Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 29, 2014. Simcoe to St. Thomas, ON. 74 Miles.

This day started a little chilly--this was the first time I put on leg warmers since I started around Lake Ontario on my bike 3 weeks ago. And I left them on all day! I drew the line at shoes, however. I have not worn closed bike shoes yet.

We rode through farm country today, no more mansions on the lakeshore. There were fields of ginseng protected by black shades, tobacco fields and drying barns, asparagus, peppers, corn, wheat, soybeans, and pumpkins. When we got to the lake there were vineyards and wineries. This must be fertile ground! We even passed a peanut farm, complete with concrete elephants!

We could see Lake Erie off in the distance starting around mile 11. Robin set up a SAG at mile 20, and we were glad to see her; there were not many places to stop this morning.  I did not sleep much last night so we stopped again in Port Rowan for a cup of coffee and a bakery treat. It's a cute little town; too bad it was too early to have lunch. I smiled at the difference in spelling--in Canada it is "neighbours" and "harbours" and "centre". The difference is evident in the signs above the "shoppes".

The terrain was hilly this morning, less so in the afternoon, but then the wind picked up and we battled a quartering headwind all afternoon.

I had a funny spot in my eye all morning, so when I got to the second SAG Robin washed my eye out with eye drops. That did not make the spot go away, so I ate a sandwich and got back on my bike. There were miles and miles of windmills again today--we've seen a lot of them this trip (you can see them in the background of the SAG stop). Wind Turbines are a political hot potato here, and we've seen yard signs protesting them and promoting them.

At mile 46 Dianne and I entered the small town of Port Burwell, where this lighthouse has been standing since 1840. It's a great little town with lots of restaurants and ice cream "parlours". Too bad it was not mentioned on our cue sheet; we ate sandwiches at the SAG because we thought there were no more food options today.

We got a break from the wind in the last 10 miles of the ride. Finally it was a quartering tailwind! During the last 10 miles we had 2 sections of construction to deal with. All during this trip we have been going through the "road closed" signs and gotten by. Today was a little different. The first one was okay--we waited until we got the nod from the workers and pedaled past. At the second construction area the road really was closed! We rode on the sidewalk as far as we could, and then the sidewalk was closed too! We got off the bikes and asked a friendly looking worker how we should get by. That worked for us (we walked the bikes across someone's front yard. That's me far right) but Michelle talked to a guy who was less friendly and he turned her around and she had to find her own way to the hotel.


Throughout the afternoon the spot in my eye was joined by a bunch of black dots. By the time we got to the hotel the black dots had broken up into thousands of teeny tiny black dots. Michelle drove me to the Emergency Room at the nearest hospital, and the waiting room was filled with people waiting to see the triage nurse. No one was anywhere close to seeing a doctor. So I walked out and called my ophthalmologist. Bottom line: Bill is coming to pick me up so I can see my own ophthalmologist tomorrow morning. When I described my symptoms to her, she said it could be a broken blood vessel (easy fix) or a torn or detached retina (not so easy but fixable), but that I needed to see a retina specialist ASAP. So I am leaving the tour tonight. I hope to be back in a couple of days.

Dinner tonight was pizza delivered to the hotel, and cupcakes. The group sang happy birthday to me and gave me hugs and wished me well for my appointment tomorrow. If all goes well I'll be back with this tour in a day or two.

No comments: