Sunday, September 7, 2008

Biking in Gustav

I think I was misinformed in North Branch. The rain two nights ago was just a shower. Today, all day, for 107 miles, I truly did bike in the remnants of Hurricane Gustav. There was no rain, but there was lots of wind. It blew all day with gusts up to 40 mph. It started sometime after midnight and it’s still blowing this evening. Tonight we’re at an Ontario Provincial Campground right beside Port Burwell and Lake Eerie. The wind is strong enough the sea gulls have grounded themselves on the beach. Lake Eerie is a giant frothing latte. The day too was eerie.
Gustav rarely blew directly at me, or the mileage would have been much shorter. Most of the time the wind continuously and gustily pushed me from the right, but for one 29 mile stretch from Morpeth to Wallacetown it was directly behind me. What fun. With little effort I could sustain 25 – 27 mph. The last time I had a ride like this was on a tandem in 1998 on the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) with my son Jeff.

After no dog action for five and a half states, I’ve now encountered dogs three days in a row. Today it was a pair of guard Rottweiler’s beside a country acreage. I had pulled past and stopped to take a drink and read my map. I heard something and looked back to the right. There they were on the edge of the property, perfectly matched and beautiful, wearing identical stainless steel choker chains and eager ominous expressions, waiting for me to make the wrong move. I quietly and quickly put my items away and safely left. That’s enough dogs for now.

I saw a large weeping willow that reminded me of Old Man Willow from the Lord of the Rings.

Currants are sold at the local fruit stands.

Among other crops, this is tobacco country. It’s presently being harvested and is curing in aptly named smoked barns which you can smell for a mile or so.

This is the day that the Lord has made. Let’s rejoice and be glad in it.

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