Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Erie shores - Day Two
This hotel and biking thing is so weird! On previous trips, I've kept my possessions limited - as I have on this trip, but before going to bed on the camping trips you made sure that everything was organized, put away or super prepped for the morning. When I went to bed last night my stuff was strewn across the entire floor of my room! However, it was a mere 10 minutes to get it all put away this morning.
Of course, it didn't help that I was trying to dry out a few things - yes yesterday was a tad wet!
The day started out dry but the sky was threatening. I had plans to stop in Dresden to visit the quilt shop which we were going to ride right past. About 20 K into the ride it started to rain. Not super hard but enough to get dampish. DRAT! I'm not fond of riding in the rain, but I'm OK with it. I hadn't brought my large rain jacket - ever the optimist! My little shell that I usually wear isn't water proof. By the time I arrived at the quilt store, I was wet and a bit cool.
Oh, I should say that I was seeing these signs along the road. They were blue, had foot prints on one side and stars on the other. I stopped to take a picture. I was thinking a moon night walk? Well - DUH!!! Guess where we are? In the heart of the end of the Underground Railroad, but it wasn't until I saw a sign with the Underground Railroad and the blue sign that it clued in. I was on the right train of thought, but the train hadn't come into the station!
Uncle Tom's Cabin is in Dresden and I took a quick detour to go have a look. I stopped to take a couple of pictures but didn't go in. It was raining and why prolong the agony! Besides I had a quilt shop to visit.
It was a small shop but I managed to find a couple of interesting things. I got the pattern for the row by row as well. But the most interesting thing I found was a book about the barn trail blocks that I've been seeing. DRAT - it's raining and I've nowhere to bring that book with me. The trail is called the Thames River Barn Quilt Trail. The shop is called Shelley's Painted Treasures N Quilt Shop. I might find that same book at the quilt store in Chatham. If not, I'll get this shop to send me one in the mail.
When I left the shop, I peeled off my thin jacket and put on my little jacket with just sleeves. I know - that sounds weird, but I needed the extra warmth. It wasn't easy to put that on when my arms were wet. But the extra layer was just what I needed. It stopped raining and I ran into Megan where I had my morning snack! As we were chatting, the rain started again and I didn't linger.
I think it rained on and off for the next 35 K until I arrived at Petrolia at the 70 K mark which was my lunch stop. The first thing I saw on the main street was a Tim's and that was it! I had hot soup and hot chocolate to warm me up. I was a tad wet and dripping water everywhere! Yes - it would have been nice if my big rain jacket had of been on the truck so I could have put it on, but it would have been a pain afterward when the rain stopped. I'm glad I didn't have it with me.
As I was having lunch, I noticed that the rain slowed down significantly and by the time I got going, it had basically stopped. And it didn't rain for the last 50K. I took some of my layers off so I could dry out and by the time I arrived at our destination, I was almost completely dry.
I know it wasn't a super hard rain day because my shoes were only dampish. One shoe was wet inside but that was because of the spray off the road. No need to put newspaper in them so it wasn't a really bad day!
Then I arrived on the shores of Lake Huron which is beautiful and some nice paths to cycle along. And wouldn't you know it - I posted that I had 15 K left and that last 15 K was a wee bit of a challenge with the directions. I was looking for a bike path and I didn't go far enough. So I backtracked through Mike Weir park and onto the main road - Lakeshore. Yikes - a lot of traffic which is probably why the path was created. One vehicle tooted his horn at me and that's when I realized I was going parallel to the bike path! The first chance I got, I got on the path. I did have to check Google maps though to see what was happening. That darn glare on those phones - there has to be a way to cut the glare. There I am trying to put my phone in my bike basket so I can see the screen.
There were a lot of twists and turns - most of them made sense, but when I got down to the waterfront by the bridge I needed to check Google Maps again. I was in the right vicinity - just taken a minor wrong turn. Back on the right track again and there was the hotel. Right on the water front - well close by.
When I arrived in the parking lot, there were the others. Hmm - they beat me? No, it appears that they had arranged for a pickup and they had arrived shortly before I did. It's funny because on my previous trips with support levels less than this one - there was no question of calling for a pickup. That option didn't exist and so it will never exist for me unless something very serious happens.
I have to say that the last 50K of the ride were the best. There was a tail wind, the road was flat and I was cruising along between 25 and 30 K without any effort at all. It was the kind of day when you're glad you're outside cycling. And of course, there was zero heat to contend with!
Cycling that kind of distance is definitely a mental game, especially when the weather is not cooperating. But this is where you learn to dig deep and find ways to keep yourself entertained or you just zone out somewhere else! I'm careful with the zoning out because you need to be on your toes with the traffic. Which I might add are so polite here! But I see that today new laws are coming into play where drivers have to give you at least one1 meter space when they pass. Yeah! And they are even waiting before they pass us. If another car happens to be coming, they will consistently wait behind me until the oncoming car has passed. It's uncanny, but I love it and it's the right thing to do.
We had dinner at a local restaurant and there was a huge cargo ship at the dock. After dinner, I walked over and a crew member happened to be walking down the gangplank (is that what it's called?). Anyway, I stopped and chatted with him. The ship is empty and they are waiting until September 5 to load up and then sailing likely for Europe! I was going to ask if I could scamper up the gang plank to take a picture and say that ONCE in my life I was on a huge cargo ship, but I didn't have the courage and I figured the answer would have been know. The gang plank was STEEP and well you know how it is with liability. although they were NOT Canadian nor American so he probably would have said yes. DARN!!!!
So that is it for another day. Let's say that I have zero trouble sleeping these days. I'm trying to keep my regular routine and so although I wake up at five, I just lounge around in bed for an hour before I do anything! Such luxury!
Oh yes - I have to tell you about the two ladies at Tim's. Obviously seniors - one of them was living in a retirement home and said she LOVED it because if she wanted company, she knew where to find it and if she didn't, she stayed in her apartment/room. I want this lady to be my mom! But she was showing her friend all the pictures on her phone. Holy cow - she knew what she was doing. They were in albums and she was whipping through them like she was 16. At one point, her friend even said - wow - you're good with that! The friend reminded me of myself. She kept saying "oh man!" It was entertaining as I dripped water all over the floor!
I did post the stats on Facebook - yesterday was a total of 118K and the total elevation gain was less than 100 M. I told you - this area is flat!
On that note, I see it's time for breakfast. Even though today is a shorter day, I still like to get out at a decent time. I'd rather have my down time at the end of the day than at the beginning!
Have a super day!!!!