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My wife and I will be traveling from southcentral Pennsylvania on Thu. 10 Apr. '08 to Niagara Falls, NY/Ont, where we will spend the night. In the morning we will be heading to Windsor, Ont./Detroit, MI, where we will be attending the AMA Supercross at Ford Field in Detroit on Sat. and then returning home on Sun.. Wondering if fellow Canadian Stromtroopers could recommend a scenic route, mostly paved roads with a few unpaved roads thrown in for good measure. Would like to follow the north shore of Lake Erie on the way west and then take a different route on the way back to Niagara Falls on Sunday, perhaps the southwestern region of Lake Ontario. Thanks for any help you can provide.
SoPaRider and SoPaGuider
 

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You didn't say how you would be traveling? By cage or bike. April tenth around London Ont. we are expecting daytime highs around 10 C (50 F). I Haven't made the trip you are proposing but hwy #3 (the Talbot Trail) goes pretty much the whole way to Windsor. What I can recommend is a side trip off of the talbot trail to Port Ryerses then take Front road over to Port Rowan. Follow front road out of Port Rowan to hwy 59. At 59 a left will take you down to Long Point. Long point is a neat jut of land out into lake Erie. Only 1 way in/out so you will return to the corner (59 and front) and turn left to continue. It is one of those roads that changes names at the corner. It becomes lakeshore road. This will take you into Port Burwell. Lakeshore is gravel at times and ends at a "T" intersection in Port Burwell. Left and then a right on Bridge st. Bridge st becomes brown road becomes Nova Scotia Line. This will take you past those giant wind turbines. Nova scotia line "T" intersects with Imperial road (hwy 73) A right will take you to Aylmer and back to #3 (the Talbot trail) or choose a left instead head to Port bruce. As you come into port bruce you cross a bridge. First right is Dexter line. This is the route out of Port bruce but Port Bruce is basicly a circular route and you will end up at this corner again if you miss it or choose to have a look around. I always take a lap when I am there. Once on Dexter Line follow it past a nice big "S" bend. The next corner is Quaker road. Go right. This takes you through Sparta. Still on Quaker rd enjoy some sweeping curves. "T" intersection at #3 (Talbot Trail) This is one of my favorite local(for me) Rides. Anything to the east or west I havn't riden yet so I have no recomendations but the above is a treat on a bike. Nice curves, beautiful vistas, Quaint little towns and far enough off the beaten path. Maybe someone else here can fill in rest of the way for you. Good Luck
 

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Scenic route: Part 1 of about 3

SoPaRider,

The scenery starts before you leave PA! if you can take the time to go as far west as Franklin PA, you can go along US62 almost all the way to Canada, and find lovely pavement most of the way, following the Alleghany River for much of the PA part. I suggest leaving 62 at Eden NY and going north to the Thruway.

If Franklin is too far west, consider finding your way to DuBois and driving 219 to Buffalo. I haven't driven this since 1999, but I liked it plenty then!

I have more ideas than time, so I will be back with some ideas about Ontario.

Best of luck! I think PXX is providing excellent guidance!
Keith
 

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Scenic route: Part 2

The best map of Ontario that I have seen is the map provided by the province, free at information kiosks. An information kiosk in Ontario is indicated by a sign with a brown question mark on a white background.

I do not know how to find one close to the Peace Bridge, which is the bridge between Buffalo NY and Fort Erie ON. I suggest that when the Canada Customs inspector is through with you and welcomes you to Canada you ask two questions:

How do I get onto the Niagara Parkway?

Where can I find an Ontario Information Kiosk?

Niagara Parkway is a pleasant and scenic road that hugs the west side of the Niagara River, all the way from Fort Erie to Niagara Falls. If you want to see the falls, take it all the way.

More later.

Keith
 

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You could stop in Thorold at the Locks (just off the Expressway) and watch a freighter go through the canal locks. Nearby, there is a tunnel under the canal that has spaced lights on the sides that make it feel like you are being shot out the other end (if you go fast). The road along the lake (Lakeshore Road?) is very slow, at some points cottages are inches from the edge of the road, and the speed limit is 40 kph. If you have time, follow the top edge of the Niagara escarpment north on Ridge Road into Hamilton. http://bikeroads.atspace.com/ has directions to most of the good riding in Ontario. http://www.gorideontario.com/motorcycle/moto-home.html?lang=en also has a bunch of info and maps (zoomable pdfs) for riding in Ontario. http://www.ontariotravel.net/greatdrives/Summer07/interactive_route_maps/map_niagara.html shows the route from Niagara to Port Dover. (Hwy 3). Ontario travel guides are at http://www.ontariotravel.net/TcisCtrl?site=consumers&key1=travelGuides&language=EN
 

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#3

So Pa,
The previous posts have excellent advice and #3 will take you pretty much all the way from the Peace Bridge to Windsor. It will take much longer than the freeway though. How's things in C-burg? I'm still thinkjng seriously about riding down to check out the Boswell place and on the 10th I'll most likely be heading over to Binghampton, NY for a job fair/hiring event. BTW, watch your speed in Ontario. They have recently instituted some very draconian anit-speeding laws with astronomical fines.
 

