Session 41-Kelleys Island, OH, Grosse Ile, MI, and Arkansas

First of all, I can’t believe I’ve come up with enough content for 41 posts, but here we are. Last we left you, we were on Kelleys Island, OH in the most beautiful Lake Erie. We hadn’t planned to visit here either but we are usually up for exploration and so we added it to the itinerary.

This is where the temperatures of summer caught up with us. The last few days had been pretty dang hot and we were thankful for a nice breeze off the water that saved our bacon.

Fun fact: This is “Kelleys” Island, not “Kelley’s” Island for all you fellow grammar nazis. Also, feel free to peruse my posts for errors and contact me if you find some. (I will be appropriately horrified and thankful).

So Kelleys Island was a bit more laid back than Put In Bay. There are fewer inhabitants but enough town to be able to walk right off the dock to at least 5 restaurants, a small grocery store and ice cream spot. The marina here was the busiest we’ve encountered in quite awhile and we had to back in to a very skinny spot. My captain handled it well but we were super impressed with the dock crew there. 

As we waited just outside the inlet for instructions, the dock hand talked with boat after boat requesting a slip. Some were coming in just for lunch, others to hang out for the day. Some, like us, came in to spend the night. There were probably 8-10 boats all looking for a slip. He handled it like a pro. Sort of like I imagine goes on at air traffic control.

After lunch, we retreated inside the boat to escape the heat. We eventually took off on the bikes around 5:00pm as the heat had subsided a bit. We weren’t up for a long journey but found some cool homes with great views, the glacier grooves, and a large rock of petroglyphs called “Inscription Rock” left by Native Americans they guess less than 1000 years ago.

Fun fact:  Glacier grooves are gouged or scratched into bedrock as the glacier moves downstream.  And Kelleys Island contains the largest and best accessible example of this anywhere in the world. See what happens when you take a side trip?

We had another beautiful day of traveling from Kelleys Island to Gross Ile, MI. Grosse Ile is pronounced “Gross EEL” and is French. See, we are multi-lingual. We chose this particular place because it was recommended by two of our very first looper friends, Todd and Patty who you might remember from Session 3 and Session 6 and 7. They live here and found us a spot to tie up while we, once again, traveled home for a long weekend. 

They picked us up at the marina, gave us a tour of the islands in the area and found us a place for lunch. We spent a couple of days roaming the islands with them and generally catching up. Like other couples before them, Todd and Patty decided to sell the house in Michigan and head south to Florida. They are probably still packing as I publish this. 

During our long weekend home, we attended my niece’s lovely wedding in Bentonville, Arkansas. It was the first time my sisters and I had been together in the same place in quite a long time. We really enjoyed hanging out together. The wedding was held at Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel, otherwise known as The Glass Chapel, in Bella Vista, AR. If you’ve never visited the area, you really should. There is so much to do both indoors and outdoors in this area. Just google northwest Arkansas and see what you find!

Sadly, we also got the news that my aunt passed away earlier in the week. The funeral was Monday so we stayed an extra day to pay tribute to her. If you’ve ever heard the song There’s A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea–that’s the first song she ever taught me. I will miss her dearly.

We returned to Gross Isle, MI for a night, had breakfast with Todd and Patty the next morning and then took off the short distance to Detroit in hopes to meet up with more Kennedy cousins (not THOSE Kennedys, but maybe. Who knows?).

Shout out to Patty who offered to wash our sheets and towels while we were away and delivered them back to me when we returned. That’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship right there.

Next time–get used to Michigan because we are going to be traveling all around it!

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