My expectations are high as I find myself holding a groundhog to a promise he made me in Feburary, I am ready for spring! This past weekend the weather was predicted to be nice, people kept bringing it up the week before, I was leery but still found myself checking the weather, constantly. Saturday I was excited to see sunshine, however it was still quite chilly. The day was busy, and around 5pm the tempertures hit the expected high of 5°celsuis, there were a lot of motorcycles out, and I caught the bug. I talked Larry into joining me, even though he had just gotten home from a ride and was quite chilled. I bundled up and we went out for about an hour, it felt so good, the sunshine and ride fed my soul! By time I got home I was ready to cozy up beside the fire and warm up.
It's been some what of a dreary January, which is unusual. Sandwiched in between two extremely foggy & rainy days was a warm somewhat sunny day.
While I was still at home, every time the door opened a warm breeze blew in, I couldn't help myself. I was a little nervous that my bike wouldn't start but it did, and it was a great sound to hear.
It felt so good to be riding, the sun was out when I left the house, I was taking deep breaths and smiling. I headed out to Riverside Drive, a great ride that follows the river. There were so many other bikers that had the same idea, we exchanged 'the wave' and I'm was stoked to see them out.
Driving along the river, I stopped I thought it would be fun to get a picture of my bike with the ice on the river.
I wasn't the only bike there, a fellow biker offered to take my picture and we chatted a bit, it's always fun to talk biking.
It was great ride, I followed the drive until the end, hunger and cold started to set in so and I turned around and went home the same way, a thoroughly enjoyable day.
When I started out it had just reached 50°F, I still felt the need to bundle up.
It was a wonderful way to spend a day in the middle of January, it was the only day we got, all the other mild days had a lot of rain and now a cold spell has settled in again, a time when I enjoy the memories.
Friday, November 18, 2016, it was a very pretty great weather day, it was also a busy day, and just to make it interesting it was a PD day (PD, Professional Development Day), which meant the kids had no school.
A lot of smaller districts in our area were preparing for Christmas Kick off events, one place in particular was the Old Walkerville area, maybe I'm bias but it's the best one, also the one I spent some time preparing for.
I spent the day with a couple of my favourite people,
As I decorated the Christmas tree's in the store, the girls enjoyed having the store to themselves and didn't have a problem keeping busy.
We worked up an appetite and walked over to Marija's for a second breakfast, it was fun and so much more enjoyable as we soaked in the 70ºF temps and wonderful warm breezes.
I had a great day with the girls, but once home I was ready to enjoy the ride portion of the day, I was scheduled to work, starting at 5pm, so I packed work clothes and a couple of snacks and headed out. I talked to Larry and we agreed to meet half way, it was exhilarating to be out, the sunshine smiling down on me and the warm breezes brushing against my cheeks.
We drove down Riverside drive, waved to fellow bikers, enjoyed the view, and most of all loved the ride. I was leading, it was so much fun checking the rear view mirrors and making sure Larry was still with me, the ride was intoxicating, invigorating and (sadly) maybe the last one for few months.
We rode for 45 minutes and then turned around, we spilt up after a bit, Larry got gas and filled his belly and I headed to work. I could feel the weather changing on the way there, the breeze was turning into a wind with a chill and I was starting to feel little nervous about the ride home.
It was a really busy night, people started coming into the store complaining about the rain, it was difficult to believe the weather could change so quickly but I got lucky, my ride home was dark, cold but dry, the rain took a break.
Saturday we had our first snow of the season, which made it hard to remember my great ride just the day before. Since then we've seemed to experience the dreary part of the year, no wonder people go crazy with Christmas decorations, trying to brighten things up.
We finished the riding season the same way we started it, we were delighted to have such wonderful experiences, both times. They were pretty similar but also different, the first one, we were looking forward to a wonderful riding season ahead and anxious to get it started but this weekend, the one we just experienced, we were excited to get a great weather weekend and have one more chance to get away.
We got a late start on Saturday, but we were okay with that, the temputures were getting warmer with each passing hour. As our journey started, we took the scenic route the whole way there, beginning with Riverside Drive, with a pit stop for a delicious breakfast at The Sandwich Nook, in Tecumseh. Once nourished with eggs, bacon and lots of coffee we continued through Belle River, Stoney Point, and a short side trip to Lighthouse cove, as we continued on our way we throughly enjoyed all the autumn sights, the colours of the leaves, the sun reflecting off the water and at one point a flock of birds flew over head, it was quite a sight to see.
