Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bike Trip Tuesday #4-Big Water

When last we left our intrepid cyclists they were departing Olean, NY and preventing me from dashing my head open and spilling my brains in the depths of an ancient seabed.





Now we headed on toward Niagara Falls and the section of Ontario, Canada between Niagara and Michigan. Crossing into Canada would be the first time I left the USA and I was a bit excited about that. Unfortunately for Gus it would prove to be a very frustrating experience since he was from Paraguay and studying in the USA on a student visa. The Immigrations officials saw our loaded down Chevy and thought we were lying about how long we planned to stay in Canada. When we indicated we were with the group of cyclists that had just gone through they we less suspicious but still told Gus he'd have to come have a little chat inside the offices. None of us were allowed to accompany him and after what seemed forever he came out and exclaimed in exasperation that he was given a 3 day visa only.



We had viewed the falls from the American side and now we spent time unwinding and enjoying the view from the Canadian side. It had been kind of unnerving to stand on the American side and see them so close and realize there wasn't much to keep anyone from just hopping into the Falls and plunging to their death. We got a real feel for the power and danger with the water roaring by your feet. On the Canadian side we got a more panoramic view of their vastness and beauty.

We trekked across southern Ontario, visited some friends of Tricia's for one night and then found the shores of Lake Huron. We decided we needed to all swim in Lake Huron. Mind you it was May...the water was, shall we say, less than warm. I'm thinking in August it must still be 'less than warm.' However in May, it is, as one of the guy cyclists described, 'make yer balls retract all the way to your throat cold!' Yes, this is where all you Great Lakes dwellers get to laugh at us and tell us what wussies we were because we each took a dip lasting roughly about half a second. Picture 10 of us running into the water yelling excitedly about dipping into a Great Lake, getting wet, and exiting like bats out of hell (although had we actually been departing the biblical lake of fire we wouldn't have been so cold...in fact at that very moment a lake of fire might have sounded downright enticing) and screaming like maniacs about the water temperature.





Notice I said 10 of us. If you recall correctly, there were 11 on the trip. Tricia, that exercising madwoman, decided the Lake Huron was nothing compared to the icy waters of the North Atlantic and proceeded to swim back and forth parallel to the shore for about 30 minutes. Among a group of so clearly strange people wanting to punish themselves by cycling 4000+ miles and even between the two who had a bizarre need to exercise each night after pedalling 70 miles, she stood out as uniquely disturbed with regard to enjoying swimming in icy water.

Will our frozen cyclists ever thaw out? Will they continue to pedal westward? Will Gus be deported from Canada? Will Lime find more creative ways to bring grave injury upon herself? Tune in next week for the next leg of Bike Trip Madness....

18 comments:

Sudiegirl said...

Hey - I wanna be a rockin' girl too!

How does I get nominated?

PS: My cat Chelmsford wrote his very first meme...and he tagged YOU! Go to my blog to check out the details.

Charles said...

Doh! I don't get into any water any less that 83 degrees. To have gone in even after having toed the waters says a lot about how much better you are at enduring the unendurable than I.

MONA said...

Lime! This is such a wonderful sharing! I plan to go to canada next year & am looking rwd to seeing the Niagra falls & whizzing in a snowmobile!

Wow! all that cycling, you Roadies sure know how to have fun!

~Tim said...

Those Canadians are the same ones that come to Florida in February and swim in the ocean. They think 50 degrees (F) is summer weather.....

Hypersonic said...

Canada,eh? Lake Huron, eh? I think the falls are so much more prettier from the Canadian side.

RennyBA said...

Sounds like Norwegian bikers LoL

I've always wanted to see Niagara Falls and now you've seen it from both sides - thats unfair :-)

Btw: Thanks for your compliments on my new blog home - you might like to update your blogroll too.

Top cat said...

I like this.:)
tc

jillie said...

I've been in Lake Michigan many times and I have to tell you...even at the end of August from a HOT summer...it's still NOT warm...lol. I don't know how people of the polar bear club do it. I laugh at the people here in San Diego that call themselves the polar bear club..70 degrees and the water is 60?? Ok...maybe 58...that's not very artic to me...Great story and I can't wait to read about next weeks saga. I'm sitting on the edge of my seat and biting my nails...lol

Have a great 4th lime ;o)

p.s...it's a good thing I didn't have to send you any more lemons. I had a party and there was a 3 1/2 y/o that took them all and threw them at the house and dogs. Ohhh hum....

SignGurl said...

Lime, I am Michigan born and bred and I hate Lake Huron. At least for swimming. I can remember going in and losing all sensation in my girl parts within seconds. Whatever possessed me to dunk my head under, I'll never know. I think it's still numb.

Jillie, Lake Michigan is warm, I tell ya!! Like bathwater. I'm planning on becoming a polar bear someday.

MyUtopia said...

Happy fourth!

The Zombieslayer said...

It had been kind of unnerving to stand on the American side and see them so close and realize there wasn't much to keep anyone from just hopping into the Falls and plunging to their death.

Although I've never been to Niagara, I'd hate it if they covered it with fencing. That would be so wrong.

Been to the Grand Canyon twice and people fall in that thing all the time. Still, I'm glad they don't over fence it. Takes away from the beauty of it.

Natural beauty isn't meant to be safe. It's meant to be appreciated as is.

Well, that's amazing. What's even crazier is after 70 miles, some of them still worked out.

Happy Independence Day!

G-Man said...

All you guys are crazy!!
But in an endearing way!
xoxox

MONA said...

Happy Independence Day Lime & Family!!

Hey, you all seem to sleep it through!!!

Brian said...

Now THAT was an adventure.

Happy 4th of July!

KFarmer said...

A grand adventure! :)

Charles in HK said...

ARGH... I am now SO missing Canada!

barman said...

I am just now catching up on your bike trip. I love your righting. It makes the trip to exciting to miss...

Oh and you were not wussies. That water is down right could. Lake Superior which is at the top of Michigan can only be entered maybe 2 weeks out of the year. It is cccooolddddd!

Craig said...

I grew up with Lake Huron as my backyard. After the first couple minutes, you get used to it. My mom would make us get out when our lips started turning blue. . .

I remember being in San Diego in November, and being told that I really couldn't go swimming because the ocean temperature was 60 degrees. I just laughed and said, "Let me tell you about Lake Huron. . ."

May would still be pretty chilly, tho. And Barman is right - just be glad it wasn't Lake Superior