Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 24 - 31. This marks the end of our 1st month on the road.

Day 24 Leamington to Port Stanley ~ 103 miles

We woke up at about 7:30 and went inside and Robbie had made coffee for us. We double checked our route and talked for a few minutes. After coffee we went back out and tore down the tent and packed our bags. We said goodbye and took a picture together.

We headed back the way we had come into town to stop at the Leamington Post. A lady named Pat Bailey interviewed us for an article that will be coming out in a few days! After the interview we biked down to the waterfront where she took our picture for the article. The harbor in Leamington is one location where there is a ferry out to Pelee Island. This is an island in Lake Erie that is know for its wineries. After taking the pictures and filming a bit we headed up to Wal Mart where Zach grabbed a phone charger and a calling card.

We headed up to Tim Hortons and got some breakfast. We had a bagel with cream cheese/ breakfast sandwich, doughnuts, and an iced coffee. To hot today to be drinking hot coffee. After eating we headed out onto the road to begin our 100 mile day!

We got off to a pretty good start heading down highway 3. The road was flat for the most part and the traffic was minimal. We were also within sight of the Lake, so that was a treat! The wind was pushing sideways off the Lake so it was a bit of a battle, but not to bad. We pushed through a bunch of miles and then got into another area with wind turbines. More than we had previously seen. We stopped to do some filming and then continued on.

We reached a town called Blenheim once we had reached about 45 miles. We stopped at our usual Subway routine for lunch and read the paper to see what was happening in the World. After lunch we just had to keep on going.

Zach hit a wall after lunch and just had a hard time going. He sang “99 Bottles of Beer” once through and half way through again to pass the time. We eventually met back up together and talked to pass the time. At around 70 miles or so we both were really struggling so we stopped at a small gas station to get something cold to drink and to get off of the bikes for a minute. Just after we stopped at the gas station we saw a lone tourer that was headed to California.

We got off highway 3 and then continued toward Port Stanley. We encountered a big hill that people had been telling us about. We were skeptical because of how flat it has been the last few days, but unfortunately it wasn't an illusion. It was big but not long...just steep. So we powered up it and continued on. The conditions were brutal. So hot and humid and our bodies were just wrecked. Used to doing about 70 miles a day we just had to convince ourselves to keep going.

We finally reached Port Stanley at 7 pm, we made it 103 miles! A nice small port town, a diamond in the rough known for its fishing (Perch mainly). We met Lynn and her boyfriend Dave at the local convenience store after stopping at the LCBO. They picked up Perch from a local eatery and we followed them about a quarter mile back to Lynn's house.

Her place is amazing! It is about 100 yards from the Lake, tucked perfectly up on a hill. She has an amazingly elaborate deck in the back with a hot tub, bar, eating/ lounge area, multiple levels, and a beautiful garden! We sat outside and met a couple of her friends that were there. We drank a few beers and then ate dinner. We ate the awesome perch, french fries, salad, and pumpernickel bread! It was so good and we ate so much. Had to re fuel after the long ride.
After dinner we showered and then went back out to enjoy the sunset on the deck. To our amazement Lynn and Dave went to spend the night on Dave's trailer and they left us the entire place to ourselves! It was amazing, pure luxury.

We used the computer to figure out our route for the next few days and then we just relaxed, watched some TV and then a movie called Righteous Kill. We were having to much fun doing nothing and we aren't headed to bed until 2 am after the movie gets done. A great way to end a 100 mile day.

We are headed to Port Dover tomorrow.

Day 25 – Port Dover to Selkirk Shores Provincial Park ~ 90 miles

We woke up at 7 to the sounds of an air compressor being started at the home next to Lynn's. They were working outside on the deck and soon after the air compressor stopped they turned on the radio. So we struggled to sleep till 9 and got up around that time when Lynn and Dave returned.

We made coffee and lounged around for a bit. We slowly packed our things and then Lynn took us back into town for a ride in her convertible. She wanted to show us the town so we could do some filming. We went down to the public beach area where most of the local pubs and hang out spots are. Then we drove around and she showed us some of the industry of the town.The two main industrial things in town is the fishing and the asphalt plant. Otherwise it is mostly tourism.

After driving around we stopped at one of the local coffee shops called Village Square Coffeehouse. It was great! They had chocolate croissant, which we have been waiting for a while to get, and some amazing coffee from Nicaragua. We sat and ate a bit and then drove around a bit more. We went down to another small beach and then headed back into town. As we passed the coffee shop again we noticed that there were 3 touring bikes parked outside. We stopped and went into talk to the owners of the bikes. They were 3 guys from Ohio and Illinois. They were about a week in on their tour around Lake Erie. One of the guys plans to bike the Continental Divide (US) in the future. We talked to them for a bit and then took a picture together. After that we stopped at one of the local inns. One of Lynn's friends owns it and she is also big into bike touring. She has done many trips overseas. We talked with her for a bit and then headed back to Lynn's place.

When we got back to Lynn's we did a bit of filming and then took a picture together and said our goodbyes. She invited us to stay with her again if we ever come her way...we would like to do that. Port Stanley is a pretty cool place.

We waved goodbye and left her driveway around noon. We hopped onto highway 3 and rode through St. Thomas and headed toward our destination in Port Dover. The condition of Highway 3 had drastically changed from yesterday. It was nice yesterday with a decent shoulder and minimal traffic. Today it was awful. Old decrepit road with monster cracks and a foot of thick gravel right on the white line.

We kept cruising as best we could. It was really hot and humid again today. We stopped at Wendy's for lunch. More than anything we just wanted to get out of the heat for a bit. But we ate and talked to a few people and then went back out into the heat and continued on.

We eventually got off the horrible road and onto a few side roads that headed into Port Dover. We stopped at the local RV campground that Dave had recommended the night before.We talked to someone that was staying there who told us it was RV's only. We called the owner and asked if we could pitch our tent. He told us no because he said it would cause to many problems, but he recommended another park. We think that is really sad that you can't even pitch a tent for one night in a campground. What is happening to people? So we took our money elsewhere.

We continued into Port Dover and stopped at a convenience store to fill up on fluids. It was still really uncomfortably hot. We enjoyed our beverages and asked around to see if anyone else knew of a place we could camp for the night. Nobody seemed to know anything.

We continued on to find the park that the owner of the RV camp had recommended and discovered that is was a community park with ball fields and playground. We couldn't figure out why he would even send us there. Anyone who lives that town would know not to send someone there to camp. Stupid. While we were there a lady offered us a place to pitch our tent in her yard. Super nice of her, but unfortunately it was back the way we had come and we didn't feel like backtracking.

