Ever have one of those rides? The Vankleek picnic this past Sunday was just one of those
rides for me. It is one of the reasons I don’t normally do drive and cycles. I like to get back home before dark!
We (Avo, myself and Helene) wanted to do a short easy ride in order to get back to help set up the picnic. Our merry group of 12 set off to enjoy the great Ontario roads. The start of the Vankleek picnic ride was straightforward enough but we missed the turn for the short ride. We realized we had gone too far when we reached the “Welcome to Treadwell” sign (should have turned off at Lefaivre).
Then a true test for the folks with GPS computers and or phone maps, we set off to find the shortest route back to the start point. We found a Lake George road which looked like
it would take us to the short route cut off. We never found Lake George but it was a pretty road. We crossed Boundary road and took a Concession road which got us to an even poorer road that took us all the way back to Boundary road. We did a nice little
triangle and never knew it.
The mood of the group was getting antsy to say the least. We had visions of being lost in
the farm country around Plantagenet and Alfred. We soldiered on Concession roads, one was actually named Carière which Helene thought was the best road of all! Then as the pack wound its way around farm roads everyone blasted by a nice little road sign that said “Dead End”. Seems to be an amazing phenomenon – CCB members lose their ability to read road signs when in a pack.
The dead end brought us to “Mary had a little lamb farm” (see lamb in picture) and luckily for us Mary was home looking for “lamb on the run”! She told us we were within spitting distance of the road that would take us directly back to Cassburn where the picnic and our cars were. It was not paved but it was short and direct.
Wind at our backs and no longer lost we were moving and picking up speed now thinking we stood a chance to be back before nightfall! Then a spoke broke on my back wheel and I had to crawl back to the parking lot thinking there would be no food left at the picnic.
There was food left and we were back before some other groups who also had tales to tell of not quite following the map. Ontario has great paved roads and their unpaved roads are not bad, but they could do a thing or two or three to improve how to navigate on those roads. Next year I must not forget to add to my list of what to bring “old fashioned road map”. Does anyone know of a good orienteering course?
Thanks to Tom and your Iphone app that got us on some very pretty roads. It is too bad they did not get us to where we wanted to go.
Many thanks go to Helene and Cheryl for organizing the picnic. I don’t know who you ordered the great weather from but the next time could you ask for a bit more tail wind
please! Thanks to Avo for organizing the great little 40th anniversary wallets.
Photo courtesy Joanna Cumyn