We were surprised how quickly we reached our destination, once in Chatham, we checked in our new favourite hotel, Retro Suites, we loved our room - the amazing thing about the hotel is that each room is decorated uniquely with touches that make it charming and delightful - after unpacking we decided to go for a walk, which was really enjoyable, we explored downtown and had a lot of fun checking out the different stores, following the path along the Thames River and enjoying the sights along the way.
For dinner we choose our favourite restaurant, Mama Maria's, we didn't have reservations and therefore, couldn't get a seat, however we sat at the bar, had an appetizer and ordered our dinner to go. It worked out well, we sat in our room, ate wonderful food and watched a movie, after dinner Larry got dessert from The Chilled Cork for us both, such good food.
Sunday, we drove home after promising to do this again as soon as possible, and enjoyed it thoroughly, almost at every stop light we looked over at each other and said what a great day it was, again the weather was perfect and the views amazing. Larry wanted to be home for 1pm to watch the Lions game and we pulled in the driveway right on the minute, the Lions won, which made Larry very happy.
I've been hoping to go for a ride, instead I kept getting rain and dreary weather, or I've been busy.
Friday seemed promising, (I spent too much time checking the weather.)
I started out my ride around 11am, about 10 minutes into my ride I was rethinking the whole thing, however my mother was expecting me in Essex, we were meeting for breakfast, so I just focused on the upcoming coffee and persevered. Once at the Deluxe Restaurant I lingered over many cups of coffee before continuing on my way, it was around 2pm when I left the restaurant and headed toward Riverside Drive, I was still a bit uncomfortably cold, although, I was focusing on the sunshine and enjoying beautiful colours on the trees, also, it's an awesome sight when I'm riding and startle a flock birds into flight.
I stopped at Jones & Co. to catch up on some work, I was kind of dreading the ride home, I thought the temperature was dropping.
However, I left around 5pm and (surprisingly) throughly enjoyed the ride home, it was somewhat warmer, the sun was out, the view was amazing even if I've seen it a thousand times before. It was just what I was looking for, and felt so good, I thought about continuing my ride once I was close to home but common sense kicked it and I did go home, to a good dinner (that I made), and a relaxing night with great memories.
Last week we took a few days and went for a ride, we started our journey by heading out to Woodstock. We got such a late start that we decided to take the 401, although it is a main highway and pretty busy, I really enjoyed the ride. First of all, it just felt good to be heading out, the day was turning out to be a good one, the sun was starting to come out and the weather was perfect. We went to Woodstock to pick up a pair of highway bar's for my bike, the person was selling them on kijiji. We ended up buying them and I left his place with the bars on my bike.
By time we were done, I was pretty hungry, we stopped at Montana's in Woodstock and I had a great dinner. We started looking for a hotel in the area and was really surprised that everything was booked, I was told there was a farming convention in the area. We ended up finding a place in Brantford, so after eating, we took some back roads and headed east, the sunset was so glorious, the cool part was that it reflecting in my mirrors.
The plan for the next day was to hit a few stores in the area, the first one was in Hamilton, which we did and then Larry changed the planned, we took some back roads and enjoyed a great scenic ride. We went to peacock point, which is on Lake Erie, such a pretty ride.
We still had a bit to go to get to our end destination, Port Stanley. We had booked a hotel earlier that day, I was looking forward to relaxing by the beach and going out for a great dinner. For some reason, the last hour (or so) I found ride a bit difficult, I was getting pretty sore and tired, I felt like I couldn't get there quick enough. I was surprised that Larry was feeling the same way and he was experiencing the same relief I felt as we slowly got off our bikes.
After a warm shower we were both feeling better and headed out to look for some dinner. We went to the beach first and enjoyed the view of this awesome sunset, it felt good being there.
Finding a place to eat wasn't as easy as I had hoped, the town seems to shut down early. We ended up having dinner at The Wind Jammer Inn, we sat on the porch and started off with the 'soup of the moment', and because it was getting chilli we ended up moving inside, it's a charming place to eat. Larry ordered the Cheese Stuffed Portobello Cap for his main course, he enjoyed it so much and said he never had such a good meal, all the food was so good - we couldn't resist dessert which was indescribably delicious. It was a great, relaxing way to end the day.
The staff was particularly patient with us, when we got there the server checked with the chef to see if it wasn't to late to order, she was gracious enough to feed us, we were the last order of the day and the only customers for most of our meal, we were really appreciative.
The next day we had a great breakfast at the Buccaneer Restaurant, which was included with our room, which was kinda cool.
Then we headed home on Highway #3, which we've done a lot. We enjoyed the inland ride from Hamilton to Peacock Point and also admired the view of the shores of Lake Erie.
