Day 85 Lion's Head to Hepworth, Ontario: Wiarton Willies - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

July 24, 2011

Day 85 Lion's Head to Hepworth, Ontario: Wiarton Willies

Georgian Bay near Lions Head
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The wind changed last night as we were sitting in Mary Ellen's living room. It was sudden, and what sounded like rain was actually wind and waves on Georgian Bay. Previously we knew of these rapid changes only from Stan Roger's song "White Squall". e.g.

"But I told that kid a hundred times "Don't take the Lakes for granted. They go from calm to a hundred knots so fast they seem enchanted." But tonight some red-eyed Wiarton girl lies staring at the wall, And her lover's gone into a white squall."

This was not that severe, but Mary Ellen could describe being caught in the real thing off Manitoulin on her sail boat. She also describes storms coming in here from the north west, in which it goes from calm to high waves in minutes.

So, no swimming for us here now - surfing, maybe!

We had a table and lamp in here
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The waters can get rough fast
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Mary Ellen and Sharnae
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It's 10:30am and we are not yet on the road. This is the evil influence of comfy air mattresses and Mary Ellen's omelettes. Should any bike touring actually happen today, you will be the first to know!

... Well we did leave, and stayed off highway 6, taking the quieter highway 9. This was also hillier, but since the sun was not as strong this presented no problem. The road led us by Colpoys Bay, which can only be described as drop dead gorgeous. We are having a debate as to whether the water here is "Caribbean" blue. Dodie says not, but for sure it is turquoisey and nowhere near grey. Next time we are near Home Depot we will get out some paint chips and decide.

How about this place at Lion's Head
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Vicki's Kitchen - really excellent butter tarts
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Approaching Wiarton
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Love that blue!
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Wiarton seems to be built in a hole, with a steep descent on highway 6 into and an ascent out of town. The town has a promising lineup of brick buildings housing various businesses, but we spotted only one likely looking cafe - the Green Door. Shades on the windows make it look a bit dodgey, but inside it is quite OK. Also OK were the salad components of the offerings, but not OK was the female ballad singer type muZak coming from speakers overhead, the pre-cooked/not grilled chicken in my "souvlaki", the difficulty in getting enough water brought to the table, and worst of all - a wifi router sitting on a counter but a denial that anyone knew the password or anything about it.

Wiarton (or environs) continued to give us the willies after we climbed out the far side. Here half the temporary population of the peninsula seemed to have decided to rush back to Toronto. At the same time, the shoulder deteriorated to twelve inches of broken pavement. Running beside and within the twelve inches was a band of tar that was either soft from the sun or dished or something, but the bikes skittered away from it, so there was no question of using the shoulder, however meager. Meanwhile, the well rested but still hyper Torontonians tried to elbow us off the road, sometimes honking irritably.

Wiarton
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Wiarton
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The evil line of tar
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The evil line of rested Torontonians
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We took refuge early at the Whispering Pines campground. As we pulled in, a man came out of the office and said "Steve and Dodie - from Cobble Hill!" Say what?! Yes, this turned out to be Glenn Goodwin - crazyguy OLDMANONABIKE with his current blog "Canada West to East". Glenn had been following us on Crazyguy. And how's this for crazy - he's from Duncan, that is, he is our neighbour!

Right now Glenn is updating his blog to cover the past two days, and I am writing this, so not many UQs have flown back and forth. However, we are sharing a tent site to cut the exorbitant $32 cost here, so we can expect a lot of fun comparing notes.

Today's ride: 49 km (30 miles)
Total: 5,321 km (3,304 miles)

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