Lost by GPS on Presque Isle

We have our first experience with misplaced trust in GPS navigation, making a 5 mile outing into 10. Fun!

We’re driving east to Vermont, and it’s been raining like mad. Itching for some exercise, we drive through Erie, Pennsylvania to Presque Isle State Park, where it looks like there’s a good 5 mile bike trail. It’s out on a peninsula that’s full of inlets and lakes, which makes for confusing navigation, but Ann has a road map on her GPS and we figure the loop will be pretty clear. It takes some force of will to run out into the wind and rain, but we’re soon glad to be doing it. The wind quiets down and we have the park largely to ourselves.

Rain and Wind lighten up

We start on the inside of the inlet, passing inland ponds, windsurfers in the choppy bay, and mushrooms.


When we turn to the outside of the loop, Lake Erie comes into view.

Stormy Lake Erie

About the time we think we should be turning back towards the truck, things get confusing. The road splits, the bike path continues, and there are lots of small roads crossing without signage. We whip out Ann’s GPS and follow the obvious road it shows us. There’s a turn that looks like one we didn’t take when driving in, but we ignore this. The bike path disappears, but we ignore this. We pass a marina in a small inland “pond” with lots of tall-masted sailboats in it, but we ignore this. Finally we come to something we can’t ignore: 30 meters of open water, with our camper clearly visible on the other side.

So Close, Yet So Far

The road on our GPS map clearly goes right across this minor gap, but alas there is no road. I feel ridiculous for imagining a “tall bridge”. Dejected, we walk 3 more miles around the bay to our camper. On the way a find a big fat puffball, which I eat for dinner – the rewards of GPS foolishness!

More rain is predicted, and there is talk of flooding on the radio. We spend the night in a toll service area and hope we don’t end up under water somewhere as we continue east.

5 responses to “Lost by GPS on Presque Isle”

  1. The mushroom photo is of Shaggy Manes, extremely edible, but they turn quickly black. They are fresh for barely a day…there’s one good one in that picture, the little white one.

  2. Fun! I was surprised we didn’t see more mushrooms in the woods here – just these on a patch of grass and the one puffball in the woods.

  3. Another thing….I camped there on my Fourth Coast trip..there are several Presque Isles, pronounced differently from place to place. There’s one about 2 hours north of here and it’s pronounced Presk Aisle. I think the Erie one is Presk Eel. They are all peninsulas, or “almost islands”, and lovely.

    Anyway, I took a boat tour of your Presque Isle on Little Toot and did my first self-portrait there in front of it. I’ll email you that picture if I can find it. I found the park lovely and very very noisy. I also found that in the two years before I camped there (in 1990), 560,000 TONS of sand had been dumped on the beaches—33,000 truckloads—mined from the bottom of Lake Erie by a hopper dredge.

  4. Sounds totally frustrating, I bet it was nice to finally get back to the camper.

    Mad Mushroom pictures! I sure wish I had a handle on which ones are edible…I’ve seen a lot of them out here in CO.

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