Day 18: Wheatley to St. Thomas – feeling weak

Distance: 147km

Elevation: 212m

After a bit of a restless night, I woke up in a good mood finding the outside of my inner tent covered with 30-40 spiders. How interesting! Last night, I could also see a lot of fireflies all around my place.

I made breakfast and took care of my blog. My legs were hurting so I did some stretching and black role work after that.

At 10am I was in the saddle pedaling East towards the Niagara Falls, my landmark goal on this tour. When I left the provincial park I saw a baby deer with its mother. They look different here.

This region at Lake Erie was no more touristic and not very populated. But you could still find shops in around 50km distance. That was not bad at all.

What was a bit irritating though is that you could almost never get to the shore of Lake Erie. It is always private property and there are hardly any public beaches or marinas. The views were stunning though.

Also, I felt that the people I was meeting here where a little less friendly and forthcoming than in British Columbia. But that’s probably an unfair comparison.

The weather was warm and friendly though with a very strong tailwind that could only be celebrated.

I had lunch at a farm market where I could buy fresh apples, nuts, drinks and pastry.

On my way, I saw some signs of the „Underground Railroad“. This was a metaphor for the routes that former slaves from the South of the US had taken to Canada where they could live a free life without fear of being caught by the police. Susanne had shown me a corresponding monument in Detroit.

What an ordeal it must have been to walk all the 2,000km way up here from Georgia or Alabama. As I had learned, there had been an entire network of fellow citizens who helped these people on their way and provided them shelter.

What a monument of humanity in the face of systemic injustice!

In a small place called Blenheim I did grocery shopping and then aimed for a family campground in around Dutton. When I passed by a microbrewery on the way I bought some local specialty beers. My treat for the evening.

I did not feel well all day and my mood was somewhat medium. Also, I had forgotten to switch on my Strava which was annoying. There was nothing specific I was just feeling a little tired.

After 110km I reached the campground as it was just starting to rain.

It turned out to be a campground which was exclusively made for residential camping, i.e. for people who have either their RV parked there for the summer or who rent an RV for a couple of weeks. Anyways, I could see that they had plenty of space available as I was cruising over the facility looking for the owners. The rain was poring when I reached the host on the phone. „I am sorry but we can’t accommodate you and you cannot be on our property“. That was rather unfriendly to send someone away like this into the rain.

I was a little perplexed but got my act together quickly and put on my rainwear. There was no other campground in reach and a thunderstorm was building up. Great!

I booked a motel room 35 klicks away and started pedaling. It is possible that I was also swearing a little. However, the idea of a dry and safe place sounded very good to my ears and I had learned meanwhile to have trust in upstairs in terms of guidance.

The rain had stopped and I made good progress. 7km before the motel the first drops were falling again.

After a final push, I reached the motel and checked in. A little later the apocalypse broke loose with thunder and lightning and I was very happy to be inside.

A housekeeper who very much resembled the warden in Harry Potter’s Hogwarts explained the room to me for way too long. He wanted to be helpful but was also very slow and and a little confused. I tried to remain friendly and was happy to finally get some privacy.

My legs were officially hurting now and I very much enjoyed the warm shower. I did my laundry, had an apple, nuts and beer for dinner and checked for Warmshowers hosts in the region.

Meanwhile, I have been sent away by two campgrounds in a rather unfriendly way. My image of the ever friendly and accommodating Canadian had been a little shattered. I was hoping to restore my positive image that way. Plus there are really not that many campgrounds out here.

By 10pm I was asleep.

Leave a Reply