Wednesday morning began with devotions and breakfast at Emily’s grandmother’s house. We had a small feast, and after we were completely stuffed, we headed out the door for some driving lessons and practice in Emily’s car, Dory, which is a manual transmission car.
Beth-Anne began. She drove around the small neighborhood, and then ventured out onto a slightly more populated road. She did amazing! This only served to make me more nervous. I had not driven stickshift in several years, nor had I ever been particularly good at it. Thankfully, when it was my turn to practice, I managed to get around without much event. Then Emily decided we needed to practice starting on slight hills so we headed over to a small garden park area she knew. “There are hardly ever any cars,” she assured us.
As I stopped on the slight incline, a car was pulling into the garden behind me. I began to panic a little bit, but managed to get going without terribly much trouble. We looped around the parking lot, headed back toward the incline at the entrance, and then I realized that I was going to have to make a 3-point turn on a bridge to get back to the incline. Have I ever mentioned that I hate reverse? I stalled—twice—while trying to reverse. Finally, slightly flustered, I managed to get turned around and practiced starting on the hill again. I did this a total of three times, and was finally beginning to feel comfortable enough.
Beth-Anne took the driver’s seat and began her session. She did incredibly well, though she rolled a little bit the first time. But as we were doing this loop, we noticed that there were actually quite a few cars coming through, and a park ranger was standing by the side of the road, glancing suspiciously at us each time we came around. We finished up and left the ranger in peace to wonder at our odd behavior, thankful that he hadn’t stopped us to question us.
After getting groceries and a pretty plant for Emily’s grandma, we were off! Emily drove at first to get us out of stressful driving situations, and then I took the wheel. Amazingly enough, we only had one nearly catastrophic event. I was driving behind a super slow tractor and decided to pass him on a one-lane road. As I moved into the lane for oncoming traffic, I began to shift, but realized I had shifted into neutral and didn’t know which gear I should be in. A car was coming from the other direction, and I (thankfully) did not panic and managed to pass the tractor and get back into our lane in time to avoid colliding. Needless to say, I think Em’s and Beth-Anne’s heart rates jumped quite a bit. Other than that, our only real excitement before we reached Kelley’s Island was stopping for an 85-car train (yes, I counted).
We arrived at the ferry to Kelley’s Island at about 3:30 pm and waited for the 4 o’clock ferry. Once across Lake Erie to the island, we headed for The House on Huntington Lane, a bed and breakfast owned by an Irish woman named Patty. She gave us a tour, we put down our stuff, and headed out on the bicycles to explore the island. We biked for about 2 hours and visited the local library, discovered some summer snow (cottonwood seeds), and went to the north coast where we took some pictures. We also saw a water snake that is indigenous only to some of the islands in Lake Erie and took some pictures on the rocks. Then we headed up to see the glacial grooves, and biked on the road next to the shoreline back to our room.
At one point, we scouted out some of the shops, including the general store. I asked the guy behind the counter a few questions about the postcards and some of the landmarks on the island that we wanted to see in the morning. Then… I tried to give him a Steps to Christ. And failed. Miserably. I was quite discouraged as we left.