Almost There

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,

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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.

Thunder Bay - Day 4

492f70d7-bdec-4ff6-8328-9f2c6b9029bb Our bikes, sitting pretty before just before we leave Temiskaming Shores, our destination, Kapuskasing.

The first part of our ride was uneventful but pretty, we made our first stop  at one of the rest stops along the highway.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Best of Friends

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.

Sitting on the back patio of Mama Maria's, overlooking the Thames River

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.

The 'loop'.

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.

Charlie

It's February

It's February 3rd and the temperature hit a high of 53ºF - this doesn't happen very often.

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I had so many things I needed to accomplish today - when I realized how nice it was I played with the idea of taking my bike out - however I decided to get things done. Around 11 am I went outside with my dog, Charlie and it felt so good in the sunshine, I couldn't stop myself.

I went to the garage, opened the door and sat on my bike, it felt so good, I put the key in the ignition and turned it - I was rewarded with the purring sound of the motor and my heart started racing with excitement. I ran into the house, redressed myself (in so many layers) and I was soon ready to go.

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My shadow 'photo bombed' my picture, it does prove that it was sunny out. I jumped on the bike and it felt so good as I rode down the street, hugging the curves and taking deep breaths. I drove along River Canard, the ice on the water was so pretty glittering in the sun, there were birds standing on the ice, some floating on the water, I stopped to take a picture but my iphone 5 let me down (once again).

I decided to take a jaunt down Riverside Drive, my favourite route, I was gone for about an hour and drove about 55K's. It felt so good being out in the sunshine, waving to fellow riders, soaking in the views, and just being on my bike. I was glad to get home though, I started getting a bit cold and the wind was getting really strong, and of course I was really hungry. Once home, I did eat and now I'm sitting here in front of the fire with a warm drink and a smile on face and I re-experience my day by sharing with you.

Todays Route

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Winter can be hard on a biker.

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Bike Wash

It's been a beautiful week so far, sunshine and the temperatures are in the 70's, it seems unlike November. I haven't had as much time as I would like to ride but the other day I thought it was time for my bike to have a bath. I had a little bit of help;

I didn't get the bike as pristine as I wanted but it was looking pretty darn good, it's so hard to get good help.

I had an appointment after 4, I decided to take my nice, clean bike - the nights have been getting dark earlier, so by time I drove home it was starting to get dark but I loved it, very relaxing. I had a pretty good view of a beautiful red/pinkish sky, I stopped for a picture.

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Weather

I've always loved living in Canada and experiencing the change of seasons, watching winter lose its grip and spring popping up as the rain helps turn my world green and gives flowers the nourishment they need to brighten days. Soon after I'm more than ready for the warm temps and sunshine that summer brings, I enjoy eating outside, beaches and outdoor fun, then just as the temps get to hot and start sapping my energy, nights start to cool down, cool breezes come in, leaves change colour, we go apple picking, the air has a crispness and I pull out my warm, comfy sweaters. Before long the clouds seem to take over, we brighten the world with colourful lights as it gets colder and darker, the clock falls back an hour and I enjoy cuddling up on my couch in front of a fire drinking coffee and feeling cozy, pretty soon snow flurries come. Eventually the world turns into a snow-filled winter wonderland, making snow people and tobogganing become the popular sport. I'm not saying it's perfect, I do get tired of wicked wind, slush, cold fingers, and my imagination becomes nonexistent when I try to think of a time where I won't be cold and overdressed. However that always gives me a deeper appreciation for the soft breezes of warmer temperatures.

However biking has brought a new impatience with weather that is not conducive for riding, I am frustrated right now with all the rain that summer has brought, I've come to expect sunshine but am getting clouds and rain - it's not fun riding in the rain.

The other day Larry and I started on what was to be an all day ride, I was really looking forward to it as it has been a while since I had ridden - the forecast assured that no rain was expected, however as we started out the clouds were heavy, the temperatures weren't bad - it was about 18°c (64°f) but there was a cool breeze blowing - by time we stopped to eat breakfast at Edna's in Belleriver I felt done. After a good breakfast where they kept the coffee coming - we just turned around and went back home.

I'm going to try to quit whining about the weather, after all - all the whining in the world won't change it and I plan to enjoy the days I do get to ride all that much more.

A Perfect Night

Today it was too nice to NOT ride my bike, so I rode it to work this morning - it was the type of day that made me want to keep going - such a pretty a day, the kind you just can't get enough of. I was excited that things worked out so that Larry could meet me after work and we could go for a ride, we went along Riverside Drive until we got to Tecumseh where we stopped at one of Larry's favourite restaurants  'The Wrap Shack' for a quick bite and then we were back on the road.

The route wasn't particularly exciting and it certainly wasn't new to us, but it was the perfect journey for tonight. The weather was perfect, the sun was just starting to set and the water was a breathtaking backdrop for our ride. Spring smells filled the air, cut grass, flowers, everything smelled so fresh - I was breathing deeply and felt totally relaxed and completely exhilarated at the same time.

Couldn't think of better way to spend the evening

A great ride, surrounded by water through most of it. The part in purple is where we had to double our ride, no complaints though - great views.

