Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Erie Shores - Day One

Good morning!!!!   What an awesome day it was yesterday.  The ride was absolutely FLAT. 

I will try to share my stats at some point, but do you think I can remember how to share them?  Nope! We have a small group and I decided (as usual) that I would ride on my own. I have my own pace, I like to stop often for pictures if I see something worthy of a picture and well - I just like riding by myself.  

I think I left the hotel around 8:25 - a bit later than I wanted, but not bad and the distance was 93 K for the day so 8:25 wasn't a bad time to leave. At the beginning as we left Windsor, there were gorgeous bike paths to follow and then we were on some cottage/beach roads with little traffic and it was great.  We did get onto some larger roads but the traffic was pretty courteous and giving a very wide berth for which I'm thankful. 

I was going to visit the quilt store in Tecumseh, but when I got close, I realised that I had already passed it and not knowing what time it opened or even whether it was open on Monday, I decided to move on.  Do you know that trying to check a map with your cell phone outside is very difficult?  The glare on those screens is insane. There must be a fix for that. Now I had tried to research the information the night before but didn't get to the open hours (I know - a very important detail). 

There weren't a lot of places to stop for a snack, but I was OK.  I met up with Megan (our support driver) and got some yummy turnovers and fruit and I was set until lunch.  

I stopped in Tilbury for lunch.  I always remember Neil (my riding buddy from our cross Canada trip - see I do ride with people!). He could discover the neatest little places when we stopped and I think we stopped ONCE at Tim's during the entire 10 weeks of that trip.  So in honor of Neil, yesterday I stopped at a local cafe - Flapjack's Family Restaurant.  I didn't have flapjacks - only a tuna sandwich and then I was off. 

I did take a lot of pictures and will try to get them edited to put on the blog. I noticed a sign on a barn and as I got closer I noticed that it was a barn quilt block. So yes I had to stop for a picture. I think I saw 7 of them in total. 

When I was having lunch, I chatted with a couple of locals. "Where did you come from, where are you going?"  those are the two most asked questions - and the distance. They said - you better hurry as the rain is forecasted to start at 3 PM.  It was 1 PM when I left the restaurant and I still had 30 K to go. That's doable. 

There are lots and lots of canals in this area. With the flat terrain, you would swear you were in the Netherlands. There are even windmills here just like in the Netherlands, except these are the giant turbines, not the traditional windmill. At one point I saw a beautiful white heron in one of the canals and I stopped to take a picture. As I was stopping, he flew off. No picture. About a half a kilometer further on, I had to stop to take a picture of the canal because it was so pretty and as I was digging my camera out of my bag, the darn heron flew down the canal and then swooped over the trees before I had a chance to get his picture!

I was surprised at the amount of construction in the Windsor area and along the water's edge.  Some monster homes are being built.  Crazy - I wonder if those are people from Toronto who have sold and moving here cause real estate is cheaper???

And there was one house, not in Windsor, that was very bizarre.  A large house on a large property. Wrought iron fence along the front, big swinging gate.  The house was set back from the road - gray, white and black. And then you notice the BRILLIANT RED door. I mean - this door was like a beacon. I stopped to take a picture and then realized that there are two garage doors on either side of the front door and 5 dormer windows up above. No windows on the front of the house or the sides. Very weird. I did get a picture of that as well. 

I'm getting close to Chatham - our stop for the night. The sky is threatening and I've felt a few drops of rain, but nothing much. It starts to rain (about 2:37 - 23 minutes ahead of schedule). Not hard, but enough to get damp.  I'm mere minutes from the hotel. I find the hotel which is located right in the downtown of Chatham. The name of the hotel is Retro Suites and I'm not sure what I was expecting but I was NOT expecting what the hotel is.  You need to check out their web site.  Each room has a theme, there are tons of retro things and all is beautifully done up.  It's the kind of place you could visit numerous times and still not see everything. It's like being in a retro museum.  Very cool. I'm in the Chardonnay room. 

What was even funnier was when I posted the information on Facebook, I got a message from Susan saying that her daughter works here.  No way!  So I tracked her down. She was the person who checked me in, but I didn't know that at the time. By the time I found where she works, she had left for the day.   Oh darn!!!!   Small world!

So I arrived at the hotel, checked in (room was ready!!!), had a shower and I was off to check out the quilt store. I decided to walk as it didn't seem to be too far. Well, I should have done my homework before I walked 1.8 KM to get there only to find that the place was closed on Monday!!!  And then I had to walk 1.8 KM back to the hotel. 

I was a tad tired so I tried to have a nap, but people kept texting me and I accidentally called Ronda so we chatted. 

We had dinner in the Chilled Cork restaurant in the hotel and then it was off to bed!

A very exciting day and so glad to be back on the bike.  I don't have the stats, but I left at 8:30 and arrived around 2:45  (yes - that darn rain started about 20 minutes before it was forecast to start!). And other than looking at the scenery and watching traffic, there is nothing to do on your bike, but think.  I thought about a lot and about little.  Nice to just get out and not have to deal with daily stuff. I truly feel like I've run away from home and I like it!!!

On that note, I'm out of here. Got to get ready for breakfast. The day is a bit longer today, but not by much. 

Have a good day!!!!


1 comment:

  1. What group are you travelling with? I'm envious, I can't wait to do another cycling trip.