Archive for the ‘Ontario’ Category

Wandering

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

From Algonquin we wandered our way through Pembroke, Ontario, across the Ottawa River to Quebec, south to Mont Tremblant and to St Hippolyte.  We traveled through wilderness, passed farms, and went through small towns. We discovered a 230 km linear rail trail and wished we had our bikes.  We ate wonderful food.

We spent time in Mont-Tremblant National Park which is the oldest of Quebec’s national parks being established in 1895 and is one of its largest.  As we entered the park we finally saw a deer.  We hiked to a lookout and did another short hike to some falls.  We drove about one and half hour on a dirt, back road as we exited the park.  We had been told there would be lots of deer, including many fawns, and possibly bear.  However, all we saw was one squirrel on the road and a loon in the water—and that was the extent of the wildlife.  From the Park we drove small hilly, winding roads to our resort—like a roller coaster.

Algonquin Provincial Park

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Algonquin became the first provincial park in Canada in 1893. As you can see from the map, there are many rivers and lakes in the park. It does allow logging within it borders.  Our one day in the park turned out to be a very drippy day for us so we weren’t able to hike much.  We did hike up to Lookout Mountain.  We also spent time at the Logging Museum which traces the history of logging in the Park.

 

Huntsville, Ontario

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Huntsville is a tourism centre north of Toronto near Algonquin Park.  It is surrounded by lakes, forests, and mountains with many hiking trails.  During our first afternoon we drove out a winding, hilly road and climbed a hill to the Dyer Memorial.  Clifton Dyer built this tall monument as a memorial to his wife.  We then drove to Lookout Mountain where we had a beautiful view of Fairy Lake.

 On our full day in Huntsville we went to Arrowhead Provincial Park.  We hiked through forests, around lakes, along a river, and saw many beautiful spring flowers.  The trillium were especially beautiful.  The mosquitoes and black bugs were also in abundance!

 

 

Bike Lake Ontario 2007 – Overview

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

This summer we decided to bike around Lake Ontario, including side trips through the Rideau Canal region up to Ottawa and along both sides of the Thousand Islands region of the St Lawrence Seaway. We began in Canandaigua, New York, and planned to return there, but our trip ended abruptly near Ogdensburg, New York, when Sally Jo was hit by an on-coming car. This map shows what we covered of our intended route (in yellow) and the trip by ambulance to a trauma center in Syracuse, New York (in red). We completed 900 miles and had about 250 more to go.

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Bike Lake Ontario 2007 – Day by Day

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

June 14: Driving to Canandaigua, New york

We loaded the bikes on our car and headed for Canandaigua.

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June 15: Canandaigua to Palmyra(25.16 miles)

We left our car with friends and set out, stopping along the way to visit several Mormon sites — the log cabin where Joseph Smith was born and raised and Hill Cumorah where he found the gold plates containing the Book of Mormon.

In Palmyra we followed the Erie Canal bike path east a ways before returning to a nice B & B for the night.

June 16: Palmyra to Hamlin Beach(58.04 miles)

Heading west, the first 45 miles were along the Erie Canal path, skirting the city of Rochester. We stopped along the way to rest and enjoy the scenery. At Brockford we headed north to our campsite at Hamlin Beach State Park.

June 17: To Four Mile Creek State Park(60.07 miles)

The day began with threatening clouds but then turned out to be a rather hot day. We stopped along the way to enjoy the shore of Lake Ontario. Our campsite was at Four Mile Creek State Park.

June 18: To Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario(28.52 miles)

We enjoyed a view of Lake Ontario before heading south to Lewiston. There we had to climb a steep escarpment before crossing the bridge into Ontario. On the other side of the Niagara river we had a nice look at Fort Niagara, New York. We stayed at a home on the shores of Lake Ontario and enjoyed dinner by the water.

June 19: To Hamilton(40.02 miles)

We biked through wine country to one of the locks on the Welland Canal. Shortly after we crossed a bridge over the canal it was raised to allow a ship to pass. Most of the day we were on the service road beside the QEW (a major expressway). Late in the afternoon we took refuge under an overpass to avoid a large storm and then were transported by a kind man in a pick-up truck to a nearby motel.

June 20: Hamilton to Toronto(68.00 miles)

Although the day was long, we found it very enjoyable — many bike lanes and off-road paths with nice views of the lake and the city of Toronto in the distance. We spent the night in a home on the northeast side of the city.

June 21: To Darlington Provincial Park(30.61 miles)

We got to Darlington Provincial Park shortly after noon. Since it looked like rain was coming we decided to stop and hurriedly set up camp just before the rain began. However, it did not last long and we had a nice afternoon and evening to explore the park.

June 22: To Cobourg(42.32 miles)

We enjoyed quiet roads through beautiful farmland with nice views of the lake. We spent the night in Cobourg with relatives — Ron’s aunt and uncle and their son and wife.

June 23: Cobourg to Sandbanks Prov Park(71.71 miles)

A long day of biking, but there were many nice views of the lake and farmland. We found a nice lunch spot near the beginning of the Trent – Severn Canal system before going on to our destination at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

June 24: Resting at Sandbanks Prov Park(4 miles for firewood and ice cream)

We stayed 2 nights at Sandbanks Provincial Park to give ourselves a break. We spent the day doing a short hike, geting snacks at the camp store, and enjoying the water channel next to our campsite, including the family of swans that came by numerous times.

June 25: Sandbanks to Kingston(50.20 miles)

From Sandbanks we biked about 10 miles to breakfast in Picton. After a short ferry crossing we travelled near water all day and stayed overnight in a dormitory on the campus of Queen’s University. We celebrated 42 years of marriage at a nice restaurant in Kingston but did not take a photo!