So we continued on to Selkirk Shores PP. It was about another 15 miles or so past Port Dover. On our way we passed a massive US Steel plant and an Ontario Power plant. Before we made the turn to the park we biked another 2 miles into the town of Selkirk to get something to eat. The first and only thing we found open was a convenience store so we just got a few snacks as we were still content from Wendy's.

We headed back to the park exhausted. It ended up being a 93 mile day. Much longer than we intended. Almost 2 100 mile days back to back. We are beat. We headed down to check out the beach after we showered and set up because there was a massive lightning storm over Lake Erie. We went down and enjoyed the show and are going to bed extremely tired.

We are heading to Niagara tomorrow and are really excited!

Day 26 – Selkirk Shores to ACBB Hostel Niagara ~ 55 miles

We woke up around 830 got our things packed up and then headed back into Selkirk to get breakfast. Right away we could tell it was going to be a scorcher of a day.We stopped at a local dinner called the Sunflower I think. We each had the big breakfast. 3 slices of French toast, 2 eggs, breakfast potatoes, and three sausages, with coffee. It was nice to have a solid breakfast for a change.

We headed out of town through farm country again. We went through a town and then got onto some country backroads. We weaved in and out changing directions and roads every so often.

We eventually reached the Welland Canal. It is an important shipping canal that links Erie and Ontario allowing the ships to skip around Niagara Falls. It is rally quite impressive.

Once we reached the canal we didn't have much further to go to reach our KOA destination on Lundy's Lane just on the outskirts of Niagara. There are a lot of shut down businesses and hotels along the road, as well as a handful of gentlemen's clubs. Not what we would have expected in Niagara.
We reached the KOA around 4 and paid for the Value site (tent only no hookups, 40 bucks). We went and biked to the site and immediately looked at each other. It was awful. It was a small patch of grass in the back of the campground with no shade and trash strewn about. We looked at each other and agreed we would rather sleep behind the public library. Zach biked back up to the front desk and told them we wanted to up grade. We paid 4 more bucks and got moved to an equally shitty site. We were not going to stay there or any KOA for that matter. We got out the laptop and immediately started looking for alternate options.

We settled on a local hostel. The ACBB hostel, which is about a 15 min walk from the falls. It was about 5 dollars more per person than the KOA and we got a shower, bed, breakfast, WI-FI, location, and company. Not even a contest.

We biked up there and stopped at DQ to get a blizzard before settling in. We arrived at the hostel and put our things into our room and showered and then went at sat in the communal area. We met a guy named Clem from France and we ended up going to Boston Pizza with him for a bite to eat. After we ate with Clem we parted ways and we went down to see the Falls. It was the first time Zach has seen them and Kris had been before. It was dark by the time we got there, but the falls were lit up. It was a beautiful sight.

We were so amazed by the number of people in Niagara. It is really pretty depressing how built up and tourist centered it has become. It seems like people go down to the falls for 30 min and then get bored and go play mini golf or do other tourist things. We are determined to spend our time near the river as far away from the crowds as possible.

After checking out the falls we headed back to the hostel and watched a bit of Into the Wild. It was nice to sit and relax. We are going to bed at a decent time because we have a rest day tomorrow and don't want to sleep the day away.

Day 27 – ACBB Hostel Niagara – Rest Day

We woke up around 8:30 and Zach showered and we went down for breakfast. After breakfast we decided to get our laundry done while we had the opportunity. We walked a few blocks to the laundromat and quickly got it done.

After the laundromat we walked back to the hostel and talked to Patrick, the hostel owner, about things we should see around the falls. We set off to head up above the falls to the rapids area. On our way we stopped at a small local pub/ eatery in the small town just south of Niagara. We had a burger and beer and then headed to the rapids.

Our plan was to start at the rapids and move down river and end up at the whirlpool. It is amazing how few people there were above the falls. Everybody just flocks right to the falls and don't realize that the river is pretty awesome. The rapids are huge and the river above the falls is really wide. The volume of water heading between the two lakes it tremendous. There is an old barge called the “Old Scow” that got cut loose from its tug above the falls back in the day. It floated toward the falls and the two men that were aboard opened the bottom hatches in the boat and were able to get it stuck on some rocks in the rapids. It took them almost a whole night to get off, but they were able to make it to shore alive.

After the rapids we headed down to the falls. Being on the Canadian side we could get right up next to Horseshoe Falls (the more famous of the two falls at Niagara). It was really awesome. We did some filming and then headed inside to check out the prices to head below the falls. We opted not to go down because it was around 3pm and we wanted to make it down to the whirlpool before dark. We stuck around by the falls for a bit longer and then headed down river to get out of the crazy crowd of people.

We biked down to the whirlpool. It is the largest whirlpool in the world. The current looked so amazingly strong from above. We had to hike down a ravine with over 300 stairs to the bottom. We hiked down and talked to a couple that said someone who was fishing the day before went in the water for a swim and hadn't been seen since. They said the police were down there earlier in the day looking for them. It speaks about how powerful the water is there. It was a really cool area. We saw a couple guys fishing and one of them pulled a decent small mouth bass out of the water. After hanging out for a few minutes we began the long hike out back up to the road. It was so hot! We were dripping sweat by the time we made it back to the top.

We biked back to the hostel and by that point it was almost dinner time. We walked into town and Kris went to a convenience store to get some allergy meds and Zach used a payphone to call home. We started walking back toward the hostel and then decided to try to find the restaurant with the “all you can eat” pasta dinner for $7.99. Kris had seen the sign earlier. We were just about to give up on finding it when we ran into it. We ate dinner and then rushed back to the hostel to get our camera equipment because there were fire works that started at 10 right above the falls.

We grabbed our gear and then headed down to the falls. The fireworks were a lot of fun to see. They were really well done, and apparently they are going all summer long on Friday and Sunday nights. After the fireworks we went back up the hill to Boston Pizza for a beer. After the beer we headed back to the hostel. Kris showered and then we went to bed.

We are heading to Hamilton tomorrow via Niagara on the Lake. We enjoyed Niagara, but are ready to move on to a new place.

Day 28 – ACBB Hostel to Hamilton ~ 60 miles

Woke up this morning not wanting to move. We got packed after some showers and had a small breakfast at the hostel. Once we were all set we got a picture in front of the hostel and some directions and headed out of town towards the Niagara River trail. After stopping at Tim Hortons we made it to the bike path, right where we had been the day before by the whirlpool.

The path was amazing! It took us through beautiful forests, gardens, and very scenic views of the river. We eventually came upon a very large hydro dam and did some filming there. Just to the left of the dam The valley opened up and we could see for many miles around us. We continued on the path and eventually made it to Niagara on the Lake. Here we took a quick look at Fort George, the French fort used in the war of 1812. After that we hit lake Ontario and took a few minutes to take it all in. On the opposite side of the river was Fort Niagara on the US side.

