Rural Road Rambling (Southwest Ontario)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by B10Dave, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. black 8

    black 8 motographer

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    That's one gorgeous BSA for some leisurely cruisin' on those lovely roads Dave...
    #21
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  2. Brenski

    Brenski Been here awhile

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    I went straight north for 9 miles on the road I live on and turned right (east) on the road (Cromarty Drive) I used to live on 18 years ago before we sold our farm. This is a pleasant rural road with quite a mixture of things on it. There are modern farms, a mushroom growing operation, a sand and gravel quarry, a golf course and several (horse and buggy) Amish farms. One with a sawmill beside the road.

    B10, I'm enjoying the history lesson and your coverage of SW Ontario. This post mentioned your farm on Cromarty Rd.. One of your pictures looked very familiar. I had an Aunt and Uncle and cousins who farmed on Mossley Road, just east of Putnam Rd.. One cousin is still nearby, the farm was sold in the early 80's. My uncle drove the Amish farmers all over the area to auctions, picking up feed, etc.. Sadly, it seems that funerals are the only reason I get back there. Please keep the posts and pictures coming.
    #22
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  3. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Am loving this thread!
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  4. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Thanks John. Glad you found it.
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  5. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Thanks Rudy. Had it out for a 90 mile jaunt today.No pictures though. Trying to get it broken in from the rebuild and just enjoyed the miles today. Cruises back roads nicely at 40 to 50 MPH.
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  6. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Thanks for tagging along. I have lived in the Dorchester/Mossley/Harrietsville/Putnam area for most of my life. Know Mossley Drive ( still the 3rd of North Dorchester to me) very well. The farm I mention we sold is actually on the dead end Eaton Rd. with the 401 as the north property line and Cromarty as the south property line. Local construction company owner wanted it to build a horse track and kept offering more money till we sold.
    #26
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  7. dc_ok

    dc_ok n00b

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    Enjoying the report and the pictures that go along. Thanks for starting the thread.

    Dwight
    #27
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  8. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Thanks for tagging along.
    #28
  9. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Today; Thursday August 27th. it was the BMW's turn to ramble. I took my wife along ( a promise of lunch out lured her) for her first pillion ride in 7 years.:thumb Here is the bike and my view going out the driveway.

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    Not far from home we pass the Ontario Police College. All police forces in Ontario send new recruits to be trained at this facility before they interact with the public. This was an air force training base during WWII hence the stylized aircraft statue out front. My dad was a gunnery instructor during the war and was stationed here for part of his service.

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    A turn to the east at the next crossroad sends us through a rural settlement area peopled by Amish farmers. Careful where you put your foot down at a photo stop.

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    #29
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  10. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    We went south at the next road and crossed 3Hwy to end up at Heritage Line which we took to the village of Richmond. This impressive old house is owned by the Doddington family. If your forte is church pipe organs you will know that name. This family removes, installs, refurbishes, buys and sells church and concert hall pipe organs all over North America.

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    Heritage Line east of Richmond is a very nice road with lots of sweeping bends and descents and ascents of small valleys. We took it through Straffordville and Guysborough to Mabbee's Corner where we turned south at the former Mabbee's store.

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    Tobacco used to be a huge part of the agricultural output of this region. The sandy loam of Ontario's "great sand plain" was excellent for growing it and many farmers did over a long period of time. Different social norms being what they are saw the decline of production but there are still some producers left. The crop has mostly been replaced by ginseng, asparagus, sweet peppers, cucumbers, various melons and potatoes now.

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    The Bostwick Sideroad took us east and a bit south to get us over to Hwy 59 and our lunch stop at Andy's Drive In Restaurant at Andys Corners. Good food and 50's and 60's music playing on the sound system.


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    #30
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  11. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    From Andy's Corners we went south on 59 to county road 45 east to head for Simcoe and Port Dover. We had to take a detour for bridge construction so we ended up on Norfolk Cty. Rd 24. Here we passed several ginseng farms and stopped at the Provincial Forestry Station. This is the site of the first forestry station/tree farm in Ontario and it was established in 1908.

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    The ginseng takes about 5 years from planting until the root can be harvested. It pays well as a crop but the returns take a long term commitment of your cropland and you cannot replant ginseng on that land again.

