July 24, 2018
I was very fortunate that it didn’t rain overnight, but, on the other hand, it was very humid because it didn’t rain which made it so uncomfortable that I didn’t get to sleep until after midnight. By 6:30 I got up, packed my bike and rode to the ferry dock.
I arrived at the dock at 7:30 am, just as the two motorcyclists from the campsite pulled in and we started a conversation. John Carter is 68 years old and he is a retired Polymer Scientist who lives in Ohio and had worked in the research department for Goodyear. His son, Brett is a 35 year old firefighter, married, has 5 children ( and one on the way ) which are home-schooled and he lives in Chambersburg, PA, but he works in Maryland. John & Brett are both devout Christians and Brett is a worship team leader in his church. We had very interesting discussions as we had a coffee and muffin/bagel at a local shop while we waited for the ferry. After we boarded the ferry, which was around 8:45 am, we continued our conversations. John and Brett were taking their annual trip together and this year they were riding from Ohio to Pelee Island, Niagara Falls Ontario and then back home again through Buffalo. Initially, they had taken annual bicycle trips but for the last few years they had started to take motorcycle trips together. John has published a book called ” Western Humanism – A Christian Perspective” and he is in the process of writing another one.
I enjoyed getting to know them and when the ferry finally reached the Leamington dock at 10:30 am, we parted our ways, however, I hope that our paths will meet again.
My first objective after leaving the boat was to get some wifi so I could publish my journal from the previous day before I continued my journey, so I headed to a nearby Tim Hortons. In the Tim Hortons I met and elderly couple and when I mentioned that I was writing a journal of my adventures, she suggested that I mention that I met a 93 year old man and an 82 year old woman at the Tim Hortons when I wrote my blog, so that has been done.
By the time I finished my previous day’s journal, it was noon. I had been told that I had to go to Pelee Point because it is the southernmost point in continental Canada, so I decided to go there. There was some water and sewer pipe construction on the municipal road a few km before the park entrance but fortunately I didn’t have to take the long detour around, like the cars, because I could slip by the construction vehicles and therefore, it only took about 30 minutes to ride to the park entrance.
The ride in the park is all nicely paved and there are several spots to view the scenery, see historic sites or even go for a swim.
From there it was another 9 km to the very tip of the park. I had to walk the last 500 meters ( 1/3 mile ) , but I made sure I put my shoe in the water at the very tip where other tourists were experiencing the view and taking pictures.
I then started my ride north, back the way I came, until I got a little past the construction work and I saw ” Birdie’s Perch – Bustaurant and Takeway” which is restaurant built in a double-decker bus. I had the Perch Po Boy and it was excellent. When I was about to leave, one of the customers who was from Cottam ( Kingsville area ) walked up to me and we talked about different types of bikes for a few minutes.
From there, I started my journey towards Jeanettes Creek. When I reached Tilbury, which is next to highway 401, I had already travelled a fair distance so I stopped to figure out where I might stay for the night. It looked like Chatham was my best option for a room although I was considering going a lot further to Wallaceburg.
As soon as I left from Tilbury, I noticed one of my saddlebags was swaying back and forth so I stopped to take a look. Three of the four rivets which attach the holding mechanism to the bag were gone so I tied a bungee cord in a makeshift fashion around the bag and decided I would not go any further than I had to so that I could repair or replace the bag the following day. I rode the 8 kms ( 5 mile ) to Jeanettes Creek and I was just leaving the town along the Tecumseh Parkway, when I heard a suspicious ‘ popping ‘ noise from my rear tire and I stopped to check it out but my tire seemed to be fine so I continued riding, cautiously , while glancing at my rear tire occasionally to see if I could determine what had happened. It wasn’t long before I noticed that the rear tire was wobbling and I suspected that one of the spokes had broken, but none were missing, so I continued to ride, hoping that the problem wouldn’t get worse during the last 20 km ( 13 miles ) to Chatham. Fortunately I made it there and I rode a little past the highway I would have to take to go to Sarnia, in order to get to the motel and on the way I noticed that there was a bike shop, so that I could stop there in the morning and have repairs made, because it was 6:30 pm and it was closed for the day. Unfortunately they don’t open until 10 am so I will have a late start in the morning.
When I reached the motel, I had ridden 106 km and I was tired, so I took a shower and treated myself to an upscale dinner. There was a ” Churrascaria” ( Portuguese steakhouse ) next to the motel, so I went there and had a very nice 8 oz filet mignon with asparagus, carrots, black olives and a salad.
It was a long day and I am not sure what will happen tomorrow, but then, that is normal for me.
Day 7 – Pelee Island to Chatham
Distance Travelled: 106 km by bike (i.e. not including the ferry ride)
Travel Time: 5 hrs 40 min
Conditions: 22 – 29 C ( 72 – 84 F ), partly sunny and dry with a tailwind most of the time.
Accommodations: Saxony Motel ( $74 )