From there we biked through many vineyards, orchards, and berry farms as we headed west for the first time on our trip. Very quickly we made it to the waterfront trail, which took us through neighborhoods and parks along the water. After we passed through St. Catherines we hooked back up with the trail on a side road that followed the freeway towards Hamilton. It was great because the pavement was smooth and there was a large bike lane on it with very little traffic. The problem was that it was getting hotter and hotter during the day. We just couldn't get enough water in. We passed a marina where we saw an old ship that looked like a pirate ship and we stopped there to film it. We also stood on the beach and tried to make out the Toronto skyline across the lake.

From here we kept on peddling until we decided we needed to get out of the sun and really get a lot of water in and a bite to eat. We stopped at Subway and did just that. Kris called Linda and figured out the plans to meet up with her. We were pretty far away form them and they lived on top of a huge cliff (escarpment) so they came and picked us up. We biked to the Husky and waited for them to arrive. Linda and her daughter Rebecca brought their cars and we piled all of our stuff in and they took us home. Having gotten on top of the escarpment I realized that it would have been almost impossible to reach their house in the heat. They also told us that the temperatures reached 94 degrees that day, no wonder we were struggling so much. That was the hottest day by far!

We got showered up back at the house and had dinner with her and her daughter. After dinner they took us around town to show us a few things and to figure out the best route for the morning since the terrain and roads are difficult in that area. They took us down to the waterfront park and we walked around for a bit. After that they took us to the lift bridge that we would have to cross in the morning to make sure that the repairs were done on it and we could cross.

We headed back to their house and watched a really funny old movie called The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes. After this was over we headed to bed exhausted from the heat and long eventful day. Tomorrow we will finally make it to Toronto for exploration and rest.

Day 29 – Hamilton to Toronto ~ 50 miles

We woke up this morning a bit later than we had hoped we would. It was around 9:30. Lynda had made us a breakfast of egg sandwiches and coffee. After breakfast we packed up our things and got ready to head out. We took a picture together and then we headed on down the road. We can't thank Lynda and her daughter enough for being gracious hosts. Her house is on the top of the escarpment so we got to take one of the access roads down to the lake level. We rode down for about a mile going about 25mph. It was a great way to start the morning.

We navigated our way down to the waterfront trail and started to head west to cross the lift bridge....we got bridged. There was a ship pulling into harbor just as we were pulling up. We went out to the end of the pier and filmed the ship coming in. Its home port is Sault Ste. Marie. After the ship passed through we crossed and were on our way again. We tried to stick to the Waterfront Trail as much as possible. We were heading through suburban area with many really nice houses.

We eventually rounded a corner and the Toronto skyline came into view with the CN Tower dominating the view. We made our way through the populated madness and reached a small park where we sat and enjoyed the snack the Lynda had packed for us, bran muffins and fruit. After eating we continued on into the city. We met up with another guy who was riding into town. His name was Larry and he works for a non profit here that deals with bike events that raise money for cancer funds. He is also an avid cyclist and in 2007 he took 17th in the Race Across America. It goes from Oceanside, CA to Atlantic City, NJ...coast to coast, over 3000 miles. He did it in 12 days. He biked us into town and helped up find our destination. Before we parted ways he bought us a shot of espresso at a local coffeehouse. Supposed to be some of the best in Toronto.

Kris phoned Elena, our contact who is hosting us while we are in Toronto, and got directions to the house. It is a Yogi commune with 13 residents. It was only two blocks or so from the coffeehouse so we biked over and she met us outside. We set up our tent in the backyard and showered. After showering we headed out to see the town.

We stopped at a pizza place in Little Italy and then biked through Chinatown and made our way to the CN Tower. We paid the admission fee and headed to the top! The CN Tower is still the worlds tallest structure. We went through security and got into the elevator. It moves 15 mph and there are windows in the wall and floor so you can watch as you go up! We made it to the observation level and looked around. It was a really awesome 360 degree view! After feeling content on the observation level we headed up to the Sky pod. It is the highest point on the tower that you can go. It goes way above the observation level and we could feel it swaying slightly in the wind.

We headed back down the elevator and then went to the level with the glass floor! You can walk on the glass and look all the way to the ground. We could see our bikes locked up way below! We went to the outdoor lookout and then headed back to the ground once we were content.

Once we got to the bottom we headed to the Distillery District to find the Mill Street Brewery. We found it and went is for a beer. We had the Tankhouse Ale...not bad. After that we headed back across town to the Amsterdam Brewery. We tried some beer there and then headed back toward the commune. We stopped in at the Cloak and Dagger, a local pub, and enjoyed some bluegrass by The Slocan Ramblers. We headed back to the commune and went to bed. Another day of exploration for us tomorrow.

Day 30 Rest Day, Toronto

It was great to sleep in this morning! After we woke up and showered we headed down college st. to find a good coffee shop. We went to Subway and had lunch before going to Manic Coffee and got a bunch of computer work done even though we didn't have any internet. After that we headed back to our tent and while Zach took a nap, Kris went back downtown and tried to find some internet. The computer wasn't working properly so he ended up finding an internet cafe there and getting some more work done.

After the computer work was complete he went back and woke up Zach. From there we got ready and went down to the Steam Whistle Brewery for a tour. The tours were almost filled and we had to head to the game soon so we decided to sample some beers and do some filming instead. We learned that the brewery is a green company just like the old round house that it is part of. The old roundhouse used steam from a nearby plant in the early 1920's to turn the locomotives and was truly one of the first green buildings of its kind.

After the brewery we headed to Kensington Market and had a great burger dinner and checked out a really cool area of town. We quickly headed back to the tent and then raced down to Rogers Center for a Blue Jays baseball game. They were playing the Baltimore Orioles and we had great seats in the lower deck in outfield. Two home runs came within 20 feet of us so that was really exciting as well. The best part was the Jays won!

After the game we headed back to College st. and got a couple beers and watched game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. What a great overtime game! We headed back to the tent to get a good nights rest before a long day of navigating through the streets of this large city. We are off to Port Hope tomorrow.

Day 31 – Downtown Toronto to Port Hope ~ 74 miles

Woke up this morning and didn't want to move or get out of bed. Its amazing how a cooler night makes you want to sleep as long as possible. We eventually got up and got packed up, stretched, and rehydrated. We opted to get out of Toronto before having breakfast so around 9:30 we took off. We headed through the renowned Kensington Market, China Town, and financial district to get some footage and then slowly made our way out of downtown.

We followed the Waterfront trail and reached a suburb where we stopped at a local bakery for some coffee and a small breakfast. We left a bit unfulfilled, but had to keep pressing on. We were facing a 70+ mile day and just wanted to reach our destination.
We continued to follow the Waterfront Trail but quickly got frustrated by its zig zag nature. It kept going out toward the lake and then back inland following the points of the shore.

