Friday, September 28, 2007

"More of Toronto...."

Another view of the CN Tower.......that is the elevator track going up along the outside. That, too, of course, was mainly glass. :(
At the base of the CN Tower is a park with fountains and gardens.
We took this walkway to get from the CN Tower area to Union Station in order to catch the subway back to the B&B.
We had a bit of an uphill hike after taking the subway to get closer to Casa Loma, the mansion built by Sir Henry Pellatt, who brought electricity to the city of Toronto. This photo was taken 1/2 way up the last set of steps which led to the mansion.
The mansion, Casa Loma, was undergoing some outside renovation. We got to the entrance about 20 minutes too late to gain admittance. It wasn't closed, as there were still tours going on, but no new admittance tickets were being sold.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Don in front of the Bearfoot Inn. Our balcony railing is just visible up in the middle of the roof area.
Don did some online research for knit shops in Toronto and found Romni Wool Yarn Shop. The place is amazing!!!! It was huge....2 floors, packed to the gills with yarns of all kinds....truly an amazing variety of yarns. This photo was taken in the lower level. Can you tell it was hot and no air conditioning?
We'd taken the subway part of the way to get to Romni Wool but we also had a bit of walking to do as well. We stopped at another shop which was in between the subway and Romni.....nice shop but VERY small, although we did buy some interesting buttons made out of tree branches.
Our 2nd night in Toronto, we ate outdoors at a very cool restaurant called Zelda's, around the corner from the B&B. It had been a very long day of site seeing and walking, so we'd taken a taxi was soooooo good to sit down, have drinks/dinner. :) (They had EXCELLENT Bloody Mary's!)
Our 2nd day of exploring.....the CN Tower in the background. Don wanted to go up in it and I suggested he go by himself. :) I am NOT good with heights........he sacrificed and stayed on the ground with me. The elevator is on the outside of the tower, plus there is a glass floor when you get off of it. Not, in my opinion, a place for those who are afraid of heights! :(

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Shelbourne to TORONTO!!!"

This is another photo showing one of the many views we had the morning of our last day on the road.
I'd stopped at a McDonald's, hoping to get a cappuccino, just outside of Owen Sound. Don caught up with me and suggested we go into Owen Sound, rather than around it. I agreed as there was a bicycle shop in the city and I thought that perhaps he'd like to stop at it if it were along the route. I found it, but it was a few blocks off from the new route, so he didn't check it out. Unfortunately, Owen Sound seemed to be made up of all hills and valleys. His climb up a hill didn't allow him to coast down the other side before going up another, because there seemed to always be a stop light at the bottom. Poor Pato..........a lot of climbing in a short amount of time, although we don't know if the original route was any different. The following photo doesn't do justice to what the climb actually was, but perhaps you can see the hills in the distance. Yes.....he did climb up each one. :)
Do you think he'd had enough "Cool Blue Gatorade"?
His arrival at the "Barefoot Inn" in Toronto!!!! Toronto was the 1st place where we'd ever lost touch during the ride. Our walkie-talkies wouldn't work....we think because of so much interference/competition in the city. He had taken a city bike trail while I went along the city streets (naturally). :) I'd waited for him at what I thought was the agreed upon spot, but he didn't show up, so I thought that perhaps he'd gotten there and continued on to the Inn. There was a lot of second guessing going on by both of us. I ended up going to the B&B, unloaded the car, and then set out to go back along the route, hoping to make contact with him. I had barely gone 2 blocks when he came through via the walkie talkie!!! He was almost to the B&B, so I turned around, parked, and got the camera out to document his arrival! YEA!
We had the entire 3rd floor of the Barefoot Inn, which included our own private balcony. Here I am writing a letter to my Dad. The balcony helped make our stay in Toronto even more enjoyable.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"To Wiarton and On to Shelburne....."

