Since bicycles are not allowed on the “Niagara Scenic Parkway” I took the NY-18 to get to Niagara Falls on the early sunday morning. During the first hour I saw no other car on the road. Right behind the Town Limits of N.F. a whole lane of the former Parkway is dedicated to cycling – that means even more easy going to the falls. Once I arrived at “Rainbow Bridge” I crossed the border to Canada. I decided to do so the evening before. Initially I did not plan to leave the U.S. for Canada because I wanted to avoid a further and unnecessary crossing of the border into the States. Anyway, finally I desired to see the Falls from the canadian side (which is actually the only side from where the falls can really be seen in their whole magnitude) and I was more attracted by the small-roads and -towns-cycle-route through southern-Ontario than by bypassing huge Cities on the southern shore of Lake Erie.
Though when I entered Canada it was already 10 a.m., the west-rim of Niagara River was not really crowded. For a while I watched the sea gulls stealing peoples ice cones. Then I searched for a campground via Google Maps and carried on due west. The canadian highways I used now had only soft-shoulders and there was a lot of traffic in the belt of N.F.. I faced some headwinds and so it took me a while to complete the remaining 30 miles. The campground offered a small lake and since I arrived in the early afternoon I was able to take a nice bath :-). But – charging 62$ for one night at a lot without water or electricity makes this C.G. the most expensive yet …
After setting up my stuff I discovered a racoon sitting in the tree right next to my tent. I already began to worry about my food when I discovered that someone strew some dog-food about one corner of my camping-lot. It became clear that the racoon would not bother me and my panniers as long as plenty of little meat-coins were available. I relaxed and witnessed the racoons dinner.
After my own dinner I made an warmshower-appointment with John – just 50 miles away at the north-shore of Lake Erie – for the next evening.
The next day (monday) started with very heavy headwinds. Those winds got worse and worse with every hour. Additionally the street-conditions were bad (no trees that could have attenuated the wind, soft-shoulder, graveled/potholed pavement and alot of trucks in a hurry). I got really exhausted – after 6 hours of riding I maintained just 35 miles. A fitting closure for this etappe was it as I got completely showered in a big drench during the last 15 miles.
It could have been a day to forget if not John and his lovely family would have let me join them for a luscious pasta-dinner, guitar-watching (e.g. Gibson acoustic from 1949) and -playing and – finally – some parties of pool in the basement. Not to forget that John drives his own bike-shop and I got the opportunity to check and clean my whole bike using a professional bike-stand and tools. Thanks a lot!