June 17, 2011
Trip Start Jun 02, 2011
70Trip End Sep 25, 2011
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Where I stayed
Walmart in Hamburg, NY
What I did
Swam in Lake Erie
We have agreed to slightly modify our trip route today. I realized a few days ago that our existing route will take us to the shore of 4 of the 5 Great Lakes, but that we actually miss the shore of Lake Erie. Because we are so close, we decided that we should divert today to spend a few hours along the shore of Lake Erie so we will capture the complete Great Lake experience.
It is hard to comprehend the magnitude of these lakes until you are here. When we were in Cooperstown we drove along Lake Otsego for about 5 miles, and the girls were so amazed with how large it was that they asked if it was also considered a great lake. I explained no, and that Otsego is much smaller than the Great Lakes, although I was not able to give a more detailed context. Later that night I pulled out the atlas to show them, and it was really an eye-opening realization for all of us because Lake Otsego was about the size of a pencil tip, compared to the great lakes which filled half a page. It is hard to put into context how large these bodies of water are, buy that did it pretty well!
So back to our revamped plan! Last night instead of heading directly toward Niagara Falls, we turned south for about 15 miles at Buffalo, NY, which drives us right along Lake Erie. At about 2am I arrived at the Hamburg, NY Walmart, where I slept until 7:30, and I then departed at 8:30 for the 30 minute trip along Lake Erie to Evangola State Park,
When we arrived I first cooked a breakfast of egg with tortilla, and then the girls were quite anxious to head out to the lake. There were several school trips there, but the park still seemed empty. I had the girls put on their bathing suits right at the start because I realized there was no way I would keep them out of the water today! They got changed, put on sunscreen, and took off ahead of me toward the beach.
As I walked up behind, they were already fully immersed in the water by the time I arrived. It is really a beautiful beach...over 1/2 mile long and 100 yards deep with pure white sand. On either edge of the beach there are very picturesque cliffs/landforms which lead up to picnic areas. As I was admiring the landscape, the girls swam out about as far as they can go (there are ropes), and the class trip and teachers are all stood on the beach looked at them - the kids all looked jealous, and the adults looked concerned.
When the beach time expired, we walked to the end of the beach on the north side.
In the end, I was very happy with our decision to divert to Lake Erie, and felt lucky to have found such an ideal park.