This was one of our "rest stops" on the way from Tobermory to Wiarton. We had 49 miles to ride that day after leaving the ferry and arrived in Wiarton late afternoon. This was the earliest we had been able to check into our motel the entire trip and were sitting in the Wiarton Inn for dinner before 5! :)
I saw "Tom and Jerry" in Markdale while on the lookout for the post office. I had seen the miniature horse team on the main street while driving through town, but wasn't able to grab the camera fast enough to take a shot from the car. When I circled back to the spot where I had seen them, they were leaving, so once again I circled around the block. I found their owner, Danielle, tying them up so that she could go into another store. I parked quickly, walked over and asked if I could take some photos of them for my blog. She obviously said yes, and in talking with her, found out that she drove them into town because they needed to be her words, "they're too fat". :) They were a very well mannered/trained team. I can see myself having a team like this, too. :)
After arriving at "Anderson's Hilltop Farm", our B&B on the outskirts of Shelburne, we unpacked and went out to dinner. We took this photo along the way.............
This was taken from outside the B&B. The farm across the road from the B&B, also belonged to the owners of the B&B, and is where Mr. Anderson grew up. The old farmhouse is also used to house guests. The area is very beautiful with it's rolling hills.
On our way out the next morning, we passed these horses. They were all grazing on the far side of the pasture from the road, but when Don came riding by, they all stopped grazing and wandered closer to the road to get a better look at the "human on wheels". We were beginning to see more and more horses, the closer we got to Toronto.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"On Chi-Cheemaun.........

As you can see, the day became bright and beautiful.....a far cry from what we had been waking up to.It was cool and the wind crisp, so I am really glad I'd unpacked my sweatshirt to wear while on the ferry.
The lighthouse on Cove Island, which is just off the mainland. Remember to double click on a photo for a better look.... :)
Flowerpot Island and a freighter in the distance.
The dock at Tobermory. This had been the easy part of the day for Don. He now had 50 miles to ride to reach our destination for the night....... Wiarton, Ontario.
It had been a wonderful morning with the sunshine, cool breeze, scenery, and being taken along our route without having to drive myself. :) I neglected to mention earlier, but when I was instructed to drive my car into the bowels of the Chi-Cheemaun, and then following the directions of the sailors inside, I ended up being the 1st one in line to drive off the ferry when we disembarked in Tobermory, immediately behind the bicycles! How was that for luck?! It was back to the reality of the ride, after leaving the ferry. As mentioned, we still had 50 miles of road to cover. More photos of this day to follow..... :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"South Baymouth Morning......"

Finally......a gorgeous sunrise for us! It was still cloudy and somewhat overcast (cool, too!) but the day promised to be a beautiful one. The area where we will be lining up for the ferry is on the other side of the small median/light posts that you can see in the photo. Actually, I ended up right next to the picnic table and tree that you see in the photo.
Here is Don's recumbent, up with the other leaders of the "pack". :) Bicycles and motorcycles were the 1st vehicles to be allowed onto the ferry. They are also the 1st to be allowed to disembark, too. They're tied/lashed (rope, oops, I mean, lines, are provided by the ferry) down so that if there is rough weather, they will not tip over in the hold.
Those passengers coming from Tobermory, on the mainland, disembarking after their ride to South Baymouth. As the ferry entered the channel where it would dock, those waiting to catch the ferry, who'd walked to the shops and restaurants, rushed to get to their cars, like ants scurrying around an anthill. You could feel the excitement in the air........
We'd decided not to be one of the scurrying people and waited until we were aboard to eat breakfast, which was surprisingly good.
A better view of South Baymouth. Our motel is the one with the chalet type office/gift shop. We had the end room which had picture windows on 2 sides of the room, facing both the bay and the channel. You can see what I mean if you look closely (double click for an enlarged view). Our room is the one between the phone booth and the tall pine.......1 of the picture windows is very prominent.
The ride on the ferry was beautiful, as you will see in tomorrows entry. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"More From the Espanola Ride....."

