Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day 42 - Serpent River to Manitoulin Island

We did not get rain last night, but it was very dewy and wet when we woke up. That means we will have to dry out the tents later when we set them up. Oh boy - what else is new!!!

I was very tired last night. There is a train  track that goes right beside where we are tenting. Yes - we are on the OTHER side of the tracks!!!!   Apparently there were TWO trains in the night. My brain registered the ground shake when the first one went through and slightly registered the other. I didn`t even wake up really. If someone had NOT mentioned the trains passing, I wouldn`t even have remembered that they went by.

Got things packed up and was out of camp by 8 AM. Our group was on cook duty so that is why we were later, but the entire group is pretty good about getting an early start to the day. I would rather have more time at the end of the day or even during the day than waste it getting ready in the morning.

Neil and I caught up with a big part of the group around the 40K mark. Then we had a decision to make - stay on the busier highway or take a side road. We decided that the traffic on the busier highway wasn`t that bad and the shoulder was somewhat decent so we stayed on that route. Most of the others took the side road which parts of it were under construction. Then we turned onto Highway SIX. Yes this is the same Highway Six that is fairly close to home and I often will ride out to the Highway Six, ride along it for a couple of K and then head back home. I had no idea that it came this far north.

There was a rumor of a DQ in Espangnola, but that turned out to be false information. The DQ had closed years ago. We did end up in a small bakery, but they had NO baked goods (at that moment in time), so I had some tea and toast. We had had a bite of our sandwiches not that long before and although the club sandwiches looked awesome, there was NO WAY my stomach was gonig to deal with all that food. Funny how we are working so hard and yet I can`t seem to eat a lot at one time. Sucks!!!!

Headed south from that point and while we were riding into a head wind, there were hills that offerred some relief and there were interesting things to see, so that made the ride enjoyable. And we had a nice wide shoulder unlike Highway 17!!!!

We were now headed to Manitoulin Island. To get onto the island from the north you have to take a swing bridge. I had never seen a swing bridge before and did not realize that this was a swing bridge. All I knew as that we were approaching the crossing, I could not figure out the angle of the bridge relative to the angle of the road. AHA - that is because the bridge was open and that just didn`t make sense until I was closer. So as we waited we got to watch the last of a couple of sail boats pass the bridge and then the bridge closed. One of teh nice things about being on a bike - you don`t have to wait at the back of the line - you can go all the way to the front!!!!   Then after a LONG time, we were able to cross. You see, the bridge is also ONE LANE wide so we had to wait for the oncoming traffic. Traffic is regulated by a light and it look a long time for it to be our turn. Because there was waiting traffic, Neil popped onto the sidewalk alongside the bridge. ACK!!!!!   It was narrow and I HATE riding on narrow things especially on the outside edge of a bridge. YES - there was a rialing, but I am always afraid of crashing!!!!   Well I managed to ride the narrow path - I guess I am getting better at this biking thing!!!!

There was promise of a GREAT ice cream shop just on the other side of the bridge. I wasn`t getting my hopes up after the disappointments we have had about other ice cream places. But when we arrived on the other side of the bridge - there was a MASSIVE ice cream shop. Oh boy - so many flavours to choose from. It was difficult to choose so I had TWO scoops - one of each of two different flavours. A whole bunch of us ended up there at the same time so we took lots of pictures.

I am not that keen on ice cream, but since everyone was stopping and well I`ll just blame Neil!!!!

The last way into camp was on a narrow shoulder road and strong headwinds. Ah - just what we need to finish the day!!!!!

It was MAIL CALL day. Oh - I love mail call days. I got so much mail from friends and family - I just so appreciate reciving the mail. Yes - there is e-mail and Facebook, but these are tangible things from YOU. I took pictures of it all and one day I will get them loaded. Thanks so much for all the mail!!!!!   And Jacquie - what can I say!!!  Or was that Donna that sent Bill the LOVELY piece of Batman fabric!!!!   He wore it around camp and I got a great picture of him with it on!!!!  Now he is using it to wipe down his tent in the morning when it is wet!!!

We had spaghettie for dinner (ate too much!!!) and while the campground has WiFi, it wasn`t that great. I have just about given up on keeping the blog up to date, but now that I have a new solution to writing the blog, hopefullty I won`t be so far behind!!!!!   Or often it is just around the camp office and if we are on cook duty, it gets too late or I am just too lazy to go to the office!!!!!

We are in a very nice campground - Batman`s Camground and it a pretty well established camp site. I mean - these campers have everything they have at home. Satellite TV, probably internet - lawns, flower gardens. The whole thing. I am thankful that my backyard is my cottage - it is much quicker to get to!!!!

One thing I won`t miss when this trip is over is sleeping in a tent, then having to get up to walk to the washroom and then eating in a different place. It will be nice to get up and have all three things close by under ONE ROOF!!!!

FOUR weeks tomorrow and we are done!!!!!   That is hard to believe - this just seems to have become my new way of life with NO END in sight. I seem to have been on a bike forever and that it will go on forever!!!   But sooner than later we will run out of country!!!!

The hills are becoming "easier" - well no easier - I guess we just get faster!!!  and the head winds (while I don`t like them) just become a way of life. You just suck it up and move on.

And I am still feeling great. My gluts are a bit sore today, but not a big deal.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!


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