Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Round Lake Ontario: Day 2

August 21, 2011; distance covered today: 90 km; total: 234 km

Day Two: Riding into the US of A
It was raining cats and dogs last night. I was happy to have been safe and dry in the sanctuary of my Mountain Hardware tent, but this happiness didn’t last long when I unzipped the door of the tent in the morning to be overwhelmed by the sight of my poor bicycle covered with mud. The chain, cassette, derailer, and all parts close to the ground were muddy. Since lawn was a royalty on this campground, the humongous drops of torrential rain had splashed mud all over the lower part of the bike and the tent.   

I had breakfast and left the “mudsite”.  The storm had brought in some cool fresh air.  I rode along the Niagara River toward the Falls. To cross the border, I had to go past the first bridge because it was for cars and trucks only; bicycles and pedestrians were not allowed. I rode over the second bride. I didn’t have to wait in the long line of cars to cross the border, or maybe I should have, but I didn’t anyway. I rode past the cars and waited behind the first car. When it was my turn to get though the border, the rain started to come down again. Crossing the border was very easy. The officer asked a few questions then I was in. “Stay dry”, the officer said handing me my passport.  

As soon as I entered the US side of the border, my GPS stopped showing the details of the Canadian side, and revealed the map of the US side…interesting, eh? I had been really worried about finding my way in the US because my GPS had not been showing the map of the US when I was in Canada. And now it does show everything in the US while hiding the details in Canada. Anyhow, it was a relief to see my GPS working.
Niagara River
For some reason I felt really hungry as soon as I crossed the border, so I got myself a hamburger; I sat outside the hamburger stall enjoying the peeking sunshine when I noticed a guy on a bike looking at my bicycle with such an envy. I waved at him hi and he came to me for a chat. I asked him some questions about the route to the lake. He happened to be riding toward the same direction because he had parked his truck somewhere up head. So we biked together and we talked about politics and what not. His name was Micheal. He used to be a professional model travelling around the world, a fashion designer in Europe, and now a painter. Mmm… must have been a very interesting life.
Micheal and I

The ride on the American side of the Niagara was very peaceful. The road was beautiful, the weather pleasant, and the scenery awesome. I enjoyed it a lot.
Niagara River: The US Side
My ride in the afternoon was along the lake. There was a strong wind from my eight o’clock. It actually pushed me forward a little bit, which was fine by me. At the same time, I could see terribly ominous clouds moving fast toward the land over the lake from the Canadian side. Was it a hurricane? I hoped not, but it looked very much like one.  
Ominous Clouds
It was about seven o’clock when I rode in Golden Hill State Park. I stopped at the gate where the park office was to check in, but the office was locked. The instruction on the board outside the office wrote I could pick an unoccupied site and pay the next morning when the office is open. So I did. 

The campground is right by the shore; it is leafy, grassy, clean, quiet, and the shower is free with no lock!! Maybe the Canadian campgrounds can learn from their southern brothers. I pitched up my tent, had a long shower, washed my clothes, had dinner, and sneaked into my tent.

Now, after studying my route for tomorrow, I am prepared to hit the pillow,  wishing good weather for tomorrow. 

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