We cycled to Marine City on the US/ Canadian Border with the intention of getting a nice motel for the night before crossing back into Canada tomorrow. Getting to Canada involves a short ferry ride across the river so we thought we’d do it in the morning after a nice sleep between linen sheets while resting our heads on feather pillows. But no. Marine City has no motels apparently. And only one bed and breakfast that charges $175 per night. Since that was out of our budget it was off down the river to the state campground which charges $19 per night and they throw in a picnic table. At this particular state park they also threw in Anne Marie an American girl who noticed my NZ top and came over to say that she and her boyfriend had cycle toured New Zealand last year. They Spent 10 months cycling around the whole country. Anne Marie described her boyfriend as a bastard, although she very much enjoyed her time in NZ. She came back to the US without her bastard boyfriend and has now shacked up with a cycle shop man, and is shifting to North Carolina to be with him. So that can’t be all bad. Her new choice in man was beneficial to us as well since she seemed to have an endless supply of Lance Armstrong waffle biscuits. I suppose there’s no market for them now.
We crossed into Canada and cycled along pleasant country roads to the shores of Lake Erie. Easy cycling and nice sunny weather. Enough said. Nothing out of the ordinary happened today.
O,’ I saw a turtle. That is, one that was still living in the roadside drainage canals and had not yet tried to cross the road. I’ve seen plenty that have tried to cross the road and have come up short, or rather squashed against the American pick-up.
It’s a long holiday weekend here this weekend. We found this out when we tried to register for a tent site at the Sand hill Park on Lake Erie. The nice autonom girl at the desk said that they were full and we would have to cycle off to the next camping ground 20kms away! They really have no idea about cyclists and just want to get rid of you. Well, this cyclist wasn’t born yesterday and with a few words to someone that could still reason for themselves and make decisions, we had negotiated a site with a picnic table for the outrageous sum of $40 dollars. Outrageous in the US but considered a good deal if you were camping in good old NZ, were a patch of grass with no extras will set you back at least that for two.
Right behind our tent was the biggest sand hill in Ontario, but we didn’t bother climbing it because quite frankly we have bigger ones back home and we had done our exercise for the day. We just had time for a nice cup of coffee, to cook our dinner over the primus and that was another day dusted.
Day 50 and we had put our thinking caps on. Why the Canadian Authorities had decided to give the urban riff raff a long weekend every month was beyond me as the country surely needs to workers, and the non-thinking urban man must pay off his Pick-up.
The accommodation thing had been a problem last night so we had devised a cunning plan to ensure we could get a tent site for the night. We had decided to head for the dumpiest town around that had a camping ground with the reasoning that no one else would want to go there. Our only problem was we hadn’t counted on urban riff raff man and his family. When we got to Dungville Ontario, the campground was full of young Boris and Doris’s with the 6 kids, dog, and you guessed it, Pick-up or two. (Of course they’d brought their drink with them).The camp ground had the odd free site and we were committed to stay, but that night was one I would rather forget. Honestly those people must be really desperate to pay $’s to spend a holiday night there. As I said non thinking, and then they drink???
I can only liken it to setting up camp in the playground of decile 4 schools, where mum and dad have called in to drink up large and then stay over with the kids. The teenagers have then also turned up with their girlfriends and look cool saloons, and the picture is complete.
(Decile 4. Where 4 does not bare any reference to the school’s academic achievements, or emphasis on social skills)
I think the rest you can imagine. No sleep for us that night.
It was back into the US again with the not unexpected rude customs officers. I think made ruder by Adi calling them Canadians when they asked whether we were Aussies while looking at our passports. But really, would you want these idiots in uniform protecting your boundaries. The only thing these two had mastered was bad attitude. Not only could they not tell that we were NZ’ers while looking at our passports but neither of them could log onto their computers to check our Visa waiver. They didn’t take kindly to my suggestion that maybe the rest of their day would go more smoothly when they work out what their login codes where. Neither were they overly chuffed when Adi took her time going through the security gate that they had finally buzzed open.
It must be hard being the most hated beaurocrats on the planet. Right up there with the Inland Revenue Department.
A day off the bikes to look around Niagara Falls. It’s a lovely day to be in New York State and we are camped 15kms away from the falls so ½ an hours’ ride on the bike will get us there.
The weather is sunny but my disposition is not after an argument with Adi over who will cart her cycle shoes around the falls park for the day. She got the pleasure of carting her shoes around and I was in a cloudy mood for the day. The falls were impressive but don’t expect any together pictures, no romantic shots for the grandchildren to peruse when ‘Niel the Wheel’ finally meets his maker and has to explain why he didn’t reach his full potential.
You’ll just have to put up with some bloody good pictures of me and one or two of the falls and ‘Spirit of the Mist’ (which we didn’t go on because that sort of thing’s for happy couples).
We are both at the stage of the trip where we are sick of putting up with things and want to just complete the mission and get back to our own little patch of the world. A place where the big news is drunk and disorderly rugby players and how many people haven’t invested in the latest state asset to be sold off.
We’ve got the last haul through a few US states and then on to Nova Scotia and the Atlantic Ocean.
Camped on the edge of Lake Ontario tonight we are battening down the hatches after being told there is a storm alert out. We could be expecting thunderstorms high wind and hail. When the lake looks misty the weather can, we have been advised turn ugly. It was a lovely sunset though and the days cycling that brought us here was rural bliss once we had left the dumpy city of Niagara Falls. And if you think that Niagara Falls is a pretty place then I would suggest that you took the tourist route in and out along the interstate and not through the outer suburbs as you have to do on a bicycle. Bicycle travel gives you the uncensored view of most cities. Cycling through suburbs where the poorer people live before you get to the touristy bit is quite an eye opener and contrast in a lot of overseas cities. That’s of course if you make it through the outer suburbs. A lot of the people living on the fringes get such a shock at seeing a strange cyclist riding past that they forget to nick your wheel bearings as you sale by.
I think the Americans need to bring out a little abbreviations booklet for people of other nations. I just get fed up with trying to work out what is trying to be communicated at times in this country.
I mean honestly, what the f…k does this say.???
Well I can tell you whoever you are that this means absolutely nothing to anyone outside of your immediate circle. And another thing to think about America; If you continue to take letters out of the English language because you are too lazy to put them in it won’t b lo b nob knw w t f u r talkin ab!
And I think this is REALLY important. So get real.