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  1. Mid Week Ride

    September 22, 2016 by admin

    Last week we took a few days and went for a ride, we started our journey by heading out to Woodstock. We got such a late start that we decided to take the 401, although it is a main highway and pretty busy, I really enjoyed the ride. First of all, it just felt good to be heading out, the day was turning out to be a good one, the sun was starting to come out and the weather was perfect.

    We went to Woodstock to pick up a pair of highway bar’s for my bike, the person was selling them on kijiji. We ended up buying them and I left his place with the bars on my bike.

    By time we were done, I was pretty hungry, we stopped at Montana’s in Woodstock and I had a great dinner. We started looking for a hotel in the area and was really surprised that everything was booked, I was told there was a farming convention in the area. We ended up finding a place in Brantford, so after eating, we took some back roads and headed east, the sunset was so glorious, the cool part was that it reflecting in my mirrors.

    The plan for the next day was to hit a few stores in the area, the first one was in Hamilton, which we did and then Larry changed the planned, we took some back roads and enjoyed a great scenic ride. We went to peacock point, which is on Lake Erie, such a pretty ride.screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-4-12-29-am

    The next stop was for gas, in Port Dover, a pretty little town that has become famous as a destination for bikers, especially on (any) Friday the 13th.

    We still had a bit to go to get to our end destination, Port Stanley. We had booked a hotel earlier that day,  I was looking forward to relaxing by the beach and going out for a great dinner. For some reason, the last hour (or so) I found ride a bit difficult, I was getting pretty sore and tired, I felt like I couldn’t get there quick enough. I was surprised that Larry was feeling the same way and he was experiencing the same relief I felt as we slowly got off our bikes.

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    After a warm shower we were both feeling better and headed out to look for some dinner. We went to the beach first and enjoyed the view of this awesome sunset, it felt good being there.

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    Finding a place to eat wasn’t as easy as I had hoped, the town seems to shut down early. We ended up having dinner at The Wind Jammer Inn, we sat on the porch and started off with the ‘soup of the moment’, and because it was getting chilli we ended up moving inside, it’s a charming place to eat. Larry ordered the Cheese Stuffed Portobello Cap for his main course, he enjoyed it so much and said he never had such a good meal, all the food was so good – we couldn’t resist dessert which was indescribably delicious. It was a great, relaxing way to end the day.

    The staff was particularly patient with us, when we got there the server checked with the chef to see if it wasn’t to late to order, she was gracious enough to feed us, we were the last order of the day and the only customers for most of our meal, we were really appreciative.

    The next day we had a great breakfast at the Buccaneer Restaurant, which was included with our room, which was kinda cool.

    Then we headed home on Highway #3, which we’ve done a lot. We enjoyed the inland ride from Hamilton to Peacock Point and also admired the view of the shores of Lake Erie.

    The change of seasons was apparent, leaves were starting to change, lot’s of pumpkin farms and of course some cooler temps, but not uncomfortably so.


  2. Rides To Point Pelee

    September 13, 2016 by admin

    Larry bought a pass for Point Pelee this year, it has been a lot of fun. We’ve gone several times and throughly enjoyed it. It’s about 7km from the entrance gate to the visitors centre, and it’s a good ride, lots of tree’s and a winding road with the occasional spotting of wild life, last time it was wild turkey.

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     Sometimes for a short ride, we take the scenic route and end up in the Leamington area, we’ve been known to stop at Birdie’s Perch and lately we’ve added a fun ride through Point Pelee. Last time we were able to drive to the point, which is fun. We walked around the point for a bit, and just enjoyed our surroundings.

     

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    This path runs along Lake Erie, from the parking lot to the point, it was a great walk and felt good to move the muscles. It is usual treat for us to have this all to ourselves.

    It’s been fun to take advantage of the beautiful weather and get some late day rides in.

     


  3. New Saddlebags

    August 29, 2016 by admin

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    After arriving home from our trip to Thunder Bay, I found that the package I was expecting from Viking Bags had arrived and it was with great excitement I opened it up and found everything wrapped and well packed.

