Day 14 – The Rough One – Ivy Lea to Mohawk Bay

Miles ridden: Ivy Lea to Mohawk Bay 70 miles

Waking up in Ontario, we had our first rain of the trip.  Per the usual (the usual plan, not what actually happens), we planned to get up early and get on the road by around 8:30am.   Hearing rain on our tents at 8, everyone just went back to sleep.  Finally packed up and ate oatmeal around 10 and then down the Thousand Island Parkway to our first Tim Hortons.  Anders has a very strong connection to the Canadian fast food chain (perhaps having grown up in MI and near the border?) so it was imperative that we stop there.   Only 9 miles down the road, we got coffee, hashbrowns and some very fabulous sausage biscuit sandwiches (Caroline, always the practical one, got a whole grain muffin).   Then another 21 miles to Kingston, the city we had planned to stay in that night, but since we were ahead of schedule, it was our midday stop.  Kingston was a lovely city, right on the water with lots of colonial style buildings that made it feel very European.   But the most striking  as we were biking into the city was the vast skyline of windmills in the distance.  We’re not sure how much of their power they get from them, but they felt very futuristic, kind of surreal.

In Kingston, we had a pretty awesome lunch at the Kingston Pub and Brewery.  They had cider beer on tap for Caroline (and Sara who tried the black cherry cider, very tasty) and we got a tour from their manager.   We’re sort of confused about the beer distribution laws here in Canada but from what we can tell, they make it very difficult for small breweries to sell their goods anywhere other than a brew pub, and so the beer available at the stores isn’t very interesting.

After Kingston, we didn’t really have a plan as to where to go or where to stay, and we are slowly coming to realize that without a plan, we drag our feet something ridiculous.  We finished lunch around 3pm, promptly got lost (we somehow passed a small airport and ended at a dead end) and had to bike an extra 5 miles to get back on track.  By 5pm, we’d been biking in what felt like the middle of nowhere at about 10 miles an hour due to some VICIOUS headwinds and there was much talk of somehow cheating our way to Toronto.  As our motivation dwindled, we decided to stop in Greater Napanee, a sort of tiny subburbish place, and figure out where the closest place to camp was.  We were directed to the only pub open on a Sunday, a little strip mall dive called T.A. McGregors, which turns out (as usual) to be the perfect place.  The owner and his wife were a huge help, not just in filling our pint glasses (and water bottles) but they printed us a map of Toronto, told us which train we could take outside of the city to avoid riding through the suburbs (something we had been dreading) and they called the closest RV park on our route and told them we were heading there to camp for the night.  Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.

Feeling like we now had a goal, we hopped back on our bikes for another 5 miles to the Mohawk Bay RV Park.  The ride there was pretty amazing, our first in the dark, but riding towards an amazing sunset.  When we arrived, the owner Dave, surprised at first that the “bikers” that were coming were not on motorcycles, but bicycles, happily gave us bread for sandwiches, some apple wine, oatmeal cookies, chocolate bars, some Brava (a brazilian beer that they mysteriously brew in Canada) and a wheel barrel of firewood and newspaper, all for the pretty much the price of the camp site: $40.  And what a campsite!  We were right next to a dock on Lake Ontario, which a picnic table and a fire pit (where we made our first campfire) and Dave plugged in the Christmas lights lining the trees over our tents (which we’re somehow wired with electric outlets).  We had hot showers, dinner, drinks and went to bed happy after our 70 mile day.

Click here to see more image from the Kingston Brewing Co and Ivy Lea to Mohawk Bay

Click here to see more image from the Kingston Brewing Co and Ivy Lea to Mohawk Bay


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