Going Places

Posted December 3, 2021 – Narrated by Carmen
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Keep your eyes on the stars,
and the stars in your eyes…
See if you can find out what’s over the next hill,
and the next one after that.
Wally Byam

In late June, at Ohiopyle State Park up in the dreamy Laurel Highlands, Beauty and The Beast worked their Wally Byam magic again transporting us and all of our worldly gear down to Geneva-On-The-Lake, GOTL, up north in a vintage summer resort in Ashtabula County, Ohio.

Lake Erie

The summer of 2019 on Maumee Bay and Put-In-Bay convinced us to adventure more in The Great Lakes region and particularly on gorgeous Lake Erie.

Geneva on the lake
Do not be deceived. Although rare, a sudden, intense change in air pressure can create a tsunami-like seiche. A Lake Erie seiche on May 31, 1942 claimed seven lives.

She’s shallow and temperamental but this wild-child of a lake is a favorite with us. Erie’s reputation for carefree summertime leisure is an American legacy. The long days and tranquil starlit nights hold judgement over tight muscles, strained backs and every manner of toil with all its cruelties. Warm sand consoles aching arches and the tender breeze weighs in with a healing caress. It all feels too good to be true. And it is.

Beneath the mesmerizing confluence of sky on turquoise water, thousands of sunken vessels lie there in ruin. Best to skedaddle in October before lake-effect snow, or there will be hell to pay for the awesome suntan.

Geneva on the lake
Scooped out by glacial ice, Lake Erie is only 4,000 years old. The Great Lakes hold 21 percent of the world’s supply of fresh surface water. Lake Erie, with an average depth of 62 feet is the 4th largest and the shallowest of the five lakes. A fourth of all Great Lakes shipwrecks are because … Erie

Ohio’s 75 State Parks are consistently the nation’s finest for resource management and for thoughtful, functional, and environmentally sound design. Lodging and activities are provided for every taste and budget.

Geneva State Park
Our Electric-only campsite at Geneva State Park

It doesn’t take a geyser to attract tourism. Ohio state parks preserve the natural beauty of eco-sensitive areas while enhancing access and boosting the economy of host communities.

Geneva on the lake
Geneva on the Lake, GOTL, with our Dolphin eBikes.

With few exceptions (such as Gulf State Park in Alabama), no state does Park better than Ohio.

Geneva State Park is another Ohio example of the kind of development and resource management other states should emulate as a solution for safe, pandemic-responsive tourism.

Geneva on the lake
About an hour’s drive east of Cleveland, GOTL is one of Ohio’s earliest resorts. In the early 1900s, the scenic location was popular with the Midwest gentry, including John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone. 

From the look of the license plates, we were the only Californians there. Apparently, Geneva-on-the-Lake is primarily a weekend summer get-away for Ohioans.

Geneva on the lake
Sturgeon Point. Pioneer fishermen despised sturgeon until the 1900’s when the public developed an appetite for them. Soon thereafter, Lake Erie was overfished and the industry collapsed. Sturgeon are currently being reintroduced in the Maumee River.

They come for a little fishing, boating, water and jet skiing, paddle boarding and kayaking, but most just bask on the sandy, uncrowded beach.

Geneva on the lake

Spending the evenings on The Strip is the correct thing to do if you accidentally brought the children. That’s cool. Makes the campground quieter in the evenings.

This area is ideal for a couple’s vacation. We stayed for two weeks and enjoyed every minute – especially the pleasant and warm little rain showers that spritzed us nearly every day. They were really no trouble at all. We kept an umbrella close by.

Geneva State Park

and still managed to go paddling …

and take long, leisurely walks on the parks trail system …

… where we discovered a wee faerie village in the woods.

On the wettest day we went on a wine tasting tour.

Most evenings we dined at home from Jim’s 600-Calorie recipe book he’s currently writing. Yep, Jim’s a bean-counter who is literally counting beans.

Pork Chili Verde (two bowls each for only 600 calories per person!)

On our 46th wedding anniversary we drove to Ashtabula for a local dining experience at Bascule Bridge Grille in the Historic Harbor District near the Ashtabula River and the Strauss Bascule Bridge.

