Did You Know that there are Islands in Ohio?

The islands are in Lake Erie, and like the couples resorts in the movies, one is for relaxing and another for partying. I didn’t know this before choosing to go to Kelleys Island (the relaxing one), but feel certain I would have made the same choice.

Ferry Required

The excursion began with a ferry ride–my first. Well, not in life, but with the camper. People looked at me oddly while I took pictures of the experience–but I’m used to people looking at me oddly; particularly with a camera in hand (I’m known to sit on the floor for a shot). My favorite part of the ride (aside from the seasickness) was watching the GPS freak out!

Ferry to Kelley's Island Ohio


A Chance to Call a Place “Idyllic”

This is the view from the campground. All together now: ahhh.

View from Kelley's Island Campground Sandcastles and Seagulls

On my first night there, I went to the beach to enjoy the twitching and neck-twisting-flexibility of a flock of seagulls.

Seagulls at Kelley's Island Ohio

While I was enjoying the birds, college students were building a sunset sandcastle. Of course they were. So I joined in. With no tide, the castle lasted for days–perhaps longer. It was still standing when I left four days later.

Sandcastle on Kelley's Island Ohio

Sandcastle on Kelley's Island Ohio

Sandcastle on Kelley's Island Ohio

Once Upon a Time there was a Quarry on an Island

My logic is ridiculous, I know. A quarry on an island seems awfully heavy–how does the island not sink?

Limestone was quarried from 1933-1940, and now the space is a lake. Nature wins.

Quarry on Kelley's Island

Quarry on Kelley's Island

Quarry on Kelley's Island

Quarry on Kelley's Island

An Introduction to Glacial Grooves

[The brochure says that] these are the “finest example of glacial scouring/scoring in North America.” Not having surveyed the other options–nor having heard of glacial grooves until coming here–I’ll take their word for it.

A glacial wall – ice – had rocks and boulders frozen into it. Think of your yard after it snows and then ices over: it’s not just the precipitation; it’s collected hitchhikers. When the glaciers in the area were ready to move (that’s the scientific term), they dragged the rocks along the island’s limestone, leaving behind these grooves. They look like tire tracks in mud, preserved for eternity. But much larger, with great detail, and both awe and disbelief that glaciers moved–and moved right here.

Glacial Grooves on Kelleys Island

Glacial Grooves on Kelleys Island

Glacial Grooves on Kelleys Island

Ever Heard of an Alvar? Me Neither

Pronunciation: al (like the name) + far (but replace “f” with “v”)

Alvars only occur in glaciated regions of the Northern Hemisphere (again, from the brochure). They’re found in the Great Lakes, the Baltic region of Europe, and on islands off the coast of Sweden. So what I thought was simply a pretty coastline, is actually a rare phenomenon.

In actuality, though, it is just a coastline. But one from a glacial impact, and has special species of plants and lichen which grow on it.

Alvar on Kelleys Island

Alvar on Kelleys Island

Kelleys Island exceeded expectations, which is a delight. It’s small, but rich with experiences, and ripe for relaxing.

4 Responses


Did the GPS say in a condescending sigh “recalculating?


Oh my! This place ROCKS!! Limestone quarries, glacial grooves, alvars? The mind reels! The photos have me captivated. Is it because I am working hard today and would love to be taking in that idyllic setting in person?
I am really looking forward to visiting and experiencing this first hand. Thanks for continue to expand my travel list. Your blog is my newest addiction!

Gorgeous photos. I’m taking a course on Sunday given by some NatGeo photographers here in Philadelphia. Maybe I’ll be able to improve my technique. My “equipment” is a Cannon “point and shoot”. What did you use for these?

I especially like the geology lesson and rock photos. I took geology my first year in college to satisfy a science requirement. I really enjoyed the classes, but when I told my father I was considering majoring in geology, he pointed out that there would probably be some heavy duty math and physics coming down the pike, so I reverted to being a double major in history and Spanish. But, I’m still quite fond of rocks and their back stories.
Just One Boomer (Suzanne) recently posted..Aspen, Colorado – Skis OptionalMy Profile

Suzanne – ‘ve always wanted to take a NatGeo class and am also intimidated by it. So kudos to you for going! Will you let me know how it is? You asked about my camera: I have a Nikkon D3000. It’s a DSLR, which is the kind where you change out lenses. I have two – one I pilfered from my Dad and use for most shots; and one for small, close-up stuff. I’m totally flummoxed by the math of photography, so just adjust until it looks right! I’ve taken a class, but need to take another.

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