Day 16

Friday, 12 Jun 2009
St. Thomas, ON to Port Dover, ON
79.2 miles, 6h04m, 13.0 mph
Elapsed Time: 9h22m, Max speed: 43.1mph
Total Climbing: 1482ft, Max elevation: 772ft
Total mileage: 1053.8

Like I was actually going to camp! I'm in the Erie Beach Motel in Port Dover, which appears to be where the youth of Hamilton come for day trips. It's a nice day so there are lots of them around. There are also lots of older people. Right now everyone is probably watching game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, this being Canada after all.

I'm stuggling with this laptop. There were several automatic updates last night and one of them seems to have damaged the wireless device, so if the wireless device is enabled, the machine blue screens during boot. Not good times. Hopefully I'll be able to get this uploaded somehow before I get home.

Anyway, today was one of those ideal bicycle touring days. No plans, no hurry, perfect weather. I started by riding 8 miles south to the little tourist town of Port Stanley. There I took care of some unfinished business.

Touching Lake Erie. Only one lake to go.

Some Dixie Cup quality humor on the road to Port Stanley.

The lift bridge is one of the tourist attractions of Port Stanley.
It is "one of the oldest" lift bridges in Canada.
They also have a tourist rail line and a nice beach.

I also ate my second breakfast in Port Stanley. My first breakfast was a pastry I ate in my room and some orange juice. This second breakfast was an excellent donut and coffee. I talked to an Australian-sounding dude there who'd done some touring. He gave me the low-down on the best route out of town. On the road out of town I was passed by some cyclists out for a training ride. We talked a bit. I ran into another guy at the end of the day. This was the most cyclists I'd seen on the whole trip, but none of them were touring.

After Port Stanley came Port Bruce. It was just a few miles down the road, but I stopped there for another cup of coffee and a breakfast sammich...yes, my third breakfast.

Lots of sand in Port Bruce.

After Port Bruce I started seeing windmills. Lots of them. When I stopped at the Wind Interpretive Centre, I learned that there are 66 of these in this wind farm, and they produce enough juice to power 35,000 homes.

Can't get enough of these windmills.

Every time I see those things I'm amazed at how huge they are. Also, how quiet they are. I'd expect them to be squeaking and grinding, but they make a kind of whirring sound. It's hypnotic. I could stare at them all day.

...all day.

This is farm country. In this field they grow asparagus and wind.

After Port Bruce was Port Burwell. There I stopped for a root beer float and a tour of the lighthouse and neighboring maritime museum. I went up in the lighthouse. It was a lot of steps, and the view was less than spectacular. I really enjoyed the museum. I had a personal tour with both the girls that worked there showing me all the stuff and giving me the backstories. They must not get many people in there who show an interest. They said Lake Erie is the most dangerous lake and has the most shipwrecks. I told them all about how the Lake Superior people think their lake is more dangerous and has better shipwrecks. Good thing there wasn't a Lake Superior guy there at time...there would have been trouble.

A small lighthouse.

Note it is about the same size as the bear...the one on the left, jumping in the air.

Compare to the windmill. It's like double the size of the bear.

It was about noon when I left Port Burwell, but for some reason I wasn't ready for lunch. So I continued along for many miles until Port Rowan, which was buried in a blizzard of poplar seeds. There I grabbed a grilled chicken sammich at a waterfront restaurant. By then it was after 2pm, and I was starting to wear down. I decided that I would ride until 5pm and then decide what to do. But before it got to be 5pm the terrain changed. The weather was still perfect...even a nice tailwind, but the road started dropping down into gullies and climbing back out. That got old really fast. I decided I would get a room in Port Dover, and if I couldn't get a room, I'd camp.

Passed this interesting farm.

I reached Port Dover at about 5pm. I rode through town and found the Erie Beach Motel, which is much nicer than the name suggests (and less scary too). I ate dinner at a neighborhood bar and had some fine ice cream.

The channel markers at Port Dover harbor.

Linda flies in to Buffalo tonight. She'll drive out here and meet be tomorrow and take away my bags. Tomorrow will be a long day of riding if I'm going to get to Lake Ontario and back to Niagara Falls. At least I won't have to schlep around that camping gear that I hauled for a thousand miles and never used.


"Great Lakes Tour 2009" Copyright © 2009 By Bob Clemons. All rights reserved.