Day 9 – “Canada: we put the ‘U’ in Labour Day”

On Monday morning, Dad got right up, and went to a Tim Horton’s trailer nearby, and got coffee, muffins, and pastries. I took my time getting up, found the pizza I’d put in the minifridge last night, only water had dripped on my pizza, and soaked it. The fridge also needed to be turned on, apparently, but how was I supposed to know that? I peeled the cheese off, and ate my pastries.

After that, it was back on the road, and we tried to find the Elgin County Railway Museum, but it was closed. It did have a gigantic building, and some rolling stock on display.

We headed on west, via Port Talbot. Some parts of the road were quite hilly, but only to drop down to a stream, and back up again. At one of these dips, there was a one lane wooden plank bridge. As I was approaching the bridge, a pickup truck was coming the other way. I scooted over the bridge, keeping to one plank, before the truck even got close. Then up the other side, a grueling short climb the likes of which we had not seen since New England, some 500 miles before. We apparently passed Port Talbot with out realizing it, since it was on the road we were on, but we never saw it. It may have been one of those dips in the road.

We stopped at a convenience store, and sat on the steps of the Memorial Hall, and noticed a sign reading “Closed Labour Day.” We try to think of the blog tag lines as we go along, so we thought “Putting the U in Labour Day” would work nicely. We did also appreciate the low traffic, and only saw one big truck.

The day was hot, so it was great for drying Dad’s wool biking shorts and socks on the Bob. We also had the wonderful luck to get some tailwinds, which is how we managed such a terrific daily average speed. Although hot, we weren’t bothered much, as it was Labour Day, and nearly everyone was off the roads, relaxing.

One problem with going west in this area of Ontario is that all the roads run North-East/South-West, and North-West/South-East. So we have to zig-zag across Ontario. On one such zig-zag, we stopped in Wardsville to have lunch at the Shamrock Dining Lounge.

It had just opened, but unlike Joey’s Seafood, they weren’t out of any of their menu items. It was great to have it air conditioned, since it was a scorcher outside. We got soup and burgers, and had a nice chat with our server (the owner), about how new the restaurant was, and how it had been a bar before, and how they had spent time cleaning it and repainting it. It had a great atmosphere, and nice hardwood floors. After I blogged there for a while, we got some ice cream, and then they gave us a litre of ice tea.

Flat, fltat, flat ...

Flat, fltat, flat ...

After we passed through Cairo, it was dead straight, all the way to Sombra, on the St. Clair. Once, we saw a radio tower in the distance as we were racing along at 20 mph. We estimated it would take us ten minutes to get there. I kept checking my watch, to see if it seemed like we would make it. At 9 minutes, it didn’t seem to be a whole lot closer. In the end, it took us nearly twenty minutes to pass the tower. That could have put a damper on our spirits, but we took it in stride, and just kept cranking along.

We stopped at a school, which appeared to be in the middle of nowhere. I tried to find power and WiFi, but it was not to be found. Some contractors were working on the building, but we didn’t talk to them. In addition to the occasional cluster of trees, we saw lots of, you guessed it, corn and soybean fields. We think that the inordinate number of roadkill come from the amount of available food for these critters, because in more wooded areas, the roadkill count dwindles.

One of the unlucky ones ...

One of the unlucky ones ...

As a car was coming down the road, it was plowing through a ankle deep mirage, and the headlights were reflected in the mirage. We thought about how that would work, but didn’t come up with any reason.

Looking at the map, we could see other roads paralleling our own. I thought about what a bother it must be to plow all these roads of snow in winter. Especially since there aren’t many houses on most of these roads.

Dinner was at the Wee Country Cafe, in Sombra, where we had pizza again. But since we were staying at the Branton Cundick Provincial Park, and camping, I wouldn’t be able to have soggy pizza in the morning, so I just ate the whole pie.

We paid our $25 tent site fee, and setup our tent under a tree. I blogged for a while, and Dad read his book. We slept.

Stats:

Miles: 88
Avg Spd: 16.9
Mechanicals: 0
Bunnies: 0
Roadkill: 17
Serious cyclist: 1
Hours of Rain: 0
Herons: 0
Miles lost to headwind: 0
miles of highway with shoulder: 2
Miles without a curve: 18

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