October 19, 2012
We enjoyed our last hotel breakfast this morning (got the last box of corn pops) and rode our bikes to the train station before the rain started. We checked the bikes and our bags and then waited for our train on the bench outside the station. It was very relaxing sitting on the train and we had a couple of snacks along the way. The sun came out as we approached Oshawa and a feeling of home when we saw the lake.
We arrived in Oshawa on time and had a few minutes to catch the GO train. We only rode on stop, to Whitby, then we were back on the bikes for a short ride home to Ajax. Managed to get one more flat tire on the way back and nursed my bike the last few kilometers to the house.
No one home to greet us, but we will be meeting up with Vicki and Ross for Indian food later on. Its nice to be back but I’m sure it won’t take long to miss riding the day away. Hope you enjoyed following along with our adventure. I hope to be home in KW in the next few days before I take off for Pelee Island. And no I won’t be riding my bike there.
Day 19 Morrisburg to Iroquois to Cornwall 77km
October 18, 2012
A lovely warm morning with a hint of an east wind. Today will be our last real day of pedaling as we will be catching the train home from Brockville tomorrow. We stopped in Iroquois for our breakfast after riding for 15km. We had a nice view of the locks on the Seaway. The wind must have changed direction because when we started riding again there was a stiff breeze blowing in our faces. We struggled and made it another few kilometers to where the trail rejoins highway 2. The wind seemed even stronger now and we watched our speed drop. I pulled over and jokingly suggested that maybe we should pedal back to Cornwall, with the wind. Mom was all over that, so without any hesitation, we turned around. Now with the wind at our backs we covered what took us over an hour this morning in half an hour. It was such a beautiful day we figured why waste it toiling into the wind. It makes no difference to us if we catch the train from Cornwall or Brockville. We stopped near the Upper Canada Village to see if we might be able to catch an earlier train.
I guess we’ll have to wait till tomorrow. It was fun retracing our route and on such a scenic section of the trail. We had our picnic lunch in Farran Park and after another hour of pedaling we were back at the hotel. Caught the end of the ball game and watched the Yankees get swept. Then it was out for a walk to see where to eat. We looked at a couple of restaurants, but opted for a grocery store supper in our room.
We have train reservations for tomorrow morning and plan on riding back to Ajax from the station in Oshawa. It’s a little sad knowing that the trip is almost finished, but truthfully, our legs could use the rest.
Day 18 Cornwall to Morrisburg 44km
October 17, 2012
Lovely sunny morning, but frost on all the rooftops. Took our time this morning, had breakfast .an d patched my flat tire. Thought we were taking a day off today after yesterday’s long ride into the wind, but figured with rain coming on Friday we should try to make Brockville to catch the train home. Morrisburg is only 40km so we decided to pedal today anyways. By the time we left it was like summer and we set out in the sun. We picked up the trail right across the street from the hotel and made our way out of town. It was a nice ride on a paved trail with a canopy of trees all around. There was a tree that had fallen over the path and so we had our first portage of the trip.
After that, the trail leads to the Long Sault Parkway. This is a string of islands connected by causeways, leftover from the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway. We saw a deer while pedaling through and had a nice picnic by the water.
We rode through the working side of Upper Canada Village, but weren’t able to go in and look around. The last bit of the ride was along highway 2. It wasn’t long before we arrived in Harrisburg. We got changed and walked into town to do the laundry and shop for supper. We found a bakery on the way back and picked up a few things for dessert. It was a pleasure to put our feet up and relax for awhile. Off to Brockville in the morning.
October 16, 2012
Lovely blue sky this morning but very cool. It was very windy again this morning and we took a walk to McDonald’s so I could get a coffee. We met an interesting woman in line and chatted for awhile. Back at the motel, we were packed and ready to go by 10:30 am. I think both of us were dreading pedaling into the wind again, especially with our destination so far away. By the time we left, clouds had moved in. We head south on the 338 for about 7km and as soon as we turn west, WHAM! The wind is overpowering. I noticed what looked to be a trail on the other side of the canal we were pedaling along, so at the next bridge we cross over to it. Turns out that it is paved and provides slightly more shelter from the wind than the highway. We follow this for a good 30km. Now the trail winds through a couple small towns just south of Hwy 20 and at one point snakes through a beautifully wooded forest. Leaves almost completely cover the path and we saw several people walking here. After a few more km we cross the border and are back in Ontario.
Once we are in Ontario, the trail becomes a bike lane on a service road in full view of the 401. It runs straight for what seems like forever. We still have 40km to go and the wind isn’t letting up. Then there is a brief glimmer of hope. Mom spots an accommodation sign on the 401 for the upcoming exit #804. After a few more km we come to the exit and there are a few fast food joints. We were cold and hungry at this point so we figure we’d go into Tim Hortons for something hot to eat and ask where a place to stay might be. Just before we pull into the parking lot I see the MOTEL sign further down the road.