The change of seasons was apparent, leaves were starting to change, lot's of pumpkin farms and of course some cooler temps, but not uncomfortably so.
Larry bought a pass for Point Pelee this year, it has been a lot of fun. We've gone several times and throughly enjoyed it. It's about 7km from the entrance gate to the visitors centre, and it's a good ride, lots of tree's and a winding road with the occasional spotting of wild life, last time it was wild turkey.
Sometimes for a short ride, we take the scenic route and end up in the Leamington area, we've been known to stop at Birdie's Perch and lately we've added a fun ride through Point Pelee. Last time we were able to drive to the point, which is fun. We walked around the point for a bit, and just enjoyed our surroundings.
This path runs along Lake Erie, from the parking lot to the point, it was a great walk and felt good to move the muscles. It is usual treat for us to have this all to ourselves.
It's been fun to take advantage of the beautiful weather and get some late day rides in.
After arriving home from our trip to Thunder Bay, I found that the package I was expecting from Viking Bags had arrived and it was with great excitement I opened it up and found everything wrapped and well packed.
When I unpacked the saddlebags, I was really impressed with the quality, the outside casing was solid, the stitching looked great, and overall very attractive.
The buckles straps are just for show, underneath there is a quick click release button, I really like that convenience.
Also, all the hardware and instructions were included, we didn't have to buy anything for installation.
Also, I like the locking system and the peace of mind it brings. Every time I park the bike and walk away I've worried about the security of my belongings, now I can feel more comfortable while I take a break or grab a bite at a restaurant.
The velcro that is on either side of the bag is heavy duty and will keep the bag airtight. This is especially important, we have encountered plenty of 'surprise' rain storms in our travels. Also, there have been lots of times I've grabbed something from my old saddlebags and forgot to close them properly, causing them to flap in the wind. The worse part of that scenario is having to pull over on a highway to close the bags, I'm sure the strong velcro on the viking bags will keep the lid closed securely in that instance.
You can see one part of the heavy duty velcro in this picture.
Larry was on board to help me with the installation, we found the hard copy instructions somewhat difficult to follow, however, we found the tutorial on the Viking website very helpful.
Larry came up with a great idea that I'd thought I would share, he found a 2 x 1 (inch) piece of board, we placed it on the exhaust pipes and it was very helpful to keep the bags level while we were aligning them up with the bike.
All in all, I'm very happy with the bags, I think they look great on my bike and I'm super pleased to have some real storage. If I filled both these bags, I think I could live out of them for weeks!
Don't they look great?
- One issue for me personally with the design is that I wasn't able to angle my laptop in the bag easily, however I wouldn't want to change it more than an inch because it was the appearance of the bag that initially attracted me.
We've been home exactly a week today.
We travelled a total of 3800 km, and encountered all kinds of weather, including extreme heat, rain, really cold mornings & thunder storms, we ate out at a lot of restaurants and stayed in a few hotels. We met many people, and saw views that were spectacular.
Even though it was hard to say goodbye to Sarah, it was fun to continue our adventure. We left Sarah's 14 hours earlier than we originally planned, it was our hope to avoid some bad weather that was predicted. Unfortunately, that didn't really work out for us.
After leaving Thunder Bay, our goal was pretty easy, we stayed in Marathon, Ontario. We were taking highway #17 and we were delighted with the sights that surrounded us. It seemed like every turn or every time we descended a hill there was a beautiful scene for us, a lot of water, lakes, and inlets, so many trees, hills, and bends. There were a few 'look out' places that we stopped at, and because it was getting late, we got to see the sun setting, it was all pretty breathtaking.
The thing about doing something like this is that you meet the most interesting people, once we got to our hotel and brought our stuff in we went out to a local bar/pub, it was pretty much the only place open and it was in walking distance. Just before we entered we were greeted by a few people standing just outside the door, one seemed particularly drunk/high and insisted on high '5' ing Larry, I just walked in. I really felt like having a glass of wine, they only had single serving bottles, I've only seen that on airplanes before.
Anyway, it was fun, talking to the few people who were there, eating chicken wings while we watched the only employee working hard, trying to close up. She actually did us a favor by cooking us the chicken wings, I was grateful. The last 15 minutes or so everyone in the place ended up sitting around the bar and chatting with each other.
