Day 101 Johnstown to Cornwall, Ontario - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

August 9, 2011

Day 101 Johnstown to Cornwall, Ontario

We got up as soon as there was light, as Glenn put it, with the geese. Dawn over the river was lovely, but as they say 'Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning'. We did not take warning, and planned to do about 120 km to cross the Quebec border and be poised for our assault on Montreal the next day.

Red sky in the morning
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Up with the geese
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The scale on our Eastern Ontario map is large enough that towns come up and are passed with heartening speed. (It also helps that there are quite a few towns, of course.) So we hit Cardinal and Iroquois quite quickly. As we went along we could look at the River, with laker ships waltzing by, and also some strange sights like a house surrounded by zillions of bikes but with no apparent reason or purpose.

What's with all the bikes, near Cardinal
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The road offers continual views of the river, here with a ship
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As noted by Glenn, there were no breakfast places open, but we followed his advice and made our way to the restaurant at the golf course in Iroquois. This is a bit off route, but it turned out to be really worth it. The breakfast was reasonably priced and very good quality. One thing that impressed me was the 'home fries'. Unlike at most other places, these were clearly made from scratch and were the best ever.

Quality doesn't just happen, and when we mentioned this to the waitress (married to the cook and both are running the restaurant) she explained that they had brought in several types of home fries/hash browns but had decided they did not measure up.

We explained that we were there because of Glenn's blog. She told us that she understood the power of the internet in spreading information. For that reason, she said, they would try to have top quality, confident that the word would spread. So here we are spreading the word. Cyclists, go to the Iroquois Golf Club restaurant, in Iroquois, while following the Waterfront Trail.

Good restaurant
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The restaurant lady was very receptive to comments
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Aside from the often missing or misleading pole mounted signs, the Waterfront Trail seems to also use blue or orange arrows painted on the road surface, plus the cryptic initials 'BR'. In a break with tradition, though, somebody put in this guide toward Morrisburg.

More scenic riding
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Nice house by the roadside
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Expressive road marking near Morrisburg
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Morrisburg!
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Morrisburg! the home of Upper Canada Village. This is a place we absolutely love. The 'village' is a recreation of a town as it would have been here around 1860. Around 1860 is when Dodie probably should have lived: No cars or computers, hand made bread and preserves, hand spinning and weaving, - all her favourite stuff (except no MEC, REI, or CBC). Any time we are near Upper Canada Village we will naturally stop in. Only this time (a) we are so close to Montreal and Amelia is there so wasting time and (b) Josh and Sabrina want to come back out with us.

So we just cruised by the entrance area. Even that was great. We could buy some of the bread and cheese that they make here, and eat on a porch overlooking the mill pond. We also found 'Roslyn' - a turtle - in the gift shop, and convinced her to come along with us to Montreal and beyond.

Hah, a dozen church photos in one
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Upper Canada Village
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The train around Crysler's Farm
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Yes, we will come back and go to Willard's Hotel
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Roslyn says goodbye to her friends...
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and gets set to cycle to Montreal and beyond
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The Mill pond at Upper Canada Village
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We get to eat on a porch overlooking the pond
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A bread delivery van
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Lovely bike paths continued beyond Upper Canada Village, once we were able to turn off no shoulder highway 2. This happened at Aultsville Road, and we were soon on the St Lawrence Recreational Trail. This in itself was wonderful, but when you add what came next - the Long Sault Parkway - and then a continuation of the Recreational Trail into and beyond Cornwall, you have a world class bike route. Like the trail of the Couer d'Alenes, this way often has water on either side the path, and the paving is often smooth. The whole thing would be well worth making a specific trip to this area just for the ride. In our case, we were just long-hauling through, but we appreciated it immensely all the same.

Te St. Lawrence recreational Trail
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The trail has water on both sides
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Heron and lily pond
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Lily pond
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There are lots of Canada geese here
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The Long Sault Parkway
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Islands and water
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Beautiful water everywhere
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A super super bike route!
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Cornwall itself appears to be a working type town. It seems to lack the impact of historically and architecturally significant stone houses and mostly we saw people loitering around slightly run down properties.

As we reached the east end of town I began to lose power. The really yummy food at Upper Canada Village just didn't have the total volume needed to carry me through. Magically, up popped a Subway. Arthur had given us a Subway credit card just for these situations, and it still had a little left on it. I got Dodie to (reluctantly) pull in. With Amelia so close, wasting time on stuff like eating needs to be minimized.

Really no sooner had we stepped in to the Subway but the heavens opened and rain pelted down. Now, three hours later, it is still pelting as hard as ever. We prudently bailed on reaching the Quebec border and are holed up at the Monte Carlo motel, 1 km down the road from the Subway. The price is $55, not that much more than a camp site in this crazy province. The room is 'pretty darn basic', but it definitely is not raining in here!

Cornwall
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The Seaway International Bridge
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No way I would go on this thing!
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Glenn photographed this plane, so I had to also!
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Cornwall seems to be an unglamorous working town
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Our Subway refuge
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It's still pouring!
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Our plan is to wake up early (very early!) and high tail it for Montreal. That could make tomorrow our last cycling day! Even if that were true, it is not our last blogging day because we need to tour Montreal and we need to find and take a train across the States, and we need to cycle or otherwise make our way back to the farm in Cobble Hill. What's more, tomorrow is not actually likely to be our last cycling day. Arthur left us a suggestion to go to Sutton, Quebec in the Eastern Townships near Vermont. So we are thinking maybe we should cycle to Sutton and back (to Montreal) or maybe instead we should cycle to Quebec City and back (to Montreal). Or how about this: make a daring dash through Sutton and on to the Atlantic Ocean at or near Boston, Massachusetts. Once we are in Montreal, we will discuss the whole thing with Google Maps and see what it thinks. (That is, assuming we do make it to Montreal.)

As they say: 'It's Not Over Until It's Over'!

Algy and RRoslyn help with the blog
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Today's ride: 87 km (54 miles)
Total: 6,206 km (3,854 miles)

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