We stopped for lunch and tried to get some food at a No Frills supermarket but couldn't find anything that we wanted. So we went to another local shop and had a sandwich. Again we left unfulfilled. We reached a bike shop and asked for directions and they told us to follow highway 2. So we did and it eventually marked back up with the trail. We followed it a bit further and it led us through some unsatisfactory gravel trail in a provincial park. We stopped at the visitors center and they gave us directions to avoid the trail.

Around 3 or 3:30 we reached a turn in our route we surprisingly met up with Richard from the Oshawa Cycling Club. We had been in contact with him previously and had planned to meet up with him. However we hadn't heard from him yet today so we figured something had come up. But once we reached that turn he was there waiting for us in his car. He greeted us and parked the car and hopped on his bike to ride a distance with us. He was a very nice guy and he and his wife have done a fair share of touring themselves. He rode with us for over an hour and showed us the good route to follow. We took a picture together and parted ways.

From where we parted we had about another 15 or so miles to Port Hope where we would be staying with Bart at his family home. We arrived in Port Hope right around 6 or 6:30 and stopped at a convenience store for a quick snack and to get directions to his home. Afterwards we made our way to his house and he greeted us outside. He is originally from a small town near Wilmer, MN. Nice to meet a native Minnesotan. He and his family have a great place with a nice view of Lake Ontario.

After showering and getting settled the three of us went to a local restaurant for dinner. It was about a 10 min walk from his place. After eating we walked back and sat and enjoyed a beer and talked for a while. After Bart and his son went to bed we walked out to the lake to enjoy it for a few minutes. We are going to bed in a nice warm home with comfortable quarters.

Tomorrow we are headed to a local bike shop in Bloomington, ON tomorrow, about a 60 mile day. Forecast isn't looking to good. Rain with 25 mph winds coming from the east...our direction of travel. We take it as it comes. We really enjoyed Toronto and hope to return someday. This day marks the end of our 1st month on the road! It has been great and we know it will continue to be. Thank you to everyone who has got us to this point!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 21-23

 Day 21 – Sarnia (Shantz's) to Wallaceburg (Baxter's) ~ 33 miles

We woke up around 8:30 and lazily got going. It was really nice to have slept inside in a comfortable setting. We really didn't want to go because it was so nice. But we got our things together and headed out back to get our bikes loaded. We interviewed Troy quick on camera about the Turbine issue and then got ready to go. We said our goodbyes and took a couple of pictures with Troy, Dayna, and Porter. It was really nice to have met them and we knew we were leaving with three new friends.
We hopped on the bikes and headed out of town toward our destination in Wallaceburg. We stopped at one of the local Tim Horton's just on the edge of town and got our caffeinated beverages, a bagel with cream cheese, and a couple doughnuts. We are suckers for Tim Horton's. We were right next to the Imperial Oil plant so after we ate we went and did a bit of filming. It is amazing how large and intricate the oil plants are. Imperial Oil or Esso is known as Exon in the States. We headed down the road parallel to the plant and ten popped out right next to the St. Clair river. It is a pretty river lined with homes and docks and industrial/ shipping enterprises. And even though it is nice to look at we aren't to keen on swimming in it due to the level of pollution.

It was another nice and hot sunny day. And the wind was at our backs. We were cruising along and it was even better because we knew we only had a short distance to go today. We both agreed that it was one of the nicest rides we have had yet. We were following the river and it never really left our sight. We were on nice bike path and smooth pavement pretty much the whole day.

We arrived at the Baxter's home sometime around 2:00 or so and we met Margaret and her husband Ken. They were born and raised in the area and have a nice home not to far from the river. They had read an article about us in the Sarnia Observer and contacted us about offering a place to stay. Right away Margaret offered us a beverage and we sat in the yard and talked and relaxed, enjoying the nice day. Ken showed us around his man palace/ garage and showed us his collection of license plates. He has some really neat and old ones. They even have a hot tub in the garage!

We went inside and Margaret cut up some watermelon and introduced us to Butter Tarts. It was our first experience with the Canadian treat and they are delicious. Then we showered and relaxed with them in the living room and talked. It was great having such nice company.

They both prepared an amazing home cooked meal for us. It was steak, potato salad, salad, asparagus, and watermelon! SO GOOD. We scarfed it down like mad. Afterwards we went and utilized the opportunity to sit in the hot tub. It felt so good and after we got out our muscles just oozed with relaxation.

We went back inside and watched a bunch of episodes of Duck Dynasty and were thoroughly amused. We definitely want to watch more. Kris also got the route figured out for tomorrow because we are going to have to zig zag a bit to avoid the freeways. We hung out in the living room and got some work done on the computer and waited for Mantracker to come on at 9. Kris had told Zach about it a few days earlier and now we were going to get to watch it! Ken made us all popcorn and we sat and waited. Unfortunately Mantracked is sinking into retirement so the whole episode was all about trying to recruit a new tracker. Not worth watching. So we eventually flipped back to Duck Dynasty!

At around 11:30 we headed up to bed. We are so spoiled being able to sleep under a nice warm roof two nights in a row. Almost to spoiled. We aren't going to want to leave.
We had so much fun with the Baxter's and hope to see them again when we are on the opposite side of the river about a month from now.

We are headed to Holiday Beach Conservation Area just outside of Amherstberg tomorrow and it is going to be about an 80 mile day. Going to bed content.
Day 22 – Wallaceburg to Holiday Beach Conservation Area ~ 83 miles

We woke up warm and comfortable in the Baxter's home around 8:45. We got out of bed and pack our things up and headed downstairs for the amazing breakfast that they had prepared. Eggs, bacon (Canadian and American style), toast, and coffee. It was so good. We sat and ate and talked for a bit and then got ready to head out. Margaret even packed us a lunch of egg salad sandwiches, butter tarts, and date bars. We had our bikes stored out in the man palace so after we got our things from upstairs we headed out and packed the trailers. We said our goodbyes and took a picture together. We really had an amazing time with them and can't thank them enough. We may see them again on our return trip on the otherside of the border.

We took off and headed toward Wallaceburg. The weather wasn't ideal but it wasn't raining and the wind was thankfully at our back. About 5 miles out Zach got attacked by a bird that he spooked while riding by. It flew out of the tall grass and squawked and tried to peck him, but it never quite got close enough and eventually gave up. We continued on and biked through Wallaceburg. We had a lot of direction changes throughout the day so we had to stop after every turn and double check our route. It ended up being kind of nice because it broke up the monotony of the day.

We continued on through the farm country and backroads and eventually reached Tillbury where we stopped at a convenience store and ate our lunch. After we ate we changed directions again and headed through town. We were crushing the miles one after another and then stopped at a local berry farm/ greenhouse and had a basket of fresh strawberries. Pretty sweet and delicious.