First Long Ride of 2015

I've become obsessed with checking the weather, today I was promised sunshine and temperatures in the 60's but when I checked the weather this morning - the sunshine went away. Today's Weather

I sucked it up, and put on a pair of long johns, jeans, tank top, sweater, an extra warm sweat shirt, winter coat, boots and went for a great ride, I drove to Leamington and had lunch with my Mom and drove home following highway 18 and then highway 50 which follows Lake Erie. By time I got home my right gloved hand was cold and the wind was riding up my sleeves, which left me with a chill.

 

A bleak day with Lake Erie in the back ground.

Once home I took a nice, warm bath which not only warmed me up, it soothed those 'first long ride of the year' sore muscles. And then gave my bike a bath, and detailed her so she is just beaming!

Tomorrow's forecasts seems more promising, think I may give it another try.

Tomorrow's predicted weather

 

 

Weather

After spending some time visiting a country that has a consistent weather pattern and having people look at me strangely  when I comment about how nice it is out today (because it's always nice), it makes me realize why we Canadians talk about the weather so much - because it's always changing and keeping us guessing.  It's very unpredictable, regardless of a meteorologists supposed ability to foresee the future, although I find myself constantly checking the forecast (it's like gawking at a car accident) and I was supper excited and somewhat hopeful to see that I can expect 10°celcuis (50°fahrenheit) on Thursday. I was thinking maybe I could take the bike out for a quick spin but I'm told that I should wait for a couple of good rains to wash the salt away because salt with rust my bike, which I do not understand - how does salt rust my bike, or my car for that matter.

Here is the expected weather pattern for this week, it does give hope - hope that maybe this long, cold winter will release it's grip and the snow will melt and flowers will grow, but most importantly I will once again be on my bike, smiling because I'm almost always smiling when I'm on my bike.

 

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Me smiling in St. Jacobs and having fun while on a mini vacation hitting all the quant spots in the area.

 

 

 

No New Post Lately

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This little cutie came to visit me with her sister and new baby brother and there has been surprisingly little time for riding,

 

Margo, Thelma and Phinehas Bo are here to visit.

 

The weather hasn't co-operated much lately, this could be the wettest and coldest summer we've had in a while so I don't think there would have been much riding, which is okay because I'm throughly enjoying my guests.

 

One last picture

Margo really liked my helmet.

Port Stanley

We woke up last Saturday morning and spontaneously decided to go for an overnight ride, the weather was promising to be beautiful, after seeing rain pretty much all week I was ready for some sunshine also we both were ready for a break from our busy lives. So we put a few essentials in the saddlebags and started out, we decided to go to Port Stanley - it's about a 2 hour drive if you take the highway, but about a 4 to 5 hour ride if you take the scenic route and stop for a leisurely breakfast. After reserving a hotel in Port Stanley, (which took a bit of work to find a place that wasn't booked) we headed out, we drove for about a ½ hour or so and stopped for breakfast in Essex and then carried on, after Leamington we took highway #3 most of the way. We arrived in Port Stanley around 4ish, checked into our hotel, we were pleasantly surprised with the room.

We went for a walk along the beach, it was surprisingly crowded, lots of people, tents and umbrellas.

Busy beach day.

Busy beach day.

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Creativity on the beach, seen during our first walk.

 

Dinner was nice, we sat on the patio at a local restaurant and worked off the creme brûlée with a walk around town and  on the boardwalk.

Two guys catching minnows for bait.

A memorial to The Olga Disaster.

Dusk

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Oh, and just for the record - it's illegal to drink on the beach, uh oh

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Sunday morning we had breakfast on the patio, I had eggs with perch, so good and very relaxing. We headed home around 11:30, we took the long way and got home around 5. It was short but a great time :) Can't wait to do it again.

 

Point Pelee National Park

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Yesterday it was a beautiful day for a ride and I was lucky enough to spend part of it at Point Pelee National Park, I love driving down the tree lined street - the beauty is breath taking.

Point Pelee is a Canadian national park in Essex County, there is a lot of marsh and woodland habitats with a peninsula of land stretching into Lake Erie. There are several beaches in the park but my favourite park is the boardwalk in the marsh. Click on the map for more information.

(picture #1) My bike and I visiting the marsh, (picture #2) and a tiny, tiny picture of my bike from the perspective at the top of the sight tower.

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Last Ride of the Season

Its been a couple of weeks since we got a bit of a break with the weather, I had no idea that it could possibly be my last ride of the season. I remember the day so clearly, I was pretty excited to see that the temps were predicted to go up around 17°c (63°F) and that I was able to take advantage. I bundled up, I had 3, maybe 4 layers of clothing on - which turned out to be needed. I got my bike out and tried to take a picture but the sun worked against me however I included this picture to show the fall colours on my tree, which has since lost all of it leaves. IMG_4623

I started my ride, I decided to do Riverside Drive, it's a classic street that runs along the Detroit River, it's very pretty. You will find a lot of bikes on that road and of course lots of other traffic.  I made my first stop downtown and took a picture, soon after I stopped I was greeted by another biker, there were so many out that day - it's like we all knew it was going to be the last ride.

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So here I am downtown Windsor looking at downtown Detroit, you can see the Renaissance Centre in the background. I enjoyed the ride, it's a slow drive with a fun view, Riverside drive follows the Detroit river which leads to Lake St. Clair where I ended up.

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Here I am with Lake St. Clair in the background, there were actually 2 boats in the water, I'm not sure you can see them but they must have been freezing. I then made a stop to visit a friend and by time I was ready to go home the temperatures dropped quite a bit, so I put on my warm rain pants and thoroughly enjoyed the ride home.