The next day we got cocky, and slept in, I feel like we really paid for this when we encountered the thunder storms later that day, my visibility was almost non existent, I wanted to get off the highway, I finally saw a driveway ahead, I wasn't sure where it led but I did see a lot of lights. It turned out to be a motel, which was next to a car dealership. We stood under the awning of the cheap looking motel with the blessing of the owner. When the rain seemed to slow down a bit we took off again, we were trying to get to Wawa, no sooner than we started out again the rain let loose, by time we got to Wawa we were soaked, every inch of us, we were drenched. We stopped at a restaurant that looked like it was a resort, the only thing I remember about it was the huge goose on top. We were delighted to get a coffee and some breakfast, we changed our jeans & socks and were able to put the other things in the dryer. Our creativity really showed up when we put plastic bags over our feet so our clean socks would stay dry. We were feeling better with dry clothes and having eaten, I felt so grateful for dry pants as we headed towards our destination, Sault Ste. Marie. Our rough day turned out to be a good one as we ended the day at the Ambassador Motel, it was recommended to me by my good friend Kim and we ordered food from Giovanni's Restaurant, it was so good.
On Friday (the next day), after riding for about an hour, we pulled off highway #17 and took #17B, and once again the scenery was awesome. We had a great breakfast at Sunset Beach Restaurant in Thessalon, Ontario. It was fun to talk to our server about riding because she and her husband also rode and when she got home from work they were going to head out for a ride. She was so excited, and it was pretty easy to get excited with her, she showed us pictures of their bikes on her phone.
It was a long ride that day but we ran into a few other riders, a hitchhiker, and her dog before we ended up in Sudbury.
Our last night (Saturday) we splurged, we stayed at The Treehouse Bed & Breakfast in Flesherton, Ontario. It was called 'the suite', and that is pretty much what it was. We had a great night, relaxing outside, sitting close to Lake Eugenia and surrounded by a scenic backyard, then going in and watching old movies & drinking wine, while snuggling.
It took us a while to get home the next day but it sure did feel good once we got here, it was pretty late and we were exhausted and sore but we felt great!
We arrived in Thunder Bay late Thursday, we were pretty stoked to finally reach our destination and to see our beautiful baby. We were treated very well by our wonderful hosts, we had a delightful time as we reconnected with family and explored this beautiful city.
Some things we did:
- Visited Grand Marais, Minnesota
- Chartered a Fishing Boat, came home with fish.
- Saw the Aurora Borealis, what an incredible light show!
- Saw 2 shooting stars
- Went to see the beautiful Kakabeka Falls
- Explored the city of Thunder Bay
- Explored the Sleeping Giant
- Tried Finish Pancakes, and ate at many different restaurants.
- Spent a full day at Excalibur Motorcycle Works.
The zipper on Larry's motorcycle jacket broke during the last stop we made, just before we got to Thunder Bay, so on Friday morning (our first full day) I did a google search and found a tailor who was willing to fix the zipper in a short time, so we dropped it off at Russell Tailors, while we were there, they suggested we try going to The Hoito for breakfast. Cam was able to join us there, which was fun, the place was crazy busy but worth the wait. We tried Finish Pancakes for the first time and Larry was hooked, he had them every time they were available when we went out for breakfast after that.
Then we went to Excalibur, one of Larry's tail lights had fallen in a wrong direction - the mechanic with much persistence did a great job fixing it. While that was happening, I bought a great new pair of motorcycle gloves, they are so comfortable and the prices were decent. When we were ready to leave, Larry couldn't get his bike started, it seemed like the battery died. Larry (I think he was the owner) and his great staff, spent a great deal of time doing a bunch of tests, sometimes while studying an old Suzuki manual and after a while, getting advice from our local Suzuki dealer, they were very patient as they were counting down the hours before the long weekend started. They were a great group of people, who did their job throughly, I was really impressed. I enjoyed chatting with them, we got a lot of great advice and Larry learned a lot and enjoyed the experience.
We did a lot of sight seeing, it's such a pretty part of our province, and it was especially fun to explore it with a couple of locals. We tried out a lot new restaurants, had dinner with friends, did some shopping, Larry and Cam went fishing and brought home dinner, which was fun for them and eating it was fun for us.
One night I had trouble sleeping, I gave up after a bit and thought I would read or something, as I was heading to the living room couch, I saw the balcony doors and felt really tempted to go outside. When I stepped onto the balcony I saw the most amazing view, there before my eyes was the Northern Lights, I just stood, mesmerized for a long time. I finally sat down and look over a bit, I saw 2 shooting stars, I had never seen one before, it was amazing, the sky was very active that night. After a while I realized that Larry would love to see this also, so I woke him up and we sat on the balcony just watching at an incredible light show.
We had planned to leave early Thursday morning but it was looking like rain in the forecast, so we decided to leave late in the afternoon on Wednesday instead, hoping to beat the system. So we packed up, and were soon on our way again, this time we were headed to Marathon and eventually back home. Leaving wasn't easy but we had a good time re-connecting, and we were excited to continue our homeward journey.