A few miles down the road we stopped in a small town called Cotham and double checked our directions and asked about a grocery store so we could stop and grab dinner. We headed toward our destination and on our way witnessed someone back up at a stop sign into another car. They were just trying to back up to give room to a semi that was trying to turn, but they forgot the most important thing to remember when backing...look behind you.

We continued on and had our first run in with a dog. It saw us coming and sprinted out of the yard and chased after us. It was barking and we looked behind us to see that it was gaining on us so we put it into gear and booked it out of there. He eventually gave up. Just before our turn to the campground we stopped at a small convenience store and picked up things for a pasta dinner and a snack.

We headed about another mile down and reached Holiday Beach Conservation Area. It is right on the edge of Lake Erie where the Detroit River runs in. There was a note at the check in station telling us where to go and what site we were at, they even had firewood waiting for us! The Essex Region Conservation Authority had heard of our trip and offer a free site for our stay! People have been so kind to us.

We headed to our site and quickly realized that it is the best site in the park! Huge and sitting directly under a gigantic Oak tree. It is also right next to the marsh and just a minutes walk from a bird blind.

We checked out the area and went down to the marsh for a few minutes to check it out. Before dinner we set up the tent under the tree and then went and utilized the showers. Felt great after a long day. After showering we made our pasta dinner and relaxed. After dinner we headed down to the beach for our first encounter with Lake Erie!

Across the water we could see a nuclear power plant on the U.S side of the lake. It really dominated the view and it is amazing that it still looks so big while being so far away. After checking out the lake we went down the shore toward the Detroit River to check out the hawk tower. It is a tower that was built for viewing the migration of the hawks in the fall. Basically there is a bottle neck for the hawks migration path right on the west side of Lake Erie, where the distance to cross the water is short. Very similar to the situation that we experience on the North Shore of Lake Superior, via Hawks Ridge.

While we were heading to the hawk tower we began to hear this very loud humming and we weren't sure what it was. Once we reached the tower we realized very quickly that is was coming from an enormous swarm of bugs! We learned later that the bugs are known as Midges. They are an insect that spends most or their life in the water and come out mainly to breed and then die. They actually don't even have mouths, just the organs to breed. It was ridiculous how many there were. Think of a black cloud and you can pretty much see the swarm of bugs.

We then biked back to camp and started the fire. We sat there for a bit and then headed down to the water for one last look at the water. There are an incredible number of different spiders in our camp and at the blind that we hadn't seen during the day. Some were huge. We watched them for a while a listened to the darkness before heading back to camp and to bed. Tomorrow we have a shorter day to Leamington after making a stop in Essex to meet a city counselor who is going to show us some wineries.

Day 23 – Holiday Beach to Leamington via Essex ~ 43 miles

We woke up at around 9am this morning and got ready to head out. Kris saw the guy who was secretly camping in the site next to us and he seemed to not want to be seen. After we got ready we headed out of the park and met one of the staff on the way out. After chatting with her for a few minutes we headed back to the gas station about a mile down the road and had breakfast of pre packaged pastries and coffee. After that we headed to essex through the back country roads. When we arrived we went to Canadian Tire and purchased some much needed fuel for our stove. After that we headed into town and tried to reach the city counselor by phone again but he was still not answering. We ended up going to the library to see if we could find a different number for him. When we got on he had written back that he couldn't make a visit with us because he was in meetings. We were a little discouraged by this but we found out that the Essex Regional Conservation Association was right around the corner. They were the ones that gave us the free campsite last night so we went there to learn some things about the area and their group. We learned a lot about the area and interviewed Kevin Money about the organization. We learned that today we are the furthest south in Canada we will be on our whole trip. Now we will slowly be heading north east until we turn around in Quebec City.

After we left their offices we headed out of town and stopped at a place called Dairy Freeze. It has been open for 50+ years and was amazing. We had burgers and cones and went on our way. We soon were close to Leamington and decided to stop at the Aleksander Estate Winery. We interviewed the owner and tried some very nice wines. Zach had never had this experience before so we were sure to capture it on film. They ended up giving us free wine. Thanks for the amazing wine guys! We learned that Essex County is a rich place for growing, with similar conditions to Northern California and Italy. There are more greenhouses in the area than any other places in North America.

After the winery, we headed into Leamington and went to the grocery store and got more materials for pasta dinner. We made our way back to Robbie's house where we set up our tent and made a great dinner with great wine. He finally arrived home and we met him and his daughter. We shared stories of the road and then got all showered up. After our shower we headed to Walmart to get Zach a new phone charger as he had left his behind in Sarnia. Off to bed soon after that as we have a huge day tomorrow towards Port Stanley.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Here are the journals from Day 12 through Day 20...
Day 12 Velorution Bike Shop (Rest Day)

Woke up early, even on a rest day. We removed all of our things from the shop before they opened as curtesy. Kris and Mona went to get donuts at Superior bakery down the street then went for coffee. While they were away, Zach got his bike looked at, did some more filming, and arranged all of our video so far to be brought back with Mona. Around noon it was about time for Mona to depart so we went through all of our things and sent back quite a bit with her. Mainly small things that we hadnt used and were not going to. It ended up being around 7 pounds of gear! Too bad we wont notice that because we added a bunch more granola bars to our packs. Maybe in a week or so when those have been eaten we will feel the lightened load.

It was time for Mona to leave, she hugged Zach and said goodbye and then Kris walked her out to the car. It was a sad day for the both of us but especially for him. It was like day one all over again with the feelings of leaving her behind coming back. To make us feel better and to explore we got ready and started biking the Sault Ste. Marie HUB Trail system.

The HUB Trail system was really neat. It is approximately 23.7km in length and circles the entire city. It first brought us into Fort Creek park. The park was amazing with high suspension bridge built just for the trail. We got some shots of it on camera and interviewed some walkers as the passed by. It then took us through the industrial district , which was a huge contrast to what we were just in. Very dirty and full of smog as we passed by an enormous steel plant. We then road by the Soo Locks system and along the boardwalk through downtown. It then took us through some beautiful neighborhoods and finally through another wonderful park. We ended up right back where we started next to the Velorution.

When we returned to camp, the two interesting hitchhikers from last night were there again and we had to deal with that while we waited for Jan, the store manager to finish up. We went inside and Kris worked on his bike in the stand and we enjoyed a beer with the crew after close. After that we waited for Jan, and then went back to Bossy's pub for dinner and watched a Twins and Toronto game and hockey as well. After that we returned back to camp relieved that those two were gone. They left us with 4 huge grocery bags worth of food that people had given them outside of Walmart. Most of it we couldn't use but we did get some fresh fruit out of the deal. We spent the rest of the night inside the bathroom working on updates and our journal entries. Then it was off to bed in the cold once again but at least we felt refreshed and rested before starting into the new lake and new territory.

