Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 32-34, On to the St. Lawrence Seaway!

 Day 32 – Port Hope to Bloomfield Bicycle Company ~ 70 miles

Let it go on record that today was our worst day so far, but we still made it, just barely. We woke up this morning at Bart's and he had some coffee made for us. When we looked out the window the weather was really as bad as we had expected the night before. It was going to rain all day long and into the evening with 30-35 mph gusts of wind. We sat there drinking our coffee contemplating if we should go or not. After a few minutes we decided to go for it. We quickly packed up our things as the rain started to fall and Bart helped us load our trailers before we shot a few pictures. Then we were off down the road not knowing what the day had in store for us.

We stopped just a half mile down the road and got coffee and a big breakfast to keep us warm during the day. In that short stretch alone we were completely soaked through. After we got the courage to press on we made some adjustments with some of our equipment so it could all stay dry and that way we would be as comfortable as possible when we arrived in camp that night. We then departed heading into an incredibly strong headwind that made the rain feel like bullets when it hit your face. Within minutes we were completely soaked, luckily we had our rain gear on but it can only do so much when there is that much water coming down on you. We kept following the waterfront trail but at a certain point it took us a couple miles out of our way just to bring us 100 feet ahead on the same road it took us away from. So we decided to get on the highway and try our luck that way. That turned out to be a bad idea because even though it is not used as much the traffic was still bad and that combined with no shoulders and pouring rain was a recipe for disaster. We tried to find the trail again by going down a dirt road and when we got to the end of it, it just dead ended and there was no trail because it was closer to the lake than we had thought. So we turned around and made it back to the highway. Once we got back their everything was coated in mud, our chains, drivetrains, and brakes were all shot. We made it to the next town and vowed to stay on the trail.

Once we made it to Brighton, we stopped and got lunch. It was a good chance to warm up out of the rain and get some much needed fuel. Once we were ready we got back out into the rain and headed down onto Prince Edward county. It is a large island with lots of vineyards and beautiful scenery. Thats when the weather got even worse and we were at our wits end. The wind picked up even more and so did the rain. The gave it everything we had left but finally made it into Bloomfield where we found the bicycle shop and our destination for the night. They showed us back to the bike barn where they had hot soup waiting for us. It was great that they were able to put us up for the night with a busy business. We got all of our wet stuff off and sat down to a great casserole dinner with Rick and KT. They told us great stories about their bicycle travels and then we got showered up and into some warm dry clothes. After dinner Rick got his self made sweat lodge up and running for us to stretch out in and warm up some more. He dug it into a hillside and it was a really great experience. Afterwards it felt great to be out in the rain to cool off again after getting really hot. The rest of the evening we caught up on computer work before we drifted off to sleep. The rain finally let up at around 12am, maybe it will be gone tomorrow. Its a shame that Zach's phone got wet. It probably wont be working again so we are without a good alarm now.

Tomorrow we head off towards Gananoque and then to Landon Bay campground for the night. It will be a shame to leave such a neat couple who took us in after our hardest day yet.

Day 33 – Bloomfield to Landon Bay Campground ~ 70 miles

We woke up this morning not wanting to move but early for once. KT had a great breakfast made for us of homemade muffins, yogurt, and cereal. Dave and Alli (their two employees) and we all sat and ate over great conversation. We brought our bikes up to the shop and got a few things fixed on them and got them all nice and clean. Zach's bike fell over and he had to get it fixed again. We got all packed up late, around 11am and headed out after a brief rain. At least today we had a tail wind to help push our soar and worn out bodies forward.

We left around noon and passed Picton and headed towards the free ferry that takes you back to the mainland. The ferry was a short ride but we had a great conversation with The 13th Tribe. They were a motorcycle group that had just got done with a Holocaust memorial ride and were heading home. Once we got off the ferry, we let the strong wind push us towards Kingston. We got some final looks at lake Ontario as the other shoreline closed in and we entered the St. Lawrence Seaway. The scenery was beautiful and it was great knowing we had finally made it to the river.

In Kingston, we stopped and ate a late lunch before biking through downtown and then crossing a bride towards Gananoque. We quickly arrived in Gananoque and got our provisions for the night. Landon Bay campground was not far from there but Kris' knee was really hurting at that point from pushing to hard in the storm the day before so he took it easy the rest of the way. Once we arrived in camp we realized that we were one of the only people there. I guess people don't go out and camp in poor weather. We set up camp and hung up our wet clothes to dry. We made Chili Mac, a Big Water Bike staple and enjoyed the rest of the evening. We showered, made some calls, and went to bed probably the earliest yet (10pm). During the night the racoons found our beloved cookie supply that we forgot to pack away. Damn those nasty critters!

Tomorrow we will be heading to Prescott and it seems to be a short day. Hopefully Kris' knee will be feeling better and the weather will hold up for us. It looks like rain though so we are not getting our hopes up to high.

Day 34 – Landon Bay to Grenville Park Campground ~ 47 miles

We woke up this morning feeling refreshed after a few extra hours of sleep. We got ready to go and tried to figure out if we needed to pay. Last night when we arrived no one was in the welcome center and they did not have overnight drops for camping deposits. After staying at the welcome center for a few minutes we figured they did not care about our money and we took off. Its not our fault no one was there to collect anything on a weekend day.

We headed down the road with a nice tailwind and entered the small town of Rockport. Our breakfast was small and unsatisfactory but there was nothing else in town and we had already come a good distance to get there. We hopped to get something more when we reached a bigger town. After breakfast we got back on the road and quickly made it to Brockville. There we decided to go just a little further to Prescott to get a good meal in. We peddled our way along the river until we reached town. We had a great meal in town with a very nice server. Its nice to have a meal that truly makes you full on trips like this. After that we saw a huge dark cloud moving in but we still needed to get groceries. We hurried to the store and quickly got what we needed but by then it was took late. The rain had found us once again and was headed in the same direction as us.

Luckily we only had about 3 miles to go and found our campsite. They let us camp under an awning so we could stay dry and not have to deal with all of our equipment getting wet. Zach found a surprise waiting for him in his trailer bag, a can of pop had exploded inside and had gotten on lots of his equipment. We spent the next little bit dealing with that and trying to fix his phone. As we sat there watching ships passing through the seaway we saw a tugboat hauling a smaller boat and wondered why they would need a tug. We realized that they were hauling a submarine up the river. We ran down to the water with our camera and filmed it as it passed by. Its funny because earlier in the day we had talked about if there were any subs in the great lakes. Well I guess that answers that. The rest of the evening was spent on the computer, cleaning equipment, and watching more storms roll in.

The weather does not look to good for the next week or so but tomorrow is our last day in Ontario for the trip as we are off to Quebec. We will be in Montreal by Tuesday, and back in the states in less that two weeks. Tomorrow we will be heading to Lancaster for one last night in Ontario.

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