Lordy, 4:00 in the morning is inhumane, too early to open the peepers after a busy rest day at home. The early start from home was necessary in order to arrive back at camp in Tottenham to prepare to leave at a reasonable time, pre-8:00 am.
Mike, from England, had enjoyed his rest day visit to Huntsville, which began with a breakfast of bacon and eggs at Family Restaurant. In the morning, Krista Marwick tuned up our bodies with massages while our bikes received tune-ups at Muskoka Bicycle Pro Shop. Those tune-ups would provide trouble-free riding for the remainder of the trip. For supper, Chris, Robert and Kiddies joined us for a great meal, which Matt and girlfriend, Carly, had prepared. It was tough to say, “Good-bye!” to all for the remainder of the summer. Reveille would come early.
early morning at Tottenham Conservation area
What a serene scene! Looking back, as in the picture above, it was difficult to leave the comfort and security of our camp as it was with any morning. Immediately, Joyce and I missed a turn adding a few K to the day. OK, so I missed the turn, but Joyce was foolish enough to follow. Our route skirted the Holland Marsh, Ontario’s “vegetable basket”. Near Bradford, adjacent to the “Marsh”, a TdCer from a previous year was greeting riders as they passed. We enjoyed some refreshments, then we continued on our way. With reasonably steady riding, it didn’t seem long before we had passed through the towns of Uxbridge and Port Perry. Interestingly coincidental, two cyclists, a wife and a husband, at different times and miles apart from each other, approached us, curious about our ride. We learned from each of them that they were biking across Canada, three weeks at a time each year. Teeth jarring, potholed, tertiary roads east of Port Perry kept us off Highway #7A, busy with Civic Holiday Monday traffic, on our way into camp near Nestleton.
Since Pancake Bay north of Sault Ste. Marie, aside from the occasional cloudy day, our group has enjoyed good weather, and today, 06 August, would be no different. Soon out of camp, we passed a barn yard. Joyce was quick to call me back. A Mama cow had just birthed a calf. The calf was still wet, couldn’t stand, and was being fussed over by Mama. Interesting!
Heading east toward Lake Ontario, the winds were blowing at us, temporarily. Also slowing us were the many directions on our daily, cue sheet leading us to Port Hope, then east along the Waterfront Trail. We deviated from the days’ directions somewhat since we had a destination in Brighton with which we are familiar, Mrs. B’s ice cream shop. Our two-scooper sustained us until we arrived at our day’s destination, North Shore RV Park in Carrying Place. It was the best of campgrounds to date and probably the best for the entire tour. The proprietors made us feel welcome and provided fine facilities in a great location.
Joyce and I have toured the Waterfront Trail, extensively, from Port Hope to Cornwall. With Michel, who rode with us today, we opted to stay on County Road 33, the Waterfront Trail, entirely. In this area, County Road 33 is also known as the Loyalist Parkway, the Taste Trail (wine), and the Arts Trail. Stops at Bloomfield Bicycle and Tim’s in Picton were ride-delaying, but “necessary”, stops. We reconnected with the day’s route in Picton to take the ferry, which connects Prince Edward County, essentially an island with the construction of the Murray Canal in the late 1800s, with the mainland at the eastern terminus.
Dan, Joyce, and Michel
money in wine?
Joyce had designs for this, as I did for her
Kingston, three hours later, was worth a stop for a photo op. Kingston was the home of our first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald. Our first parliament occurred in Kingston at what is now Kingston City Hall, completed in 1844, “with its scale and design reflective of Kingston’s status as capital of the Province of Canada at that time” (Wikipedia). Later in the century, Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as our capital, American / Canadian tensions being a major element of the decision to move up the Rideau. Of course, with Michel ever agreeable for a stop, we patronized yet another Tim Hortons on route out of town.
Joyce, Dan, and Sir John A.
A persistent flat problem on Becky’s bike slowed their group of four. Meeting up with them, the consensus was to stop at the DQ in Gananoque. It’s quite the sight to see seven, “mature” TdC adults ravenously indulge in that dairy delight. And, it wouldn’t be the last treat of the day.
Myra, one of our six female cyclists, lives in the vicinity of our Ivy Lea
Kingston City Hall
campground. Thankfully we cycle and burn calories. Myras’ parents visited us with baked goodies and ice cream, too much for about thirty of us to eat in one sitting.
much appreciated goodies
The residual energy from the sugar buzz that we got from the previous day’s over indulgence kick started this 164k day, 08 August. Also, an efficient start to the day was on everybody’s mind because of our impending rest day in Ottawa, the day’s destination. The Thousand Islands Parkway was enjoyable with no traffic until Mallorytown where we headed north. A PBJ break in Augusta was all that slowed us on route to Merrickville where Becky, Joyce and I stopped at Wolford House. This is a bed and breakfast which we’ve patronized regularly. Carol and Brian Carty (ex-OPP) are the hosts. It’s a B&B to which all others should be compared. Great spot! The Carty’s pampered us with cold drinks and goodies for along the way.
The Rideau River and canal system provided our backdrop into Ottawa. The scenery was great. Not until we got onto the Prince of Wales Drive leading into Ottawa did we encounter any traffic of consequence. The condition of the road, in spots, was deplorable. Joyce and I have bicycled Ottawa alot, so Becky, Joyce and I quickly found ourselves at our destination, Carleton University.
Rideau Canal scenery
Joyce and Becky with the Rideau Canal and Carlton University in the background
Our group’s evening was filled with a meal of pizza and socializing with Clan Booth, Bob’s and Irene’s children and families. It was an enjoyable and fulfilling evening, helpful in the grieving process.
Segment Table 9 - Tottenham to Ottawa
|Location / Date
||Time camp to camp
||Time on bike
||Trip to date
|Nestleton / 05August
|Carrying Place / 06Aug
|Ivy Lea / 07August
|Ottawa / 08August