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by Richie
Rondeau Provincial Park

Morpeth, Ontario
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Traveling 100 miles west on Route 3, we motored through the bucolic countryside of southern Ontario today. Cruising the coast of Lake Erie, we passed through small towns with bustling Main Streets and tidy family farms that appear agreeably prosperous. There’s nary an empty storefront or dilapidated barn in sight.

I was struck by the contrast to back home, where we frequently see signs of deep recession and entrenched poverty in the farming communities. Tim’s opinion was that Canadian farms look to be 1000+ acres, which is what it takes to make a living. (You can’t feed a family on 100 acres anymore.)

We stopped for a picnic lunch at a roadside rest area, thoughtfully situated under shade trees with plenty of parking and well-kept tables. The Canadians sure have style – they really do everything well.

The Glitch Gremlin is still with us. Today’s misadventures were solvable, but took extra time to fiddle around.

1.    The demise of our trusted Nikon camera. It’s kaput completely. We’ll need to take photos on our phones now, email them to ourselves, and then upload to the blog. All this takes extra “data time” on our portable WiFi, which Verizon has already warned has exceeded the package I bought for Canada.

2.    Blew a fuse for the water pump (entirely my fault). The wires that run the water pump in the bathroom are in a cabinet under the sink. There’s no cover for the fixture, so when I rummaged for something in the cabinet, I knocked all three wires out of the harness. There’s three wires and three connecting posts, with nothing labeled at all. So out of six possible combinations, I picked the one that blew the fuse. Luckily we had another #10 fuse, and the next combination I tried was the right one, which is now written in Sharpie inside the cabinet.

It was a relief when we arrived at Rondeau Provincial Park. This area is so sweet you can’t help but be in a good mood. Rondeau is a peninsula, with Lake Erie to the east and Rondeau Bay to the west. It’s about 8 km long, and half as wide. There are only two roads that traverse the length of the peninsula, and the whole finger is provincial park land with lovely lakeside summer homes, many built in the 20’s and 30’s. What a splendid drive on the bike!

This peninsula is unique in that is has three completely different ecosystems – Carolinian Forest (where the campground is located), Freshwater Dunes (on the lake side), and Black Oak Savannah (marshes and wetlands on the bay side).


Forest Camp




I briefly reconnoitered the beach today, and found a stretch that was empty and breezy. We’ll be exploring more tomorrow, and may take a nature hike with the Park Rangers to hunt for butterflies.

Lake Beach