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    When I unpacked the saddlebags, I was really impressed with the quality, the outside casing was solid, the stitching looked great, and overall very attractive.

    The buckles straps are just for show, underneath there is a quick click release button, I really like that convenience.

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    Also, all the hardware and instructions were included, we didn’t have to buy anything for installation.
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    Also, I like the locking system and the peace of mind it brings. Every time I park the bike and walk away I’ve worried about the security of my belongings, now I can feel more comfortable while I take a break or grab a bite at a restaurant.

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    The velcro that is on either side of the bag is heavy duty and will keep the bag airtight. This is especially important, we have encountered plenty of ‘surprise’ rain storms in our travels. Also, there have been lots of times I’ve grabbed something from my old saddlebags and forgot to close them properly, causing them to flap in the wind. The worse part of that scenario is having to pull over on a highway to close the bags, I’m sure the strong velcro on the viking bags will keep the lid closed securely in that instance.

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    You can see one part of the heavy duty velcro in this picture.

    Larry was on board to help me with the installation, we found the hard copy instructions somewhat difficult to follow, however, we found the tutorial on the Viking website very helpful.

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    Larry came up with a great idea that I’d thought I would share, he found a 2 x 1 (inch) piece of board, we placed it on the exhaust pipes and it was very helpful to keep the bags level while we were aligning them up with the bike.

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    All in all, I’m very happy with the bags, I think they look great on my bike and I’m super pleased to have some real storage. If I filled both these bags, I think I could live out of them for weeks!

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    Don’t they look great?

     

    • One issue for me personally with the design is that I wasn’t able to angle my laptop in the bag easily, however I wouldn’t want to change it more than an inch because it was the appearance of the bag that initially attracted me.

     

    For your own set of these great bags or other great designs, check out their extensive selection by visiting their website.

    Check out my video and slide show:

     

     

     


  4. Home Again

    August 14, 2016 by admin

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    We’ve been home exactly a week today.

    We travelled a total of 38oo km, and encountered all kinds of weather, including extreme heat, rain, really cold mornings & thunder storms, we ate out at a lot of restaurants and stayed in a few hotels. We met many people, and saw views that were spectacular.

    Even though it was hard to say goodbye to Sarah, it was fun to continue our adventure. We left Sarah’s 14 hours earlier than we originally planned, it was our hope to avoid some bad weather that was predicted. Unfortunately, that didn’t really work out for us.

    After leaving Thunder Bay, our goal was pretty easy, we stayed in Marathon, Ontario. We were taking highway #17 and we were delighted with the sights that surrounded us. It seemed like every turn or every time we descended a hill there was a beautiful scene for us, a lot of water, lakes, and inlets, so many trees, hills, and bends. There were a few ‘look out’ places that we stopped at, and because it was getting late, we got to see the sun setting, it was all pretty breathtaking.

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    The thing about doing something like this is that you meet the most interesting people, once we got to our hotel and brought our stuff in we went out to a local bar/pub, it was pretty much the only place open and it was in walking distance. Just before we entered we were greeted by a few people standing just outside the door, one seemed particularly drunk/high and insisted on high ‘5’ ing Larry, I just walked in. I really felt like having a glass of wine, they only had single serving bottles, I’ve only seen that on airplanes before.

    Anyway, it was fun, talking to the few people who were there, eating chicken wings while we watched the only employee working hard, trying to close up. She actually did us a favor by cooking us the chicken wings, I was grateful. The last 15 minutes or so everyone in the place ended up sitting around the bar and chatting with each other.

