As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we like to spend time honoring all of those who have served in the military – humans and horses alike!!! Perhaps best known is Staff Sergeant Reckless (c. 1948 – May 13, 1968), a decorated war horse who held official rank in the United States military was a Mongolian-bred mare who was purchased in October 1952 for $250 from a Korean stable boy at the Seoul race park who needed money to buy an artificial leg for his sister. Reckless was bought by members of the Marine Corp and trained to be a pack horse for the Recoilless Rifle Platoon, Anti-Tank Company. She quickly became part of the unit and was allowed to roam freely through camp, entering the Marines’ tents, where she would sleep on cold nights, and was known for her willingness to eat nearly anything, including scrambled eggs, beer, Coca Cola and, once, about $30 worth of poker chips!
Last weekend, my best friend and her family invited me to go with her and her family to the beautiful Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA. We saw so much more wildlife than I’ve ever seen at our local state park, or even around here. I fell in love with water and the sand and saw driftwood for the first time. This was also my first time to a “seashore” though I still dream of visiting the ocean one day. I love those houseboat homes floating on Horseshoe Pond too! I’d love to stay in one. It was a beautiful and fun day and we finished up with a hearty meal at the Cracker Barrel in Erie.
Presque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula that arches into Lake Erie. As Pennsylvania’s only “seashore,” Presque Isle offers its visitors a beautiful coastline and many recreational activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, bicycling and in-line skating. A National Natural Landmark, Presque Isle is a favorite spot for migrating birds. Because of the many unique habitats, Presque Isle contains a greater number of the state’s endangered, threatened and rare species than any other area of comparable size in Pennsylvania.
At the City of Erie, a peninsula, over six miles in length, arches out into the water of Lake Erie forming an expansive natural harbor. French explorers recognized the intrinsic value of the harbor and in 1753 constructed Fort Presque Isle on the mainland near the harbor entrance. The name Presque Isle means “almost an island” in French and referred to the nearby peninsula. From Fort Presque Isle, fur traders could portage their goods fifteen miles to Fort Le Boeuf, located at the upper reaches of the Allegheny River near present-day Waterford, and then float downstream to Pittsburgh and on to Louisiana. Fort Presque Isle and its portage thus became a vital link between the French fur trade network in the Great Lakes and its colony on the Gulf Coast.
Curious about those houseboat homes floating on Horseshoe Pond? I was too. Learn more about them HERE.
If you live nearby or if you’re going to be traveling in the area, I highly recommend stopping in at this beautiful park. You won’t be disappointed!
Till Next Time…