A long time from now we will be reminiscing about that dinner. The entire experience – every detail from the window seat, the rustbelt-chic views, the kindness of the staff, to the expertly prepared dinner – all is in permanent memory storage.

Downtown Ashtabula

We like GOTL. It’s an idyllic place to pasture for a while and then move on.

After two weeks of Erie we embarked on an impromptu Sunday drive to …

The NEW Airstream Factory!!!

airstream factory
Jim takes the Adventure Stance at the new Airstream Factory in Jackson Center, Ohio

Jay Cullis and Samantha Martin gave us a sneak preview of the new factory floor and Heritage Center on the 4th of July break.

airstream factory

The Heritage Center, housed in the new facility is a world-class interactive romp through Airstream history. With a dignified fleet of historic trailers basking in the glory of Wally Byam’s immortalized genius, The Heritage Center hitches history up to the heart of what it means to be Airstreamer.

The first factory opened in Culver City, California in 1931. Ninety years later, this spectacular modern facility continues the adventuring legacy.

Unfortunately, interior photos of the manufacturing facility were forbidden, so you can only imagine our wonder and delight of seeing Airstreams in the delicate hatching phase.

frank dibona
An Airstream rookery in action. Thanks to Airstreamer, Frank DiBona for sharing.

Sometimes I opine, “They don’t make things like they used to.” Our factory tour put that to rest. Airstream is the exception. With new technology, equipment and procedures Airstream trailers are even better!

We were inspired. I’m not knitting any pink flamingo booties yet, but the idea of giving Beauty a shiny new little sister named Belle puts a twinkle in my eye and a spring to my step.

Now, more than ever before, Northwest Ohio is worth a look-see. The NEW Airstream Factory Tour and Heritage Center is a destination site to pair with the Armstrong Air and Space Museum and The Bicycle Museum of America near Wapakoneta, where we never fail to stop by J. Marie’s for a bite …

The next morning – as we stocked up in The Supply Store – a downpour erupted. As proud but cautious California Snowflakes, we don’t relish driving in the rain. Nevertheless, we continued north to Findlay …

on important business …

pilgrim restaurant
Our third time to Pilgrim Restaurant in Findlay, our happy brekkie place.
pilgrim restaurant
Buckwheat pancakes on a flag placemat and a Christmas coffee mug, in July.

Bay City

Then, we crossed the Maumee River and, soon after, entered Michigan.

We had few expectations for Bay City. This would be our last stop before entering Michigan’s Upper Penninsula.

Our camp at Bay City State Park

Our needs were practical – a “gettin’ place” to shop for provisions, and a location to receive packages before entering The Yoop where services and provisions are minimal.

Our camp at Bay City State Park

Arriving as busy people with an agenda, we were caught off guard by the beauty. Bay City, with the boom and bust of the sawmill and ship-building industry, has a learned wisdom about momentum and agendas. Their motto, A Beautiful view … of life, with those three ellipses, feels like a sigh.

bay city state park

Shortly, Jim and I learned that Bay City is more than a grab ‘n go town. We succumbed to a slower pace … to listen, and … breathe.

bay city state park

The perfect weather and gentle beauty simply would not have us rushing around.

We couldn’t get enough of the Center Avenue District and that ostentatious lumber baron architecture …

We settled in to the comforts of the river …

bay city

and the hometown culture …

The old sawmill town got under our skin.

The campground provided hiking trails to explore the wetland preserve …

The Rail Trail

The rail trail – though still under development – got us where we wanted to go …

… and made driving unnecessary and undesirable …

The lanes took us over the rivers …

and into town …

where we grabbed the last green salads and dining-out experiences we would have for weeks …

Surprise! Bay City has a music legacy.

bay city madonna

The locals do it proud. Really good free music is everywhere.

On our last night we went to a community event featuring a group of young and aspiring rockers. If we didn’t have to wake up so early in the morning we’d have stayed and listened all night.

Hey, keep an eye on these kids. They’re going places.

Now, UP to The Yoop!

If you want to see our exact route, click here.

*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.

36 thoughts on “Going Places

  1. You were in my state! Did you happen to get to Kent? We also love Gulf State Park and usually spend January & February there.