    The next day we got cocky, and slept in, I feel like we really paid for this when we encountered the thunder storms later that day, my visibility was almost non existent, I wanted to get off the highway, I finally saw a driveway ahead, I wasn’t sure where it led but I did see a lot of lights. It turned out to be a motel, which was next to a car dealership. We stood under the awning of the cheap looking motel with the blessing of the owner. When the rain seemed to slow down a bit we took off again, we were trying to get to Wawa, no sooner than we started out again the rain let loose, by time we got to Wawa we were soaked, every inch of us, we were drenched. We stopped at a restaurant that looked like it was a resort, the only thing I remember about it was the huge goose on top. We were delighted to get a coffee and some breakfast, we changed our jeans & socks and were able to put the other things in the dryer. Our creativity really showed up when we put plastic bags over our feet so our clean socks would stay dry. We were feeling better with dry clothes and having eaten, I felt so grateful for dry pants as we headed towards our destination, Sault Ste. Marie. Our rough day turned out to be a good one as we ended the day at the Ambassador Motel, it was recommended to me by my good friend Kim and we ordered food from Giovanni’s Restaurant, it was so good.

    On Friday (the next day), after riding for about an hour, we pulled off highway #17 and took #17B, and once again the scenery was awesome. We had a great breakfast at Sunset Beach Restaurant in Thessalon, Ontario. It was fun to talk to our server about riding because she and her husband also rode and when she got home from work they were going to head out for a ride. She was so excited, and it was pretty easy to get excited with her, she showed us pictures of their bikes on her phone.

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    It was a long ride that day but we ran into a few other riders, a hitchhiker, and her dog before we ended up in Sudbury.

    Our last night (Saturday) we splurged, we stayed at The Treehouse Bed & Breakfast in Flesherton, Ontario. It was called ‘the suite’, and that is pretty much what it was. We had a great night, relaxing outside, sitting close to Lake Eugenia and surrounded by a scenic backyard, then going in and watching old movies & drinking wine, while snuggling.

    It took us a while to get home the next day but it sure did feel good once we got here, it was pretty late and we were exhausted and sore but we felt great!

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  5. Thunder Bay

    August 9, 2016 by admin

    We arrived in Thunder Bay late Thursday, we were pretty stoked to finally reach our destination and to see our beautiful baby.

    We were treated very well by our wonderful hosts, we had a delightful time as we reconnected with family and explored this beautiful city.

    Some things we did:

    • Visited Grand Marais, Minnesota
    • Chartered a Fishing Boat, came home with fish.
    • Saw the Aurora Borealis, what an incredible light show!
    • Saw 2 shooting stars
    • Went to see the beautiful Kakabeka Falls
    • Explored the city of Thunder Bay
    • Explored the Sleeping Giant
    • Tried Finish Pancakes, and ate at many different restaurants.
    • Spent a full day at Excalibur Motorcycle Works.

     

    The zipper on Larry’s motorcycle jacket broke during the last stop we made, just before we got to Thunder Bay, so on Friday morning (our first full day) I did a google search and found a tailor who was willing to fix the zipper in a short time, so we dropped it off at Russell Tailors, while we were there, they suggested we try going to The Hoito for breakfast. Cam was able to join us there, which was fun, the place was crazy busy but worth the wait. We tried Finish Pancakes for the first time and Larry was hooked, he had them every time they were available when we went out for breakfast after that.

    Then we went to Excalibur, one of Larry’s tail lights had fallen in a wrong direction – the mechanic with much persistence did a great job fixing it. While that was happening, I bought a great new pair of motorcycle gloves, they are so comfortable and the prices were decent. When we were ready to leave, Larry couldn’t get his bike started, it seemed like the battery died. Larry (I think he was the owner) and his great staff, spent a great deal of time doing a bunch of tests, sometimes while studying an old Suzuki manual and after a while, getting advice from our local Suzuki dealer, they were very patient as they were counting down the hours before the long weekend started. They were a great group of people, who did their job throughly, I was really impressed. I enjoyed chatting with them, we got a lot of great advice and Larry learned a lot and enjoyed the experience.

    We did a lot of sight seeing, it’s such a pretty part of our province, and it was especially fun to explore it with a couple of locals. We tried out a lot new restaurants, had dinner with friends, did some shopping, Larry and Cam went fishing and brought home dinner, which was fun for them and eating it was fun for us.