June 26: Kingston to Westport(39.08 miles)

It was a hot difficult day over many hills to get to Westport, but we passed a number of beautiful small lakes along the way.

June 27: Westport to Perth(19.71 miles)

The hill leaving Westport was the steepest we had seen — we had to walk the final portion — but then the route to Perth became flatter. We passed an interesting mail box made from a bicycle. In Perth we stayed with Ron’s cousin, and she took us to nearby Smith’s Falls for a fish & chips pub dinner.

June 28: Perth to Ottawa(57.23 miles)

We saw many rail fences between Kingston and Ottawa. In Ottawa our last 5 miles were along the Rideau Canal with a beautiful view of the Parliament buildings at one point. We stayed two nights with friends who live there.

June 29: Ottawa(11.33 miles around the city)

The Rideau Canal, built for military purposes, begins in Ottawa with a series of locks engineered to lift vessels from the Ottawa River up to the canal.

We did some biking on the many bike paths in the city but spent most of the day at the Museum of Civilization, located on the Quebec side of the river with a beautiful view across to the Parliament buildings.

June 30: Ottawa to Merrickville(49.53 miles)

Our route to Merrickville followed the Rideau River. We passed a bicycle decorated for Canada Day. Our campsite was at the edge of Merrickville next to a portion of the Rideau canal system.

July 1: Canada Day in Merrickville(0.00 miles!)

Merrickville occupied a strategic location along the canal as indicated by the blockhouse guarding a lock.

We enjoyed the small town celebration of Canada Day. Back at the campground campers were decorated for the occasion and there was a free hotdog roast for everyone in the evening.

July 2: To Charleston Lake(50.94 miles)

Our route to Charleston Lake Provincial Park was over more quiet roads through beautiful scenery. The lake itself is quite large with many scenic inlets.

July 3: Charleston Lake Prov Park(2.97 miles for firewood & snacks)

We spent the day hiking about 7 miles over a nice variety of terrain. We were about as tired as if we had biked 70 miles!

July 4: To Brockville(50.39 miles)

We made our way south to the St. Lawrence River/Seaway where we took a bikepath along the Thousand Island Parkway to Brockville.

July 5: Brockville to Ingleside(53.24 miles)

After a rainy night in a Brockville motel we were happy to see the sun peak through the clouds. We passed one of the long bridges across the St. Lawrence connecting the U.S.A. and Canada. Our campsite was on an island in the river near Ingleside and was beautifully situated next to the water. As we did all along the way, firewood was brought to our site on the back of Ron’s bike.

July 6: Ingleside, ON to Massena, NY(37.42 miles)

We had nice off-road bike paths all the way to Cornwall, Ontario, near the Quebec border. There we crossed two large bridges to re-enter the U.S. We got a campsite at Robert Moses State Park near Massena, New York, and saw a beautiful sunset that evening.

July 7: Massena to Ogdensburg(44.76 miles)

Leaving Robert Moses State Park we rode through a tunnel under a large seaway lock. The road had a nice wide paved shoulder and was not heavily travelled. When the day turned wet it was time again to put on our rain gear. From our motel near Ogdensburg we had a rainy view of the St. Lawrence and across to the Ontario side where we had biked a couple of days before.

July 8: Abrupt End of Trip — (4.27 miles) Shortly after leaving Ogdensburg Sally Jo was struck by an on-coming car. For details about the accident and aftermath see next post.

 

Bike Lake Ontario 2007 – Conclusion

Friday, July 20th, 2007

The accident scene

Sunday, July 8, at about 9 am, we were just over 4 miles down the road from where we had stayed outside Ogdensburg, New York. A vehicle coming from the opposite direction crossed the center line and headed directly for Sally Jo who was riding a little ways behind me. The impact was terrifying, and I (Ron) watched as the vehicle continued on striking an electric pole and rolling over spilling its contents all over the place. It was obvious that Sally Jo was seriously injured, but she was alert and responding. Other people came running up immediately, and emergency help was soon on the scene. At that point it felt to me like there was a whole host of angels around us.

Sally Jo was transported to a nearby hospital and then transferred to the University Hospital in Syracuse, New York 13210. Her injuries were serious, but not as bad as was first feared. Her spleen was bleeding and initial CAT scans showed a large gash in her pancreas. Several bone fractures were also identified, the most serious being the top of her pelvis that included a large open wound. Thankfully she did not suffer any head or neck injuries.

Intensive Care

Surgery began at 11 pm that night and concluded at 4 am Monday. They were able to stop the bleeding of the spleen and determined that the gash in the pancreas was just a fold or dimple. So that was wonderful news. The orthopedic surgeon repaired her pelvic bone and closed the wound, but it continued to leak fluids for several days. On Thursday she was ready and had surgery for broken bones in two other areas: her upper left arm and her ankle. In addition they installed a special foam pump to drain the fluids and help her hip wound heal. Friday was a difficult day because they had to leave the ventilator in due to fluid build-up in her body and lungs, but by Friday evening they were able to take it out and start her on a liquid diet again. Since then things began to improve more, and on Sunday, one week after the accident, she was finally transferred out of intensive care and into a regular hospital room.

Out of ICU

After one week Sally Jo was moved out of intensive care and into a regular hospital room. She was also placed on a normal diet.

Even though far from home, we were overwhelmed by all of the support we received both from strangers as well as friends, relatives, and their many connections. There were also many flowers and many, many cards, e-mails, and phone calls.

Near the end of the second week Sally Jo was started on rehab and continues to make very good progress.

Epilogue

Ten weeks after the accident we were back on the road using borrowed 3-wheelers that could be hooked together in tandem. In December we enjoyed hiking in Arizona mountains. In May, 2008, Sally Jo got her new replacement bicycle and christened it with a 23-mile ride near home. We are all set-up for more biking adventures!