Now with all the gear packed up on the bike it was time to take it out for a short ride to see how the load feels and to decide if I wanted to adjust my rear shock again before the ride around the Lake.
I got up early this morning and was on the road by 6:30am. It was a crisp 14 degrees celsius (58 fahrenheit) which made for excellent riding. It is Canada Day weekend here and so the roads were even quieter than usual on a Sunday morning.
I decided to get in the spirit of the circle tour of Lake Superior that I would head to one of the other Great Lakes this morning. Living in London we are equidistant to both Lake Huron and Lake Erie. So I headed to Lake Huron, destination- the beach town of Grand Bend.
My first stop on every ride (okay, really it is every day!), is my favoriate coffee shop, Tim Hortons. I wanted to get on the road so I elected to stop at the one in Parkhill. Even at 7am the parking lot was full and there was ~20 cars lined up in the drive thru.
Grand Bend is southern Ontario's beach town. Ontarian's from all over flock here starting Victoria Day weekend (Memorial Day in US) for camping and beach fun. I have not been here in probably 15 years but little has changed other than some obvious work to beautify the beach
Surf Shops in Grand Bend
The go-to-place to camp is Pinery Provincial Park. It is not uncommon to find the entire park booked solid on any nice weekend in the summer
The entire region caters to the camping crowd
I passed by this neat looking antique flea market as they were just getting setup for the day. Wish I had more time to stick around for the opening and look around. I really like scavenging through places like this like one of those American Pickers guys.
As I mentioned in my first post, I am a Scout Leader. Adjacent to the provincial park is Attawandaron Scout Reserve. I was looking forward to looking around the camp but was surprised to find the camp full of Girl Guides on a holiday weekend. I passed by as I didn't want to interfere with their activities and being on a bike without my uniform would immediately cause the leaders to be suspicious.
While driving around the sand dunes in Port Franks I had my first encounter with wildlife on this trip. I came across a turtle in the road right in front of the turtle crossing sign. But he was so quick that he was gone before I could get my camera out of my pocket
On my way home I drove by the former Camp Ipperwash site. This is a strange place. It was once an army cadet camp and training centre for the regular forces and reserves.
Camp Ipperwash 1958
It is now part of the Kettle and Stoney Point Native Reserve. It was the site of the Ipperwash Crisis
in 1995 where the native band and the provincial police clashed for several days, ending in the controversial death of Dudley George.
The former Camp Ipperwash site is now known as the "Home Free Zone", an area where native suspects can escape justice by living in the camp. Provincial police do not cross the barrier in the camp, and nor did I! It was heavily guarded when I approached and so the only pictures I took were around the corner where the guards could not see me. (here is a story about the property courtesy of the Voice of Canada
I then headed for home. The gear is packed nicely and the bike rides well loaded down, perhaps even better than when empty!
Just 4 more 'sleeps' till our ride begins!