Right away we go and investigate the motel but when we get there we just laugh. The land is for sale and what used to be the motel, is now just a pile of rubble. Damn. Now we will have to pedal another 25km into Cornwall. So back to Tim’s for chilli and bagels, and then back on the road, into the wind. The last twenty is always the toughest and it was getting colder as the day got on. It was quite nice riding along the water into Cornwall and as the sun was setting it was getting hard to see. Once we got into town we stopped at a fish and chip restaurant for directions and then made our way uptown to where the hotels are. On the way I noticed by back tire going flat and we coasted into the parking lot of the Best Western. They were full, but the Comfort Inn down the street had a room for us. Home sweet home. Enjoyed our leftover chicken for dinner and put our feet up for a change. No after dinner walk tonight and I think we are taking the day off tomorrow.
October 15, 2012
Always sad to leave Montreal, but today was the day. We took a short walk before our hotel breakfast and the sun was shining. Collected the bikes from the parade storage room and loaded up. Clouds rolled in shortly after we left the hotel, but it was warm out and almost felt like spring. Riding on bike lanes all the way on Maisoneuve we were in West Montreal in no time. By the time we reached the waterfront we felt the effects of the wind. 30km/h from the west, gusting to 40km/h right in our faces. Our nice pace was quickly slowed to a crawl. We tried to stay inland to keep sheltered, but it was unavoidable for the most part. We stopped in a park by the Base D’ Urfe Yacht Club, had our lunch and some fun on the exercise machines there.
Arrived in Dorian reasonably early and checked in to a little motel on Hwy 20. Off to see the town and it wasn’t much, then bought some things for supper from Viau and Fils. We ate as soon as we got back to the room and then went out in search of the laundromat. After quite awhile and a couple consultations with locals we found the boundaries. Bad news, they are out of soap. So we walked some more and found some in the Jean Contour(drugstore). So back to run a load of laundry. We were entertained by a couple of local characters while waiting for the wash and then start the walk back from Veaudreuil to Dorian which is at least a few kilometers. We hung the wash on the bikes and then Mom remembers that she has some mending to do. One of the straps on her pannier had given out after going over a big bump. We bought a package of seventy sewing needles from the dollar store earlier in the day and instead of thread she would use dental floss. So I leant her my headlamp and she went to work.
Finally it’s time to relax, so we catch the end of the ball game and snack on peanuts. The end of another great day. Not sure what to do in the morning. Cornwall is pretty far and if the wind is blowing from the west again it could be a tough pedal. We joke about going back to Montreal.
October 14, 2012
Slept in till 9am. Hot showers and then we packed up, checked out and then rode a few blocks to our next hotel. We left our planners in the luggage room there (and our cereal too, by mistake) and then set off to see the town. After a quick breakfast of yoghurt in an empty parking lot in Chinatown, we headed for Mont Royal. We were hungry again by the time we reached the base of it so we figured we should look for a boulangerie. Pedaled a few blocks and were about to give up, then all of a sudden, we were on bakery row. The first one we went into had some of the best bagels in the city, so we bought a couple. The next place we went into had these amazing looking little pizzas, so we bought one. Before long we were fueled up and ready to ride up the mountain.
It had been threatening rain all morning and had started to drizzle as we began our ascent. There were a lot of people out considering the weather. Walkers, joggers, bikers and other tourists. The climb lasted 3 or 4km and got foggiest the higher we climbed. By the time we reached the top we couldn’t see the city at all. We went up to see the cross and by the time we were starting back down the rain moved in.
We took a different route down the mountain and came out onto the streets by McGill and the Golden Acre. It read mostly down hill through downtown and we were back at the hotel just before check in time at 3 o’clock. The room was quite small, European style they call it. We strung our clothesline across the room and cranked up the heat to help dry our wet clothes. Went out again to the IGA in search of more Liberte yoghurt and then strolled through Chinatown looking for a place to get some hot soup. We ended up in a great restaurant, Mom had Tao chicken and I had a red curry. Both plates were delicious and better than soup. Had another walk after eating to settle our stomachs and eventually made it back to our room. It was quite toasty in there when we got back and the wet clothes were now dry. With the bathroom window open our fridge things were cool, a perfect combination. Its supposed to be sunny and warm tomorrow and we will be heading west. Just hoping that the wind will be with us.
October 13, 2012
Great ride into Montreal today. The weather was sunny and warm, at least compared to yesterday. We stopped for a snack in Glanville before crossing into Laval and we stacked again in Laval, before crossing over into Montreal. The scenery was quite varied on the way in, we pedaled through fields, forests, suburbs, industrial parks and even down a train platform. The trail that we followed (La Route Vert) took us right into downtown Montreal. We found a quaint hotel to stay in just on the edge of Old Montreal. The Hotel Champs de Mars probably was a boutique hotel in the 1960’s. After we checked in we had a late lunch in the room before going out to see the city on foot.
We had a nice walk through old town and up to the train station. We found a grocery store and scouted for another hotel for Sunday night. We found one that was a little cheaper and a couple decades newer. We walked back through Chinatown and discussed eating out sometime. By the time we got back to our Hotel the rain had started so we decided it would be a good idea to have some soup in the restaurant adjacent to the Hotel. Well, the soup was amazing and decided to try the chocolate cake for dessert. It was good too. Up to the room and off to bed. Supposed to rain all day Sunday, so we will decide what to do in the morning. We had talked about going up Mont Royal, or we may ride the Metro all day…