Day 13 – Velorution to Thessalon, ON ~ 55 miles

We woke up this morning after a pretty short nights sleep, short for us anyways. We went to bed around 12:40 or so last night after trying to get caught up on things while we had access to the internet. So we woke up around 830 and got our things packed up and sorted through the food that the two hitchhikers had left us from last night. We took some oranges and apples and left some at the Velorution, trying not to take to much unnecessary weight.

After packing up and waving good bye to the shop we went to WalMart quick so Zach could get a small camera...his other one got wet and stopped working so he sent it home to fix it later after a failed attempt the last few days.

Before we headed out we stopped at the Superior Bakery and Deli once more for a quick breakfast. Kris got a giant Apple Fritter and Zach got a Cherry Lattice and a sprinkle doughnut. After eating we followed the directions given to us by the guys at the Velorution for an easier way out of town, avoiding major traffic.

Once we got out of Sault Ste. Marie we got into some pretty flat farm country. Yet another type of terrain we have not seen yet. It was pretty great. We ended up riding on some country roads for a while and hardly saw any cars...just cruising through the country side. We hit a short patch of gravel road about a half mile long and then joined back up with our projected route. It was pretty flat the whole way today, which is a nice change, with only a few rolling hills. We were able to crank out miles pretty quickly.

We stopped for a quick gas station lunch in Bruce Mines because we didnt have much other choice. We sat outside and ate and chatted with a couple locals. From there is was only about 14 miles to Thessalon which was our projected destination for the day so we down to Lake Huron to do a bit of filming. It was the first time seeing it on this trip! Really beautiful and the appearance of surrounding land reminded us of Northeastern Minnesota. We filmed a few things and blasted on to Thessalon.

Just a mile outside of town we ran into a kid on the side of the road who was bike touring. He had a flat and was struggling to repair it. We helped him out and Kris gave him a few patches and Zach ended up giving him a spare tube...he was having a hard time and didnt seem to have many repair items. He was trying to make it to Sault tonight but I dont know if he is going to make it before dark. His name was Ben Todd and he is from Barrie, ON. He is biking to Vancouver trying to raise awareness and support for his nephew who has a disease that made him blind and unable to develop correctly. He was a nice guy though and we wish him the best. We got him going again and then continued in to town. Our verdict was that we should have pushed on to Blind River. There isnt much in the way of food or entertainment in Thessalon, at least today because it is sunday and everything closes early. We did find a small family diner and had a great meal. Much better than fast food and we like supporting local business! The food was much needed because of our small lunch.

After dinner we biked back out the way we came into town and threw up our tent at the local campground right across the road from the shore of Huron. You can see some of the islands way out in the lake from here and in a few days we will be out on one of them. We set up shop and showered and then went down to the beach to enjoy the last of the sun and do a bit of filming.

Overall it was a good day. We could tell the day of rest yesterday really helped because our knees and joints didnt bother us today! It is a good feeling to know that we are getting into the rhythm of things and things are getting smoother with routine. We just have to keep up on our documentation of things and we will be just fine!

Off to the town of Spanish, ON tomorrow night! We are going to bed at a decent time tonight after watching a bit more of Paddle to Seattle on the laptop! Hoping for another clear sky day again tomorrow! I think I just jinxed us....

Day 14 - Thessalon to Almenara en el rio Marina in Spanish, Ontario

We woke up this morning and got packed up quickly and ate a light breakfast. We took off and unfortunately had to pay $23.75 for our campsite. We were hoping to not have to since thew supervisor is not there on weekends but oh well. We headed out of town and kept trucking along until we stopped at blind river for Subway. We met two bike tourists from Quebec, a son and the father who were biking around the world together in 4 years. They were headed out to Vancouver and Then down to South America and then hopping on a boat an over to Africa. We couldn't imagine doing that with our parents for that long, haha. It was nice at Subway to have a meal that was decently priced for once. Steak and cheese deliciousness.

After Subway, Zach asked a lady how far it was to Spanish and how the town was. She said it was it was another 90km away and there wasn't much there. After we left we kept on at a very good pace and we realized that she probably thought we meant Espanola, which was further past Spanish. When we finally met back up together, we discussed it and realized we were pretty close to the town.

When we arrived in town we went to the Foodmart to get dinner and Zach got a bunch of great groceries but most importantly ice cream cookie sandwiches! We stopped off at the LCBO and picked up a couple cans of Alexander Keiths IPA and a small taste of Wisers Deluxe. We headed to the marina after that and got setup right on the water next to an old sailboat on the Spanish river. We made our Velveeta Shells and Cheese dinner with cheese rolls and met some people who were working on their sailboat for the summer. We talked to the marina owner afterwards and he told us a little bit of history about lake huron and the area we were in.

We learned that the lake has a still thriving whitefish industry, where boats have quotas of 500,000lbs a year! We also learned that the Spanish river is a large walleye spawning ground and that during Victoria weekend (next weekend) people will catch their limits in under 10 minutes so it seems that we should come back and fish there. We spent the rest of the night listening to Bob Seger and singing along on Zach's computer looking at the stars....... against the wind.

Day 15 – Spanish to Whitefish Falls

We rose around 8ish and got out of the tent and packed up. We had a breakfast of Olympia Granola and got coffee from the Marina office. We knew we had a short day of around 45 miles but we blasted off because the wind was with us and we were cruising! We got off Highway 17 and onto Highway 6 which is a much less traveled road. We arrived in Espanola, a town built around a paper mill, in a really short amount of time, but we were really hungry and again stopped at Subway for the footlong of the day. Subway Club with chips and some root beer!

From there we only had about 15 miles to our destination at the Pope's home on Lake Huron in the Bay of Islands. We stopped at eh grocery store on the edge of town and Kris went in to get groceries while Zach sat outside and watched the gear. Zach chatted with a lady who winters in New Mexico. It was nice to talk to a local of the area.

Kris came out and we were on our way again. We faced a few hills on the way as we were heading through the La Cloche mountains range. It is a range that is millions of years old and is said to have been higher than the Rocky Mountains, but has since been warn down. It is also interesting because the range is made of Quartzite so it is spotted with bands of white colored rock. It is a really beautiful area.

We arrived at the Pope's, a member of Warm Showers, and were greeted by Dave. He was working on his gardens and stopped to offer us a beer. We sat on their deck and chatted and quaffed the beer and then got our things set up for the night. They offered their screened Gazebo for us to sleep in for the night. After getting settled we decided it was finally time to have our first jump into one of the Great Lakes! They had the perfect setup. We reluctantly jumped in and decided to do it a few more times before drying off. Afterwards we interviewed Dave and asked him questions about the area and the decreasing water level in the Lake which is a very complex cycle.

