3 Lakes Trip - Saranac Lake - Part 2

We met up with friends from back home in Saranac Lake. It was raining hard that day and I must have checked the weather forecast every 20 minutes... you know just in case the 4 day weather forecast of rain and thunderstorm will change to sunny and dry just because I checked! 

We had a quick lunch, purchased a few last minute items at Aldi and headed to the lake. Changed into our rain gear, unloaded kayaks and loaded them with our gear. One last prayer for our safety and a break in the rain, shuttling the trailer to a different parking lot, going back to that parking lot because of a forgotten life jacket and then getting pulled over and we were finally off. 4 adults, 5 kids, 1 canoe, 1 tandem kayak, and 3 single kayaks plus a lot of gear!

As soon as we started paddling, the rain stopped. Hallelujah! We arrived at our campsite, had enough time to unload the gear from the kayaks, set up camp, and started dinner.... and then the rain came again. And it rained, and rained and rained. The kids were all wet and cold.  The mosquitos seemed to all know that we were trapped under the tarp and they had a feast... We ate dinner (chili that we made at home, froze and reheated on our camp stove), quickly cleaned up and went to bed before 9pm. We felt defeated, especially with the forecast looking so grim.

It rained hard all night long! We woke up to clouds and soon after the sun came out! And the sun stayed out, no more rain for the rest of out stay!!! 

We made breakfast (eggs, bacon and sausages) and just hung around the campsite for a few hours. The little kids played "adventurers" in the woods, jumping from rock to rock looking to find paradise! The big kids (and the Dads) had a lot of fun gathering firewood (slim pickings and everything was soaked) and cutting down dead trees with a small hatchet.

After a few hours of just hanging out we packed up sandwiches for lunch and left to explore the lake with the kayaks. Our destination was the other side of the lake, paddle up Saranac River and kayak through the locks. We did this last year and loved it. You can read about it HERE.

It's about a 3 mile paddle (maybe a little more) to the other side of the lake and up to Saranac Lake. We went through the lock and kayaked a little bit further down the river. We stopped and we all floated down the river together while having lunch. On the way we saw a beaver dam, lots of loons, ducks and even otters! 

On our way back through the lock we decided to stop and stretch our legs. The lock operator let the kids help operate the locks and explained how everything worked.

On our way back to the campsite we stopped at a few unoccupied campsites to look for firewood. We really lucked out at one site (thank you #66) and brought a bunch of firewood home. We ended the night with some dinner (Hobo packs) and S'mores. 

Part 2 or Saranac Lake will come soon! I have a feeling this is getting a little to long! 

You can click here to read about PART 1, PART 3 & PART 4 of our trip!

Ohio Road Trip - Part 2 - Cuyahoga Valley & Put-in-Bay - Travel Photography

We got up early in our teepee and prepared breakfast. Oatmeal and fresh fruit, for Scot and I (I wish I could get my kids to eat Oatmeal) and Fruit and Pop tarts for the boys. We packed up and headed towards Canton Ohio to visit the First Ladies National Site. Canton really surprised us with its charm and how clean everything looked. Definitely a place we would like to explore in the future some more.

The First Ladies National Site was a lot more interesting than we thought and we really enjoyed the tour of the President McKinley's home. Finn completed another Junior Ranger Program and the tour lady gave us a great recommendation to a nearby restaurant for lunch.

Bender's dates back to 1902 and the boys thought it was really interesting that there used to be separate sections and entrances for men and women.

After lunch we hit the road for Cuyahoga Valley, Ohio's only National Park. This is another place that we will have to come for a separate trip! We visited the Brandywine Falls, Finn did ANOTHER Junior Ranger Program, we heard about the history of the park from a Ranger and we visited the old Erie canal and just walked around the little towns and shops.

Not sure what Jake is doing in the above picture, but I am sure he is telling me a joke and is very animated doing so!

We settled into our hotel and were surprised when the hotel management offered us a free waffle and ice cream bar! We called that dinner (ha!) and had a great nights sleep.

We got up the next day and headed towards Put-In-Bay. Our last stop on this whirlwind Ohio Tour. I love that Scot is more than happy to make u -turns for me to photograph interesting signs. These were my favorite from the trip.

We decided to take our car over to the island, which we probably wouldn't do again. The ferry ride is always very exciting for the boys! We arrived on the island and headed straight away to Perry's Monument. A very kind ranger gave us an amazing talk about the history and why Perry is such an amazing guy. He really was into it and the boys were fascinated by the talk! Since then the phrase "Don't give up the ship" has been used on an almost daily basis! Finn of course finished another Ranger program - his 4th in 3 days! We ate lunch somewhere on Put-In-Bay and afterwards rented a golf cart to really explore the island.

The Mayflies were everywhere on the island and as annoying as it can be we were told its a sign how good the water quality is around in the area and if they weren't there it would be a sign that there was a problem with the water.

Unfortunately, the Monument itself was closed due to construction. Bummer!

The golf cart was a great idea and we just drove all around the island and stopped wherever we felt like it. We came across an amazing estate sale and we all got to buy something. Scot bought a beautiful set of Rookwood Bookends, Jake bought a vintage fishing net, Finn a backscratcher and I bought a box full of vintage boys bowties.

After a full day of exploring the island, we got back on the ferry and headed back home to Cincinnati (a quick stop at Kewpee's Burger in Lima was a must!) and this completed a really, really quick trip all around Ohio. Even though short, this trip showed us how beautiful our home state is and we now have a bunch more places we want to revisit and spend more time.

aWhat is your favorite spot in Ohio? I can't wait to explore the Hocking Hills are some more!