Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 42 - Brantford, ON to Niagara Falls

Another sunrise...

Another early day...

I like this leaving early.

I have a quiet ride in the morning.

I stop and take tons of pictures.

Then mid-ride the others catch up.

They pass me.

I get to chat and take their photos.

And then I'm still the last one in to the hotel.

As I bike this peaceful morning, I'm struck by the immense electric grid shackling our world.

So many towers...

So many wires...

Do we really need all of this?

My eyes fall to the road and I notice a small snail about to be smushed.

I rescue the little fella and set him on my bike bag.

At first he is shy - keeping his head tucked in shell.

Then he gradually peeks out an eye at the tip of his antenna.

As I wait, he gets bolder.

Finally he is cruising all over my bike bag exploring this novel new surface.

I watch my snail for at least 15 minutes.

No rush.

Just the pleasure of watching a fellow being explore his own world.

I don't need so much electricity.

We don't need so many thneeds.

All I need is a snail to watch.

I bike along the quiet Canada roads.

Nice house.

I see a man sitting on his porch.

Cup of coffee. Newspaper.

I think about how he's going to be treated by watching 50 colorful bikers spin by his house in the early morning light.

Here's a man enjoying a peaceful walk with his dog.

They may not enjoy the excitement of so many bikers going by.

I enjoy the whimsy of some people out in the country.

Creative mailbox where few people ever pass by.

The bikers catch up with me at the SAG out in the country.

I stop in next door at a small church to use their ladies room.

The minister chats with me a while and then starts his service...

"Well, we're a small group today..."

There are only six people in the pews.

I bike by lovely nurseries full of lush flowers.

These snowball flowers seem especially popular.

At the next gas station this guy is amazed to hear about our long ride.

He says he'll think of us while he's kicking back on his boat.

It's all quiet flat roads until SPLAT!

We hit hills!

Steep hills. Granny gear and then some!

Carol handles the hills with aplomb.

Her husband Mark makes it look harder.

Dereka and I make it up these sharp hills without even taking a granny moment.

That's what Dereka calls it when you stop, catch your breath and let your heart stop pounding - then you finish the hill.

I end up behind the group coming into the drawbridge.

Left behind again.

Over the bridge and into Niagara Falls Canada.

No more quiet countryside.

Big glitzy buildings one on top of the other.

Yes, the falls are beautiful.

But all the people!

and still more people...

To quote the Grinch..."all the noise, noise, noise, noise!"

We need to cross the Rainbow Bridge to the American side.

Luckily I find Mike, our tour leader, in his Canada jersey leading the way through customs.

We wait almost patiently to cross the border.

I watch the other drivers wait patiently, too.

Finally we enter New York State!

Time for dinner and I can't face Denny's again.

So Mark finds the Red Coach Inn, a lovely historic restaurant just down the street from our hotel.

We find a few more rebels to join us in a dinner out.

Great dinner.

Nice wine.

Great conversation.

After dinner we mosey down to watch the rapids in the setting sun.

Tomorrow is a day off.

What will we want to do on our final rest day?

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