July 29th: Port Elgin to Pearl Lake (65km)
We made our first overnight journey a between-cottage tour. Deb’s parents have a place on Pearl Lake, which happens to be a perfect distance from my parent’s place on Lake Huron—perfect for novice tourers like us that is—about 65km.
We set out shortly after noon. It was sunny and warm. Deb wasn’t feeling too sure about herself, but she was determined.
We took the Gore Drain trail to Concession Rd 6, then followed roads along the Saugeen River to Paisley. Unfortunately, you don’t get many views of the river, except in towns. The side roads are quiet and nice for riding though. Only a short stretch of gravel, and not too many hills.
Paisley is right on the Saugeen, which means in a valley. We stopped at the Big Dipper Bakery for a treat, and we needed that fuel to ride the hill on County Rd 1 out of town.
We went through Pinkerton (nothing there) and stopped in Cargill to eat our lunch. Cargill has seen better days, but their community centre has public washrooms and a bench with a view of a pretty dam.
Cargill Rd/Concession 8 is a long straight, but rolling route to County Rd 10. 10 was busy and fast, but there’s no other way to Pearl Lake. It was a good test. We know now we can stomach that kind of riding if we have to, and we intend to avoid it as much as possible.
I jumped in the lake as soon as we reached it. Swimming never felt so good. I swear I left a 3m radius scum-slick of sweat, suntan lotion and road grit.
Deb’s parents fed us a huge meal and let us borrow their truck to go to the Hanover Drive-In. The Secret Life of Pets was not good, but Star Trek Beyond was.