We safely made our way through Saginaw and Flint and arrived in Ypsilanti in one piece. We stopped off at a Starbucks just off the freeway (yippee the first one we'd seen for weeks) and got a couple of double Americanos and pecan scones, and then found Ypsilanti's little downtown core.
"Materials Unlimited" was everything we were hoping for. Tons of beautiful lighting, fantastic metalwork, and one of a kind finds. There were hundreds of items to look at, it was like an Architectural museum, and we spent close to an hour going through the three floors. If given the chance (and budget) we would have bought a bunch of stuff and crammed our RV full of high end Architectural treasures. But since an average price on say an Arts and Crafts era hanging light fixture was around three thousand dollars it made it much easier to just enjoy spending time looking and dreaming.
As you approach the downtown area things get tighter and tighter, sometimes comically so, and we started to run into hilarious signs like the one begging motorists to slow down from 60mph to 35mph on a freeway so as not to flip your car over on the startlingly under engineered hairpin corners. Good stuff.
Ten or fifteen miles east of Cleveland we exited off of Interstate 90 and onto Hwy. 20 heading towards Erie, Pennsylvania. We paid our toll and found ourselves on a much sleepier road with a lot less traffic. Time to exhale a little. We spotted a State Park on our map not too far ahead named Geneva State Park located just outside the little town of Geneva, Ohio, not far from the Pennsylvania border. We pulled off the highway and drove into the type of cute little city where you could expect to find Ozzie and Harriot living.
About three miles out of town down a little country road sits Geneva State Park. Located right on Lake Erie this is a pretty park with large and private campsites. Unfortunately when you arrive at 3:45 in the afternoon every one of those large sites are taken. Panic stricken, with no other back-up plan we asked if there was anyplace they might squeeze us in and low and behold they did.
They actually set aside five or six spots smack dab in the middle of the field just off the entrance to the park. Not too aesthetically pleasing, but a site none the less. We greedily snatched it up and fifteen or twenty minutes later all of the overflow sites around us were taken too. Now the park was officially "FULL". Whew, that was a close one. It was fairly hot out so we put up the awning for the first time on the trip. We went out and sat at the picnic table with Max and Erley and drank a lemon-drop. While we enjoyed our drinks we watched what looked to be a Amish family (although they were driving a minivan and not a horse and buggy) of about eight or nine set up camp. The woman and four daughters each wore bonnets and the man and his three sons all wore classic old style pants with suspenders. They all helped to set up a huge old army style tent and then after the mother collected clothing from everyone in the party off she went with two of the daughters to presumably do laundry leaving the men folk and younger girls to tend the fire and start on preparing dinner. Wow, it made our traveling circus seem absolutely laid-back in comparison. After our drinks we opened all the windows, started the fan and tucked Erley in for a nap. We leashed Max up and headed off in the direction of Lake Erie and found a nice wooded trail just across from us.
After our fun in the sun we headed back up to the (er...campsite...field) and got to work cooking the baby-back pork ribs we bought at the Farmer's Market the day before. We cooked them on an elevated circular rack in our convection oven and it took about twenty minutes. Since we were in the overflow sites we didn't have power, so we ran the generator which seems to be running flawlessly. It's amazing how brown, juicy, and tender the ribs get in a convection oven. If you asked someone how we cooked them they would NEVER guess it was a convection oven. We had made some boiled new potatoes and corn on the cob to go with the ribs and sat down to a mini feast from our tight little kitchen. You can make pretty amazing food in the Pleasure Way if you put your mind to it, and this was one of the best meals so far.