Reporting on: Thursday, June 18,2009
Riding Route: Day Off!
Temperature:57-67 degrees / Winds: 5mph
Woke up this morning and had chores on my mind. Champ and I met my brother and we walked down the street to do our laundry! Had a Starbucks with a few of the other guys while we were waiting. After that the three of us decided we'd go Presque Isle which is a 3,200-acre PA State park on a sandy peninsula that juts into Lake Erie. It's a popular area for swimming, boating and hiking and of course bike riding! It's famous for being the location of French, British and American forts - all of which still stand in replica today. It also served as base for Commodore Oliver Perry's fleet in the War of 1812! (He captured the area for the United States...and The Perry Monument on Presque Isle commemorates the U.S. naval victory on Lake Erie in the War of 1812). It was a major port in the 1800's - and as a result there are several lighthouses in the area. The park has been named one of the best places in the US to watch birds, and protects them in its Gull Point State Park Natural Area. It wasn't very crowded - but they boast over 4 million visitors a year!
After that we decided to take a boat tour of the Erie area. We went down to the docks and bought our tickets to go on "The Katie". (Picture above). There was not an overflowing crowd - in fact, only six of us! In essence it was a private tour! Where are all the tourists? Times must be tough! We learned that the earliest known inhabitants of the southern Lake Erie coast were the Eriehonan also known as the "Eriez", an Iroquois speaking tribe. Erielhonan meant the "Cat" or "Raccoon" people, and the name "Erie" became the name of the lake and county and city! Erie is the states fourth largest city in Pennsylvania with a population of 104,000. We Californian's can hardly relate to a city that small! We have over 40 cities that are bigger that that!
I also wanted to let you know how Pennsylvania got it's name. Its founder, English reformer William Penn, born in 1644, in London, England, named it in honor of his father. Persecuted in England for his Quaker faith, Penn came to America in 1682 and established Pennsylvania as a place where people could enjoy freedom of religion. The colony became a haven for minority religious sects from Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, and Great Britain. Penn obtained the land from King Charles II as payment for a debt owed to his deceased father. "Penn" comes from the family name - and "sylvania" means forest...hence Penn's Forest! My family has in it's possession an actual deed where William Penn deeded property to the Darlington Family...altho closer to Philadelphia.
I can't tell you how nice it was to spend time with my brother! Thanks Steve! By the way, where did you get all that hair?