Compared to yesterday, the temperature today was higher and the winds were stronger. For the most part, we were on busier roads with bumpier surfaces and the scenery was not spectacular. None of this mattered though, because we had the Canadian border in our sights.
By the time we finished breakfast in Yale, it was already 84 degrees outside. Each town we passed through had one of those scrolling electric signs with messages like “Welcome to Marine City ... 95 degrees ... Have a great summer!” The heat reminded me of my bike trip in 2015, when we took a more Southern route through states like Kansas and Missouri. I’ve grown used to the cooler temperatures of the Northern Tier this summer, so today this heat was a shock to my system.
After 68 miles, we arrived in Algonac, a small town by the St. Clair River with a gargantuan American flag flying above the shore. There we boarded a ferry to cross the river to Walpole Island, Ontario. We were greeted on the Western shore by a more modestly sized Canadian flag and a customs officer who spent more time chatting with us about our trip and wishing us good luck than looking at our passports.
We’ve been looking forward to this border crossing for a long time now, and it has definitely lived up to the hype. Here are some of our favorite parts of being in Canada:
The units: As soon as we crossed the border, the temperature dropped from 94 degrees F to a crisp 29 degrees C. Additionally, the 13 kilometers from Walpole Island to our destination of Wallaceburg took us less than half an hour. Back in the states, 13 miles would have taken us more than twice that time.
The wind: The headwind we had all day became a tailwind after we got off the ferry and turned Northeast.
The people: I know it’s a stereotype that all Canadians are nice, but every single person we’ve met here today has been genuinely kind and helpful. When we arrived in Wallaceburg, we asked at the police station if we could camp anywhere in town. The police officer had never heard that kind of request before, and yet she had no problem securing us a place to stay in the park.