Exploring the Sleeping Giant, there is an area where people put there names on the rocks. It's fun, as you can see I left my name.
Brrrrr, it was cold out today as we began the last leg of our journey, we had our second breakfast before we left Longlac, we were pretty relaxed, we had about 300km left to drive and it seemed pretty do able. I put on every piece of warm clothing I had, I counted 5 layers in all. We stopped in Beardmore to fill up our tanks,
and to check the biggest giant snowman in Ontario.
So much fun to discover so many small towns in Ontario, I truly live in a great province.
The ride was pretty straight forward, the closer we got to Thunder Bay, the prettier the view, on one side we had mountains and on the other side, water. We stopped at a couple of rest stops, they are incredible.
At one of the rest stops, a fellow traveler offered both of us a bottle of water, I thought that was pretty generous of him, he was from Montreal and headed west.
Second rest stop:
The ride was pretty painless, although it's pretty incredible how some people drive, I was tailgated by 2 transport trucks, one was pulled over by the police and the other showed up soon after, and stayed for a while. It's a 2 lane highway with a passing lane every so many km's, it seems like people get pretty impatient. There are a lot of transport trucks and trailers on the highway and they seem to feel quite comfortable passing, regardless of whether the passing line permits it or not.
We made to Thunder Bay around 4:30pm, I was pretty stocked because we finally made it and I knew the 'pot of gold' was about to happen.
The first part of our ride was uneventful but pretty, we made our first stop at one of the rest stops along the highway.
Larry promised me a bountiful selection of restaurants when we got to Cochrane, I was a bit disappointed with a selection or I just couldn't find them. I decided on Harvey's/Swiss Chalet, I never saw that combination before. Larry had a hamburger and I had chicken on bread, smothered with gravy (comfort food).
We had 120km left, I thought it was going to be easy breezy, the sky was blue with fluffy white(ish) clouds, until about 1/2 way to Kap a small little cloud found its way above us and let go of the moisture it contained, we got soaked, I had rain going down the inside of my jacket, I could feel it dripping as it traveled down my back, rain went into my boots, my socks were soaked. Everything was wet, Larry pulled over to check on me, I was concerned about my computer so I took this time, to put a rain cover on the bag I had it in and proceeded to tie it down, the rain started slowing down and by time we were ready to go, a few minutes later, the rain had stopped.
By time we got to Kapuskasing I was pretty dry except for area's that didn't get the wind, like my feet.
Jo-Anne was pretty excited to see us and started snapping pictures right away.
I took a shower at her place, I peeled my boots off and my jeans were soaked underneath. The shower felt great and being dressed in dry clothing felt pretty good too.
We went over to Jo-Anne's son's house and had a bbq with her family, it was so good to see everyone, meet the one's I hadn't met, catch up with Jo-Anne and relax.
We slept in James & Paige's guest room that night and were ready to get going in the morning.
We went to the Back to the Grind for breakfast and met up with Jo-Anne and Kerry (her daughter), and got to see Paige again because she works there. We had a delicious breakfast, I would recommend this place if you're in the area, and had more fun hanging out with friends.
We appreciated all the advice about the rest of our journey, we were told where we could fill up and how little there was in different areas.
And then we were off again, this time our destination was Longlac.
The storm finally caught up with us, I could hear thunder and the rain at 2am and felt pretty happy that I was tucked in my bed and dry and cozy.We woke up to a dark and cloudy sky, and wet bikes. It got progressively darker as we were packing up, but there was no rain predicted. We headed out to highway #400, where I wasted 8km going the wrong way, I got on the on-ramp going south toward Toronto so we had to turn around at the next exit. Once we were going the right way, we could see fog ahead and it was still pretty cloudy. The ride was still pretty, the area is really rocky, in fact they had to blow up a lot of the rock to make the highway, and at times there is a wall of rock on either side of the highway, which on this day, with everything still damp from the rain the night before, the rock was beautiful, the colour was brilliant. We soon hit the fog, which turned into a rather significant mist, we got pretty wet, but with the strong breeze, we were dry in no time.
We took highway #124, from the 400, which was the most scenic part of the day. We made a small pit stop at the Duck Rock Resort, it looked like a fun place.
There was a lot of construction which slowed us down, but by this time the sun was coming up, at one point we passed a couple of workers trimming some pine trees, the air had a wonderful pine/Christmassy smell. One of the fun things about the bike is that you experience all the sights, sounds and smells and we were enjoying it all.
