Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 23

Net Elevation gain: 610 ft.
Average Speed: 9.1 mph
Top Speed: 26.7 mph
Time spent biking: 5 hours 40 minutes
Total time for the day's travels: 9 hours
Miles biked today: 52.2
Total for trip: 996.6 miles

We both slept well last night and enjoyed a warm breakfast of eggs, sausage and potatoes, thanks to the nice family camping across from us. People have been so kind to us throughout our trip. We are always so amazed and grateful when people open their lives and share their food with us. This family was particularly generous and easy to talk to.

The head park ranger came over at one point to collect payment, since he hadn't been there the evening before. Steve was impressed with our trip, and said that he writes outdoorsy articles for a local paper. He took our picture, and a few notes, and asked us to email him few other details later. Who knows if the article will come to fruition, but it's fun to think that other people might have a chance to read about this trip which has been inspiring for some.

Steve took our picture, and maybe we'll be in the paper!

Since we had Internet to use, a charged computer and a nice place to sit and work, Brett did some writing while Jenny packed up. Brett had just about finished writing up a blog entry when something crashed and the file he had just been working on was lost! This is always hard to take, and though we searched for a backup of the file for a long time, we didn't fine one and resolved that the only thing to do was start over and write it again. Brett said he thought he could rewrite it pretty quickly, and so he did.

Computers can be frustrating, but we love keeping this blog.

We were excited to post to the blog and get closer to caught up, but soon we were ready to be riding. Our first stop was at Subway to get sandwiches for lunch, which we saved until we found a nice roadside park. The roads were busy for a while, after we got back to Route 23 North. We don't generally mind the busy roads, as long as they have a good shoulder (wide and clear of debris). The parts where there are tons of turns into parking lots for store after store are not our favorite at all, though. Thank goodness we tend to go through smaller towns!

Today the terrain changed. Perhaps it would be just as accurate to say that the use of the land changed. Instead of field after flat field of corn, soybeans or wheat, we saw forests again, and more evergreen trees. We even had a few hill-like bits.

This bit was so flat that there was a cool reflection of the trees and sky in the road!

We had some pretty good sun today, and Jenny had wanted some longer pants for some time now. We stopped for a few things and a break at a Kmart, and Brett helped convince Jenny to get a pair or stretchy black pants. They are longer than Jenny wanted, but work great rolled up just a bit!

Most of the good-sized roads in Michigan have a rumble strip in the middle. Cars and trucks are very noisy when they cross over it.

Just before we got into St. Helen, there was an amazing stretch of downhill. We really enjoyed that, after days of flat cornfields. We miss the hills, just a little bit. We asked about campgrounds at a store, and were told of the town's park, just a little to the east of the center of town. In a matter of minutes, we were there, right next to a rural airport.

We were SO HAPPY to be at our destination before dark! We set up on a site, took a great shower, and ate a little bit, but we were so tired that we mostly just fell right asleep after that. This campground, we should note, was just updated: new electric boxes a day and a half before our stay, new bathrooms/showers. Everything looked great!

Brett munches on a snack while waiting for dinner to be done cooking.

The view from our campsite before we turned in for the night.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 22

Net Elevation gain: -20 ft.
Average Speed: 9.9 mph
Top Speed: 16.8 mph
Time spent biking: 5 hours 18 minutes
Total time for the day's travels: 12 hours
Miles biked today: 52.73
Total for trip: 944.4 miles

We woke up in the beautiful field, and packed up slowly. It was quite windy, but that was nothing new. Although we were a little bit grouchy, our strong legs gobbled up the first few miles. We didn't have much for food, so we were eagerly hoping that Munger would have something. We stopped at the first place that we saw, and although it looked much like all the other roadside diners, it surprised us.

Super views in the morning outside the tent.

At the The Tool Shed, we found Internet, excellent burgers, friendly staff, and a decent atmosphere. We lost our grouchiness by the time we had eaten. We spent about an hour after we were finished with our meal looking at maps and using the Internet to answer email and upload pictures. The friendly staff gave us great directions for small roads to take into the center of Bay City, where we were headed to Bay Vac & Pedal, the recommended bike shop in town.

