Spring 2017 – Ajax to Quebec City 

Day 11: Morrisburg to Cornwall 45km

Thursday, April 27

Fog then sun and humidity with an E wind. 27C.

Every trip we do we come up with a motto and for this trip it might be ” In to the Wind!” Heavy fog rolled in off the lake overnight as warm air from the south blew over the cold water of the Saint Lawrence. It was still cool when we left Morrisburg,  but as the temperature warmed up the fog lifted.
Because we were riding into the wind again, we decided to break our distance into sections of 10km. This strategy made the riding easier and some great scenery and some sunshine helped too. 

The first ten took us from Morrisburg to the Chrysler Farm battlefield memorial. 

The second ten kilometres took us through Upper Canada Village which wasn’t open for the season yet and then along a beautiful trail through the woods.

The whole time we were almost always within view of the water.

Such a nice change from riding along the highway. 

At twenty kilometres we stopped for our morning snack in a campground and then the next ten kilometres were pedalling along the Saint Lawrence Sea-way. We still struggled into the wind, but the sunshine kept us distracted enough that we just kept pedalling along.

Finally the last leg of our journey was a paved bike path running parallel to highway 2 that took us right into Cornwall. We have stayed here before so we’re familiar with where we were going. After we checked in we ate lunch in our room and then relaxed for awhile.  

When it was time to go out for dinner we walked over to the grocery store only to find that it was closed for good. Gone. After asking around we were directed to another store further away and by the time we stopped and walked back to our room 2 hours had gone by. It was also 27C by this time so we were hot, tired and hungry. 

Not to worry, we had a fabulous two course meal with two baseball games and two hockey games. Not only do we know how to eat, we know how to rest.

Spring 2017 – Ajax to Quebec City 

Day 10: Johnstown to Morrisburg 36km

Wednesday,  April 26

Sunny with clouds and an E wind. 15C.

Today was a little more difficult to get out of bed for both of us, but we did. Oatmeal in our room and eventually out the door and into the wind again.

Across the river was Ogdensburg, NY and the international bridge crossing it. We were excited to be leaving the municipality of Leeds Grenville which has possibly the worst and most dangerous section of the Waterfront Trail.  Basically no paved shoulder to ride on and soft sand alongside the road. 

After 5 km we were in Cardinal and stopped at the post office to mail a letter. We had a quick riding tour of the town before finding our way back to the highway. 

Another 10km down the road we stopped in Iroquois for our morning snack and they left town via the Waterfront Trail. 

On the road again and into the wind the final 13km were long, straight and seemed to take forever.  Our legs were tired today and mentally the wind was draining. When we arrived in Morrisburg we knew exactly where to go, having stayed here before. We checked in and then walked over to the plaza to pick up something for lunch. After eating back in our room we walked over to the plaza and picked up something for supper. We also browsed in a few other shops, but we were really looking forward to putting our feet up and resting. 

After supper we did just that. We are looking forward to tomorrow and a slight change in wind direction.

Spring 2017 –  Ajax to Quebec City 

Day 9: Rockport to Johnstown 61km 

Tuesday, April 25

Sun then cloud then rain with a NE wind. 11C.

Both of us slept like logs lastnight and were out of bed before 8 o’clock. We went for a short walk to see what the weather was like and despite the sunshine it was cold and windy. For breakfast we made our oatmeal with the aid of the coffee maker and added a square of dark chocolate for some extra energy. 

Our ride started with a short hill heading up to the highway and then we crossed over to the 1,000 Islands Bike way. Again the pedalling was tough riding into the wind and the lake flies/midges/chad flies were out in full force. Rain clouds were slowly approaching from behind so we tried to keep up a good pace.

At Brown’s Bay we stopped for our morning snack and aside from the bugs had the place to ourselves. 

The second half of the morning was a repeat of the first. Pedal into the wind, bugs, repeat.

More bugs.

When we arrived in Brockville it was just before noon so we decided that we would keep going and aim for Prescott. The rain was almost upon us when we popped into the grocery store for more supplies. We also visited the bike shop in Brockville and when we were ready to get going again the rain began. So we applied our appropriate layers for rain, covered our panniers and started riding. On the way out of town we took shelter at Fullford Manor for our second snack.

After that we rode in the rain for an hour until we got to Prescott. This stretch of the highway was lacking a paved shoulders in parts so we were forced to mingle with traffic.  Thankfully it wasn’t that busy. We found the motel and they had No Vacancy. After weighing our options we booked a room online in Johnstown, a few more kilometres along the highway. 

We did our shopping for supper in Prescott and after we filled out bags with food,  made the final push to the motel. The rain had stopped by this point and we found our home for the night after another half hour of riding. From the outside the motel wasn’t much to look at, but the room is quite nice and the proprietor was nice and helpful. 

We ate right away even though it wasn’t yet 5 o’clock and then spent some time cleaning our bike chains. Then we ate again and then puttered and did some chores and then we ate again. Finally we have our feet up and bedtime is fast approaching. 

Spring 2017 – Ajax to Quebec City 

Day 8: Kingston to Rockport 51km

Monday,  April 24

Sunny with a steady NE wind. 12C 

The sun was already up when awoke this morning and the view from our fifth floor window was beautiful. We could see the flags across the water flapping all out from the strong breeze and we knew that we’d be struggling into the wind again today.

A short walk around the hotel confirmed both the strength of the breeze and the cool temperature of the the air. While eating our continental breakfast we almost hatched another plan that involved taking the train to Montreal today, but we decided to stick with our original plan which is to ride to Montreal and beyond. So we fueled up as best we could and the got on the road.