    One night I had trouble sleeping, I gave up after a bit and thought I would read or something, as I was heading to the living room couch, I saw the balcony doors and felt really tempted to go outside. When I stepped onto the balcony I saw the most amazing view, there before my eyes was the Northern Lights, I just stood, mesmerized for a long time. I finally sat down and look over a bit, I saw 2 shooting stars, I had never seen one before, it was amazing, the sky was very active that night. After a while I realized that Larry would love to see this also, so I woke him up and we sat on the balcony just watching at an incredible light show.

    We had planned to leave early Thursday morning but it was looking like rain in the forecast, so we decided to leave late in the afternoon on Wednesday instead, hoping to beat the system. So we packed up, and were soon on our way again, this time we were headed to Marathon and eventually back home. Leaving wasn’t easy but we had a good time re-connecting, and we were excited to continue our homeward journey.

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    Excalibur Motorcycle Works

     

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    Admiring yet another great view at ‘The Sleep Giant’.

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    Exploring the Sleeping Giant, there is an area where people put there names on the rocks. It’s fun, as you can see I left my name.

     

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    Sarah & I

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    Downtown

     

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    Kakabeka Falls

     

     


  6. Almost There

    July 30, 2016 by admin

    Brrrrr, it was cold out today as we began the last leg of our journey, we had our second breakfast before we left Longlac, we were pretty relaxed, we had about 300km left to drive and it seemed pretty do able. I put on every piece of warm clothing I had, I counted 5 layers in all.

    We stopped in Beardmore to fill up our tanks,

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    and to check the biggest giant snowman in Ontario.
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    So much fun to discover so many small towns in Ontario, I truly live in a great province.


    The ride was pretty straight forward, the closer we got to Thunder Bay, the prettier the view, on one side we had mountains and on the other side, water.  We stopped at a couple of rest stops, they are incredible.
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    At one of the rest stops, a fellow traveler offered both of us a bottle of water, I thought that was pretty generous of him, he was from Montreal and headed west.

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    Second rest stop:

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    You can’t really see it, but this picture shows the highway and an example of how I can great views on both sides.

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    The ride was pretty painless, although it’s pretty incredible how some people drive, I was tailgated by 2 transport trucks, one was pulled over by the police and the other showed up soon after, and stayed for a while. It’s a 2 lane highway with a passing lane every so many km’s, it seems like people get pretty impatient. There are a lot of transport trucks and trailers on the highway and they seem to feel quite comfortable passing, regardless of whether the passing line permits it or not.

    We made to Thunder Bay around 4:30pm, I was pretty stocked because we finally made it and I knew the ‘pot of gold’ was about to happen.


  7. Thunder Bay – Day 4

    July 30, 2016 by admin

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    Our bikes, sitting pretty before just before we leave Temiskaming Shores, our destination, Kapuskasing.

    The first part of our ride was uneventful but pretty, we made our first stop  at one of the rest stops along the highway.

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    Larry promised me a bountiful selection of restaurants when we got to Cochrane, I was a bit disappointed with a selection or I just couldn’t find them. I decided on Harvey’s/Swiss Chalet, I never saw that combination before. Larry had a hamburger and I had chicken on bread, smothered with gravy (comfort food).

    We had 120km left, I thought it was going to be easy breezy, the sky was blue with fluffy white(ish) clouds, until about 1/2 way to Kap a small little cloud found its way above us and let go of the moisture it contained, we got soaked, I had rain going down the inside of my jacket, I could feel it dripping as it traveled down my back, rain went into my boots, my socks were soaked. Everything was wet, Larry pulled over to check on me, I was concerned about my computer so I took this time, to put a rain cover on the bag I had it in and proceeded to tie it down, the rain started slowing down and by time we were ready to go, a few minutes later, the rain had stopped.

    By time we got to Kapuskasing I was pretty dry except for area’s that didn’t get the wind, like my feet.

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    Jo-Anne was pretty excited to see us and started snapping pictures right away.

    I took a shower at her place, I peeled my boots off and my jeans were soaked underneath. The shower felt great and being dressed in dry clothing felt pretty good too.

