Overcast skies and humidity joined us as we sat on the hotel patio, admiring the water lilies. Day two on the road with the dogs centered around riding a ferry to the village of Put-In-Bay located on South Bass Island. The weather forecast included the possibility of thunderstorms. We decided to go over to the island early to avoid getting wet. First we needed to uncover the motorcycles.
Placing the bikes under a tarp protects the electronics and ensures you will have a dry seat in the morning. Jerry decided to wear one of our church t-shits made for a toy run we did years ago. I forgot about this tiny piece of our history.
Ferry ride on day two on the road with the dogs
The most common way to get to Put-In-Bay is to travel by ferry. I read you can charter a plane, but we wanted to have the motorcycles with us. We figured it would be the only way we could explore the island. It turns out there is another mode of transportation, but I’ll talk about that later in the post.
The road dogs have traveled by ferry before, but that happened years ago. It is important to note that if you are a passenger on a motorcycle, you will walk onto the boat. This gets awkward because you aren’t sure where to go to avoid being ran over by the other vehicles while loading and unloading.
The water buckled and swayed as we crossed Lake Erie. Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial came into view as we got closer to the island. This landmark celebrates Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s naval victory over the British in the War of 1812. The victory became Put-In-Bay’s one historical claim to fame. A construction project around the memorial currently underway made it impossible to visit.
Road construction in Put-In-Bay on day two on the road with the dogs
It appears not even the small Island of South Bass can escape road construction season. We saw evidence of it as we traveled down the main drag to get to all the activity.
The primary way to travel around the small island appeared to be by golf cart. We saw them every where we went. They made parking difficult. They also tended to chug along at a slow rate of speed. The gulf carts explained why people parked their cars at the ferry terminal and rode the ferry without transportation for when they arrived on the island.
Exploring ‘Key West of the North’ on day two on the road with the dogs
Put-In-Bay proudly calls itself the “Key West North.’ I’ve been to Key West and this island doesn’t compare. I didn’t see a single chicken or six-toed cat. When it comes to alcohol consumption and high prices, Put-In-Bay is similar to Key West. Contrary to the popular stereotype, the Road Dogs believe alcohol and motorcycling don’t mix. I know a few bikers that ride better drunk than sober. They are few and far between. The Road dogs don’t belong to that club. The bars on Put-In-Bay didn’t hold any attraction for us.
We did stop at a restaurant for lunch only to discover that Put-In-Bay had it’s own brand of beggars. A white gull flew from the sky and landed on the water. He must have received his share of handouts at this corner of the dock. There was a sign requesting that we not feed the birds. He didn’t get a meal from us.
Captain Morgan stood guard to the entrance of the dinning area. I guess he wanted to make certain everyone consumed the right amount of rum.
Kimberley’s Carousel on day two on the road with the dogs
Put-In-Bay did have a few attractions to entertain children of all ages. Kimberley’s Carousel caught our attention. Rooster and I spent a summer taking our granddaughter to the many carousels scattered around Central Indiana. We were surprised to discover such a nice menagerie of wooden animals spinning around under a artistically painted roof here on Put-In-Bay.
Interesting features found on Put-In-Bay
We did find a few interesting features on Put-In-Bay. Firstly, we thought the concept of a husband day care center was unique. Punky and I thought about leaving Rooster and Jerry there. We changed our mind since they were driving.
The massive amount of golf carts parked and moving around the island made us feel like we were visiting a small Hoosier town where the citizens are known to travel by golf cart.
We also discovered a fantastic beach during our drive around the island.
We wondered if this gull was our beggar friend from earlier in the day. It appeared he stole a fish from somewhere. We all agreed he probably didn’t catch it himself.
Highlight of day Two on the road With the dogs
We all agreed that Heineman’s Winery topped the list of attractions found on Put-In-Bay. The cave and wine making tour made the trip to the island memorable.
We decided to pay the admission so we could descend a flight of stairs and visit the cave. Punky is a rock hunter. She picked up so many rocks on our trip we became concerned about the weight of Jerry’s saddle bags. The cave became a must see for her. The guide told everyone not to touch the sides of the cave because oil from our fingers could damage the walls. There had to be one person in the group that had to test the theory. A blonde woman ran her fingers over the rocks. Our guide wasn’t happy and neither were we.
After we were finished with the cave, we took a wine making tour. I found the process interesting.
Leaving Put-In-Bay on day two on the road with the dogs
Humid air and the rumble of thunder met us when we walked outside after the tour. We all agreed to head for the ferry. The change of getting stuck on the island without a reserved hotel room didn’t appeal to us. It looked like other people had the same idea. A line of cars waited to load at the dock. I was sure we’d get wet or possibly struck by lightning until one of the workers waved us forward. They managed to squeeze the bikes on the boat.
The storm followed us as we crossed the water.
We found a motel room. order a pizza, and waited outside under the awning for it to come. I was glade we located a safe harbor because the storm was filled with high wind, thunder, and lightning. The moon came out behind the clouds by the time the pizza arrived.
Thus, ends our second day on the road. We enjoyed our time on Put-In-Bay, but we also were slightly disappointed. We expected more from South Bass Island. everyone agreed the ferry ride and the winery were the best part of the day. Tomorrow, we plan to ride along the shores of Lake Erie looking for adventure. Day three on the road with the dogs ended up being the best part of the trip.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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