Day 48 Alliston to Darlington
124.9 km @ 23.7kph for 5 hours 16 min total time 6 hr 30 min planned dist 130 km
Another lovely day - about 26 degrees - we have been blessed with incredible weather ... the sun has followed us the complete trip.
Today was another day of "go Left & go Right" - much like a car rally - following the instructions and figuring out some of the clues - ("road unmarked but just left of the big church") - actually good instructions - very few get lost for very long - staying off main roads ( heavier traffic) and following small country roads ( some rough pavement) and heading southeast from Alliston around Oshawa to Lake Ontario (our 3rd great lake). The skies were threatening rain the entire day - however as we travelled south east we saw storms parallel to us on both sides - to the north east the storm went further north; to the south east the storm blew out into Lake Ontario - both storms missing us !!! Winds were off Lake Ontario so we had cross & head winds.
Route was along Country Rd 1 to Hwy 27, to Hwy 88 over Hwy 400
to Yonge Street ( 70 kms north of Toronto) , Thompson Rd , then a peculiar route north east of Oshawa through an industrial Park , over Hwy401 and into the back gate (closed) of Darlington Park ( just east of Oshawa) . Most of these roads you will not find on your average highway map of Ontario .
Coming out of Alliston we saw lots of evidence ( large potato farms
) as to why there was a Potato Festival in Alliston. The route is populated with prosperous farms growing mixed vegetables and raising dairy cows. We took a slight variation in the route & went through Bradford - the "Heart of Canada's Vegetable Industry".
. Note - must write a letter to Major of Bradford commenting on their beautiful town, flowers, landscaping etc and also suggest that for the safety of cyclists that they re-aligned the sewer grate covers on the main roads so that the vertical grate holes are perpendicular to the curb line - otherwise it is quite tricky when your slim bike tires get wedged into those slots..
Also there is new housing construction going on in most little towns along the way - appears to be more affordable housing for bedroom communities for Toronto workers.
. We went through the little town of Sharon (near route 1) - a very interesting National Historic Site - an un-usual recreation of Solomon's Temple built by a pioneer Quaker sect, the Children of Peace in the 1800s.
Our route through Oshawa was disrupted by construction - so that everyone , except Jim & I were thrown off the detailed route that took us by a very nice entrance sign foe the City of " shawa" ( the O had been vandalized)
. For "pic opportunity" Jim improvised ..
Camped at Darlington Provincial Park. It is quite large - lots of hiking trails - lots of tenting & trailer spots , a nice beach
and nice amenities (standard shower & washroom facilities in most of the Ontario parks - good construction , relatively well maintained & functional - could not ask for more.. Since our earlier "music incident" we are discovering that many of the Parks have "no radio/ music camping areas" - guess where we are now camping ??
Life in the trenches : Bud appeared with the repaired coffee pot ( not a concern for me the non coffee drinker , but we had been without the electric coffee pot since Alberta - it could only be fixed / replaced in Alliston- it got so bad that many had resorted to instant coffee first think in the morning - to be supplemented by the real thing at the first coffee shop along the way.) Driver situation - the official position - now compiled into few words "required to give all drivers a rest - working too many hours - not a result of any complaints received - a Corporate decision - Will review situation by Quebec City. " Too many other comments made in Alliston and after the "official" position to comprehend that we have received full story - but life & riding will go on !!!