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    #31
  12. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    When we left the Forestry Station to head east again to Port Dover we passed many fields of trees being grown to sell to land owners and tree nurseries.

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    You can see the clouds starting to build in the last couple of pictures. We turned onto Radical Rd. to take us into Port Dover where we rode down to the commercial harbour on the east side of the Lynn River where it flows into Lake Erie. Port Dover is home to the largest fresh water fishing fleet in the world and we were headed to the Pleasant Port fish store to get some pickerel for supper.

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    There is also a large pleasure boat harbour adjacent to the commercial harbour. Port Dover is also famous for the Friday the 13th biker gatherings. A group of biker friends were drinking at the Commercial Hotel bar one Friday when the idea was hatched to get together every time there was a Friday the 13th. This gathering grew over many years and Friday the 13ths to what is now one of the largest one day gatherings of motorcyclists in North America. If the day falls during one of the warmer months the town of 7000 people can swell with up to 50,000 motorcyclists and many more tourist gawkers come to see them. Google search Port Dover Friday the 13th. to see more info and pics and videos of this gathering.

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  13. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    After buying my fish for supper we headed out of town westbound on the route which follows the north shore of Lake Erie and would take us to and through Port Ryerse; Fishers Glen; Normandale and several other small hamlets. The clouds to our right (north) were becoming very dark and threatening but the sky ahead seemed sunny and clear. When we got close to Normandale there were some raindrops in the air but not at the village itself. I took a few pictures of the Inn/Store and also at the site of an early iron blast furnace operation that took advantage of the local bog iron ore until it ran out. Info in the pictures. There is also an example of persistence by someone who trained a maple tree trunk to follow the curvature of a bicycle wheel and completely engulf it.

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    The road past the furnace site goes down to the lake and a small beach.

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    It goes steeply uphill back to the main corner in Normandale. At the intersection is another old Inn where vacation rentals are available.

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    #33
  14. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    We then headed further west towards home all the while keeping an anxious eye on the clouds. When the Lake Road is still a couple of miles east of Port Burwell it is closed because of shoreline erosion and you have to go one road north to get past the closure. And of course the pending storm is in that direction. We made the turn and when I came to the first farm I turned into the lane and straight through an open door of one of their buildings. 5 seconds later all hell broke loose from the sky. My wife was very happy with my decision as we had no rain gear with us. The guy working in the shop at the rear of the building had a good laugh and said we we welcome to wait out the rain. We were there for over an hour of constant rain, thunder and lightning. Rain was so heavy at times we could just barely see the nearby windmill generators.

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    When the rain finally quit we rode on west to Port Burwell where I took these pictures of purple martin condos near the east beach/harbour area.

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    #34
  15. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Went back up the hill into the village proper and took pics of the lighthouse; museum;mariners memorial and the Ojibwa, a cold war era submarine from the Canadian Navy that is on display beside the harbour. You can tour this sub and most of the guides are former submariners so you get lots of personal incite as to life aboard a submarine while tracking Soviet and American subs during the cold war era. We then headed home for that fish dinner and a cold beer. I guess I didn't scare my wife as she is open to more trips on my bikes in the coming weeks. She did ask if I knew where her rain gear is now. " How the hell would I know as she hasn't ridden with me for 7 years. I think she was lucky to find her helmet. I guess we have some gear shopping to do"

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    #35
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  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Great pics, Dave! What's the story on the sub?
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  17. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Info on the sub can be found here John.....www.hmcsojibwamuseum.ca..... It was a local hot issue because of the museum defaulting on a loan from a bank. The local council for Bayham Township where Port Burwell is located had guaranteed the loan so taxpayers are on the hook. The Elgin Miliary Museum is located in St Thomas and had originally wanted to move the sub to Port Stanley which is directly south of St Thomas. Port Stanley was leery of incurring a large debt and declined to host the ship. Story is still playing out with no end in sight.
    #37
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  18. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Do they not understand that, with the right marketing, these cold war era boats can be a tourist moneymaker? Just pick up a same era Soviet sub to go with it and, voila, you've an interesting draw (and I am only half kidding).
    #38
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  19. zookster

    zookster Chupacabra

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    That sign about the tree's life was fantastic. Thanks for including that.
    #39
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  20. Chillis

    Chillis Long timer Supporter

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    Beautiful bike!
    #40
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