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Day 75: From Yale to Vassar

56.61 Miles

The Yale Hotel was not my favorite place to stay.  It has potential and could be a nice place, but it needs some work.  It would also be nice if the place didn’t reek of cigarettes and pot smoke.  I was woken up at 3:15 AM by people talking in the hall (our room was missing the transom window, so noise came right in) and couldn’t fall back asleep for a while.  So this morning I couldn’t wait to leave.  We had considered staying here two nights so we could have a rest day, but this town is definitely not worth staying in for two nights.  Caroline bought some muffins from the grocery store next door and we ate them in our room before leaving town.

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Day 74: So you came to Yale, Michigan?

27.5 miles

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Doing Research

Before we hit the road this morning, we carried out a little research requested by one of our loyal readers (Hi, Jess!). There was a Tim Hortons across the road from our hotel, so we went over to investigate the famed Honey Cruller. I wish I had more pictures of the object of our inquiry, but I wolfed it down too quickly. I’ll admit, it’s a pretty good donut, light and airy as a cruller should be, with a sweet glaze, but I’m not inclined to wax too poetic about it. Then again, my favorite donut is powdered and filled with vanilla cream, so what do I know? And now that Burger King is about to ruin Tim Horton’s (according to Canadians) who can say how the Honey Cruller will fare.

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Day 73: Back in the USA!

31.03 miles

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Coming to America!

Today was another one of those days where we started out thinking we would have a short day and then discovered we’re going to have more miles than we thought to find a place to stay. Even so, the roads in Ontario and Michigan have been flat and straight and a real pleasure to ride. It was about 12 miles from our campground to the ferry crossing from Sombra to Marine City, Michigan. We arrived in Sombra and spent the last of our Canadian dollars before boarding the ferry. Apparently the ferry is the only place on the border where the exchange rate is $1 CA for $1 US. The car ferry crosses the St. Clair River pretty quickly, so there was hardly any time for pictures before we had to get off again and go through customs.

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Day 72: Quiet Country Roads

43.52 miles

Quiet dirt road riding

Quiet dirt road riding

We had a decent internet connection at the motel last night, so we took full advantage to catch up on writing blog posts and uploading photos.  We did more work online this morning before hitting the road.  One email I received was from a warm shower host who couldn’t host us tonight, so we looked online for campgrounds and there were not many to choose from.  It would probably be a long day (compared to our average) to reach the next campground.

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Day 71: So Long Lake Erie!

24.31 miles

Sunrise on Lake Erie

Sunrise on Lake Erie

Alan woke up early this morning and took some sunrise pictures on the shore of Lake Erie. However, after yesterday’s long day of biking we were OK with a shorter day today and didn’t leave the campground until almost 1 PM.  Today we said good bye to the south coast of Ontario and Lake Erie and headed inland. It was a cooler day for riding, but still quite windy and we again took turns drafting off each other. Speaking of wind, we saw a few pieces of a wind turbine being moved along the road. Wind energy has apparently been controversial in Ontario as evidenced by all the “No Turbines” signs we saw in some yards along our route.

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Day 70: A Busy Day

57.48 miles

Early morning long shadowsIt’s been a while since we got an early start to our biking and so last night we agreed to wake up early today. We had oatmeal (again), but today pop-tarts helped provide a more welcome breakfast treat. We packed up as quick as we could and were on the road by about 8 AM. There was a little bit of headwind, but the morning light cast a warm glow on the landscape and made for enjoyable biking.

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Day 69: Best Lunch So Far

34.65 miles

Minions!

Roadside “Art”?

I’m afraid Caroline says she didn’t sleep well last night. She says she hasn’t been sleeping well in the tent lately. I hope it’s just a temporary thing. Most mornings I’m usually awake before she is and I’ll just lay there thinking or trying to fall back asleep or doing something on my phone. I like to let her sleep in or at least lay around a bit until she’s ready to get up. You see, once I’m awake I’m usually ready to go and wide awake. Caroline takes a little more time to transition from sleep to being awake, so I try to give her that time for the sake of marital harmony. We don’t have many options for breakfast these days other than oatmeal and oatmeal is definitely not Caroline’s favorite breakfast food. Hopefully we’ll find a campground soon with cold milk for sale so we can have granola or cereal in the morning.

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Day 68: On and on Ontario

42.9 miles

Windy Southern Ontario

Windy Southern Ontario

There were no late night shenanigans in our campground, so we got a better night’s sleep at Knight’s Beach. Out on the road this morning we passed a large group of cyclists all wearing the same red and white kit (cycling outfit) of a cycling club from Ancaster, Ontario. When we stopped at a cafe in Selkirk, there were even more riders from the club having breakfast–now there’s an endorsement. Any place bicyclists stop in large numbers is bound to be good. For second breakfast, I enjoyed another peameal bacon and fried egg sandwich. Peameal bacon is similar to what Americans think of as Canadian Bacon, but much better. Very tender and not too salty. I learned it is a food locally associated with Toronto, but we saw it offered everywhere along the coast of Lake Erie in Ontario.

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Day 67: Lake Erie Biking

44 mi

After the late night we had last night, it’s no surprise I woke up with a headache.  We couldn’t wait to put this place behind us, so we quickly packed up and ate our usual oatmeal breakfast.  It was easy riding along the Friendship Rail Trail to today’s first town: Port Colburne, Ontario.  We had several errands to run while in town.  First, we needed some Canadian cash.  Thankfully the guy at the campground last night was willing to take our American money.  Which is about the only positive thing I can say about that place.  After stopping at an ATM we had second breakfast at a small cafe.

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Night 66: Later That Evening…

5 hours sleep, 1 arrest

Like most campgrounds, this place has “quiet hours” starting at 11 PM (10 PM on weekdays). But at 11:45 PM there were still a couple of tent camping groups playing their music quite loudly. It’s like they were competing to be most annoying. One group playing crappy rap and the other playing “classic” rock. I finally had enough and yelled politely (as politely as is possible while yelling at full volume) “COULD YOU TURN DOWN THE MUSIC, PLEASE!?!” One group actually DID turn down their music. The other group turned their music off, but only after several minutes.

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Day 66: Buffalo, But Briefly

43.2 miles

Close to the Canadian Falls

Close to the Canadian Falls

This morning we ate a quick breakfast in our motel room, packed up and left. We then rode down to the falls for one last look and to take a few more photos. We were next to the Canadian falls and it was like we were in a light rain storm. It was just the mist from the falls blowing in our direction, but when you’re in the middle of the mist, it’s indistinguishable from falling rain. We were starting to get a bit wet, so we rode away and the “rain” stopped about 30 yards from the falls.

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Day 65: Tourist Traipsing

On the Hornblower boat

On the Hornblower boat

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After breakfast at IHOP, we walked down the hill from our hotel to start our day of Niagara Falls sightseeing. First thing on the list was the Hornblower boat tour of the falls. We purchased our tickets and took the elevators down to water level in the Niagara River Gorge. Before you board the boat on the Canadian side, every one gets a red plastic poncho. On the Maid-of-the-Mist boats that start from the American side of the river, everyone is wearing a blue poncho. It makes identifying the boats quite easy as they motor around the river to view the falls. Alan and I donned our ponchos and boarded the boat. First stop on the tour is the American Falls. There’s a lot of spray, but its not too bad.

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