In the Cradle: Day 64 - Brockville to Cornwall Ontario - And Then We Pedalled...... Cross Canada 2015 - CycleBlaze

August 5, 2015

In the Cradle: Day 64 - Brockville to Cornwall Ontario

We didn't make it to Quebec today, close but no cigar.

We did have another really good day of biking and stopped to see a lot of things, and some people.

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From Prince Edward county east we have been seeing where Canada as our current nation emerged from. This sense of history has intensified once we hit the St Lawrence and I'm sure that this trend will continue. With apologies to the Maritimes, the St Lawrence is truly the cradle of what we today call Canada.

We got a later start today, for good reasons. We were up early enough but wanted to have a real breakfast rather than our standard camp fare of instant oatmeal and a banana. The attendant at the Brockville municipal camp suggested Buds at the Bay. Once again, go with local knowledge. A beautiful morning, a table on a balcony looking down onto the harbour, and a great and filling breakfast. No better way to start the day.

Next up was a short bike tour around the main square in Brockville, which is named after General Sir Issac Brock, the hero of the war of 1812 with our now friendly neighbours to the south. In this square you get a real sense of what Upper Canada would have been like in the height of the Victorian age. Very solid and proper buildings anchored by the Court House and a big Church on every corner of the main town square. These were law abiding and God fearing people!

Ironically the most ornate church, from the outside at least, was the Presbyterian one. Unusual for the Scots to be this flash!

We finally hit the road, or more appropriately the trail, at around 10. The strong west tailwind we had yesterday had changed into a strong north side wind. We weren't getting the same help Maradona got in the '86 football WC, but it was still very easy cycling. We stayed on the Waterfront Trial, which from Brockville to Iroquois (about 30 km) was a decent paved shoulder on county road 2. From Iroquois on though to Cornwall the water front trail was either residential roads or separate paved or hard pack bike trips. Very nice indeed.

We stopped in at Upper Canada Village for two reasons. First to have a short visit with Carol, Kirsten's step sister, who works there, and second, to have a look around. We are both fans of these heritage villages and this one in particular has significance for both of us.

We've both been to UCV before, but when we were very young kids. Part of my family foklore is that my grandfather went to school in the little one room school house that is there, and I wanted to check it out.

The McLeod side of my family emigrated to this area around 1790 and were instrumental in founding Glengary Ontario (a little bit north east of UCV). My grandfather was born in Glengary and did start school there until the family upped stakes and headed to Saskatchewan to homestead around the turn of the 20th century.

When we got the the UCV school house, it turns out that it's a bit of a mongrel building, but parts of it did come from a school in Glengary. Family foklore still partially intact!

It was past 3pm when we left UCV so we dialled back our sights for the day and decided to just make it to Cornwall. Turns out the Waterfront Trail was a true dedicated bike trail just about all the way there. Even better, it wound through a number of islands in the St Lawrence, connected by wooden bridges or causeways, and one 11 km section, called the Long Sault, was shared with cars (55 km speed limit and full shoulders and virtually no traffic) as it wound through a series of islands dotted with parks and campgrounds. This was some of the best cycling we've had anywhere (hard to think this is the same province that gave us hwy 17).

Made it into Cornwall, got a hotel (never use Expedia, but that's a rant for another day) and then stuffed ourselves with great Thai cuisine at Thum's Kitchen (highly recommended if you are in Cornwall).

Quebec for sure on Thursday!

Song of the day:

The Ghost of Virginia by Justin Townes Earle

Seemed to fit with all the Old Tymee stuff we saw today ... It set in The southern states so use your imagination to translate it to Upper Canada

Historical monument of the day:

Lots to pick from, Kirsten's choice is the town square in Brockville .... Good choice

Breakfast at Bud's at the Bay in Brockville
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Tall ship in the Brockville Harbour. This was was being run as a summer camp for kids. Not sure where they were sailing too. Our kids did a similar adventure in Georgian bay many years ago
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Brockville War Memorial on a beautiful morning
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Memorial to Sir Issac Brock ... The Saviour of Canada from the Americans! And the rest of us thought that that honour went Sid Crosby for Vancouver 2010n
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Brockville courthouse anchoring the town square
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Brockville church 1 - The Baptists
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Brockville church 2 - the United
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Brockville church 3 - the Presbyterian's
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Looking across the St Lawrence to Ogdensburg NY
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Carol and Kirsten at Upper Canada Village
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The Glengarry School House at UCV - family foklore has it that my paternal grandfather attended school in this building (or at least parts thereof)
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My grandfathers teacher - no colour at the turn of the century!
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More Old Tymee life at UCV
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Working saw mill circa 1860, very interesting to watch this
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The water front trail heading to Cornwall.Fantastic bike trail through islands in the St Lawrence. Ride this if you get the chance
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The Long Sault - a series of islands connected by causeways - beautiful road and almost no traffic, a wonderful ride
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Today's ride: 109 km (68 miles)
Total: 5,787 km (3,594 miles)

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