This past week here in the Midwest, the weather has been unseasonably cool and somewhat moist, so I figured that I might as well get one last real adventure in before the fall rains and school year reduce my operations to Michigan-only. Thus, on August 16th, I popped the Bruce Springsteen in the CD player and headed west out of the Detroit metro area, bound for a place rumored to have Silvery Salamanders (Ambystoma hybrids). To that end, I failed miserably at this first spot, managing only to come away with poison ivy, mosquito bites, a sore torso from log-flipping, and ten Red-backs. Next was my foray into my now beloved Buckeye State, whose sign I never fail to honk in appreciation at upon my crossing. An unspecified distance into the Buckeye State, I turned off the interstate, and into a decently rough neighborhood, attempting to find Smallmouth Salamanders. The spot only yielded mud and cicada killers, and, by this point, I was beginning to get discouraged. After a meal on the east side of Toledo, we motored out to a birding spot (I usually herp with my brother, an avid birder). Although we came up empty on birds, a walk along the rustic and not-so-scenic Lake Erie coast revealed the Gordon Lightfoot of the Frog World. A Green Frog no bigger than my thumb was sitting along the shore of Lake Erie, on the beach, with no other water in sight. When we walked by, it jumped into the waves of Erie, and was tossed like a rag doll. My brother and I took the frog inland to a marsh, though I'm still wondering why he was there and if anyone else has had a similar experience. After a cheap motel night's rest, I headed out to a spot fabled to have the ever-elusive Marbled Salamander. At the first locale, I found some lead-backed salamanders, and then stumbled upon a gem. A hybrid Ambystoma, formerly recognized (still recognized by some, including me) as a species was found under a log, and two others with the heads of Smallmouths, spots of Blue-spots, bellies of Jeffersons, and costal grooves of tigers followed, much to my euphoria. This salamander was the main goal for the entire trip. As if that weren't enough, while my brother photographed an Indigo Bunting, I stole a glance up into a nearby tree on the trail, to spy an odd-looking vine. However, when I realized what the vine was, I shrieked, and began to dance a jig straight out of 1955, saying, "Look at the tree, look at the tree!" On the tree, at eye level, was a sunning Lake Erie Water Snake, coiled and motionless. The ensuing search for Marbleds failed, but I went back to Michigan a happy camper. In fact, if there were a ranger at this proverbial campsite, I'd give him a 401(k). Another great expedition to Ohio. I guess herpers really were Born to Run!