This was taken on Manitoulin Island, outside the village of Sheguiandah. It is the Indian church, next to a tribal council gathering area. Unfortunately, I don't know anymore than that, and took the photo because I liked the building.
I took this from another rest area/car park, which was located up on a high bluff, overlooking Sheguiandah Bay, where during nicer weather, one would be able to see much further. I still thought it was a spectacular view, and now I have a little historical information, too. :) Notice the little bit of color in the leaves?
This small waterfall was located right next to the road, but in order for me to be able to get this shot, I had to drive further along the highway and backtrack on a side road, hoping that it would take me back to the waterfall. I got there in time to see Don ride by and wave. :)
The weather had gotten better the further south we went. Better in that it was no longer raining, although still overcast. When we arrived in South Baymouth, where we would catch the ferry the next morning, the sun actually came out, which made the clouds seem even darker and more thunderous looking.
We got to see the ferry, The Chi-Cheemaun, come in to take it's last trip for the night..... arriving, unloading, loading again, and turning around to go back to Tobermory, on the mainland. Notice the bright patch of sunlight on the trees behind the stern of the ship?
South Baymouth was, to say the least, a little touristy. :) Our motel was located directly across from the dock where the ship came in and departed from, so we had watched the line up of passengers and their cars the night before when we were unpacking. All of the souvenir gift shops and restaurants were within quick walking distance from the vehicles of the passengers. This "line up time", of course, was the busiest time for the shops, as we soon saw after the ship left. Were we any different? Not really, although the next morning I did stay with the car because we'd already gone though enough of the shops the night before. :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

"The Road From Espanola......"

We awoke to rain again. It sprinkled as I packed the car and began raining harder as we left Espanola. I stopped at a gas station/convenience store on the way out of town to fill the car up and to also, (hopefully) get some flavored coffee/cappuccino. Gas, by the way, is priced per liter, not gallon, so was always under $1. :)
Back to the coffee........I had never seen a machine like this before, and because of seeing my hesitation (basically, pure confusion), one of the clerks helped me. The machine brewed each cup individually by having you choose what coffee you wanted from a basket of small containers, similar to, but larger than, what individual servings of liquid coffee creamer is usually found. The container of coffee is then put into the machine and when you bring the handle down to enclose it in it's compartment, the container is automatically pierced. The start button is then pressed and hot water goes through, coming out as fresh brewed coffee into your cup. I LIKED it! :) I might just be naive, but as I mentioned, I had never seen a process like this before.
This was the first time we truly had miserable weather for Don to ride in. The steady, light, sprinkling rain turned into a downpour before we were even out of Espanola. We both were not only disappointed about the heavy rain, but of where it happened! We had both been looking forward to seeing the Manitoulin Island, but with the pouring rain, it virtually made it impossible to look around. Don's glasses were constantly being coated in rain so he had to really concentrate on seeing where he was going. This was made even worse, due to the fact we were on a smaller highway which didn't have as wide of an asphalt shoulder for him to ride barely had a shoulder in some areas because of the rocky nature of the countryside, leading down to the island. And, of course, the road (again, due to the rock formations), was curvy, with steeps hills to go up and down. In sunny weather, it would have been beautiful, but in that days rain, it was treacherous.
On the maps, it is called Manitoulin Island, but in reality, it is actually a number of islands, connected by bridges. With the terrain being so rocky and not much top soil, grass is about the only thing that will grow in some areas, so it has become a cattle producing area. I noticed while driving through here, that fence posts were not dug into the ground, but were held in place by rocks. You can see in this photo, how the supports for the bridge are in boxes of rocks under the structure. On a smaller scale, this is how the posts are supported, but the boxes holding the rocks are triangular.
I stopped here, after crossing one of the connecting bridges, to get a few photos and also to wait for Don. It had been raining heavily and he'd not stopped in awhile, so I was sure he would need a refill of Gatorade.
Here he comes, soaked to the bone and beginning to shiver. I held an umbrella over him as he changed into a dry shirt, which immediately warmed him and calmed the shivers.
To set the record case anyone has wondered, there was never a word spoken by either of us about his not riding along any part of the trip. He was determined to do the ride, and I knew this. I, of course, had some times of pure anxiety with his riding, but also know he is an intelligent person and could make pertinent decisions about his riding. :) I'm sure that everyone would not necessarily agree with keeping my thoughts to myself, but we each have to do what we feel is correct in any situation.
This was taken at a small car park that had an "overlook platform" built for the scenic view. Unfortunately, with the rainy, overcast conditions, the view wasn't as far reaching as on a clear day. :(
Here comes my soaked, although warm, Don Pato.........he'd stopped at the car park to take a short break and look at the view. His stops/breaks that day were short, otherwise, there was a possibility that he'd get begin to get chilled. His continuous pedaling, most times, kept the chills at bay. :)
Our destination that day was South Baymouth, where the following morning we would catch the ferry from Manitoulin Island to Tobermory, which is on the mainland. The photos of South Baymouth will be in tomorrow's blog....and the sun will be in them! :) We did, EVENTUALLY, have sunshine on the day's ride from Espanola.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"The Last Stretch Before Espanola..."