We soon found our way into the city and after going one too many bridges too far, backtracked and crossed the correct bridge and found our destination. The folks at the bike shop were very helpful, and Bill got right to work on our bike, despite having a busy schedule. The bike had been holding up admirably, but it was starting to skip gears here and there, and we had neglected our cleaning duties. We hadn't had any work done on the bike since we bought it, so we were excited to have the drive train cleaned and and the shifting and brakes adjusted. They sold us a new kickstand, too, because our old one had bent just a day before. Bill also took the old one in the shop and bent it back into shape, so we took that with us just in case.

Jenny shows off our newly tuned up and cleaned bike!

We also purchased a new water bottle, because one of ours had gone bad after a hot day and some juice. Brett was a little sad, because he had been given that water bottle by Marie of Pedal People on his first training ride, and it had originally come from Basically Bicycles in Turners Falls (a shop that sells Rans Screamers).

We followed this pretty bike path along the water and out of Bay City.

With our newly clean bike and our new equipment, we walked a block down the street to an all-you-can-eat pizza and salad buffet for our second meal of the day (around 5:00). We stuffed ourselves, and then headed north. We followed their bike path out of town, even though the roads may have been faster, because it was pretty along the banks of the river for a while. Eventually, the path ducked into the pretty woods, and we started cruising. It wasn't long before we came to the Bay City State Park, our first option for the night. It looked beautiful, but we felt so good riding and the sun hadn't even set yet, that we decided to push on to the next option, a county park in Pinconning. For that, we had to head west, then north, then back east. On the map we spotted a bike path heading north/south a bit east of the main road north (Route 13/Route 23), but when we went to look for it, we never found it. Perhaps it's still railroad tracks. Anyway, we were getting tired now, and annoyed at the phantom bike path, but we did finally make it to Pinconning Park.

Just after we passed Bay City State Park, we met another Rans recumbent rider, biking the other way! He started in Seattle and was almost to his end destination of Rochester, NY.

We had tried to stop for dinner and breakfast supplies at a supermarket in the center of Pinconning, but they were closing as we got there. We had a little bit of food, and we weren't very hungry, so we just headed to the park. Amazingly, the family across from us in the campground offered us dinner of chicken, baked potatoes, and beans, with s'mores for dessert. They were so friendly and fun to talk to! They also said we should come over and eat breakfast with them in the morning.

Brett finishes setting up the tent.

We took a shower after dinner, and went to bed exhausted but happy. We even got to read fun and inspiring comments on the blog, because this park had Internet!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 21

Net Elevation gain: ft.
Average Speed: 9.2 mph
Top Speed: 21.6 mph
Time spent biking: 5 hours
Total time for the day's travels: 12 hours
Miles biked today: 47.2
Total for trip: 891.7 miles

We woke up in a huge bed. Indoors. We cleaned up the room, and then went looking for the free continental breakfast saw listed on the website of the motel. Somehow, either we were mistaken or their website was wrong, and there was no breakfast provided. Wanh-waah. Instead, we loaded the Screamer up and pedaled across the street to a “Big Boy” restaurant.

Brett's feet, Jenny's last pair of clean socks.
Two words: Laundry Day.

As strange as we felt to be eating at a Big Boy restaurant, it worked out pretty well. They had wireless Internet, we enjoyed the breakfast buffet for a pretty cheap price, and then wrote and posted a blog entry. We've been trying hard to catch up, and yesterday we got all the photos loaded for several posts-to-be, but we still have several days to write.

We didn't leave Big Boy until about 11:30, but we felt the writing and posting were well worth the time. We put on sunscreen, and headed west again along Route 46. Since there was so much of a headwind, and a bunch of traffic, we headed north a few miles outside of town. For whatever reasons, we couldn't find a groove, couldn't make any real headway, and couldn't stop laughing. We were telling each other to stop, because our sides hurt from laughing so much.

The wind was so strong and we were getting pretty silly.

Eventually, we calmed down and started on our way again, but it was still super slow going. We turned west after a few trucks went by in the opposite direction and brought with them a mini sandstorm, stinging our faces and arms. We found a small picnic area and playground, so we stopped under a pavilion. We were sick of facing the stiff headwind and making such slow progress. After quite a while of snacking, drinking juice, and writing part of a blog entry, we tried again.

The wind was so strong, Brett was almost blown away!

Wheat fields and blue sky.

The wind in the wheat fields.

Although we were still slow, we could feel the potential for some good riding. We hit a store and bought chocolate milk, a huge Italian sub, a gallon of water (because the local water tasted bad), and a banana. We drank the chocolate milk, and headed out again. Almost immediately, we felt a difference. We started singing loudly, pedaling a little harder, and making noticeable progress across the very flat open areas. The wind was still against us, but we no longer cared as much.