By the time we reached highway #11, Larry's gas indicator was flashing, so we took the next exit hoping to find a gas station. We stopped at the only place available and asked for directions to the closest gas station, Larry was directed to a small town called Powasson, the problem was, the directions were terrible and we were lost within 5 minutes, the biggest hint we had was the dirt road we were on. After pulling over, another couple pulled up next to us, it turned out that they were on their way to Powasson as well and as lost as we were. With help from the woman, I spelled Powasson correctly into my gps and was able to tell the couple how to get there, we went opposite way, I am hoping they eventually made it. We did, it was about 15km away and a little stressful wondering if we would make it. But we did, and we had lunch there too, a little place called Echoes, yummy.
After lunch, Larry wanted to go run an errand at the hardware store so he left me his wallet so I could pay the bill, which I did, then I grabbed my stuff, a jacket, helmet, gloves, keys, leftovers, and Larry's wallet, my hands were full when I got to my bike I put everything on it and proceeded to sort of my stuff, I put Larry's wallet on my saddlebag and told him it was there. With full tanks and full bellies, we drove back to the highway and tried to make up for lost time, about 20 mins of driving hard, and dealing with strong winds, passing cars and trucks, I got the sudden thought of Larry's wallet, and wondered what happened to it, I pulled over to ask him so I could have some peace about it, when I asked him about it and he started to freak out a bit, and quickly checked his pockets, I headed back to my bike to check my saddle bags and saw it just sitting there, on top of my saddle bag - I couldn't believe it was there, after all that driving, wind, mist, and huge trucks passing me - what a blessing!!
The day started to brighten up, for the rest of the day the ride was pretty uneventful and quite beautiful. We made it to our destination, Temiskaming Shores (Highbury) around dinner time. We ordered some Chinese Food and ate while facing this beautiful view.
We then explored the area a bit,
This is a monument to commemorate the courageous community as they battled with an uncontrollable fire in 1922.
It's time to relax because the adventure begins again tomorrow.
Sunday was amazing! We had a great day. We are now in Midland, Ontario after riding what felt like 'all day'.
I woke up early in the morning, it was 7:30, with energy and determination, we decided to get going as quickly as possible, it surprisingly took us an hour to 'hit the road'. There was a lot of dark cloud cover, our hope was to out run any potential storm, so we made small goals. The first goal was Goderich, Ontario, which we did in good time, the clouds look less menacing as we rode on.
In Goderich we stopped at McDonalds where we tried the 'True North BLT McMuffin', it was the best breakfast I ever had there. I was hurrying Larry, he ended up taking his coffee in the bathroom with him, I thought that was pretty funny.
We went from Goderich to Collingwood, it was a great day of driving, we had clouds over head the whole day but the ride was breath taking at times. It got pretty hilly which is something that doesn't happen in our area, looking ahead the road appeared like a ribbon stretched out before us, going up, always leading the way. It was so fun reaching the top of a hill and getting an incredible view of whatever was below.
The most impressive site was when we reached an exceptionally high hill and just before we went down we got a clear view of Georgian Bay and Collingwood, it was breathtaking. Then we went down hill and up again and were treated to the same view.
We found ourselves at A & W for lunch, it was seriously so good but I could have just been super sonic hungry. Once there, we googled for a potential place to stay. That's when we decided to go to Midland, the ride from Collingwood to Midland was about an hour, the best part of that trip was a small area that was lined with massive pine tree's, it felt very majestic.
We got to our hotel in Midland, relaxed a bit and then went across the street to Kelsey's for an evening snack, it was a beautiful night, we sat out on the porch, and toasted our success for how far we came that day.
We went for a walk after wards, and came across this sign, it was directly opposite of, what looks like a two tire dirt path. The sign seemed random.
Around 2am the predicted storm woke me up with its loud thunder, so glad I was in bed by then.
I need sleep for the long day tomorrow.
We started our journey yesterday, (Saturday) I was working all day, so the plan was, that Larry would meet me after work and we would head out. We communicated all day via texts, we were pretty excited to get started. I received this text from him in the middle of day.
Other than starting late, everything went according to plan. My sister took some pictures of us heading out.
We headed out on Riverside Drive and drove to Chatham, by time we got to Mama Maria's, I was over hungry (I should have listened to Louise who was 'suggesting' I eat more) and because I was so hungry I ate to much warm, yummy, white bread which meant I got full faster, then when the main dish came out I couldn't eat very much of it but it was delicious!
Then we continued to Sarnia, we were travelling the county roads which was really picturesque - at one point, while looking toward my left, I was able to watch the sun set into some pretty dark clouds. It was an amazing ride, the temperatures dropped quite a bit and it felt so good to have left the heat behind us and feel the cool breezes.
