Miles: 71.6

Total Elevation Gain (ft): 1441.8

Weather: Sunny, Mild

Hillbilly Insults: 0

Roadkill: 22 (7 Birds, 3 Raccoons, I Possum, 1 Skunk, 1 Mouse, 9 Unknown)

Bugs Swallowed: 0

Mean Dogs Chasing: 0

Animal Rescue: 0

Canucks will argue with me, but poutine is roughly the same wherever you go. This delicacy of french fries sopped in brown gravy and held together by melted globules of white cheese is a tradition that precedes Tim Horton's.  It's novelty food for tourists, pedestrian fare for Canadians and a source of confusion for the people of New Jersey whom eat "disco fries."


I'm told by my friend Ashok from Ontario that there are more advanced poutine dishes. Pulled pork poutine. Chicken poutine.  Beef, bacon, pepperoni and sausage poutine.  


Epiphany!  Time for gluten free artisanal poutine!  Skinny white women with made up intolerances and mustachioed hipsters will pay top dollar for it. I'll source it "locally" and start my chain of food carts in Oregon.  


I took a lunch break in Port So-and-So and decided to bring balance to my healthy chicken wrap by ordering the poutine.  It was hastily made with canned gravy, but I managed to swill about half of the gelatinous mass down my greedy gullet.  Sports nutritionists will balk, but this tasty swill gave me the energy I needed for the 50 mile haul into Port Dover.

Picture
Windmills power the coast of Lake Erie. I would curse them if they faced the "wrong" way and indicated I had a headwind.

On my way to Port Dover, I was caught by a guy named Graig on a speedy carbon fiber bike.  Friendly and affable, he slowed down to talk and escorted me most of the way to town.  Graig told me about these long cyclocross races up here. 70-100 km efforts on single track and gravel. That sounds more fun than getting lapped by superior athletes. I'd be content to fall back and get lost in the woods, free of glaring spectators. .

Picture
Graig tearing up the road!

I checked into a cottage, cleaned up and went to dinner at a place called Captain Billy's.  A couple from Paris, ON struck up a conversation with me about bike touring, overseas travel and infrastructure.  I learnEd from them that before they became The Band, Robbie Robertson,  Levon Helm, Rick Danko and company were a scuffling party band from Port Dover playing at dives all along the eastern seaboard.

Picture
The Band in prototype form before long hair, great music and The Last Waltz.

You'd never know this picturesque place on the water produced notable rock bands and is a gathering place for thousands of bikers (motorcycle) to congregate Sturgia-like fashion. Apparently, this area of Ontario is home to a big faction of the Hell's Angels.  Who'd of thunk?


My company excused themselves and I finished eating.  I went to pay for my meal and found that it was discreetly taken care if by the people I'd been chatting with. Canadians!  The nicest people on earth. I was both thankful and ashamed that I didn't even get the names of my donors.  Once again, this trip is chipping away at my misanthropy. 

Picture
Yes, Canadian cats are friendlier than American cats. Must be something in the water.
 


Comments

debra wade
07/28/2013 9:28pm

Jon,
You deserve the great "karma" that is following you on this road trip...you "should" get back the good vibes you exert although oftentimes you are disappointed. However, sometimes you meet
terrific people who really enjoyed your company and managed to show you in a discreet but significant fashion. Bravo Canada, our
truly good neighbors.

Reply
Graig Pettit
07/29/2013 6:54am

Hello Jon,

Glad you found more hospitality in Port Dover and a decent place to stay. I will relish following your posts as you complete your journey. I thought I would pass along a favourite Irish blessing to you as well.

"May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face."

Cheers,

Graig

Reply
Graig
07/29/2013 7:49am

Oh ya, just so you know the best of the long cyclocross races is the Paris (Ontario, Canada) to Anaster or P2A!!

http://www.parisancaster.com/

cheers,

Graig

Reply
Jonathan Leahey
07/29/2013 7:57am

I might be joining you for that race!

Reply
Graig
07/30/2013 4:52am

I hope you can make it and if you do let me know and I would be more than happy to host you!

Reply



Leave a Reply