A trip through Kawartha Lakes cottage country and back through Muskoka cottage country -- long
masonjs at nrtco.net
Thu Jun 24 12:04:32 PDT 2010
Its too wet to pough, hay or cut grass or do any other outside jobs so I
thought I regale you with this week's ride.
I checked the weather systems Sunday night and was promised 3 good days
Monday morning I loaded the bike donned my gear. It was nice not having the
long underwear, long sleeved turtle neck shiirt fleece sweater, electric
vest and jacket liner and looking like a black model of the Pilsbury dough
boy "Poppin' Fresh" or the Micheleine Man. . I don't fight in the feather
weight class but my Joe Rocket Jacket sort of hung on me rather than me
than looking like spandex.
I got away about 10:00 clear blue sky temperature about 21C (72F) to go up
to 26C (80F)I headed west to Eganville (1224) where I got off Hwy 60 and
onto 512 a paved back road, took it through Cormac (55) to Foymount (114)
where I turned onto 515 to Quadeville (173), Latchford Bridge (40) and
turned onto 514 at Jewelville (ghost town). 514 takes me through Schutt
(79), to Hardwood Lake (50) where it becomes Hwy 28. I follow it though
McArthur Mills (91) to Bancroft (3512). About 6 km before Bancroft I either
hit a bug the size of a House Sparrow or a Great Blue Heron shit on me. The
entire right side of my visor was plastered with so much crap I couldn't see
out that side.
I stopped at McDonald's in Bancroft and used their wash room facilities to
both relieve myself and wash my helmet to get my binocular vision back. I
felt obliged to buy one of their burgers.
I left Bancroft and turned north onto 118 at Paudash (246) took this through
Cardiff (542) to the Monck Road. The Monck Road was built between Orillia
and Ottawa as a supply road during the war of 1812 to keep the invading
Yankees from stealing our supplies from the road ways close to Lakes Ontario
The Monck road has its share of hamlets from the large Gooderham (570) to
the small Uphill (40). I had a lunch with me so I pulled into the Furnace
Falls picnic area. I was in here last fall and the road had some serious
washouts. The washouts had been filled with beach sand. I damned near
dumped the bike twice slewing through the sand. so got off the road onto the
grass as soon as I could. This is a pretty little spot about 8 km east of
Knmount on the Irondale River. The there is a set of falls about 25 meter
wide that drop in 3 or 4 tiers each about a meter into a pool that is about
a hectare (2 acres). I debated on having a swim but the deer flies
dissuaded me from this. These are a brown fly about 2 cm (3/4") long that
can remove a good chunk of meat with one bite leaving a bleeding wound and
an itchy red welt about the size of 1/2 a golf ball. They like to bite you
when you are wet in the centre of your back. I enjoyed my lunch and the
solitude by the river. I rode out of the picnic area on the grass and the
edge of the bush to keep out of the sand.
The main street of Kinmount was torn up and new side walks had been poured
and were being trowelled. About 6 km before Norland the highway was being
repaved and down to one lane. It should be completed by the end of the week
At Orillia I took Hwy 12 to Midland and turned into Midland on William
street. By riding through Midland I can miss 14 traffic lights and 3 large
shopping areas. Besides the route I take runs along the harbor with a
spectacular view of southern Georgian Bay.
It was about 4:00 pm when I arrived at my daughter Liz's place in
Penetanguishene. Her husband Eric was home building a dining table in his
garage. Shortly Liz arrived home from work with my 11 month old grandson
Mason. That evening we visited my sister Alison who lives 1.5 km from Liz.
Tuesday Eric and I removed and replaced a bathroom basin and vanity top.
Eric was out getting plumbing fitting, while I was watching Mason and the 2
Labrador receivers, each of which weigh about 45 kg (100 pounds). Mason 10
kg (22 lb) was using both dogs as a jungle gym. He was straddling Maddie's
back holding an ear in each hand, when Eric came in the door. Both dog
immediately jumped to their feet when they heard the door open. Mason got
launched into the air and landed on his back on the carpet. He had this WTF
happened look on his face after being bucked and not making his 8. I was
waiting for some tears but he just rolled over and was looking through the
baby gate with the dogs waiting for Eric.
I checked the weather network and it showed thunder storms coming in from
Georgian Bay all along the south and east coast for Wednesday about noon and
this same front would reach the Ottawa Valley by evening. The weather for
Thursday was rain all day for my entire driving area. Since I had 6 hours
work at home that had to be done by Saturday I decided I had best leave
Wednesday morning to try to stay ahead of the storms and have a dry ride
I had a nice but short visit. My daughter was sorry to see me go as she
could have got another day's labour out of me.
I was away by 8:00 am. Instead of going to Orillia I turned north onto the
400 at Waubashene for 25 km then east to Bala, to Port Carling and
Bracebridge. I was going to stop at TH for coffee but the darkening skies
and cooler temperatures bade me stay in the saddle. I headed north on Hwy
11 out of Bracebridge heading for Huntsville when I remembered the G8
billion dollar fiasco just east of Huntsville and security has Hwy 60
closed to all but locals and security personnel from Huntsville to Dwight.
So I took Hwy 117 to Dorset, then Hwy 35 North to Dwight. Stopped at a
picnic spot on Lake of Bays at Dorset had an apple and some water. The dark
sky hastened me along. Had to brake mildly for a white tailed doe just
north of Dorset. I took 60 east through Algonquin Park.
At the 5 km post inside the park the sun came out and the sky cleared. I
stopped at a large pond in the park to watch a bull moose standing up to its
shoulders in the water eating water lily roots. It looked like some kind of
sea monster every time its head came out of the water with its antlers
festooned with water lilies and other vegetation. At Barry's Bay I stopped
at the Bay Cafe/Bistro for soup and a sandwich. Excellent food!!
I arrived at my house in Cobden about 1:30 am with a total of 752 km on my
odometer for the round trip. I had both large doors up on my garage and was
shaking a can of Gunk chain lube when the garage doors started rattling. I
thought what's this and stopped shaking the can. The ground was shaking
now. There was no heavy traffic and the trains stopped running last fall.
I was having an earth quake.
I exchanged the bike for my truck and drove the 32 km to the cottage at
Westmeath. I called Liz to tell her I had made it home safely and she told
me a tornado had just ripped through Midland, destroying a --yes you
guessed-- trailer park--!!! Do you think its the aluminum that attracts
them?? It did rip the roof off a Honda dealership and a couple of factories
along William Street as well as knocking out the power to the area.
Was a good ride and visit. Unfortunately most of the roads I was on will be
jammed with summer traffic for the next 2 months.
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