Welcome to Canada! After getting searched at the border crossing for cannabis (visitor-profiling for having a Colorado license plate!… the border agents seemed mildly disappointed we had none), we arrived last night and stayed in Sarnia, right by the St. Clair river and the Blue Water Bridge. Just north of the bridge is Lake Huron, our second Great Lake so far.
In her quest to paddleboard all the Great Lakes, Jax took on Lake Huron this morning. Thanks to some late night rain and early morning wind, the shore breakers were quite heavy, especially for an inflatable board.
While Jax battled Lake Huron’s waves, I battled a cold north wind and heavy humidity. 53 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s 12 degrees Celsius!). Another Lakeshore Road, with beautiful views of Lake Huron, led to the Howard Watson Nature Trail – which proved to be quite similar to Michigan trails, only measured in kilometers instead of miles.
Eventually running out of trail, I found myself on Ontario highway 21 heading northward towards the lakeside town of Grand Bend. Thankfully, the 2-lane highway has a very generous bike-route shoulder with a double-lined ‘buffer’ between vehicles and bicycles. Occasionally, a truck or camper-trailer would roll by (at 90 km/hr) and create a favorable wind vortex. These only last a few seconds, but provide a quick (and free) respite while cycling into winds. And towns always seem to be less windy than the open road (must be all the trees and buildings), so it was nice to arrive in Grand Bend for a grand lunch at the Lake Hound restaurant.
From Grand Bend, Ontario Highway 21 looses that wide bike-path shoulder, so the recommended bike route is on little-used farm roads. On one 13 mile stretch from Dashwood to Bayfield I counted a dozen cars and 4 bicyclers – including an 80-year old rider on an e-bike. I rode alongside for a bit and learned he was riding to visit his son in a nearby small town. I sure hope I’m still riding in my 80’s – on a battery-powered e-bike or whatever newfangled two-wheel mechanism might be available by then. For now, pure human power is a fabulous way to propel oneself across the continent.
After 142 kilometers (88 miles) I reach the self-proclaimed ‘prettiest town in Canada’, known as Goderich. It is in fact, quite pretty, with remarkably vivid blue waters kissing a long sandy beach. The wind has died down, the clouds are starting to give way to the sun, and we are ready for one more sunset over Lake Huron. Tomorrow we head eastward on the 127km Goderich-to-Guelph (G2G) trail.