Little Manatee River State Park

Little Manatee River State Park
Little Manatee River State Park

Monday, September 11, 2017

August 28 to September 4, 2017

Harrison Lake State Park, Fayette, OH

Harrison Lake State Park has 203 campsites with north and south sections separated by a lake.  The north section is the main campground where there is a ranger station for registration, a dump station and bath houses. 

Although we arrived on a Monday, a full week prior to Labor Day, all sites in the north campground were reserved through the holiday.  We took one of the three walk in sites available on the south side. 
After filling up with water we made our way around the lake to site 237 located across from the vault toilets.
   There was only one other camper in our section.  By Friday there was not one spot available.
To take showers we had a choice of driving over to the north campground or walk/bike around the pedestrian trail around the lake.
Monte tackled a project he has been dreading doing-he serviced the topper on our big slide.  We had been having issues with the slide for a long time.  The tape along the seam was bunched up.
After removing the slide, Monte spent the next two days scraping off the residue left by the tape.  He washed the roof of the slide, applied new tape and re-installed the slide.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

August 21-27, 2017

Second week at Maumee Bay State Park, Oregon, Ohio

First order of business after one week was to dump our tanks.  In our years of travel we have only had to use our gray boy a handful of times.   It took Monte less than an hour to dump all three tanks. 

After a heavy rain, Monte noticed water pooling up on one of our slide toppers.  The stitching had come apart almost the entire length of one side.
To fix it Monte had to take the topper down. He gave the roof of the slide a good cleaning along with the topper before using a strong epoxy on the seam holding the spline in place.
I helped him reinstall the topper by holding one side. 
A couple of days later, Monte decided to service the other two slide toppers on the same side.

We drove into Toledo where we enjoyed a couple of hours walking around the botanical gardens.

The garden is affiliated with the Metroparks of the Toledo area.
There are over sixty acres of display gardens and plant collections.

The gardens include some whimsy sculptures.

We began our visit to the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge at the Visitor Center.
While we were watching a short film, located near the information desk, we noticed several people obtaining their Senior National Parks Pass.  I overheard one of them saying that the cost of the lifetime pass was going to increase from $10 to $80 next week. 
Following the film we toured the exhibits in the visitor center.

There is a scope located on the second floor that offers a great view of the marshland.
On the third floor there is an entire wall of mounted stuffed birds as well as an observation deck.
As we began our walk, Monte noticed a nest under the eaves of the restrooms.  The mama flew in just as Monte snapped the picture.

There is a boardwalk along the marsh leading to several hiking trails.

Monte tried picking up a bullfrog but it eluded him. 
On our way back to the campground we stopped off at Cedar Point NWR. 
The property was donated to the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1965.  It contains 2,630 acres and is the largest contiguous marsh on Lake Erie.

The Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Complex comprises three refuges; the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge and the West Sister Island National Wildlife Refuge.

The complex totals more than 9,500 acres that include marshes, open water, wooded wetlands, coastal wetlands, shrub/scrub, grasslands and an estuary that provides a home for a wide variety of plants and animals.

West Sister Island sits nine miles off the north shore of Ottawa NWR.  The refuge was established by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937 specifically to protect the largest wading bird nesting colony on the Great Lakes.

The Island hosts a rookery for great blue herons, great egrets, black-crowned night herons, and double-crested cormorants.  The water around the island is too deep for the wading birds to feed so they must make the eighteen mile round trip to the mainland marshes to hunt for food to feed their young.

There is no public access to the island.
For the past five years we have used a Verizon Jet Pack for our internet access with no issues.  All of a sudden we began going through data at an alarming rate.  We hadn’t changed our usage so we couldn’t understand why this was happening.  Monte spent over two hours on the phone with a Verizon tech trying to troubleshoot the issue.

They weren’t able to figure out why we were using more data than usual but the tech did give us an additional 10 gigs to get us through the remaining week until our billing period reset.

The day of the reset we logged onto the jet pack and did our usual morning routine of checking emails, facebook and our bank.  Within one hour we “used” almost 10 gigs of data.  Monte called Verizon again.  And again they were not able to troubleshoot the issue but did suggest we purchase a new jet pack as the one we had was so old it could not receive any updates.

The local Verizon store did not have the jet pack we wanted in stock.  The checked other stores within 50 miles.  None of them had the item in stock so we ordered it.  We also took our laptops to the local library to get updates.  My laptop had 85 updates.  Yikes! 

Our usage has been normal for the last few days since activating the new jet pack and getting updates for our laptops so now we don’t know if the problem was the jet pack, the laptops or a combination of both. 

On the next to last night of our stay at Maumee Bay SP we enjoyed an evening concert at the amphitheatre listening to Kerry Patrick Clark, a former member of the New Christy Minstrels.  He was occasionally joined onstage by his wife and son.

It was a beautiful evening with soft breezes from nearby Lake Erie and a perfect way to end our wonderful two week stay in this gem of a park.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August 14-20, 2017

First week at Maumee Bay State Park, Oregon, Ohio
This state park is a gem.  
There are 245 30 amp electric sites that can accommodate Rv’s up to 40’. 

The campsites are spacious and very even.  We did not need to use any leveling pads. 
We were allowed to go through all the spokes of the campgrounds to choose the site we wanted.  We ended up choosing site 32 in the spoke that is first come first served.  We planned on staying 8 days but ended up extending to the park’s limit of 14 days.

During our stay at Maumee Bay State Park we mostly relaxed.  We took the bike trail leading to the beach and 2 mile boardwalk trail.
Another day we had a picnic lunch at Wildwood Preserve, one of Toledo’s Metroparks where we enjoyed noon tunes on the lawn.

We also toured the manor house.
Later in the day we joined a group at another metropark, Blue Creek Conservation Area, for a foraging for food experience.
Monte was a good sport. 
He touched and smelled the edibles (weeds) but would not sample any of the greens.
I tasted everything. Some were just okay while others were actually very tasty.
The beach area on Lake Erie can be accessed by a paved bike trail from the campground.
Marina and Lodge at Maumee Bay SP
Steps leading down to Lake Erie