We were getting ready to make dinner when Dave told us that they were going to make us dinner. Such a nice gesture! Dave and his wife made us chicken breasts with marinara pasta and salad. It was delicious! After dinner Dave offered to take us on his boat for a ride out into the Bay of Islands. It is a huge bay with terrain very similar to that of the Boundary Waters except that many of the islands have cabins on them. It was beautiful as we were out just as the sun was setting. We did some filming and enjoyed the ride.

After coming back we sat inside and watched the Coyotes v. LA Kings game on TV, while getting some work done on the computer. Coyotes blew it. But we are still rooting for them!

We turned in around 11 and are heading out onto the Manatoulin Islands tomorrow and across on the ferry to Bruce Peninsula!

Day 16 – Whitefish Falls to Tobermory ~ 65 miles to South Baymouth Ferry

After waking up post cold night in the Gazebo we were invited inside to have breakfast with the Pope's. It was an awesome breakfast of granola and yogurt, bread with homemade black currant jam, and coffee. A great start to a morning. We packed up our gear, took a couple pictures together and got ready to head out. We said our goodbyes and took off.

We were headed to the ferry in South Baymouth on the Manatoulin Islands. We had a nice tailwind to start the day and the weather was pretty nice. However as we headed toward the Islands the clouds started to move in and for a brief bit we encountered some rain. Before we crossed onto the first Island via swinging bridge we met up with three brothers who were headed North toward Espanola. They were heading back out to Fort Collins, Colorado where they were originally from. They had been living in Toronto for a time and it was time for them to head back home. There name for their group is Tour de Tripod.

We headed over the swinging bridge across the North Channel to the small town of Little Current where we stopped at the grocery store for lunch. We had sandwiches, chips, and blueberry turnovers. Not a bad lunch by our standards. After we ate we continued on along the highway. We reached 10 Mile Point after climbing the long, but not so steep hill that Dave had warned us about. We stopped for a minute to check out the view and then continued on our way.

We knew that the ferry to Tobermory left South Baymouth at 3:50 so we peddaled hard until we arrived. We got there around 2:30 and got our tickets to board the ferry. We grabbed a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup and a cup of coffee from Carol and Earl's, a local eatery, and then headed to the ferry.

We were the first to board and we rode our bikes onto the ship into the holding level where vehicles are stored for the ride. We secured our bikes with twine rope and headed up stairs. The 365 foot ferry is called the Chi-Cheemaun and holds around 600 people and 125 cars, and has a crew of 36. A really huge boat! We headed up and did some filming before we headed into the lounge where we got a couple drinks and enjoyed the ride. We saw many great sights including the many islands that surround Tobermory. This included the Fathom Five Marine Sanctuary, a world renown dive sight due to the many shipwrecks that sit on the bottom of Huron.

It was about a two hour ride and when we arrived in Tobermory we got a few beers from the LCBO and headed to look for a campsite for the night. We found one for 33 dollars. Expensive, but that is something we have gotten used to in Canada, and it at least had internet.

We set up camp, showered, and made dinner while we enjoyed our beers. After dinner we biked the five minutes back into Tobermory to use the payphone. We made calls to the fam and Mona and Bre and then headed back to camp.

We did our audio journal for the night and checked out the stars after we used the internet to catch up on a few things and then we headed to bed. We decided not to set the alarm because we thought we deserved a good nights rest.

Off South to Sauble Beach tomorrow.

Day 17 – Tobermory to Sauble Beach

Today, having not set the alarm, we woke up at around 9:45am. We got packed quickly and had donuts, oranges, and granola bars for breakfast. There was a chipmunk in camp that wouldn't leave us alone and we could actually touch him with our feet. I got a super close shot of him pawing at my camera so that was neat. In Tobermory we headed south and didn't stop until we saw a 24 hour drive through coffee shop the the side of the road. We drank our coffee as fast as we could because the gnats were so bad we couldn't sit still for too long.

We stopped and had lunch in Ferndale at a gas station and grocery store. We then headed west towards the shore of lake Huron. Once we got there we realized that the road turned into gravel for quite a distance. A guy stopped and helped give us directions who was very nice. We ended up having to go back about 4 miles to get back on highway 6 and travel further south to Mar. There we headed west and got on a very nice quiet road that took us towards Sauble Beach. We stopped at Sauble Falls provincial Park and got some shots of the waterfalls.

From the park we headed into town only to find that the giant gated trailer parks were $40 a night for one tent! We headed back into town and got Subway. We asked people where to stay but they had no ideas. We learned that there is a by-law in the town and no one can set up a tent, even in their own yards. We hung out on the beach for a while and watched the sunset, including a stand up paddle boarder just sitting out in the cold lake watching the incredible colors go down.

We sat in a park across the street from the beach and watched the sunset and worked on our journals. We are off to Gorilla camp for the night behind the library in some wooded area where hopefully we wont be found or bothered. Its cold tonight so I think we will be ok. Off to Point Farms provincial park in the morning near Boggies Beach.

Day 18- Sauble Beach to Point Farms provincial park

Woke up this morning behind the library unseen, so our gorilla camping was a success. We packed up quickly and got out of there before we were noticed and headed down to the Two Chicks cafe right by the beach. It was closed and Kris made the comment that they were probably not up yet as they had been partying late last night. So we headed up to another bakery near the library we slept at. We had coffee, toasted bagels, turnovers, and used their internet. After breakfast we went down to the public restrooms to get changed and ready. While Zach was using the restroom, an older guy came out and told me to tell my buddy that he needs to lay off the McDonalds. I couldn't stop laughing and couldn't wait to tell Zach. We finished packing and filled our waters and we were out of town.

We hit road construction pretty quickly. It was about 10-15 miles of grooved pavement with gravel shoulders and no where else to go. Even worse was the holiday traffic flying by us. We eventually made it through the construction having passed some wind turbines and arrived in a small town. We got snacks there and headed down a nice paved side road into the town of Kincardine. We found out that the area we had previously been in was called Power Valley because of all the wind turbines, solar panels, and a nuclear plant.

Kincardine was a nice old port town. We headed down to the marina to wait for a newspaper representative and watch the huge fish being brought in off the lake for the fishing derby that was taking place. We saw some huge lake trout and salmon. After our short interview and photo shoot we were on our way again.

We stopped at Pine River cheese factory and got some really good cheese curds. Then we stopped at a small gas station and got a few more snacks. There wasn't really much out there in the farm areas so we started to hit a wall having to battle the wind and no real food all day. We finally arrived at the provincial park having biked over 70 miles. We left our stuff in camp and headed back to a nearby gas station where we got ice cream and supplies for our famous chili-mac recipe. We went back to camp and headed down to a very nice beach and sand dunes. We had to climb a ton of stairs on the way back up but we changed and went back down for a swim and to film.