    We went over to Jo-Anne’s son’s house and had a bbq with her family, it was so good to see everyone, meet the one’s I hadn’t met, catch up with Jo-Anne and relax.

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    me & Jo-Anne

    We slept in James & Paige’s guest room that night and were ready to get going in the morning.

    We went to the Back to the Grind for breakfast and met up with Jo-Anne and Kerry (her daughter), and got to see Paige again because she works there. We had a delicious breakfast, I would recommend this place if you’re in the area, and had more fun hanging out with friends.

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    We appreciated all the advice about the rest of our journey, we were told where we could fill up and how little there was in different areas.

    And then we were off again, this time our destination was Longlac.

     


  8. Thunder Bay, Day 3

    July 29, 2016 by admin

    The storm finally caught up with us, I could hear thunder and the rain at 2am and felt pretty happy that I was tucked in my bed and dry and cozy.We woke up to a dark and cloudy sky, and wet bikes. It got progressively darker as we were packing up, but there was no rain predicted. We headed out to highway #400, where I wasted 8km going the wrong way, I got on the on-ramp going south toward Toronto so we had to turn around at the next exit. Once we were going the right way, we could see fog ahead and it was still pretty cloudy. The ride was still pretty, the area is really rocky, in fact they had to blow up a lot of the rock to make the highway, and at times there is a wall of rock on either side of the highway, which on this day, with everything still damp from the rain the night before, the rock was beautiful, the colour was brilliant.

    We soon hit the fog, which turned into a rather significant mist, we got pretty wet, but with the strong breeze, we were dry in no time.

    We took highway #124, from the 400, which was the most scenic part of the day. We made a small pit stop at the Duck Rock Resort, it looked like a fun place.

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    There was a lot of construction which slowed us down, but by this time the sun was coming up, at one point we passed a couple of workers trimming some pine trees, the air had a wonderful pine/Christmassy smell. One of the fun things about the bike is that you experience all the sights, sounds and smells and we were enjoying it all.

    By the time we reached highway #11, Larry’s gas indicator was flashing, so we took the next exit hoping to find a gas station. We stopped at the only place available and asked for directions to the closest gas station, Larry was directed to a small town called Powasson, the problem was, the directions were terrible and we were lost within 5 minutes, the biggest hint we had was the dirt road we were on. After pulling over, another couple pulled up next to us, it turned out that they were on their way to Powasson as well and as lost as we were. With help from the woman, I spelled Powasson correctly into my gps and was able to tell the couple how to get there, we went opposite way, I am hoping they eventually made it. We did, it was about 15km away and a little stressful wondering if we would make it. But we did, and we had lunch there too, a little place called Echoes, yummy.

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    After lunch, Larry wanted to go run an errand at the hardware store so he left me his wallet so I could pay the bill, which I did, then I grabbed my stuff, a jacket, helmet, gloves, keys, leftovers, and Larry’s wallet, my hands were full when I got to my bike I put everything on it and proceeded to sort of my stuff, I put Larry’s wallet on my saddlebag and told him it was there. With full tanks and full bellies, we drove back to the highway and tried to make up for lost time, about 20 mins of driving hard, and dealing with strong winds, passing cars and trucks, I got the sudden thought of Larry’s wallet, and wondered what happened to it, I pulled over to ask him so I could have some peace about it, when I asked him about it and he started to freak out a bit, and quickly checked his pockets, I headed back to my bike to check my saddle bags and saw it just sitting there, on top of my saddle bag – I couldn’t believe it was there, after all that driving, wind, mist, and huge trucks passing me – what a blessing!!

    The day started to brighten up, for the rest of the day the ride was pretty uneventful and quite beautiful. We made it to our destination, Temiskaming Shores (Highbury) around dinner time. We ordered some Chinese Food and ate while facing this beautiful view.

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    We then explored the area a bit,

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    This is a monument to commemorate the courageous community as they battled with an uncontrollable fire in 1922.

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    It’s time to relax because the adventure begins again tomorrow.