Really, food makes everything better. It's true.

Jenny continued to navigate our way across the grid of roads towards Caro. We wanted to stop there and do laundry. It took a while to get there, and a little longer than we thought, but we found a laundromat. Their last load was at 6:30, and it was exactly 6:30. They were kind and let us quickly gather our dirty clothes and sheets and throw them in a washer.

A nice local bicyclist stopped by while we were waiting for our laundry. His curiosity was piqued when he saw our bike, and he chatted with us about the area, and gave us some hope there might be a campground in Munger. He gave us directions out of Caro, and went off on his 20-mile ride before it got dark. The laundromat closed at 8:00, so we gathered our mostly dry laundry and packed up, excited to have clean sheets to sleep on and clean clothes to ride in. This was only the second time in the three weeks of the trip that we did laundry, so you can understand our excitement.

Our navigation out of Caro left something to be desired, but it didn't take too long before we were on the open road again, headed west. The conditions were almost perfect for riding: not too hot, not too cold, not too windy (though there was a consistent headwind as there has been for some time), and we felt great after our rest at the laundromat. If if weren't for the oncoming dusk, we felt we could have ridden forever.

We have seen some amazing sun sets on our trip.

But, as dusk approached, and a check of a phone book didn't show any mention of a campground in Munger or anywhere else we were headed that night, we decided we should start asking along the way. We started by looking for folks who were outside so we wouldn't have to knock on any doors. Our first candidate was on the phone, so we passed on by. Now it was starting to get dark, although the sunset in the western sky that we were riding toward was still splendid. We saw two figures watching over a fire barrel, and we pulled in the drive to ask if we could camp there.

As we biked closer and explained our situation, the two men offered us a place to camp for the night. We chatted a bit, and they kindly offered us drinks, and a place to fill up water bottles. They were from Texas, but spend the warmer months here in Michigan for the work. We also met their friendly dog, who barked at us a lot, but was very sweet and friendly. The place we picked out to set up our tent was very flat and the view of the sky was spectacular. The wind had picked up a good deal, and we enjoyed the sounds as we cooked dinner in the vestibule of the tent. We made a delicious concoction of noodles, cheese, green beans, avocado, olive oil and spices. Then we went to bed, still listening to the peaceful sound of the constant wind in the grass.

It was dark when we finally got all set up for the night.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 20

Net Elevation gain: 177 ft.
Average Speed: 11.1 mph
Top Speed: 24.4 mph
Time spent biking: 3 hours 37 minutes
Total time for the day's travels: 9 hours 30 minutes
Miles biked today: 40.1
Total for trip: 844.5 miles

Brett woke up first this morning, around 7:30. He listened to the scouts dismantle tents while he wrote down some notes on the computer. Jenny continued to sleep a little bit longer and when she woke up we listened to some music from the computer while we took down the tent and packed up camp.

We were back in the U.S.A., and we knew generally which way we wanted to go (west), but we were also map-less at the moment. It had been raining and dark when we crossed the bridge and we hadn't gotten a chance to find a map. As we were filling up our water bottles, a fellow camper, a friendly lady named Audrey, asked us about our bike and our trip and went to get a map for us from her camper. When she realized we were heading all the way up to the Mackinac Bridge, she said we could keep it.

We thanked her and started gazing and planning, and pretty soon she brought back her daughter and another member of her family, and she told us how she has pictures of her father working on the Mackinac Bridge as it was being built. She had stories of how he was on the bridge when a plane flew under it. We had been considering the ferry across Lake Michigan, too, but after hearing all the stories about the bridge (and doing a little bit of time estimation), we decided we really wanted to go see it and the Upper Peninsula.

Yay! We have a map!

Back on the road with a map of Michigan in hand, we felt like we were one step ahead of a rain storm, and we biked quickly. We were following the coast of Lake Huron on Route 25, looking for a place to eat breakfast or brunch. Before we found a meal, though, we found a local donut shop! Everything looked so good and it was hard to decide what to get. Brett chose an apple-filled donut, while Jenny picked a cream-filled donut. Jenny's was amazing, and it was gone before Brett had a chance to try it.
Align CenterJenny and her amazing cream-filled donut.

As we hit the outskirts of Lexington, the rain seemed about to pour down on us, so we turned back a half mile to take shelter in a cafe. We bought some food there, and did some writing on the computer while we waited out the storm. We also caught up with Spartan who we hadn't spoken to since rode with us on Day 1.

Brett takes a turn writing the blog entries.

Around noon the rain stopped, our bike was dry, and the cafe was closing, so we pedaled on, feeling lucky. We made it into the center of Lexington and spotted what appeared to be the perfect place to post things on the blog: iCraze, A Whimsical Cafe. It had a great Internet connection, plugs, and what looked like good food. We weren't hungry, having just eaten, but we bought some juice and stayed a while. While we were working happily on the computer, reading comments and uploading photos, it started pouring again, so we stayed where we were and bought some chili.

If we lived around here, we would come here often!

It rained so much today, but only in big downpours.
We were in the cafe, nice and dry.

We ended up staying through yet another rainstorm, and the owner struck up a conversation with us. She was really interested in our trip, and it was interesting talking with her about the Great Lakes, the economy of the area, and her cafe. She even gave us some samples of cake to try!! They were both delicious, but the coconut cream one was amazing!

Finally, we left when it was no longer raining. We were headed for Sandusky and had scouted out two motels where we could stay. We headed north a bit further on Route 25, then turned west. All along Route 25 we cruised, going so fast on the smooth, flat road. We slowed down a bit when we turned west, but were still moving.

Looming clouds as we turned west toward Sandusky.

Note: Brett did not know he was being recorded. Cute, though, huh?

However, the rain finally caught up with us. We were watching the black clouds approach, and then the sky let loose. We continued riding, listening to the occasional thunder to gauge how far away the lightning was. We get soaked, absolutely soaked. Down one hill, in the pouring rain, we started laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. And we couldn't stop laughing. Jenny kept yelling that she was “drownding,” between peals of laughter. Brett was squinting with only one eye open trying to see the road, and laughing hysterically. At the bottom of the hill, we pulled over and got the laughter out of our system, and the rained lessened, too.

There weren't that many memorable things on this stretch, but there were a few pretty views, including this dilapidated barn.

Compared to that, the rest of the ride into Sandusky was boring. We picked the motel that had a bicyclist discount, brought our wet stuff inside to dry out somewhat, took a shower and Brett cooked some dinner while Jenny worked on things from back home and on the computer some more. It felt really good to have a big bed to spread out on, in a dry room, out of the rain.

Our yummy dinner: noodles, ham, tomato, zucchini, green beans, and cheese. Brett cooked it on our little stove in the bathroom.

A very joyful Jenny, loving the comfy bed and the dry everything.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 19

Net Elevation gain: -131 ft
Average Speed: 9.9 mph
Top Speed: 21.1 mph
Time spent biking: 6 hours 50 minutes
Total time for the day's travels: 13 hours 30 minutes
Miles biked today: 68.2
Total for trip: 804.4 miles

We woke up with the birds early this morning and smiled at each other. We were in the middle of the woods! In Canada! Then we rolled over and went back to sleep. We got up for real a little after 7 A.M and started packing up. By the time we had walked our bike back out to the road it was still only 8:04 A.M. We felt good getting another early start and biked up the hill looking for a breakfast place.

The grass was wet as we made our way back to the road.
Nothing like wet shoes to start the morning's ride off right!

Five miles down the road we found a restaurant. We parked our bike and went inside. Not five minutes later, another tandem bicycle pulled into the parking lot! A nice older couple got off, came in, and sat down next to us. It was really fun to meet such energetic and relaxed folks, who also know what it's like to ride a tandem together. They shared stories of their trip on a tandem through France, and told us if we are ever on Maui, we should take the 38-mile bike tour DOWNHILL from the top of the mountain.

Brett couldn't resist this photo opportunity: two tandems!

Leaving the restaurant by 9:30, we headed out of Komoka. We saw a snake by the side of the road. It hid itself in the grass quickly, but what we saw made us think it wasn't a snake we'd see every day in the garden. We wonder what kind it was.

Look closely midway down on the right-hand side for the unidentified snake.

Our speed was nothing to write home about for a while, but we had high hopes of making it all the way back into the U.S.A. by nightfall. Then, two fellow touring cyclists caught up to us! After exchanging brief trip itineraries, they pulled ahead. At first we just assumed they were faster than us, because most bikes are. However, we got inspired and the whole road west was almost completely flat, so we were able to keep them in sight. Then, slowly we pulled closer, and then even with them, and then passed them! We had to keep working hard to stay ahead, but it was really fun to be going so fast for so long, and we love to watch our average speed go up.