We stayed at my sister-in-law's, who generously let us stay there in her absence - Larry jumped in the pool right away. The next step was to plan out Sunday's journey, we checked the weather, it's pretty hard not to get obsessed about the weather when riding. The weather network predicted rain and storms that were to start fairly early, we checked all the cities that would bring us to our first destination, it looked like the rain threats were going to follow us all the way to Collingwood.
We talked about staying in Sarnia an extra day, and trying to beat the rain but, in the end we went to bed with a wait and see attitude.
We do have a goal, we want to be in Thunder Bay in 4 days to visit with my beautiful daughter, it's like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Don't forget to check out day 2 ;)
Today was the first day since Larry's accident, that we rode together, he got his bike back yesterday - although it was not finished, it was well enough to ride, while waiting for the other pieces to come in, (like the front fender) - I've got to tell you, it felt good riding together again. So much fun to look in my mirror and see him there! We did the Chatham run, that we usually do. We are trying to get ready for our trip to Thunder Bay, Larry has been planning it, he has it around 300k a day (I hope).
I'm pretty excited about the trip and seeing my baby, I'm a little bit leery about the drive ahead, but at the same time I'm looking forward to it. I think the scenery will be awesome and the real reward will be at the end of the journey, where Sarah will be waiting for us.
It's funny how the accident has changed so much, the bike has taken a long time to get fixed and as mentioned, it's not done yet. Even still, the bike probably will not be in the same great condition as it was before the accident. Not to mention that Larry has lost at least 4 weeks of summer rides. But what can you do?
I don't have any pictures of today's ride, but let me just tell you that it was the perfect day for a ride, the temps were perfect, the breeze was fun - and the day ended with a perfect bbq steak dinner with loved ones. Check out Best of Friends if you want to see the basic map of our trip today.
Yesterday I got busy, I had intended to go for a ride but as the day went on I started readjusting my thoughts, feeling good about what I was getting done. Then my good friend Carolyn, who lives close to Toronto, texted me around 2:30pm, she was driving to Chatham on business. Her plan was to head right back home but there was an opportunity for us to have a small visit, I decided to drop everything and meet up with her, how could I resist a ride and hanging out with Carolyn? With a big smile on my face, I got ready quickly, I pulled on my new kevlar jeans, boots, and the rest of my gear and headed out. I decided to take the 401 highway, thinking it would be the quickest and I wanted to make sure I was there on time so I wouldn't miss a minute.
The ride up was pretty uneventful, there was some construction on the highway but traffic was pretty smooth. We got there about the same time, it was great seeing her! We went to my favorite Chatham restaurant, Mama Maria's for delicious Italian food, that never fails to please and of course to catch up.
We spent a fun hour together, I gave her a tour of downtown Chatham which did not take long, and then we went our separate ways again.
It was pretty cloudy out when I left Windsor and it got cloudier the closer I got to my destination, it has been looking like it's going to rain a lot lately and then it doesn't. I was pretty happy that the rain held off, although I am sure the farmers were disappointed. The ride home was really enjoyable, I took the scenic route and followed Thames River to Lake St. Clair, to the Detroit River. The sun played peek a boo with me all throughout the day but showed up about half way home which was nice, it was a good ride.
Once home, I had an overly excited dog on my hands so we went for a walk, it was a good way to move some of the muscles that had been sitting for a while, plus it was an enjoyable walk with fireflies lighting our way home.
Today temperatures and humidity were high, driving in the city was hot, hot, hot!!
Being a good daughter I met up with my Dad (for Father's Day), we had breakfast together which was fun and then I was ready for a ride.
I did a bit of city riding, along Riverside Drive, it was pretty hot and the stop and go traffic wasn't fun so I decided to cut across the county so I could ride along Lake Erie, I could feel the temps drop the closer I got, once in Kingsville, I filled up with gas bought a Magnum Bar (yummy) and went to Lakeside Park to relax. I took off my boots, coat, and pulled up my jeans as far as they would go and relaxed in the sunshine while drinking water, eating the above-mentioned bar and reading a book - I stayed for quite a while and it felt like summer should, very relaxing.
I drove home on Highway 50, I mostly had the road to myself, it was cooler now - not only because I was by the lake but because the day was starting to fade away. The ride home was perfect, I was drinking in the sunshine, the green leaves, the blue lake, and the cottages that dotted the lakefront, I drove the perfect highway road drinking it all in - if ever there was a day to remind myself how much I love to ride, today was it.
