Stop #1: Lake Erie and Erie, Pennsylvania

At 4:30 am, I woke my parents up and we started getting ready for our USA road trip. We crammed ourselves in our car with all of our bags, my parents in the front, my sister and I in the back. At around 5:30 am we started driving towards Erie, Pa, our first destination. It’s a six hour drive, so we arrived at 11:30.

We decided to go to Presque Isle State Park as our first tourist attraction. We had a picnic for lunch and ate potatoes.

Then we went swimming in Lake Erie. There was a very nice beach and the water was very cool, about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Though some people prefer warmer temperatures, 70 degrees is perfect for a hot summer day.

After swimming we wanted to see the lighthouse. On the way there we noticed a bird feeder, and next to it was a barn. In the corners of the ceilings we saw nests of barn swallows. There was one nest that had 4 adorable baby birds in it.

We drove to the lighthouse and walked through the sand to get a closer view of it. The information on the plaques was very interesting to read. Some facts we learned were :

  • The Presque Isle Lighthouse was constructed between September of 1872 and July of 1873.
  • The Lighthouse used to be lit by an oil lamp, but the type of oil is not really known. Many lighthouses built in the same time period used whale oil, but it is almost certain that the Presque Isle state house didn’t use it. Because the lighthouse is close to Oil City Pa, it’s logical that a kind of kerosene was used. On the other hand, there is also evidence that vegetable oil was used.
  • The keeper of the lighthouse prepared the oil lamps in the oil room each night during shipping season, April to November. He had to keep the light shining by checking the oil and cleaning the lenses every four hours at night. The keeper was the slave to the lighthouse, all throughout the night.
  • Charles Waldo, the first keeper of the lighthouse, called it the loneliest place on earth. The Waldo family had a very isolated experience, because the road to the mainland was not completed until 1927. Before that, if the family wanted to reach civilization, they would have to walk along a 1.5-mile pathway. Their isolation was broken only by a supply tender who brought them supplies several times a year.

After seeing the lighthouse we went to our hotel and relaxed. Finally, before going to bed we went down to the docks and looked at all of the yachts there.

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