The two cyclists we met, Sam and Lucas, are also from Massachusetts. They are riding to Seattle, but they have a much shorter window of time than we do. They have already bought a train ticket home, and they had only been out for nine days when we saw them. They are cruising! Best of luck to them the rest of the way! We've probably mentioned this before, but it's really nice to meet fellow cyclists, especially ones out on the road touring. It's both inspiring and validating to know we're not the only “crazy” people out here.

With the flat terrain and the inspiration of Sam and Lucas, we had pedaled 30 miles by 1:00. Soon, we realized we had 40 miles by 2:30! Wow, we really had a chance to make it to the United States after all. Then by 4:30, we had already gone 50 miles!

We stopped to refill our nearly empty water bottles and bought some expensive cherries that ended up not being all that good at a local farm store. We noticed that we had some sunburn, and the last while had been really hot. There was a headwind, too, and sometimes it was really hard to keep up the enthusiasm and the optimistic goal of making it out of Canada by the end of the day. Route 22 was just so flat and straight, and kind of boring.

This farmer's name is only one letter away from Jenny's papa's name!

When Jenny gets bored, sometimes she takes pictures in the mirror while we pedal.

Luckily, our pushing in the early afternoon had gotten us close to Sarnia, and as we got hungry for a meal we reached the outside of the busy city. It wasn't a nice road to ride on as we got closer, but it took us right into town. We stopped and ate at a Boston Pizza, which was pricier than we expected, and although they had WiFi, they had no available outlets and our laptop battery wasn't charged.

A mile or two more into Sarnia we found a great little place called Coffee Lounge. It had a plug, WiFi, and yummy pina colada smoothies. We read comments on the blog, checked our email, and looked at maps. It looked a bit like we might not be able to ride across the bridge (the Blue Water Bridge) back into the U.S.A. We hoped their was at least pedestrian access.

Here we are, looking for a way to cross the bridge.

There wasn't. When we got close to the bridge, we looked around and saw only toll booths for autos. While we were looking around, an official came over and asked if he could help. We told him our situation, and he said that he would have to give us a ride across. We put the bike in the back of the official pick-up truck, and Paul took us across. We didn't even have to pay!

Thanks to Paul, we got a ride over the Blue Water Bridge in the truck!

When we got to the United States side of the bridge, we thanked Paul for the ride and wheeled our bike toward customs. Right away we could see that they weren't used to dealing with situations like this very often. Three officers were in conference when we approached, and they asked us a few questions to get the basics of our story. We don't think they'd ever really seen long-distance cyclists.

In the end, they were all really nice, and although we had to go inside the building, we didn't have to wait in line, and the officer who checked us through even guessed correctly that we would love to have our passports stamped!

Once we officially entered Michigan, it started to rain and it was getting dark. We stopped at Rite-Aid shortly after finding our way onto the smaller roads of Port Huron to buy some shampoo, chocolate, and new sunglasses for Brett. Up until today we hadn't left anything behind, but once we left customs, Brett realized that he must have left his sunglasses on the bike when it was put in the truck, and they were gone. Oh well! We picked out a new pair and he thinks they may even be better than the first. While we were in the store, the rain poured down outside and our bike seats were nice and wet for the remaining 10 miles to Lakeport State Park.

We left the store, groaning at our wet bottoms, but in good spirits for having returned to the U.S.A. There was a short bike path alongside Route 25 that we rode until it ended abruptly. We took smaller roads toward the lake and caught our first real glimpse of Lake Huron! That's the third Great Lake we've seen now!

Brett wheels the bike along a sidewalk with Lake Huron in the background.

When we arrived at Lakeport State Park, it was fully dark, and also fully booked up. The staff were really friendly, and one of them realized that since we were on a bicycle, we could have access to the organizational area, which was rustic camping in a large field. On this particular night, it was also next to many loud and excited boy scouts. It was no longer raining, and by the time we took a shower, and got our tent set up, the boy scouts had gone to bed, and we followed directly after.

Michigan has great parks, which we found out right away.