There is a feeling I get while riding that is difficult to describe, it's peaceful, relaxing and healing all at the same time. I want to ride forever but my 'seat' starts to let me know it's time for a break.
I'm looking forward to the next ride already!!
While I was working today I got a call from Larry, which is not unusual as we often touch base through out the day. It was around 3:30, when my phone started making the sound of a motorcycle (zoom zoom) which is my ringtone for Larry. It turned out that Larry was in an accident (he's okay), he was rear ended while on his bike. It happened at a 4 way stop, there was a car in front of him and one behind him, after the car in front went through the intersection, it was Larry's turn to approach the stop sign, when he stopped, the car behind him hit him which cause Larry to fly over his bike. At this news, my heart leaped into my throat and my stomach hurt, my eyes were constantly close to tears for the rest of the day and all I wanted to do was SOMETHING, I had no idea what,...
Larry is okay, he is experiencing some back pain and other aches and pains, it'll be interesting to see how he is tomorrow. The bike, however was towed to a local shop, the fender is broken and pushed into the tire, the handle is mangled and there are a lot of other small things that Larry noticed but (again) it'll be interesting to see what shows up at the shop tomorrow.
The person that hit Larry felt really bad, but you have to wonder what happened - why didn't he see him? He was charged and has offered to pay the bills. I feel like we have a journey ahead of us to get things back to normal, I'm anxious to find out what that will entail.
After the initial phone call from Larry, we kept contacting each other, I was wondering if I needed to be with to be with him but I was assured that everything was okay. Every time Larry called my cell I heard the sound of a motorcycle (as it is the ringtone I use for him), it seemed to be mocking me.
So I continued working and thanking God that all was well, however the experience has left me asking, how can you have a bike in front of you and not see it. Are we really invisible?
If I can make a request, it would be - Safety is in YOUR hands, look twice!!
It's June and I think it's safe to say that biking season is upon us, it has been a long time coming! I'm starting to plan some trips for the summer ahead, and looking forward to getting out and exploring the world. We already did an overnight trip back in April, when the sunshine came out and smiled on us for a short time.
We decided to go to Chatham which isn't a long ride but we were looking for something low key as it was our first trip of the season. The trip can be done in a little over an hour if you take the highway but we followed the water - starting out on Riverside Drive - it was a delightful ride, a bit chilly but I was well dressed. We followed the Detroit River to Lake St. Clair and then Thames River, we got to Chatham around 4:00pm.
We were really excited when we saw our hotel, The Retro Suites, we were so intrigued with the outside and could hardly wait to go in. While we were registering we couldn't stop looking around, the hotel had a fairly big foyer with a huge majestic staircase, one couch that had the British flag pattern on it with 2 pillows on either side, one with the American flag and the other, of course was the Canadian flag, there was another couch that was more of a Victorian style, with a couple of chairs for a great sitting area that was very popular with guests.
It was a bit of a maze to find our room but the directions were clear and when in doubt there were signs to point us in the right direction, as we were walking we were so distracted with all the art that surrounded us, when we got to our room we were so pleased, it was well decorated, very comfortable with a kitchenette, every detail was taken care, this is truly a very unique and amazing hotel.
We even decided to stay another night just to enjoy the hotel a bit longer, every room is decorated differently, so it was interesting to stay in a different room the next night. Also, the room wasn't ready yet when we left for our ride, so it was fun to come back to a room we hadn't seen before.
The hotel is located right downtown and we were able to walk to our favorite Chatham restaurant, 'Mama Maria's', the food was wonderful as always and the walk back was part of the charm of the night.
The next day we headed out for a ride, it was a pretty day, we kept going on #2 and basically just 'winged' it, a right turn here and random lefts eventually brought us to Erieau, a line up of bikes had taken over the parking lots in this small town by time we had gotten there, restaurants were full and people were milling about, everyone was as excited about the sunshine as we were.
We had a quick lunch at Bayside Brewing Company, it was expectantly busy for the staff but they handled it well.
It was fun to check out the county, riding some very familiar roads and discovering some we hadn't been on before, after we left Erieau we followed Lake Erie for a while and then cut across the county to get back to Chatham, The Retro Suites and to check out our new room and relax for a bit before we headed out for dinner.
Monday morning started with breakfast at the Chilled Cork, a restaurant attached to the hotel, it was a nice treat to find out that breakfast was complimentry on weekdays. We had a fun journey home, we again cut across the county and followed Lake Erie and ended up on one of my favorite highway's #50.
It was very exhilarating to be out on the bikes and riding together - it was a great 1st ride!
The Retro Suites.