    1. Hey Carolyn! Sorry we missed you. Kent is on our list: http://www.kentohio.org.

      You have good taste in State campgrounds. Someday, I think LIB could do just fine with some seasonal camping between Alabama and Ohio 😉

      Thanks so much for begin with us.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  2. I spent 13 years in Chicago and took lots of trips up through Michigan to the U.P. Loved every minute. ♥ Took my mom up through Michigan to Macinaw, then back down through Wisconsin. When traveling around Lake Michigan, we would always read aloud the poem The Song Of Hiawatha. ” On the shores of Gitche Gumee…..On the shining big sea water……

    1. Tooter!!! So great to hear from you! We’re you working for Sears back then? Sure do miss you.

      We loved Pictured Rocks. Having read about them and studied pictures – mostly from The National Geographic – all my life, the adventure was exceedingly emotional – and yes, of course, The Song of Hiawatha was onboard at all times.

      Here’s a gift for you, a recording with excellent introductory remarks by my favorite Libravox narrator, Peter Yearsley:


      We must stop by for a visit next time we are down your way.



  3. We stayed a couple nights in GOTL in Sept. Boy it was a ghost town! Definitely a summer weekend place! We did enjoy the quiet though!

    1. Rick N Julie,

      We agree … it’s a sleepy little town – especially on weekdays. I hear it was livelier before the rains took the beaches away. The last two years have been harsh on the shoreline and we hear tourism in the area is low. But for us – having not seen GOTL in it’s former glory – we thought it was just fine and dandy. Loved the quiet. No crowds, no waits, beautiful days, plenty of room for pandemic-safe roaming about.

      Thank you for sharing your experience this Autumn at Geneva-On-The-Lake!

      Safe and Happy Travels!


    1. Well thank you, MI Robin! I think we we’re Yuppers now! Totally SOLD. Going native in the Yoop for sure, eh!

      Thanks for being with us.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


    1. Hey there Argie-girl!

      Thank you, but your voice is better. Go ahead, get a mic and let set those smooth alto notes free. The world will thank you.

      So great to hear from you. Give my cuz a hug and tell him to be good.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  4. Our hero’s for your adaptation. You have pushed the boundaries of cool. Get up to Montana and visit Emil Kirschenmann. That is a wowser. We enjoy your travels. Thank you for your posts.

    1. Hey Paris!

      We’re only as cool as our followers. We put ourselves out there and YOU tell us where to geaux. We LOVE Montana, but Emil Kirschenmann …? DO tell! All my search turns up is head stones.

      Thanks SO much for being with us, Paris.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  5. For a few years of my career, we lived in Ohio and we tried to explore as much of it and the surrounding states. We especially loved Lake Erie and Kelly’s Island State Park. I couldn’t believe how gorgeously clear the water is now given that the news reports of my youth were filled with Lake Erie being on fire from all the pollution. It truly is a beautiful and very interesting state with visit-worthy side trips to Canton’s FB Hall of Fame, Holmes County Amish, Cincinnati’s Underground Railroad museum and the great Ohio River and the history that played out along its length. Did you know it originates in Pittsburgh where 3-Rivers stadium and park exists? Two other rivers combine at that point to become the Ohio River.

    1. Hello Gail! Thank you for stopping by and recommending Kelleys Island State Park, Ohio … woo-hoo!


      Yes, I remember those films in grade school about The Burning River: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jxV6BbREfY

      It was horrible – hell on earth. But the story ends well. Overuse of the Cuyahoga River gave birth to the US Environmental Protection Agency and The Clean Water Act which nations around the world use as a model to save their own overused rivers (which, from this Earthling’s point of view are everyone’s rivers, right?). Currently, river dams are coming down faster than they were being built during the Industrial age. At last, rivers are getting their lives back and we will all benefit. Like a phoenix, the Burning River was reborn and the recovery effort is an inspiration to us all.


      Gail, thank you so much for telling the Beaubeaux’s where to geaux.