We rode east over the causeway bridge out of downtown  Kingston and then up a pretty good hill to the Canadian Forces base. Once we fine tuned our outer ware – ear covers, sweaters and gloves – we put our heads down and pedaled our butts off. After 2 hours of riding we had travelled 30km arriving in Gananoque. 

At the visitor information centre – which was closed today – we were able to sneak in to use the bathroom while some workers were delivering furniture upstairs. We set up our picnic outside in the sun, sheltered from the wind.

After we ate we walked through downtown Gananoque to stretch our legs and then found a grocery store to pick up some things for our supper. Once again we got on our bikes and pushed into the wind.

Not long after we got going again we were swarmed by tiny lake bugs. They were everywhere! Mom was prepared with her bug net and I used my silk swisher as a mask. 

That seemed to work for the most part, but I could feel them crawling by my ears and under my sunglasses. The wind seemed to keep them at bay, but whenever we rode through somewhere sheltered they would appear again in full force. 

We took one final snack break to keep our strength up before the last few kilometres into Rockport. 

There was a nice view overlooking the Saint Lawrence River.

At last we made it to the village of Rockport and checked into our room which is right on the water. We took a quick walking tour and then were back in our room preparing our supper which was another version of yesterday’s salad.

As usual,  after supper we got cleaned up, organized and then put our feet up to rest. Now it’s almost bedtime again.

Spring 2017 – Ajax to Quebec City 

Day 7: Kingston and Wolfe Island (by car)

Sunday,  April 23

Sunny and windy. 10C

Today was basically a day of from bike riding as we drove into Kingston in the morning to catch the ferry to Wolfe Island.

Earlier in the week we made plans to visit my cousin Jen and her new baby where they live on the island and while we were there we also saw Brad, their two other daughters and my Aunt Nancy. We had a great visit and lunch together before catching the afternoon ferry back to Kingston. 

Don and Charlie dropped us and our bikes of at our hotel and we got checked in and settled. We set off to find the laundromat –  success –  and then scouted out the grocery store for our supper.

Our room which was cheap, is great and has an incredible view of the lake. 

As much as we would like to stay here for a week, we will be ready to continue our journey to Quebec City in the morning. 

In the Evening :

Hang up the wash. Make salad to go with supper. Watch the game. Plan ahead and then off to bed.

Spring 2017 –  Ajax to Quebec City 

Day 6: Napanee to the Kingston Cottage 46km

Saturday,  April 22

Cloudy with sunny breaks and all over wind. 10C

With a relatively short distance to ride today we decided to sleep in a bit. When we got up around 9 o’clock we took a walk into downtown Napanee to see what we could find. I forgot what a nice looking town it is since last time we were through. 

One thing we didn’t forget was Len’s Bakery. The cookies we bought from there a few years ago were definitely memorable and today we went down memory lane with a baker’s dozen.

After walking back to the motel we slowly organized our belongings and then ate a very light breakfast. We ended up leaving Napanee around 11:30am. We pedaled back downtown along Hwy 2 and out of town up the infamous Napanee hill. What away to get the blood pumping. Thankfully the wind was still at our backs and helped to push us all the way to the top.

The highway had paved shoulders to begin with but unfortunately they didn’t last. The traffic wasn’t too bad but for a Saturday there were still plenty of cars. We stopped alongside the road for a couple of cookies and to stretch hopping back on the bikes. 

Highway 2 took us through Odessa and then we stopped at a gas station to pump up our tires before crossing over the 401 and onto Unity Road.

The last 20km seemed to take forever. I think the wind changed direction and was kissing us in the face again. We kept pedalling and finally reached Elginburg. This was familiar territory for us as the Nye family cottage is nearby. Once we reached Latimer Road we knew we were almost there, but seemed to be slowing as each minute passed. Little hills became mountains and breezes became gales, but finally we made it on to and down the old cottage road.

We were greeted by Charlie who was sunning himself on the deck and Don, puttering in the cottage. 

After getting caught up we had a lovely meal and then a walk to the beach just in time for the sunset.

In the evening we went through our luggage and weeded out any unnecessary items. I came up with at least 10lbs of extra stuff to send home, not including my Pentax SLR (which I’ll still be taking with us).

Spring 2017 – Ajax to Quebec City 

Day 5: Salem to Napanee 86km

Friday,  April 21

Cloudy with a strong SW wind. 9C

Finally the wind was blowing in the direction we were travelling and it made for great pedalling today. After a delicious pancake breakfast at the Burken B&B and some more great conversation we were on the road by 10:30am. 

It was quite foggy so we started with our lights on an began riding east towards Brighton. Next we travelled through Carrying Place and along Hwy 3 beside the Bay of Quinte. Near Rednersville we stopped at the Campbell’s Orchards where we bought a few snacks and some hot soup to go with our lunch. We ate at a table outside and kept it quick because it was still pretty cool out. After lunch we crossed over the Bay of Quinte Skyway Bridge into Belleville. 

There is a great paved trail in Bellville that follows alongside the Moira River and we rode north on the trail until our turn east towards Napanee. 

Still the wind was pushing us along and after another ninety minutes of pedalling we finally arrived at our motel. We were tired but also a little elated for making it so far.

My Dad drove in from the cottage to join us for supper and we walked across the street to Tammy’s Country Kitchen. The food was good and we were back in our room in time to put our feet up and watch the hockey game. We will see how our legs feel tomorrow…