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They have recently instituted some very draconian anit-speeding laws with astronomical fines.
Good point 50km/h over the posted limit and it is considered racing/stunting. Up to a $10,000 fine, no licence and they take your ride for 7 days. Depending on the cop, he could consider standing on your pegs as stunting and the same law applies:mad:
 

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Scenic Route part trois.

Or part 3 if you like. Ontario is partly bilingual, and you will see a little bit of French on some signs in the part you will see. Farther north, French is used more. Where was I?

Oh, Travel information kiosks. V-Tom is correct that the Internet can provide most of the information available at the Travel Information Centres, but it is far easier to grab a handful of pamphlets than print what you want from a web site and then remember to take it with you. I found the three TIC locations that will matter most to you:

Three Ontario Travel Information Centers for you to consider.

This is at an ideal border-crossing spot from Buffalo NY. The Niagara Parkway starts at Fort Erie, but you will want help finding how to get to it. Recent changes to roads near the bridge suggest you ask for advice. You will probably find no services on the Niagara parkway, because the marina is seasonal and the season has probably not started. The $ symbol means you can trade US$ for Canadian money.

FORT ERIE - Peace Bridge in the Ontario Welcome Centre ($)
350 Bertie Street, Unit 1 L2A 6S6
Tel: (905) 871-3505

This is at the next border crossing north of Fort Erie, about an hour north via the slow (36 MPH) Niagara Parkway. Use this only if you want to visit Niagara Falls. I think it may be difficult to park near this.

NIAGARA FALLS - Rainbow Bridge ($)
5355 Stanley Ave. L2E 7C2
Tel: (905) 358-3221

This is for your return journey. Sarnia is across the Blue Water Bridge from Port Huron Michigan.

SARNIA - Blue Water Bridge ($)
1455 Venetian Blvd. N7T 7W7
Tel: (519) 344-7403

The numbering of Ontario roads is very peculiar and confusing. When you see a number in a trapezoid (flowerpot silhouette) that means a county road, and the road may change its number when you cross a county line. If you head west from Fort Erie (instead of taking Niagara Parkway north to Niagara Falls) then Provincial Highway 3 (a shield on the map) is an excellent compromise between efficiency of travel and scenery. When you get to Dunnville, Provincial 3 goes northward, and Haldimand County road 3 goes west, keeping its number 3 when it crosses into Norfolk County. Last summer I rode the highway between Port Ryerse (County 42 becomes County 24 near Port Bruce) and Port Stanley. I enjoyed this ride, and stopped to photograph the lighthouse at Port Burwell; it was an important beacon.

West of Port Stanley, I have no recent experience, so I defer to others, except for this important recommendation.

If you want to meet snarly stupid border guards and spend lots of time with red tape, cross the Ambassador Bridge from Windsor to Detroit, or the other direction with a bit less hassle. If you want cheerful and competent border guards, cross from Sarnia to Port Huron via the Blue Water Bridge. On the map this may seem like a waste of time. In reality, the extra time and hassle and incompetence at the Ambassador Bridge will more than make up for the shorter route. Believe me, you will drive away from the Ambassador Bridge shaking your heads and saying, "You know, we should have listened to Keith".

If you DO choose to cross at Sarnia, you can go through Oil City and Petrolia and learn about the origins of Canada's oil industry.

Bonne chance et bon voyage en Ontario!
Keith
 

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Or part 3 if you like. Ontario is partly bilingual, and you will see a little bit of French on some signs in the part you will see. Farther north, French is used more. Where was I?
North Bay? Hearst? Middle of nowhere? :p

West of Port Stanley, I have no recent experience, so I defer to others, ....
If you go through Payne's Mills about 10km west of St. Thomas on Hwy 3, think of me. It was named after my great-great...grandfather and my family lived there continuously up to and including my Dad. If you wander through the cemetery at Talbotville you'll see a stone for Sturgeon and Evylean Payne. They're my grandparents. You can probably figure out where my forum name came from.
 

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Beyond the middle of nowhere.

Hi, sturgeon.

I will be going almost all the way to the other side of nowhere if my summer plans work out. I expect to ride up the west edge of Québec to Radisson, and then find a way to the provincial capital for the 400-year celebration of that city's origin. I expect to practice riding on the sort of gravel I hope to see next year in Labrador, which most peole consider is WAY beyond nowhere.

I had a classmate, back in the 50s, whose name was Jeremy Sturgeon. Clever fellow, but I have not seen him since graduation. I recollect, with only marginal confidence in the accuracy of that memory, that he lived in the prairies. Yes, I realize your relative had the given name Sturgeon.

Perhaps some of your ancestors knew one of mine. My paternal grandfather was born in Lambeth about 1878. I visited his grave in London last year. I cannot imagine any way to pursue this, but I mention it anyway because I am feeling loquacious this evening.

Good night!
Keith
 

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So I'm sitting here at my workstation looking out at the rain, and the Weather Network report that says it might be as balmy as 3 degrees out there, and am overcome with a rather morbid curiosity...
SoPaRider, are you in the middle of your ride, enjoying the fine small towns and north Lake Erie scenery in this crap?
:) :)
 

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No bike

So I'm sitting here at my workstation looking out at the rain, and the Weather Network report that says it might be as balmy as 3 degrees out there, and am overcome with a rather morbid curiosity...
SoPaRider, are you in the middle of your ride, enjoying the fine small towns and north Lake Erie scenery in this crap?
:) :)
Not to worry WeeRob, he's driving his cage on this trip. Hope to see him and the missus on the 20th down in Clearfield, PA for the Denny's Beer Barrel Pub burger run. Any of you S. Ontario Strommers not going on the ride out of Barrie aught to come down and check it out. I believe this will be the third annual ride and burger knosh.
 

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Hi, sturgeon. [...]

Perhaps some of your ancestors knew one of mine. My paternal grandfather was born in Lambeth about 1878. I visited his grave in London last year. I cannot imagine any way to pursue this, but I mention it anyway because I am feeling loquacious this evening.

Good night!
Keith
Could be. It was a much smaller area in terms of people back then, and your grandfather and mine would've been there around the same time (I assume you mean Lambeth ON, not UK). My Dad was a childhood schoolmate of John Kenneth Galbraith.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Belated thanks for route help through Ontanio!

Since this is one of the prime riding season's for me, I haven't been off the bike long enough to spend some time thanking those of you who offered my wife, Karen and I route help through Ontario earlier this month (11th through the 14th of April). With no where to park the wee-strom in Dearborn or Detroit where we feel it would still be there when we got back, we whimped out and took the cage. The weather was sweet on the way up to Niagara Falls on Thursday, happened onto Northeast Vintage Cycle in Springville, NY (www.hondanuts.com) on the way. Bill and Mike have a nice old school independant shop with lots of riding gear in stock and some nice vintage Honda's and other brands on display. Stayed at the Hampton Inn in Niagara Falls, NY, about as good as it gets on the NY side of the falls. Had one of the best meals my wife and I have ever had at the Red Coach Inn, next to the falls on the NY side, try it, you'll like it! It started raining Thursday evening and by Friday morning the falls were barely visable. We took a quick cruise around the Canadian side of the falls, then headed south for Crystal Beach and Route 3 west. Somewhere in Haldimand County (not even the map we had), we came across the town of "STROMNESS", what a perfect location for a Stromtroopers Rally or a photo op. There was still ice along the shores of northern Lake Erie as we checked out all the towns, parks and lighthouses as we drove west on Routes 3, 42 and 24. We took the advice from our fellow Canadian Stromtroopers and avoided the boarder crossing at Windsor and headed northwest toward Sarnia at Port Stanley. The weather broke and the rest of the day was spent in warm temps and sunshine. It took about 20 minutes to clear customs, then we hit the super slab (I-94) to the Countyard By Marriott in Dearborn. Ate at the Olive Garden, that night, another great meal, then it was back to the room to catch some zee's. Saturday brought more rain, but it didn't matter as the Supercross was held inside at the home of the Detroit Lions, Ford Field. Had great seats, what would have been the 50 yard line, sixteen rows up from the track. Chad Reed came up short on a jump just in front of us and was carted off the track and taken to the hospital, he still managed to make the Supercross final, which was won by Davi Millsaps. In the Supercross Lites race, Ryan Villopoto won, while our guy Trey Canard had a bad night and ended up in tenth place, but all was not lost for him, as he won the championship the next weekend in St. Louis after a controversial pass on Villopoto, they will meet again in Las Vegas on the 3rd of May, when the east and west coast riders meet in the shootout, the last race of the year. The weather for the ride home was more rain on Sunday, followed by sunny skies an warm temps on Monday, all and all it was a great trip and could have only been made better if we had taken the Strom, but we have rides planned all the way through November, hope to get back up to Canada later this summer or fall, thanks again for all the help.

Jeff (SoPaRider) and Karen (SoPaGuider) Cunard
 

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Ah yes, beautiful downtown Stromness, just down the road from Dunnville if memory serves. At the end of the Grand River which flows through Kitchener-Waterloo where I live.
 

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Stromness, I rode through there two years ago and mean to go back to snap a pic of the sign. Maybe I'll have to do another Barrie to Port Colbourne to Paris to Barrie ride again this year.
 

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Another Stromness

On the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia is the town of Stromness. Its heyday was about 100 years ago, when it excelled in two areas:

1. It processed a tremendous number of whales, turning each into many barrels of oil and a useless messy corpse, consequently ...

2. It stank so badly that it was intolerable except for those with cast iron stomachs.

Nowadays, Stromness sleeps almost alone. The few remaining buildings are treated as museums, and I think its population fluctuates between two and zero.

Finally, the British Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton is buried near Stromness (but actually nearer Grytvyken). All the dead are buried with their heads to the east ... except Shackleton's head is to the south.

I look forward to riding to Stromness Ontario this summer. I will try to photograph my Strom at a sign bearing the town's name. Thank you for the idea!

Keith
 
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