      We have Kelleys Island, Canton and The Underground Railroad Museum pinned in for our next visit to Ohio.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


    1. Hey Erik! Always great to hear from you!

      And, hey! The bugs weren’t bad either. Everyone told us to prepare and we did, but we got lucky I guess. What a sweet, beautiful place.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  6. Marc and I grew up in Buffalo; we know about lake-effect storms. We managed to visit Put-In-Bay in our B-190 for several days this summer; we had never been but might go again. We stayed in the state park.

    1. Hey Becky!

      Great to hear from you.

      Wow. I’ll bet it was a cinch to ferry over in the B-190. Sure, we’d go to Put-In-Bay again and stay in the State Park. The shoulder season was lovely – no party crowds. Hey, last one there’s a 5th wheel 😉

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  7. Great adventure, The descriptions are just mesmerizing to read just keep going and sharing your journeys. Light year ago I owned a 30 foot Airstream. I’d enjoyed my time on the road. Thumbs up to you and your wife.

    1. Hey Jerald!

      Welcome to our travel journal where we keep learning over and over that the world is beautiful and every moment is a gift. We have difficulties but they pass quickly and something better replaces them. It’s like a miracle or something and our team, Beauty and The Beast help us navigate this Mystery. As a fellow Airstreamer, you understand these things.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  8. We love Geneva on the lake. Campground within golf cart distance of the strip. Photo from the sunset bar on the strip

    1. Hey Zac! That’s the best 3-sentence, 21-word description of GOTL. Yes, many campers had golf carts and used them to navigate the trails. Some trails had golf-cart prohibitions but no electric-bike prohibitions, so we went everywhere on the bikes – very easy, no scary traffic to town. We went to enjoy the sunset at a brewery with a patio on the lake, but a storm came through and we missed it. Such a restful place – like mental yoga.

      Thanks, Zac, for sharing your experience of Geneva-on-the-Lake.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


    1. Thanks Jo! Sometimes the light and the background is your friend and you just have to go for it.

      Always great to hear from you.

      Safe and Happy Travels!


  9. Who knew the Ohio parks were so wonderful? Certainly not me since I’m always giving Ohio a hard time. Whoops! Certainly sounds like we should have explored more. Those are some truly beautiful views. You always find the very best places to go and things to do!

    Speaking of which, your posts always make me hungry, but that pork chile verde is making me drool. Seriously. 600 calories? Wow! Yum.

    Oh, and Happy Anniversary! That dinner looked incredible, too, but I’m thinking it might have been slightly north of 600. 🙂

    1. Hey Laura, I hadn’t noticed you giving Ohio a hard time 😉 Okay, you recently mentioned Ohio wine country – mostly Concord (which always puts me in the mood for confession) and nearly all the palatable wines are made from California grapes – Absolutely justified. No one visits Ohio for the wine. Same goes for North Dakota. It’s there. It’s fun to taste, but expect no revelations.

      Last night Jim made his famous PCV for our son and his girlfriend. It’s as good as it looks – better and one of his easier recipes. If you’re not cutting calories just pour it over a burrito. We need testers and tasters. We’d be thrilled to have RVers try it out and give us a review of their results. Jim will put the recipe in a comment box on this post.

      Preparing intensely high-flavor 600-calorie meals from scratch with ingredients so common they can be found in WalMart is a boon for weight control but we still like to go out … Pico took his medicine without biting us! Woo-hoo!! Thai Restaurant tonight!!! … But even after eating our way through Charleston, Jim has lost 45 pounds since we began our home-grown program.

      With the ongoing covid saga – and after six years of dining-out on the road – we’ve come to the decision that unless we’re in a foodie town or region – dining-out is usually not worth the calories. In the future we hope to have a 5-10 pound deficit to lay at the feet of Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, Atlanta, Kansas City, Bar Harbor, NYC, Montreal …

      We’re growing herbs too! Mexican food is our favorite so I’m cultivating cilantro – preparing for our next journey north where a decent bunch (if one can be found) costs $2-5 compared to 50 cents here in San Diego.

      Thank you for the anniversary wishes!

      Hugs to Thor!



      1. Thanks so much for the recipe! Kevin makes a chicken chile verde which we love, so we’re looking forward to making this to compare. Should be great!

