Monday, May 19, 2008

Combermere Ontario to Waterloo Ontario

We awoke at 6:00 AM and looked outside. COLD RAIN!!!!! We can't buy a break with the weatherman this weekend. Sandy decided she would go back with Kim and Mike in the new (dry and heated) minivan. As we were walking over to Cabin 26, very large white flakes started to fall. Tom got this snowglobe-like photo of the river.

Kim, Mike and Sandy pulled out as planned at 7:30. We were starting to get the bikes ready shortly after when they called to tell us snow was sticking to the ground down around Maple Leaf, not far south of us. But we were lucky because, just as we were pulling out at 8:20, the rain let up. We found ourselves heading south on a wet Highway 62 at 3C with snow showing on the sides of the road.

Our first stop of the day came at the Mickey D's in Bancroft. Heather needed a few minutes to warm up. Unfortunately Polly, the slim blond girl with the English accent behind the counter, told us they didn't make hot chocolate so they settled for tea and I filled my Butler mug with coffee. I was a concerned about Heather and the cold, but she was ready to head out again before too long.

We headed east on Highways 28, and 118. The pavement was alternating wet and dry with light rain, some sun and occasional flurries. The temperature hit a balmy 5C. After an accidental scenic GPS inspired detour around Lake Kasagawigamog (try saying that fast) near Haliburton, we stuck to main secondary roads (if that makes any sense). Our objective was to avoid the cottage country traffic heading back to The Big Smoke (Toronto).

One place we did parallel the popular flow for a few miles was Highway 35 from Minden to Norland. That was a little hectic so we were happy, after fueling in Norland, to turn east on Monck Road (aka Highway 503) towards Orillia. Since I've never travelled this direction before, this was all new to me but it was a nice road with no traffic. In Orillia, the GPS went a little nuts, wanting me to wander around town for five miles before returning to the same place I was. I skipped that jaunt but followed its back streets, avoiding most of the Torontonians. We came out the other side on Old Barrie Road, where we started getting hit by severe cross winds. When I saw some bark being ripped off a tree, I knew it was pretty rough going for my rookies.

Across Highway 400, Tom stopped me. He and Heather have Bluetooth headsets that let them communicate and Heather told him she needed a break. I checked Stella and told them there was a place less than a mile ahead. The Midhurst Coffee Shop did have hot chocolate and it was excellent. Real whipped cream on top. And my grilled cheese sandwich (with ham) was one of the best I ever had. I had to explain to an older lady when we went inside that we weren't Hells Angels, as she jokingly said, but rather Frozen Angels.

I took off my rain gear at Midhurst. It was 10C and there was a lot of blue sky. The kids kept theirs on. They were smart because the temperature started dropping and the cross winds picked up. After heading southwest, we picked up our usual Orangeville/Fergus route home. After Orangeville, there was an SUV tailgating Heather, so I waved the two ahead and dropped back to deal with it. I'm sure there wasn't any malice, but it's amazing when you turn and look the tailgater in the eye, the drop back about 80 feet. The rest of the way home, I had to deal with a few more of these inconsiderate drivers but everybody got the message.

We arrived at Tom's parents house and they showed his mom, Sophia, the ring. She took Heather in for a cup of hot tea while I took Tom to his place to get his car. They keep the bikes at Sophia and Stan's because they have the garage. Then I headed over to Kim and Mike's in Cambridge for the night.

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