Net Elevation gain: 331 ft.
Average Speed: 7.6 mph
Top Speed: 20.9 mph
Time spent biking: 4 hours 7 minutes
Total time for the day's travels: about 9.5 hours
Miles biked today: 32
Total for trip: 551.5 miles
We tried unsuccessfully to leave early this morning, but with such a beautiful spot to camp and our laziness in getting going, we didn't end up biking away until 10:22 A.M.. It was a hot morning and we were a little disappointed that we had missed the coolness of the earlier morning. After only a few miles of biking we took a break to deal with some phone calls from tenants back home. The hot water in our house wasn't working and the boiler needed to be reset, and we had a few calls to make to tenants in the Springfield house, going over details about work scheduled to be done while we are away.
After that somewhat long working break, it was hard to get back into the groove of biking and the heat was really wearing us down. Finding cherries for sale at a roadside stand helped to boost our morale a bit. Jenny carried the bag and we ate them while we continued to bike. She handed cherries up to Brett when he ran out. We stopped for some lunch of pizza slices and a turkey sub to split, in Ransomville.
As we neared Niagara Falls, we found our first large patch of ripe black raspberries to eat! These are one of our favorite berries, so we were excited to find a big patch. We spent a good ten minutes picking berries straight into our mouths. How does such a wonderful treat go unpicked by the locals?
Back on the bike, we felt our skin start to burn and Jenny was getting sleepy, so we took a doze in a rare patch of shade around 1:30. At this point we'd only biked 11.5 miles, but when we woke up from the nap, we found the groove and the miles started to pile on. A little more pedaling took us into Niagara Falls! What incredible views, even those just traveling south along the highway, looking down into the gorge that the water of the falls flows into Lake Ontario. Brett couldn't see it well, since he was busy driving us along a big road that had two lanes but no shoulder at all.
By this time we had some definite sunburn, but we got a milkshake as we got into the city and that helped a little. We found the public library and uploaded a bunch of pictures for the blog. It's so much fun to pick out the best pictures, though sometimes it's hard to decide. It was also good to catch up on the blog a little bit. It has been hard to find reliable Internet and the time to post. After that, there wasn't much else to do but head for the Rainbow Bridge to Canada!
We got to the bridge and were a bit scared to ride it with traffic, so we sought out the pedestrian walkway. However, when we got all the way to the pedestrian entrance, we were told that since bicycles are vehicles, we were required to ride with traffic. So we rode back over to the vehicle toll booths. We pulled up to the toll booth and instead of the $3.25 for cars, we paid just fifty cents! The toll taker said they get bicyclists all the time, which made us feel better. We were nervous, but the bridge ended up being short with little traffic and low speeds. We stayed to the right and were across in no time!
While waiting in line to go through customs we got lots of looks and a couple cookies, and many people wished us good luck and a safe holiday.
We pulled into line for going through customs on the other side with all the other traffic, but we picked the SLOW lane. When you're waiting in line, it always seems like the other lines are moving faster. This time they really were! We were stuck waiting in the burning sun for quite a while, but one nice couple from Ontario in the lane next to us offered us cookies! Finally, we got to the customs official, and it was fun to tell her our story, and she even stamped our passports. Then we were through!
Once we entered Ontario, we stopped and took a picture and set out to find the small roads to navigate our way to a view of the falls without a map. Eventually we ended up at the top of a very large hill that runs down through all of the touristy shops and casinos, large bright signs, and crazy noise. We coasted down the hill and there were the falls right in front of us!
Walking our bike along, we spent a long time viewing both the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. There were impressive rainbows all over the place in the mist from the waterfalls. It was so beautiful and we were there on the perfect day, with clear blue sky all around us.
Here are several pictures of the falls from the Canadian side:
As we make our way southwest away from the falls, our goals were to find a place to stay for the night and a map. We were tired and hungry and done for the day. The sun had really wiped us out. We stopped at a gas station and for the first time on this trip we bought a map of Ontario, and two nice men gave us some advice about campgrounds close by. We stopped at a grocery store on the way and got enough supplies for the next several meals.
Unfortunately, the campground we chose was not the greatest place. It was expensive, the grounds were hard and rocky and there were so many mosquitoes that we had to rush to set up the tent, dash inside, and eat our food in there for fear of our lives. We went to bed hoping tomorrow will be less sunny and that we would get some good rest.