During dinner we met a couple who like to bike tour and they brought us a map later that showed us all of the side roads in the country that could be used instead of the busy highway. While we were enjoying the sunset, we heard a huge crash and screaming and crying from down below by the beach. Kris ran down there to see what was wrong and found out that a kid had flown off his bike, broke through a very sturdy sign, and flown off into the woods. Kris checked him out and surprisingly he was ok considering that his brand new bike was destroyed. We went to bed that night listening to a full campground of screaming children and barking dogs. We cant wait for this holiday weekend to be over.

Day 19 - Point Farms Provincial Park to The Pinery Provincial Park

Woke up this morning at 8:30 to screaming kids, barking dogs, and the hot sun. We could tell that it was going to be a scorching hot day. We got packed up and had a few granola bars and peanut butter. We got some nice shots on the way out of the park of the overhanging trees and wind farms off in the distance. We headed towards the town of Goderich, which was very large and beautiful. Someone on the way told us to stop at Culberts bakery so we did. It is a very famous bakery that just reopened after a destructive tornado ripped through main street last year. The bakery was amazing and there was a good line out the door. Once inside you had to take a number and wait to be called upon. We had turnovers, orange twists, carmel apple cookies, and coffee. We ate outside and then headed for the lighthouse. We learned that the lighthouse was built around 1850 and was the second lighthouse on the Canadian side of lake Huron. There was a photographer there who we interviewed about the town and the tornado. We found out that the tornado only killed one person on one of the ship cranes but devastated the town. It ripped right through main street and then was gone. You could tell that there was a lot of damage and missing trees but the town had quickly rebuilt. He showed us the salt mines, which is one of the biggest in the world that they were still rebuilding. After a quick photo, we were on our way out of town and passed the farmers market.

From there we used our new map to quickly navigate a really nice country road down to Bayfield. The town was really old and still had gravel sidewalks. There we had burgers, fries, and ice cream. After that we went down to the beach and saw a shipwreck that was partially out of the water and we could see the smog across the lake near Detroit. We hopped on another back road that quickly turned to thick gravel and after stopping someone we found out that it was like that for a ways. We decided to head back to the highway and brave it from there instead of the slow going and possibly tire popping gravel. We quickly arrived in the town of Grand Bend, which we were not ready for. It is where all of the younger kids go to for the long weekend to party. There were literally thousands of people in bikinis and swimsuits having a great time.

We got some filming done and left in a hurry towards the Pinery park. Once we arrived there it was another 5 miles or so to our campsite. The roads were winding and the drivers were terrible. This park was huge, over 1200 campsites, a camp store, and cafeteria. There was buckthorn and poison ivy everywhere. We got settled into the city in the woods, as Kris dubbed it, and went back to the cafeteria for chicken fingers and fries. On the way there Kris was almost hit by a car who happily gave him the bird for being on a bike. We arrived back at our campsite at the same time that Troy Shantz got there. He is an avid cyclist and photographer/ documentarian from Sarnia, ON who contacted us after we sent emails to bike groups around the Lakes. Troy had booked the site a few days before so we could have one as the entire park was full. We shared stories and then he and Zach went off in his car to get some firewood. When they returned, we had a fire and beers, which was forbidden in provincial parks for the holiday. Troy told us about the wind turbines controversy that we had seen signs for along the way. We learned that the companies building these things make shady deals with the farmers. They cost about 1.2 million dollars to build but make about $400,000 a year and they only give the farmers $15,000 a year to lease the land. The turbines also devalue house prices around 20-30% and sometimes more than that. The biggest thing we learned was the health problems. People within a mile or so from the turbines have been experiencing sleeplessness, vertigo, nausea, random nose bleeds, and thyroid problems. Cattle have also been getting shocked by the excess power running through the water when they go for a drink. It definitely gave us a new perspective on wind turbines and that more research needs to be done. After that conversation we went to bed late and burnt from the relentless sun.

Day 20 – The Pinery Provincial Park to The Shanz's in Sarnia

We woke up around 8:30 and Troy started getting some footage of us as he is a photographer and film maker. We packed up and headed back to the store and got some breakfast then took off back through the park to the entrance. Troy got some shots of us biking through the park. Once we got onto the busy highway he continued filming, driving up ahead and stopping and waiting for us to pass. We filmed some wind turbines up close and just before we reached highway 7 we met Matt, a bike tourist from Sarnia that was heading up to the Pinery for the night to meet his friends. We met Troy one last time and then parted ways until we got to his house. We hadn't had much to eat so we stopped at a general store but it didn't have much so we had light snacks. Once we arrived in Brights Grove we found out that Troy was not going to be able to meet us and bike us to his place so we kept going.

Once in Sarnia, we passed huge and amazing lake mansions that are owned by the Oil and chemical big wigs in town. Apparently a few ex-NHL players like Dino Ciccarelli live out there as well. Once we got into downtown we stopped at Subway, like usual. It was a very nice place with a TV with Hockey on and they even cut your sub in half and served it in a small basket for people who were dining in. We have never seen that before and thought thats how they all should do it. After Subway we headed through the rest of downtown and made it to the Shantz's house. We met his wife Dayna and their four year old son Porter. They were busy making a new garden and they had a really cool chicken coupe in back. They let us take showers and do much needed laundry. After that we had a barbeque that consisted of great burgers, a fresh vegetable salad, and watermelon. It was absolutely great!

After dinner we biked along the waterfront and headed towards the Blue Water Bridge that heads across the St. Claire river into the US. We met up with Dayna and Porter and had ice cream a great place called Ice Cream Galore in Point Edward. We went back to the pier and filmed the bridge, the river, the open lake, and an amazing sunset. As we were doing many takes, a guy got in our shot and ruined our best one. We headed back towards downtown and passed the casino. Along the waterfront we filmed the oil and chemical refineries off in the distance. And made some calls on Zach's phone. Even though we were in Canada his phone picked up US towers and we could make some calls without the International fees that way. Zach decided to stay behind and talk on the phone while Kris and Troy headed to his work to get bells for our bikes. It is a $90 fine in Ontario if you don't have a bell on your bike but Troy had some extras. We lit some fireworks back at their place and then had a fire in back over some beers. It was a short day and we had a lot of time to get things done but most importantly to relax.

We can't thank Troy and his family for their amazing hospitality! We are going to leave here tomorrow with three new friends! Creating memories everyday.

Heading to Wallaceberg tomorrow to meet Margaret Baxter and her husband Ken. Can't tell you how good it feels to know that we have a place to go and meet new people.

Northern shore of Lake Huron complete and now we are off to explore the St. Claire river and start the Northern shore of Lake Erie!