Thursday, August 31, 2017

Erie Shores - Day Three

I should be very careful what I write.  I've had two great nights of sleep and then last night - well once I got to sleep I slept well.  I think it was too much pasta at dinner.  Lighter dinners - please!

Or maybe it was too much visual stimulation in my hotel room.  Wait - I mean the decor!  Wait for it.

The day started off gorgeous.  Not too hot, not too cold.  I wasn't looking forward to riding out of Sarnia as I wondered if it was going to be complicated.  Nope - it wasn't too bad and I did notice at one point the railroad tracks in down town had a very steep angle that you didn't want to ride over them for fear of the wheels getting caught. Just like Jane (who is from here) had warned me. There's even a sign.

I had no idea, but there is a lot of oil and gas production in this area?  I don't  know much about it but we rode beside some pretty complex looking industrial area. And then within 10 K, we were in the country. Not only the country but we rode beside the St. Clair River for a long distance and it was gorgeous.

The river was fascinating to watch - the big industries right beside the houses. That was on the US side of the river.  The "back yards" of these houses which were on the water.  For most of the way we traveled beside the river, there were houses on one side of the road and the river on the other.  Some of the houses had docks on the river side. Some were just a dock, but others were very elaborate affairs. Some were far apart and some were so close.

But I bet there is NO swimming in this river. At one point I did see a sign that said KEEP OUT. Toxins, pollutants in the water.  That was on a smaller creek near what looked like a small tract of First Nations land.  I'm only guessing at that.

Passed the ferry to the US in Sombra.

And there was pretty much a bike path the entire length of the river.  Where there wasn't a bike path, there was a dedicated shoulder. It couldn't have been a nicer ride. Even though I had gotten an 8 AM start and the distance was just under 100K for the day, you couldn't help but sail along this road. Trust me I stopped for a LOT of pictures.

Again the route is super flat and I was sailing along close to 30K at some points.

Then we left the river and started towards Chatham which was our stop for the night. I had lunch in Wallaceburg.  Again not wanting to eat at a chain, I turned the corner onto the main street and the waitress was just putting out their sign - Open for lunch.  It was 11 AM.  A bit early, but there was nothing else after Wallaceburg and I was a tad hungry.  As I was waiting for my food, the owner came over and we chatted.  He has had cyclists in all summer comes from various places.  A nice guy.  Food was great - James Street Eatery if ever you are in Wallaceburg!

Then I hit the first of two detours for the day.  A bridge that we were supposed to take was closed.  Couldn't even talk my way across.  Drat!  A man happened to be walking by and I asked him where the next bridge was.  He pointed me to a foot bridge that was a block away.  That was easy and once I got to the other side, I found my way to the intended route and I was good.

While we were on the lesser traveled roads, they were in good condition. No shoulders, but it was easy to make good time and again I was sailing along between 25 and 30 K.  I was back in Chatham and almost at the hotel.  If I hurry, I can make it in just under 6 hours (including my lunch stop and all my picture stops).  Drat - the last bridge is completely closed!!!   A quick peek at the area and I backtracked so I could cross a different bridge and made it to the hotel with one minute to spare!

It was only 2 PM so I had the entire afternoon to check out Chatham.  I love that - would rather that than have a late start.

My room wasn't ready so I headed off to the quilt store on my bike.  Oh, my - what a cute little shop.  Put it together Quilt Shop.  It's in a big building with another vendor.   I spoke to the owners for quite a while and they were showing me all the cool things they do at their shop.  I was very impressed and I found a few things to buy. But not too much since I was on my bike!  And they did NOT have the Barn Trail book - they were sold out!!!  If every you are in the Chatham area - check it out.

Back to the hotel (Retro Suites) which was so much easier to get to on the bike now that I know a wee bit where I'm going.

Thanks to my connection through Susan, all of our rooms got switched at the hotel.  I was in the Easy Rider room.  OH MY GOD - this room is so cool.  Harley Davidson theme which is neat since my brother drives one.  The ceiling fan is HD (even makes revving noises if I turn that function on), rotating signs, a neon sign which works, an old motorcycle hanging from the ceiling.  It's a very cool room and perhaps that is why I couldn't sleep although I did turn everything off before going to bed. There are switches everywhere to operate all the cool stuff!

After my shower, I popped down to the Dutch market to check out what was there. Bought a teeny pair of wooden shoes.  There were so many different kinds of licorice.  Wow - I was going to buy some but didn't in case it was really icky!!  I love licorice, but this was all black and sometimes black can be almost bitter.

I also went to the thrift store and back to the book store where I did find a book.  I'm reading a book on True Murder Stories by Frank Jones.  One of the murders mentions an author - Anne Perry who murdered her mother or her friend's mother. She became a famous author under a pseudonym. Well - I had to read one of her books.  I found the first one in one of her series at this book store.  Perfect!  First time I've bought a novel in ages.

We all went our separate ways for dinner last night and I went to the Italian place.  Food was excellent, service was a bit hit and miss.

On my way back to the hotel, I could hear something and realized there was another foot bridge very close to the bridge that was closed. I scooted across the bridge and there was a concert in the park.  It was the Chatham Concert Band playing so I sat down and listened for a bit.  It was a fun way to end the evening. As I sat there I noticed another barn block on the Cultural building. I wandered over there for a photo and then back to the hotel as the gnats were starting to become a pain and I remember my experience in Savannah.

The little buggers followed me into the hotel and I swatted the last of them dead in my room!

Oh yes - I ran around the hotel in the afternoon and took pictures. I took lots of pictures. This place is absolutely amazing!!!

I forgot to mention that we had no rain yesterday, but apparently there was flooding in Windsor (our starting point).  They had huge rainfall on Monday and Tuesday - we were lucky to miss that. The sun came out, I actually took my jacket off and put sun screen on!

On that note, I'm going to get ready for the day.  This is our shortest day but you never know what the roads will bring!

Have a great day!!!!



  1. Oh Elaine! Did you pass up the chance for salted licorice??? The dutch do it well- it is sooo good! Stay away from double salted- unless you really like salty things!
    I will have to bring some for you to try:)

    1. Oh shoot --- I didn't know what to choose!!! there were MANY MANY kinds of licorice!