Sorry to do this, but am must putting up all 3 days at once.
Wed: London to Marine City (or not)
Today, I’m hoping to get to Marine City, MI. There are thunderstorms in the forecast, but $100 for this motel can’t happen for another night. I’ve go to move on.No host lined up, and no campground in site. I hope there are lots of trees!
15 miles in, it begins to rain. There is a campground about 10 miles away that I can try to divert to.
Unbelievable! The thunder never comes, but a DRIVING rain and wind gusting up to about 30 miles an hour, pushes me off the road over and over. I’m worried about the tree branches overhead breaking and hitting me. Or cars getting blown into me, or vice versa. This is really powerful! Someone will slow down and offer me sanctuary for sure. 5 miles of this horrible, driving rain, and many drivers have pulled into their driveways and gone into their warm homes, but none have offered me sanctuary. I cycle on. I should ask, but cycle on. The camp is not officially “opened” yet, so I shouldn’t be disappointed that it’s FILTHY. They want $30/night for a cabin, and there are no sheets, which is pretty normal, but as I look at how dirty the place is, I can’t imagine laying my head on the mattress. To stall, I ask to use the restroom and when I see it, I’m decided. I’ll pass out on the road, before I stop here. I move on. The sun peeks out, and the clouds disperse.
Once again, I ask directions, and have miles yet to go. Even then, I’m told, there will not be any accomodations before Marine city and it’s 4:00 already. That means another 35-40 miles before dark!
Today isn’t feeling like fun, although I feel like I’ve overcome several true obstacles. The cycling is against a driving headwind. By 8:00, I still have 35 miles to go. My mileage calculation was off, or the directions I was given have added mileage.
It’s beginning to rain again, and the winds are back up in the 30/mph range. I have to stop and ask for hospitality, from a stranger. I cycle on, knowing what I must do, but it’s not in me to do it. It’s eerily quiet. There are no people out this time of day. They have eaten their meals, and are tucking the children in, or settling in to watch tv for the evening. That house looks warm and inviting. I should stop there. But I don’t. I just can’t. If the people have kids, they won’t want to put me up. I look like a vagrant! If they don’t have kids, they may not put me up. Ugh! I have to muster up some courage.
OK. I’m going to do it. This is the house.
Wow! I asked if I could put up my tent, and she invited me to stay INSIDE! where it’s warm…. and dry……
We have a wonderful evening, chatting with a neighbor. As it turns out, my host is a crocheter, and a quilt-maker. We have several things in common. She also has several alpacas (I spin fiber into yarn…. often alpaca fiber). What luck. In the morning, I’ll get to meet the baby animals before I leave. Yippee!!!!
Thurs: Too dangerous to ride
When I awakened, I looked out the window to unbelievable winds. It’s been an unusually wet and windy spring. The winds are only supposed to get worse until about 4 pm. It’s also still very wet. My hostess insists that I stay, before I realize that I composing a serious begging speech to stay. She is such a generous woman. We have a rainy day experience…. playing cards, listening to the newly hatched ducklings that she has under a warming light in the dining room, and looking at her quilts and photo albums. She fixes a yummy lunch. I’ve never heard of pea-meal bacon before, but that’s what she fixes. It’s a breaded ham. The household is a farming household. I hear stories about her life, and her partner’s craziness, as we pass the day.
In the evening, her partner plays cards with us, and he re-tells the same stories that she has told me during the day. I like them a lot.
We check the weather for tomorrow, and I snuggle down into my nice dry bed for the evening, knowing that in the morning, I’ll be on my way :0)
Fri: Hit the Road, Jack, Make a new plan, Stan; Just set yourself free!
I hit the road this morning, after a scrumptious pancake breakfast! It’s 35 miles at least, to Marine city. My plan is to get there, and make a decision about what to do next. See what the winds are, how wet it is, what accomodations are available, etc.
It’s raining, almost from the start. It’s also very cold.
A week or more ago, I bought some latex dish-washing gloves to go over my knit gloves to keep them dry, so my hands would be warm. I put these on now. I also put on my rain gear, except shoe covers. Can’t deal with the plastic bags just yet. This area of Ontario is really flat, and the roads have all been almost as straight as an arrow for miles and miles. Today, my first 25 miles are into a head wind. It’s pretty tough. I’m discouraged, and thinking of finding a place as soon as I get to Marine City, and just doing my blog, laundry, etc.
But at the 25 miles mark, I turn south. The road follows the river, so it’s not such a perfect wind tunnel, and I’m having fun again. 10 miles later, I’m on the ferry, and almost back on US soil! There is supposed to be a good lunch restaurant when I get off the ferry.
AND it is.
Chicken noodle soup, a gyro and fries, followed up by a yechy dessert and coffee, and I’m feeling much better. The restaurant had wifi, so I caught up on my e-mail, and dwindled away 2 hours!!!! What? It’s 4:00!!!!?????
Looks like New Baltimore, Michigan is just 15 more miles down the road. I think I’ll make a break for it.
Back to Googlemaps, and I’ve got a plan.
Dang it! That darn g-maps put me on another 8 miles of dirt roads! Calls them “trails”, but they are the inspiration for the book, “Holes”. Fortunately, I’m so relieved to be off the perfectly straight, loooooooonnnnnnngggg wind-tunnel roads, that this 15 miles is an absolute Joy! Oh, and did I mention that I have a tail wind? JOY!
Wow, New Baltimorians hate cyclists!!! The trip through this small town was very antagonistic and agressive. The motel is a dive. It gives me the creepy crawlies! One of the benefits of a cycling companion is that the two of you can pay less and get more in a hotel/motel. I won’t even go out the door to get dinner. I had a good lunch, have package of jerky in the panniers, and some chocolate in the handlebar bag. Tomorrow, I should be able to get a good salad, so tonight, a crummy meal will do.
I’ve washed everything. Hopefully, it will dry tonight. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny!!! Yay!!!! and a cross-tailwind!!!! Double Yay!!!!!
I’m planning on doing 75 tomorrow. I’d like to get past Detroit, to Ann Arbor. Chicago is in my sights! I’m really biding my time to get to Wisconsin, and points west. Places where there is more camping opportunity, and later in the season, so the weather is warmer.
I’m missing home. Missing my husband. One of the disadvantages to solo cycling for a married person, is the lack of touch with other people. I miss my husband’s hand on mine. I miss my kids hugs. I miss touching my friends on the arm, or hand, or gently rubbing a friend on the back, when I talk to her. I’m very tactile and affectionate, so this is probably the thing I’ll have the hardest time with. It was nice, while I had my friends as sag drivers, and while Shary was with me, because we all “touch” and hug. Shary is very comfortable touching other people also, which was nice. At the beginning, when we were at a grocery together, she looped her arm in mine, like “old friends”. I loved it. Hope she is having fun, and that she gets a good tour put together for herself once the weather warms.
I’ll try to put some pics up.