We're getting to the good stuff now. From Niagara, we decided to take the scenic route directly through Toronto since I haven't been anywhere in Canada except Vancouver and Niagara. The plan was to at least hit up every large Canadian city on the eastern side. A quick stop for dinner was in order in Toronto. I had heard they had a decent Chinatown so not knowing where it was I searched for Chinese restaurants in the GPS. I would just drive to the highest density of restaurants and figured that would take us to Chinatown. It worked and we were eating Dim-sum in no time. It was really good, and then we went to a Chinese grocery across the street to stock up on camping food for the night and next morning.
I had originally planned on going to Warsaw Caves to camp that evening but we were a bit behind schedule and a storm was looming on the horizon. I got off the highway and headed north into the country side of Ontario. The air became chilled and felt heavy. One of those sensory experiences you have on a motorcycle that you don't feel while driving in a car. A slight wind kicked up and the temperature dropped about 10-15 degrees (F). The air became heavy and you could just tell that all hell was going to break loose before too long. I fumbled with the GPS trying to find a nearby camp because Warsaw Caves just wasn't happening. A nearby campsite didn't show up and I made the decision that the next camping sign I saw would be the one we camped at. There is nothing like seeing a little tent on a highway sign when you need one. This one was 10 miles away, doable.
Concerning camping, I always try to stick to camping when it is scheduled. Its really easy at the end of a long day to just say screw it and pull into the nearest motel/hotel. I wanted this trip to be a mix of hotels and camping to get the best of both worlds. It wouldn't have been a great start to cop-out camping right from the start. We've got all this gear strapped on for a reason!
Eventually we pull into Emily Provincial Park just as the first rain drops start to fall. The ranger is very nice checking us in and she is a bit surprised that we made it all the way here on a motorcycle from DC. I had a bit of a chuckle when she asked, "May we inform any visitors you may be expecting of your camp location? Its a policy we have about giving our campers information."
I looked at her, looked at Cindy, looked out at the motorcycle, out at the endless rows of trees in the middle of nowhere, "Yeah, if anyone visits us, please tell them the camp site #"
Let me get this out of the way, the rangers at Emily Provincial Park are all working there during summer break from college. They are all lovely girls each one hotter/cuter than the next. Bright smiles as they made their rounds and super friendly. If this was how camping in Canada was going to be, who needs a hotel. I commend the Ranger in hiring, basically a bunch of models in Ranger outfits, touched a fantasy I didn't know I had.
Cindy was not too amused. I probably asked her a bit too enthusiastically "Did you notice how all the Rangers here are all really attractive? Its uncanny" She did, and rolled her eyes at me, nope not amused...
It proceeded to rain all night with lightning flashing the tent up and thunder that shock the ground. I really like camping out during a thunderstorm, experience it a lot more than in a building. We were snug as a bug in a rug, and the next morning it all passed and the sun was out.
Cindy Packing up the gear.
Oh shit she wouldn't start. Was it the rain? Being on the side stand the entire night? The center stand snapped as I was putting the bike on it. Nearly tipped the damn thing over, and would have if Cindy wasn't there helping me.
This non starting had happened to me before a few times in Central America. I figured it was the wiring harness to the computer under the seat. My last bike had a tendency of coming lose and not sending a spark. I pushed on it, tried to start it, nothing. Check the plugs, they seemed alright. Finally took out the wiring harness completely, checked the wire and connections and plugged it back in. Success, but not before freaking out slightly.
Emily Lake. I love the mornings after a big rain, the air is so crisp.
Amazing day of riding. We planned on stopping for lunch/dinner in Ottawa, as it is kind of on the way. Plus the Highway 7 is a hell of a lot more interesting than the 401.
Some shots of the Canadian Parliament.
Nice to see some different architecture. Its great living in DC but its nice to see something different than the big white neoclassical buildings and monuments.
Onward to Montreal.