Sunday, August 4, 2013
Day 37 - White Lake to Rabbit Blanket
Where do some of these names come from????? Forgot to mention that Winnie the Pooh is from White River which is near White Lake. I did NOT see the big Winnie the Pooh - when it is raining who wants to stop for that kind of stuff and besides this trip is NOT about seeing the biggest rabbit along side the road or wherever he was. It is about the adventure and the cycling - that is all I care about this trip.
Woke up at 4 AM to POURING rain. However for those who have camped in tents - you know how it is. You are surrounded by trees so you really have NO IDEA how much it is raining. A lot of times, it is the noise of the wind in the trees or the wind blowing the raindrops off the trees, but this was rain. I managed to go back to sleep.
It was raining when I got up, but not much so the tent didn't really get too wet when it got taken down. It would be nice to get some sun so we could dry things out a bit!!!
I started the day with FOUR layers on - my jersey, a fleece sweater, my windbreaker and my big rain jacket. I did NOT take anything off all day. It was about EIGHT degrees when we started, it was raining and let's not forget the wind chill. It was a tad chilly to say the least. My hands were very cold because the fingers were exposed on my cycling gloves. I don't wear rain pants - I have them, but have never worn them. If I had them with me, I would likely have worn them that day. But NOPE - they are in the garage - nice and dry at home.
It rained for about 50K but there were some places to stop along the way so that helped keep our spirits up. The roads are OK, but still watching the shoulder a LOT. There is not a lot of room on some of them, so you focus on staying in the right spot. I had to laugh because there could be bears RIGHT beside us and I wouldn't notice them - that's how focused on the road I am. Especially when there is a lot of rain.
The rained did stop and we actually got pretty much dried out!!!! It was great, although my shoes and socks were still pretty wet.
We stopped in Wawa at a gas station to get some chocolate milk, but we did NOT go into town to see the goose. We still had 30 K to ride that day and there were some pretty threatening clouds. We got about 1 K from town and the skies opened and thirty seconds later, I was soaking wet!!!!! And it rained all the next 30K into camp. Ah - the joys of cycling in the rain!!!!! If we thought the hills were character building, well I don't know what the rain does - but we certainly are getting our fair share.
It was a long day of riding - 160K. While the hills are no where near what I was expecting, it was still a long day, especially with the rain. There were a few long hills towards the end of the day (of course - in the rain and when you are tired!!!), but it was a pretty easy ride other than that. The rain just made it longer.
I have to say that group moral is low. This segment of the ride has NOT been a good one - first the accident, then the rain has really brought everyone to a low. We NEED a day of sun!!!!! Some people insist on looking at the forecast - why - you can't change anything and knowing that it might rain - well kills my optimistic outlook!!!! Anyway - the forecast is NOT good. Are you kidding me???? How much can it rain in Northern Ontario???? Someone we met along the way was quite happy - at least there are NO forest fires!!!!!!
We arrived at camp around 5 PM and were the second group to arrive. There is the FAST group - Megan, Bill and Greig. Then the second group (usually Neil and myself) and then the others straggle in. They like to make more stops and look at more things. I want to get into camp and relax!!!! This night, the rest came in quite a bit later and that meant that dinner was late, but what are you going to do!!!!
Did laundry again to wash and dry everything that was wet and dirty!!!! Even though we had showers, I managed to get the tent up and it was fairly dry inside. Had to wipe it down once or twice to get it nice and dry for bed. FLO - does this camping in the rain thing make me a certified camper?????? I think I qualify. I could put that tent up and down blindfolded!!!!!
It was Allain's birthday. He had bought Nanaimo bars (not nearly as good as yours Margo!!!!!), but still they were awesome. Since Adam could NOT find a cake that day - we just had Nanaimo bars which was fine by me.
I didn't take any pictures today. Who wants to dig out the camera in the rain? And it is just rocks and trees, trees and rocks anyway!!!!! But there are LOTS of mosquitos!!!!! I would definitely come back to this camp ground again, BUT when the weather is nicer!!!! There are nice washrooms, nice showers and nice laundry. IMPORTANT things when one is camping!!!!!
It is 9:30 PM as I made my notes for the day. My tent is dirty and stinky, my feet are even stinkier!!!!
We have TWO more days of riding before a rest day - I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One of our riders has decided to opt out. Fred who was riding just to Toronto has decided that he didn't want any more of the rain. He met up with a cousin and will collect his gear later. He had done the Toronto to NFL part last year and was DAYS away from completing the trip. It definitely is a make or break experience and the rain in the last couple of days has been a killer!!!!
On that note - I am out of here.
Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!