Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 41

As biking days go, on a scale from one to ten, today from  London to Brantford, Ontario was a twelve.  Sunny, not a cloud in the sky, warm but not hot, not humid and a slight tailwind most of the way. It was a great day to be on a bike.  It was “only” 68 miles so by tour standards was a short day.  We did not leave until 8:30.  I needed the late start as was tired after yesterday and was able to sleep in a little.

We were on local roads going through farm land and farmsteads.  Like the states we just went through it was very green all over, especially after the recent rains.  One thing at which I have been surprised is the number of farmsteads.  Unlike the western US where ranches were far and few between, here there are lots of rural homes.  Some were obviously big farming options while with many it was difficult to know if active farming or just lived in a rural setting.  Since entering Canada there have been lots of small towns through we have biked. Close to Branford there were huge brick mansions alongside the road. The first picture is a rest stop in a small town and the second a corn field in the distance surrounded by trees. 

Many riders stopped at small fruit and vegetable stands alongside the road at the 50 mile mark.  They were selling fruit and vegetables grown locally plus pies and other baked goods.  Some riders bought a pie to be taken to the hotel in the sag wagon.  I thought about it, but was pretty sure I would eat the whole thing so opted to buy a basket of blueberries on which I have been snacking all afternoon. 

Brantford is the birthplace of Wayne Gretzky and one of main highways is named after it.  It also is the birthplace of Jay Silverheels who people my age and trivia experts would remember as Tonto on the series “The Lone Ranger.”  The longest living Canadian died here, Andrew Lucas, who lived 125 years.  He was born a slave and was owned by Stonewall Jackson of Civil War fame and died a free man in Brantford.  Though the information I read did not state if Lucas was one of the slaves smuggled out of the South before and during the Civil War via the Underground Railroad ending up as free men and women in Canada.  Canada is a great country and this part of their history is one of the reasons why.  Finally, Brantford was the home of the parents of Alexander Graham Bell and along with New York City where Bell lived, claims to be the birthplace of the telephone as he worked on it here. 

Tomorrow we bike back to the US crossing the border at Niagara Falls.  Kim is flying in to Buffalo and then after renting a car will drive to Niagara Falls.  Weather looks good so far. 

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