The adventure below is the latest in a series sharing my quest to explore Pennsylvania by visiting each of the sixty-seven county seats and eating a hot dog while in town.
Well, this is hard to get my brain wrapped around but this is the final stop on our hot dog quest around Pennsylvania. We began the quest last November in Danville and here we are invading Erie to complete the journey. Erie is a community trying to recover from some tough economic times working hard to give themselves a face lift.
One of the focuses of the new look in Erie is the water front where the Maritime Museum is located in an old power plant. The USS Niagara is the center piece of this facility that also includes the city library. The USS Niagara is a replica of the flag-ship Commodore Perry led to victory over the British in the battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. Commodore Perry started the battle on the USS Lawrence (named after his good friend who had been killed in action). Perry is known for the message he sent to Washington after the battle which read in part, We have met the enemy and they are ours; …” The motto, “Don’t give up the ship.” was flown on his ship and are the dying words expressed by his friend Captain James Lawrence in the earlier sea battle where he was killed.
Our visit to the museum was enhanced by the presence of our personal guide Jordan. He loves what he does and is an encyclopedia full of information about the museum. The USS Niagara was off on some mission so we missed it. This is a photo of the ships dock. I did find a file photo of the USS Niagara underway. In the museum we toured the gun deck of the USS Lawrence. The experience on this recreation (cannon were actually fired into this replica using the same weapons available in 1812) was a vivid illustration of the destruction and human carnage resulting from a sea battle. Something pretty cool is that the original generators from the power station are still sitting on the floor of the museum.
Jordan was also knowledgeable about the best hot dog joint to visit in Erie.
We arrived at Sara’s following Jordan’s directions and stepped into a ‘carnival’ like atmosphere to eat the last hot dog on our adventure. Sara’s is located at Presque Isle across the street from Waldameer Amusement Park and Splash Lagoon. It felt like everyone in Erie was hanging out at Waldameer and Sara’s on this summer day. The excitement was contagious inside Sara’s. My Jane and I ordered our Smith’s hot dogs and found a place to sit inside to devour our delicious treat. The action was non-stop as folks ate and left and others took their place. This was a great place to end our quest. I enjoyed this sign next to our table.
From Sara’s we headed out on to Presque Isle to walk along the lake. As we parked at our first stop My Jane realized she had left her purse at Sara’s. Well, we headed back the way we came while calling to inform the folks at Sara’s of our intentions. The person who answered replied that they had the purse and explained where My Jane needed to go to retrieve it. Wow! We just continue to experience great folks on this journey. Thank you to whoever turned in My Jane’s purse.
We returned to Presque Isle and stopped at the Commodore Perry monument to complete our visit to Erie and our quest for a hot dog in all sixty-seven counties in Pennsylvania. “What happens next?” you ask. “I don’t know!” I reply. Something!
See you next time.