Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Windy Day in Canada

First, I need to comment about finding your way in the area.  There are good streets on a grid - no problem.  Its the angle streets and those that suddenly end.  Thankfully, the local populace are friendly with directions and there are lots of free maps in tourist brochures.

Quality Inn breakfast room was busy.  Know when in a tourist town - hotel breakfast is 8-11am.  The fare was more than just continental breakfast.  The breakfast included scrambled eggs and sausage links.

Off to find Mac's Bikes to get some riding information.  Missed the place the first drive through.  Mac's in not a typical bike shop.  Its two containers in a lot.  They rent bicycles from the location (just a couple blocks from the falls)..  The young man suggested riding the trail up and down the river.  There is also a multi-use path along the Welland Canal.  Asking about singletrack, he said that dirt riding was ab 30 mile drive.

Winds were supposed to pick up in the afternoon (up to 30-40mph).  Not a good day touring on a bicycle.  Headed ti the Welland Canal to play "tourist".  I had good timing as there was a bulk carrier just tieing up into Lock 3.  Once the ship had been raised in the lock and on its way, I checked out the little museum,  Picked up a book about the canal in the book store.  Chatting there, I commented that I was looking for what else to see while I am out.  The little town Niagara-on-the-Lake was on option.  Fort George (in the same area) was also recommended.

Fort George it was.  Did not need to go shopping.  Ft. George in on the Niagara River near its origin at Lake Ontario.  It was a chilly and windy afternoon when I toured the fort.  When I went to pay for parking (would get back with fort entrance fee), it looked like I had left one of my credit cards at the canal.  As Iwas heading back to the canal, I noticed that I had just put the card in the other side of my wallet.  Panic avoided.

The War of 1812 was a big part large part in the fort's history. Much of the day-to-day life of the soldier in those 19th century are not different that others - regardless of the threat. It was interesting to the other side of the was.  Canadians (as British subjects) were fighting for The Crown and against the Americans.  Big different was the building material.  With trees plentiful, the structures are wood with some massive beams.

There were a couple of folks in period dress to explain the fort and life at the fort.  Most entertaining was the guy demonstrating loading and firing the musket of the day. Stopped in the gift shop and bought a book about the fort.

Decided to drive along the river as I head back to Niagara Falls.  Found the Floral Clock along route.  Importantly, I recognized the bike path - it generally followed the road I was on (even near the entrance to Ft. George).

Unloading the pockets of my BDU pants, I could not find the SD card with most of the photos i had taken today.  I had changed the card near the end of my tour of Fort George.  Drove back up to the fort.  It was almost 5pm and the Visitors Center.  talked with one of the employees as he was walking to his car -- I could get back into the fort if I needed.  Walking back to the fort, I remembered that I had stopped to sit at a bench between the Visitor;s Center and the fort entrance - and there was my SD card.  Problem resolved.

By this time, I was getting hungry!  On my way to Fort George (in the town of Virgil) I had seen Lawrenceville Restaurant which looked busy at the end of lunch.  Stopped there on my way back to my hotel.  Had a very good cheeseburger, fries, and a pint of Backing Squirrel Lager.  My beer was served in a Barking Squirrel glass.  From that, I leaned the beer is crafted by Hop City Brewing Co.  I can't tell you where it is brewed.  The brewery web site is pretty sparse on such information.

Photos from yesterday:
Bulk ship in Lock 3 on the Welland Canal
Musket firing demonstration at Fort George
Niagara Parks' Floral Clock at the power station

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