Day 19 – Chronicles of Sarnia (or, how we learned that it’s just not that serious)

Miles biked – 69

Day 19 was a really strange day. Much of it felt like we were lost in another world. Hitting the road in Stratford, we prepared for what looked like our first day of rain. We were dragging our feet a bit but when the towns power randomly went out (a man on the street said “must be the hydro again”) we decided it was time to go. We had directions to Warwick but dreams of getting across the border at Sarnia. 15 miles down highway 7 we thought for sure we’d be sleeping in the states. And then we turned 16 Mile Road and everything changed. 20 km of dirt road. We probably should have known that a street in Canada named 16 Mile where they measure everything in kilometers was suspicious. After that jaunt, we took a wrong turn and ended up on more dirt roads. Took a lunch break, got back on the dirt road. We did have a great time as we muscled along at 10 miles an hour listening to music and practicing our animal noises though. The whole day was bit surreal. Nothing around for miles and miles. Just the horrible nitrogen smell of industrial farming. When you read that all farm land has turned into corn and soybeans, you think “that’s horrible” but when you bike through it, its a whole other level of understanding.

When we finally made our way off the dirt roads, we got on a hilly paved highway with the roughest winds we’ve experienced yet. We the cross winds a result of the landscape being altered for the industrial farms? Hard to tell, but it made for some tough biking. Again, we were only going about 10 miles an hour, only this time we felt like we were doing enough work to be going 20.

About 60 miles in to the day, we stopped a fruit stand, the only thing we’d seen even resembling commerce in at least an hour. We had no idea how far we were from any where to camp for the night and we needed to fill up our water bottles. The stand had crates of apple and plums and a bucket that said “put your payment here”. Not exactly the helpful stop we were hoping for. We rang the bell and a woman came out who looked at us like we each had three heads. We asked about beverages (she had none) and she told us that the auto repair shop (basically a shack on the side of the road) at the intersection had coffee in the morning so they might be able to help. But she also mentioned that we WERE on the way to Worwick. Thank goodness!

10 miles down the road, we actually made it to Warwick. Picked out a few provisions at the corner store (where the owner was a bit peeved that we walked on this freshly waxed floor with our bike cleats) and got to the nicest campsite any of us had ever been to. Sara got lost at the campsite for about a half an hour (and since we were in Canada, we still didn’t have our phones on) but by the time she found the group, they we set up at a nice spot, right across for some very nice restrooms with clean showers and a laundry room! Amazing. This was the kind of place where people got season passes and spent the summer, and some of those regulars took a liking to us. They hooked us up with piles of firewood, change for the laundry, and gave Caroline a ride in a golf cart! 20 miles from the border, it was the perfect last night in Ontario.

Crossing the border

Crossing the border


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