Aka The Hunger Games…
As we left the Bedford Creek Campground this morning, we expected today’s ride to be short and leisurely – just 80km or so. 60km to Cape Vincent, 10km across Wolfe Island and another 10km or so to our campground north of Kingston, Ontario.
I’m not sure when that plan changed; I think it was as we waited for the first of three ferries that we ended up taking today. All in all we rode 145km, and knocked a day off our planned itinerary in the process.
Today started out in straightforward fashion; the terrain was relatively flat and although both of us were feeling pretty weak at the outset, we made good time towards the border crossing at Cape Vincent.
One hitch – and something that ultimately had quite an impact towards the end of the day – was that, with the tourist season over, we couldn’t find anywhere to grab breakfast – not on the mainland, and not on Wolfe Island. It wasn’t until we reached Kingston that we found somewhere; in the end it was almost 3pm before we had our first real meal of the day.
Throughout the day, the scenery was lovely – picturesque lakeside villages and lovely views across a number of freshwater bays, with not a cloud in the sky. Wolfe Island gave us a bit more farmland, but with the road across the island lasting just 11km it wasn’t long before we were back by the lake once more.
Unfortunately for us, timing wasn’t on our side when it came to the ferries today – we lost nearly an hour at each of the two main ferry crossings, which made a real dent in our daylight riding time.
By the time we reached Kingston we’d made the decision to push onward beyond today’s planned end point, in the hope of either trimming a full day off our route or making a dent in the 170km we had planned for day seven. Before doing so, we stopped at Gears and Grinds – a bike shop in Kingston with extremely friendly and helpful staff – to buy a new set of pedals as mine were in danger of giving way. With a set of shiny new SPD pedals installed, wwe headed on our way.
After heading out of Kingston we rode West along the Lakeshore Trail and were treated to continuously lovely views over the water. While I’ve been to Kingston a number of times in the past, I’d never driven along the shoreline in that area before and it was gorgeous. A little while into this section we stopped and grabbed our first meal of the day.
Meanwhile, Father was having a tougher day than most. I started to hear a few mutterings that he was “knackered” whenever someone would ask how our day was going, and he slowed noticeably. The lack of breakfast and the late & insubstantial lunch we had today had a real impact. I was – and am – impressed that he persevered though, and we reached the Glenora Ferry – about 25km from Sandbanks – at around 5pm.
We were hoping to find a place near the ferry for a coffee and a a breather but once again we were out of luck. Instead we powered on through to Picton – another 10km down the road – enjoying the wonderful scenery of Prince Edward County as we went. A helpful phone call with Bloomfield Bicycle Company set us on the right track to a nice (and quick) dinner at the Williams Family Diner in Picton.
From there, we raced the sunset (and lost) for the last 15km to Sandbanks Provincial Park. I’ve wanted to camp here for a long time but it’s always booked way in advance in the Summer. Ironically, now that I’ve finally made it here it’s too dark to see anything and we’re leaving first thing in the morning!
Tomorrow will be a day of playing things by ear. The weather is supposed to deteriorate towards the weekend so we’re both keen to put a dent in the remaining distance tomorrow. We’re about 240km from home; there’s an outside chance we may decide to drop the hammer and push through in search of a comfy bed and not having to sleep in a soggy tent tomorrow night. That said, we’re both getting tired and I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to shake a cold all week. In all likelihood we’ll stop half way and give ourselves a manageable 120km to do on our last day.