     

     


  9. Thunder Bay, Day 2

    July 25, 2016 by admin

    Sunday was amazing! We had a great day.

    We are now in Midland, Ontario after riding what felt like ‘all day’.

    I woke up early in the morning, it was 7:30, with energy and determination, we decided to get going as quickly as possible, it surprisingly took us an hour to ‘hit the road’. There was a lot of dark cloud cover, our hope was to out run any potential storm, so we made small goals. The first goal was Goderich, Ontario, which we did in good time, the clouds look less menacing as we rode on.

    In Goderich we stopped at McDonalds where we tried the  ‘True North BLT McMuffin’, it was the best breakfast I ever had there. I was hurrying Larry, he ended up taking his coffee in the bathroom with him, I thought that was pretty funny.

    We went from Goderich to Collingwood, it was a great day of driving, we had clouds over head the whole day but the ride was breath taking at times. It got pretty hilly which is something that doesn’t happen in our area, looking ahead the road appeared like a ribbon stretched out before us, going up, always leading the way. It was so fun reaching the top of a hill and getting an incredible view of whatever was below.

    The most impressive site was when we reached an exceptionally high hill and just before we went down we got a clear view of Georgian Bay and Collingwood, it was breathtaking. Then we went down hill and up again and were treated to the same view.

    We found ourselves at A & W for lunch, it was seriously so good but I could have just been super sonic hungry. Once there, we googled for a potential place to stay. That’s when we decided to go to Midland, the ride from Collingwood to Midland was about an hour, the best part of that trip was a small area that was lined with massive pine tree’s, it felt very majestic.

    Leaving A & W and getting ready to go again

    Leaving A & W and getting ready to go again

    We got to our hotel in Midland, relaxed a bit and then went across the street to Kelsey’s for an evening snack, it was a beautiful night, we sat out on the porch, and toasted our success for how far we came that day.

    A sunset picture that did not do the sunset justice.

    A sunset picture that did not do the sunset justice.

    We went for a walk after wards, and came across this sign, it was directly opposite of, what looks like a two tire  dirt path.  The sign seemed random.

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    Around 2am the predicted storm woke me up with its loud thunder, so glad I was in bed by then.

    I need sleep for the long day tomorrow.

    Day 3

     


  10. Thunder Bay (or bust)

    July 24, 2016 by admin

    We started our journey yesterday, (Saturday) I was working all day, so the plan was, that Larry would meet me after work and we would head out.

    We communicated all day via texts, we were pretty excited to get started. I received this text from him in the middle of day.

    Ready to go, loaded down bike (please don't look at the messy garage)

    Loaded down bike (please don’t look at the messy garage)

    Other than starting late, everything went according to plan. My sister took some pictures of us heading out.

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    off we go

    off we go

    We headed out on Riverside Drive and drove to Chatham, by time we got to Mama Maria’s, I was over hungry (I should have listened to Louise who was ‘suggesting’ I eat more) and because I was so hungry I ate to much warm, yummy, white bread which meant I got full faster, then when the main dish came out I couldn’t eat very much of it but it was delicious!

    Then we continued to Sarnia, we were travelling the county roads which was really picturesque – at one point, while looking toward my left, I was able to watch the sun set into some pretty dark clouds. It was an amazing ride, the temperatures dropped quite a bit and it felt so good to have left the heat behind us and feel the cool breezes.

    We stayed at my sister-in-law’s, who generously let us stay there in her absence – Larry jumped in the pool right away. The next step was to plan out Sunday’s journey, we checked the weather, it’s pretty hard not to get obsessed about the weather when riding. The weather network predicted rain and storms that were to start fairly early, we checked all the cities that would bring us to our first destination, it looked like the rain threats were going to follow us all the way to Collingwood.

    We talked about staying in Sarnia an extra day, and trying to beat the rain but, in the end we went to bed with a wait and see attitude.

    We do have a goal, we want to be in Thunder Bay in 4 days to visit with my beautiful daughter, it’s like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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    My beautiful baby.

    Don’t forget to check out day 2 😉