        I totally hear you on the dining out thing. We, too, have become more picky about where we eat out. It’s not only calories but some of these places just aren’t worth the cash outlay – especially after all the pandemic weirdness in the hospitality industry. It’s all good, as long as you enjoy cooking at home – and you guys obviously do and are fabulous at it! Kevin is our household cook (I like to consider myself sous chef when necessary (Ie: I can chop veggies😄)) but he really enjoys it, so I’m happy to leave him to it and wash the dishes.

        Hope y’all are staying warm!

        1. It’s about time we met up at a good brewery. You and me play corn hole while the guys have a Chile Verde cook-off in the parking lot :-D.

          Jim makes a good Chicken Arroz Con Pollo and tonight he made my favorite soup, Pasta Fagioli (600 calorie). Delizioso! Definitely worth the dish-washing chore!

          Haha! Jim and I are always disagreeing about the veggie chopping. Often we compromise, half are minced and the other half, rough chopped.

          The weather … In pre-LIB days, I complained about San Diego winters, but these days it’s really not so bad. When the marine layer burns off it’s nice for least for a couple of hours. Ah well, we’re here for love and the holidays, not the weather. If we were traveling for weather right now we’d probably be in Baja or at least South Padre Island.

    2. Laura,

      Here is my 600 calorie per person for two people Pork Chili Verde recipe.

      Prep: 20 min.
      Cook: 1 ¾ hours


      • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil (120)
      • 1 pound boneless Pork (ribeye roast or shoulder or boneless rib meat) cut into 1-inch cubes (560)
      • 10 ounces of White Onion chopped in large pieces (125)
      • 4 ounce can of Chopped Green Chiles (Hatch Chiles if available) (20)
      • 1 jalapeño, minced including the seeds (5)
      • ½ head Garlic minced (26)
      • ½ bunch minced fresh Cilantro (1)
      • 7 ounces Herdez Salsa Verde (70)
      • 1 Bouillon cube in ½ cup of water to make broth (40)
      • Juice from one large Orange (55)
      • Zest from one orange (0)
      • ½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
      • 1 tablespoon Mexican Oregano
      • 2 Bay Leaves
      • 1 Ounce of Red Onion, thin slices (11)
      • 2 tablespoons of Champagne or Red Wine vinegar (6)
      • 4 tablespoons of sour cream (120)
      • 4 Radishes, sliced thin (9)
      • Salt and Black Pepper to taste


      • Thinly slice red onion and put in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of champagne vinegar. Stir occasionally.
      • Place bouillon cube in ½ cup of water and heat until dissolved
      • Prepare the pork, garlic, onion, green chiles if not chopped, orange, and Jalapeño.
      • In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat.
      • Add 1 pound of pork; cook and flip until lightly browned.
      • Toss in garlic and white onion, mix well.
      • Toss in chiles, cumin, salt, jalapeño, salsa verde, bay leaves, orange juice, orange zest, and broth, mix well.
      • Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until pork is tender and chili reaches desired consistency, about 1½ hours. Stir occasionally.
      • While the meal is cooking, prepare the cilantro and put in bowl.
      • Place the bowls of cilantro, radishes, marinaded red onion on the table, along with the sour cream.
      • The recipe makes 4 bowls, so serve enough each time so each person gets two bowls of equal amount.
      • After serving in a bowl, toss in Cilantro, red onion slices, radishes and a tablespoon of sour cream
    1. Hey Barbara! You have good taste in travel. Our favorite travel style is to discover an interesting place without a huge tourism agenda – just relax and take our time to catch the mood, pace and energy. Geneva-on-the-Lake, Jackson Center, Wapakonetta, and Bay City are all true American hometowns – fascinating histories, juicy squabbles, shame and glory, famous people, unsung heroes – with a heart to provide a better future for their young than the previous generation. I love the mid-west and I hope we get to visit each and every one of Ohio’s State Parks.

      Thanks so much for being with us!

      Safe and Happy Travels!


    1. Hey Kathy!

      GREAT to hear from you!!! And we thank you for sharing YOUR adventures on FB.

      Are you in town for the holidays?

      Safe and Happy Travels!


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