It was a LONG day, but so much fun to go so far: sixty-eight miles!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 18

Net Elevation gain: 85.3 ft. (26 meters)
Average Speed: 9.3 mph (15 kph)
Top Speed: 28.7 mph (46.2 kph)
Time spent biking: 5 hours 30 minutes
Total time for the day's travels: almost 12 hours
Miles biked today: 52.4 (84.3 km)
Total for trip: 736.1 miles (1184.6 km)

We woke up early this morning to the beautiful sound of birdsong. Ron came by with breakfast just as we were finishing our packing. He gave us grape juice, bananas, and oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts. What a wonderful start to the day!

The peaceful grounds of Monarch Landing, Ron's paradise.

Brett pushes the bike back out to the road from the building where we slept.

Ron decided to bike the mile and a half to Port Burwell with us to see us off, and took our picture for a possible little article about our trip in the local paper. It was sad to bid farewell to our new friend, who for a night and a morning was so wonderfully kind and giving. Ron gave us food, a place to rest our heads, and imparted a fraction of his knowledge of the area and its wildlife. It was such a pleasure to meet him, and we feel really lucky.

Brett, Jenny, and Ron in front of Port Burwell's library.

Here we are in front of Port Burwell's historic wooden lighthouse.

It felt really good to be biking as we left Port Burwell around 9:00. It was cooler and much less windy than the previous few days of riding, and we were enjoying ourselves and the biking. All day today, we kept thinking, “What a great adventure we're on! We love biking so much!” Just outside of town, while Jenny was taking some pictures of butterflies, we met another touring cyclist. Scott started May 1st in Seattle, and was 3200 miles into his solo journey to Newfoundland! We shared information about the roads we'd each just come from, talked about maps and camping, and shared stories from the road. Scott hasn't spent a dime on camping his whole trip!

Does anyone know what species we were looking at? (We're sure Ron knows!)

Scott and Brett share stories and strategies. Ron has stealth camped every night, saving lots of money on accommodations. It's inspiring.

We took mostly smaller roads as we made our way north to Aylmer. There we stopped in the library to upload pictures and pre-written text for a blog entry, before heading to Johnny's, a cafe recommended to us by a local, for lunch. We enjoyed our meal, and started work on another blog entry since we were several days behind. Just north of town we stopped at the No Frills grocery store to buy food for dinner and breakfast. We waited until a mile or two later on to buy strawberries from the Berry Hill Farm stand.

Brett parks the bike before we go in for lunch.

MMmm, strawberry milkshake!

We continued to take smaller roads, and we continued to enjoy our faster pace as we made our way north and west. We were amazed to see our average speed stay above 9 mph for the first time all trip! Perhaps our legs are getting stronger? Perhaps we started early enough? Perhaps we have our patterns for the day set more efficiently? Perhaps it was simply the flat terrain without any significant wind. In any case, what fun!

Jenny almost never misses a mulberry tree that we pass!

On the other hand, Jenny hadn't been feeling tip-top since the late morning. We're not sure why, but her tummy didn't feel great, and she was really tired. Several miles northwest of Aylmer, we found a place in the shade to take a rest and Jenny slept for a solid 20 minutes. It's always a little tough to get going again once we've had a long rest, but we managed to get back on the bike and made more progress westward.

One nice thing about taking a break is that the day is often cooler when we start back up again. We were on quieter roads most of the rest of the day, and though the wind kept us working, we made steady progress. We weren't sure where we were going to stay the night, however, so we were on the lookout for private campgrounds. When we had biked about 45 miles, we knocked on a door to see if they knew of anywhere to stay nearby, but no one answered. We pushed on, now also looking for places to stealth camp.

A pretty view from along our route. We love that Jenny can snap photos while we're still pedaling along at full speed.

At the next intersection of roads, just a bit south of London, we tried asking again. This time, a friendly man named Dan told us that he thought it would be completely fine if we camped in the Conservation Area right across the road. Komoka Conservation Area is not for camping, but it has nice walking trails and from what we saw covers a substantial area. Dan asked if we needed any water or anything, and we said we could use some water. He came back out a minute later with six bottles of water, two fruit cups, and some really delicious arrowroot biscuits/crakers/cookies! Thanks, Dan!

We walked the bike into Komoka along a trail used by fishermen until we found a spot to camp, well off the road. It was beautiful, and we enjoyed setting up camp and eating dinner while the sun was still setting and we weren't yet exhausted. We saw a deer or two, lots of fireflies, and it was very peaceful.

Brett helps to set up the tent in peaceful Komoka.