RA74: Lake Erie Beach Camping

Kingsville Ontario to Port Glasgow Ontario – 81.8 miles

Up at 6:35AM, grudgingly.  We’d told Jesse we’d meet him at 7AM for breakfast somewhere in town.   Two places beckoned to be explored, two great old breakfast café places with stools in downtown Kingsville.  But neither opened until 8AM.   Another mile down the road brought us to Tim Horton’s, a Canadian favorite, but we nixed that for having a pastry-centric menu.  Next door was the anti-restaurant (McD) which Jesse could not resist.  Jack and I decided to ride 8 miles into the next town.

Departing from the Golden Acres Motel in Kingsville
Kingsville Ontario in early AM

We found Leamington Ontario and rode north almost 2 miles into town, finding a run down joint called Blondie’s that proclaimed the town’s best breakfast.  Well, they probably lied.  Good atmosphere but the pancakes were heavy and gluey and the eggs just OK.  Sometimes you strike out but you gotta keep on the search.  Jesse met us briefly there and we discussed our route, and he then re-hit the road before we finished.

Blondies in Leamington Ontario

As we left Leamington we passed a sign that looked sort of like a “Welcome to Ontario” sign and decided to take a cheese photo.  A very friendly lady strolled over and offered to do the honors for us.  She was a cool kind of gal, outdoorsey, looking at insects and birds and plants and carrying a nice camera with a big telephoto lens on it.  Each time something would whiz by she’d break off the conversation to observe and identify it.

Welcome to Ontario

Riding weather today CANNOT be beat.  Sunny or partly cloudy, about 70-80% steady tailwind which was nicely cooling, with grand Lake Erie to our right often visible.  We followed route 3 nearly the whole day, riding through lots of soybeans, corn, and the occasional tobacco field, along with many dozens of wind energy turbines.

Wind turbines everywhere here

Through many tiny towns Wheatley, Port Crewe, Port Alma.  Just before the larger town of Blenheim, we stopped in Dealtown at a “variety store” offering light lunches and enjoyed a hamburger (called burgs up here), “-LT with cheese” and fries.  In Blenheim we considered stocking up for dinner but instead rode through since our maps indicated we could stock up in Morpeth.  Unfortunately, when we got there both the store and restaurant had gone out of business.  In retrospect, there was an Adventure Cycling map addendum that pointed this out, but the printed copies are oh-so-out-of-date.  Oh well.

Checking in with Jesse from Maw&Paw's Place in Dealtown.
Solar energy is very big here too
Solar, wind and bio (corn-ethanol) power all in one place

In 17 miles we reached our modified destination for the night in Port Glasgow Ontario.  It  is consists primarily of one RV park and one marina right on the Lake Erie shoreline.  Jesse was already here and had explored the marina, finding a free and primitive spot to camp on a beach area.  We also explored camping options at the crammed RV park, costing $22 and located on a tiny plot behind a building, albeit close to both showers and bathroom.  The beach area definitely got the nod.

Studying the ice cream menu at the Port Glasgow marina

We hung around the marina for several hours, watching the fishermen, slurping on milkshakes, and talking to many friendly folks who were interested in cycling and our travels.   When 7PM hit, dozens of people arrived for dinner or ice cream and the patio filled up.  It was fun to talk to so many nice folks.

Port Glasgow Ontario marina

We’re now on the beach.  Up until tonight, my favorite (with tongue in cheek) campsite was Spring Creek Campground way back in Washington state.  Now, it is the beach of Lake Erie here at Port Glasgow Ontario.  It’s 10PM, the moon is rising over the lake, there is absolutely nobody here.  All I can hear is the sweet sound of quiet waves on the shore and the singing of nearby insects.   It really doesn’t get better than this.

Camping on the beach of Lake Erie

Wow, 82 miles today.  Heading into Canada has been very rewarding so far.  We’ve met ultra friendly people, great weather, and excellent riding conditions.