June 20

20 06 2009

Day 14:

Ending the day at a bed and breakfast is heaven, just what we needed having completed the first two weeks of the trip. That’s supposed to be the hardest part right? Having spent yet another night camping in the rain, we have all decided that we need to avoid that whenever possible; packing up wet gear in the rain is not fun. Add the mosquito invasion, and we were off to a rough start. As soon as we woke up we were treated to a nice surprise…the space between the tent and the rain fly was covered with tons, I mean tons, of mosquitos. It was absolutely disgusting. Perhaps the only thing that got us out of the tent was knowing that today was going to be a short distance day – planning to ride just 45 miles. Fixing Zach’s flat tire in the rain was less than ideal, but we managed to replace to tube and everything seems to be working well. We stopped for breakfast after leaving the campground, and the rain slowed down. However, as soon as we returned to our bikes it picked up again – just our luck! Shortly after we began riding we witnessed out first real crash. Zach, attempting a single handed maneuver, lost control and was sent sliding into the middle of the road. Luckily, there were no cars around and he got up with out any injuries – I think we may have even laughed at him. From there we continued just 7 miles until we were caught in a downpour. We sought shelter under an unused fruit stand before continuing on. We didn’t get very far, as a General store just around the corner was a good place to dry off and have a snack. Thanks to Mike for his friendly welcome – it was just what we needed! When we left store, the rain picked up once again. We continued along the lake shore, though you could barely see the water, as the storm continued to come in off the lake. Storm clouds continued to threaten, but the sun began to poke through as we arrived thoroughly soaked in Port Burwell for lunch. From there we continued through miles of tobacco farms and wind farms (a little ironic that the environmentally friendly initiative is paired with the tobacco industry). The wind turbines were really neat, and we came to realize why they are where they are. The head wind was the most extreme we have faced so far. We began practicing drafting techniques, which seemed to work well, though we have some work to do. Jake’s one legged pedaling technique gave us all a good laugh. After 23 more miles, we arrived in Port Stanley where we planned to stay the night. Despite logging just 45 miles, our late start and battle with the wind made it seem like much more. Checked in to the North Shore Inn (free from the rain and the mosquitos!), with our laundry in progress (thank you Flory!!), we are enjoying a late dinner once again. Thanks to Dave for the directions too! Hopefully things will dry out tonight, and we will be ready to complete a long day tomorrow – we hope to get within a morning’s ride of the the border.

June 19

20 06 2009

Day 13:

We woke up anticipating another rainy day, but were pleasantly surprised when the sun came out just before noon and we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon. It seems like we finally got our schedule figured out today. After an early, and quick, breakfast at Tim Horton’s we got on the road and knocked out 20 miles along the north shore of Lake Erie before an early lunch in Selkirk. After lunch we continued along the shore for another 20 miles until we reached Port Dover, in time for a snack at Tim Horton’s (can you tell we are trying to cram in all the Tim’s we can before we return to the U.S?) In the final 20 miles we faced a few hills, nothing like the mountains, but still our first real hills in a few days. We arrived in Port Rowan where we had planned to spend the night. Again, we debated going further, but decided not to ruin our first day of starting AND ending on time. Also, there were no other places to stay for another 20 plus miles so we decided to call it a day at 65 miles and head towards dinner and the campground 5 miles down the road. Chicken dinners at “The Coop” and an easy ride to the Long Point Beach Provincial Park finished the ride. Just before setting up camp, we realized Zach had a flat tire, but are waiting to fix it in the morning. After warm showers and a walk on the beach, we headed for bed. If not for being tired, the mosquitos would surely have gotten us in the tents early – they are everywhere and enormous!