Little Lake Bog is located outside of Algoma Mills, Ontario. I used the parking lot as a stopping point, although Don did not. It was in the middle of a hill so he kept his upwards momentum and stopped a bit later. :) Not long after this was taken we happened to find a convenience store and stopped for coffee.

Deer Trail Rest Area is outside of Serpent River, Ontario. This was one of the places where I made sandwiches for lunch. Unfortunately, they were not to my taste, although Don, being the polite person that he is, said they were fine.........not sure that he used the word "good" though. :) We were in one of the areas where there were small villages, but none had restaurants.
There were a number of deer sculptures around the park.
I was very surprised when I saw that Don had not combed his hair for the "photo op". Such a "free spirit"!
Didn't I say "free spirit"? :)
This was hidden from my view at one of the places I stopped, but Don saw it from his bike as he passed, calling me on the walkie talkie to tell me about it. After getting to it the hard way, I found a path that led right to it. :) It was so peaceful, even though it was right next to the highway.
We arrived in Espanola later that day, eating that night and the next morning in the hotel. Don had to store his bike in a coat check room down in the basement as we had a 2nd level room and no elevator. It worked out very well, although it had begun raining again as we unpacked that night, continuing into the next morning. Little did we know at the time, how miserable the next days ride would be due to the weather.

Friday, September 14, 2007

"More before Espanola...."

I had pulled off into a "snow plow" turnaround, where a sign said no parking. Being the pushy American, I ignored it, as this strip of highway had very few other alternatives for my stopping points. I was hoping that it meant when conditions were snowy, rather than during summer, so I took my chances. It must have been OK since I did have a few policemen drive by. I don't really know what to call them, but they looked like Canada's version of our state troopers. Would they be Mounties, or is that a special branch?
Here you see one of the many semis that Don had whiz by him on the Trans Canada Highway. They really were quite good about pulling out and giving him some space.
I'd pulled onto a side road for my stopping point. It was the furthest I'd gone between places (around 6.5 miles), and had been lucky enough to have stopped in a regular parking area for a fishing/boat site. A man had been walking to his boat when I pulled in, who looked at my license plate and yelled WISCONSIN! He came over and we talked a bit. He was from Holland, MI. I'd told him why I was stopping there, so when he had gone back to his motel for his gear, he'd come out and saw Don so headed across the road to waylay him to talk with him. :) (double click on the photo to see it better)
There I am across the river (white car). Since the town we'd stopped in was named Blind River, I'm assuming that this was the Blind River.
I thought this was pretty good so I took a photo of it.
Remember that "iffy" front tire? It wasn't totally flat but conditions were good for stopping to change it, so that is what we did. :) This shows downtown Blind River.