Hello folks, I hope this weeks blog post finds you well. This last week was absolutely amazing and was a nice Ying to the Yang of 2 weeks ago. This previous week everything fell into place and I had amazing weather and amazing hosts consecutively. While 2 weeks ago was a total slug fest of rain, restless nights and a run down bicycle. I did however, enjoy both experiences.
When last I wrote I was in Sault Ste Marie. I wrote that post on my lap top that shortly after posting, was promptly “beered”. I rarely drink these days but Andre the awesome mastermind behind Velorution introduced me to some of his friends. One volunteered to purchase the table a round so I decided to indulge. Unfortunately as the waiter was handing out the last beer he was bumped and the final beer toppled and smashed on my laptop. It was in it’s spandex case so I hoped it would be ok. The table looked at me waiting for me to freak out. But I took it out of its soggie case gave it a wipe and said “no biggy” as I had rescued it before.
(“Hopefully this lands on a laptop to cushion the fall of this poor spilled beer.”)
But at the end of the night I tried to boot it up with no response. I informed the waiter of the issues and he suggested I try leaving it in a bag of rice. So I left it over night and good news! I had a bag of beer flavored rice, but the bad news was my laptop was not working and smelled like beer and burnt electronics. I managed to track down another small laptop that a pretty, blonde lawyer promptly delivered to me. She was very kind and sold it to me for $100. The waiter who was partially responsible for the beering, informed me that he didn’t have to pay anything as it was my responsibility, because I brought the laptop into the premises. But because of my situation and calmness, (if he would have beered almost anyone else’s laptop there would have almost for sure been a freak out!) he was willing to accept 40% responsibility and reluctantly gave me 40$, which was greatly appreciated.
I was concerned that my data might be lost, including my last 3 months of writing :S. However through my people skills and the kindness of a fellow at staples named Steven I was able to exchange some Magic the Gathering cards for a small device to make my old hardrive a USB plug in. Also conveniently the local store that hosts magic tournaments was also a computer store and they helped me rescue my data (which was in Linux format and was a mild pain to transfer to my new Windows XP laptop).
I camped for 3 days and 2 nights behind this amazing bike shop called Velorution. For some bizarre reason I didn’t take any pictures of the staff or store… But if you are ever in the area check them out. Camping for cyclists is free and you get access to a shower and get to hang out with the awesome staff. I have to give a shout out to one fellow Stevo who’s positivity and joe de vive is contagious. Also the owner and master mind behind it all Andre, is a pretty groovy dude as well, thanks again Velo crew!
The other fellow I was able to spend some time with in the Sue was this German fellow Uwz. He is this kick ass 70 year old I met previously in Marathon, whom biked from Vancouver to Sault Ste Marie, at 70 none the less! The two of us hung out for two days and he kindly donated a few bike components and bought me a few meals. We also did a tent exchange, as his tent is much better than the one I had. It was a bit tough to give away the old one as it belonged to a previous partner of mine, but it felt like good closure giving the old tent away. Plus the new one is way better and I actually fit in it. For extra bonus points, his wife was meeting him in Sault Ste Marie then they were driving to southern Ontario. They passed me 150 kms outside of the Sue and pulled over for a happy visit.
(Uwz the gift giving German leprechaun.)
After saying another farewell to Uwz I peddled onto Little River where the Orton’s were some of the best hosts I have had yet. They let me stay in the guest house and they live right on the river. I arrived just in time for diner (mostly because they waited for me to arrive before eating). This family makes Warmshowers a better experience than anything I could have paid for.
(The Orton family)
(Sunset in their backyard)
(My evening then my morning views)
The next day I pressed onto Manitouland Island, a leg of the trip I have been very excited for. It did not disappoint. Through Warmshowers I was able to stay with a host Justin whom in conjunction with his mother and a number of dedicated individuals run a small eco village. It’s a super cool spot and honestly places like this give me a lot of hope for the future. I was able to help out with some random tasks on the farm and had a great time hanging out with the whole crew. The eco village shuts down for the winter so I extended them an invite to Bowser during the cold winter months.
(The “Land Yatch” trailer I got to stay in, look it has a bicycle on the plaque!)
(Silvio and I on a hike to check on the shores of lake Huron)
(Meal time and the awesome outdoor kitchen that was often the social gathering point)
(Ignore the homely looking fellow on the left, handsome guy on the right is Justin the ringleader of the eco farm)
I was even able to spend a day doing a work exchange at the local bike shop with the owner Jeff who was an awesome dude and hooked me up with a much needed new rear wheel and tire. Jeff and I had such a great time hanging out that I left with barely enough time to catch the 10 o’clock ferry.
(Some crazy homeless guy that wandered into the bike shop.)
(Jeff the excellent and helpful owner operator.)
However this was just the opportunity I was looking for and I powered hard for 40 kms and caught the ferry in the nick of time. The ferry even had food and I ate 2 veggie burgers, 3 cookies, fries and a butter tart, mmmmm calories. The ship had a stargazing presentation on the top deck which was relaxing and informative. It was a really clear night and the space station zoomed over head, pretty ideal. When I got off the ferry I was able to find a nice little camping spot and set up my new tent courtesy of Uwz.
The next day I peddled onto Owen Sound. Where I contacted a host on late notice. He never responded but when I arrived I asked a young lady with a kid carrier behind her bike for some directions. She noticed I was on a bike tour and asked if I needed a host. I said “sure”, then she promptly invited me to a BBQ with her friends which was awesome. The host of the BBQ Chris and his partner Angie put me up in the tent trailer and fed me both diner and breakfast. On a comical note Carlo the host I initially contacted was at the BBQ!
(The BBQ I “crashed”.)
(Breakfast on Chirs and Angie’s front lawn looking out on Georgia Bay.)
(Chris and his cool kids Cohen and Olivia, again in his front yard!.)
(Worf finds his long lost brother. Chris has had this guy since the early 90’s!)
(There was some controversy over the lack of Worf photo’s in the previous post so here is an extra of Worf doing his new job of operating the bell. He takes it very seriously.)
Well that sums it up, I am now in Barrie where I will be spending some time with my awesome uncle John, aunt Velia their kids and their grand kids. Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed.