We had a bit of a mishap with Liz's helmet and decided to replace e it if we could. That caused us to ride to Mississauga, but we decided to wait until we are back in Melbourne. A bit naughty because the helmet would not pass inspection by Mr Plod.
As Mississauga is close to Toronto, we decided to visit the city center and have lunch. We had been told by Gary that the Greater Toronto Area had overtaken Chicago as the third largest conurbation in North America. Well, their freeway system is extensive and frightening, exacerbated by the erratic and inconsiderate driving of the Canadians. They drive slowly in the fast lane and vice versa, change lanes without indicating and generally behave as if they were entitled to the road not too dissimilar to Australians, but certainly in a class of their own. Little did I know then that it was good training for New York.
The Lunch was a pleasant affair at E11even, diagonally over the road from PwC and with a menu that matched that sociodemographic. We were served by a dynamic and delightful young lady, Michelle, who is training to become a sommelier we got into a lively conversation about wine and rather distracted her from her other duties!
Time to get on our way to Mono, a rural community perhaps a bit more than an hour north of Toronto. I say perhaps because it took us a lot longer than that. The Garmin was out of its depth and I was as stressed as I was angry at the poor performance of an expensive GPS.
We were on our way to see my oldest and very dear friends, Tim and Cathy. I met Cathy in my early teens and Tim in my miud teens. I introduced them and after forty something years they are still together and we are still friends. Cathy's sister Glynnis also said hello and their daughter Dominique was also in attendance with her husband Brendan. We see each other very infrequently because of distance but we keep in touch. True lifetime friends.
After a great time with Tim and Cathy, all too short, we flew down the highway to Niagara Falls, which we made in two hours. I had been there before but still found them to be a magnificent spectacle, as did Liz. As we had decided to put in a good distance that day, we were soon on our way across the border and on the Interstate. We were making good time until someone had an accident and they closed the road. We immediately shot over to the byways, far more scenic, far less stressful and slower!
Lunch was needed and I used the GPS (brave!) To identify a place for lunch, and we landed up in yet another pretty town, Caledonia NY. As we we getting set to resume the ride after lunch, the heavens opened! We ducked into a doorway and watched for a while and when it eased, took off - straight into the downpour! Eventually we rode out of it, but in my rear view mirror I could see the blackness chasing us. After a while we needed another break and the GPS took us to Trumansville. I commented to Liz that we should not dally. Oops. As we were finishing our coffee, the heavens opened once more. We watched from the coffee shop and the moment it eased, we took off again - once more into heavy rain!
By now we were drenched and even my boots were wet. We pressed on and once again rode out of it as we headed south and east. And once again we rode into I the rain, this time of Biblical magnitude! Large, pelting drops of rain but this time accompanied by some decent lightning bolts. I ducked, and felt silly for doing so, but with no shelter in sight it was all I could do.
We eventually landed up in Scranton PA, damp and tired after nearly twelve hours on the road, covering 411 miles, setting ourselves up for a two hour ride into New York City the next day. We ordered Dominos pizza in our room and went to bed!