (gasp) of some actual people. As I was meandering around the marina, I came across this attractive young couple right at the moment they were pulling a just-caught fish out of the water. I rolled down my window and asked if they wanted to document their achievement for all eternity and they were game. The couple were from Medina, about 20 miles or so southwest of Cleveland. Sadly, I did not ask them for their names, which I should have.