Thursday, August 10, 2017

Aug 10--Day 59--And Now, Toronto and a Tower

I made it to Toronto! It was pretty much the best day on the Waterfront Trail, signage wise, except for two spots.


This was also the most right-on-the-water section of the trail so far. Nearly the entire day, really. It was also the most bike path so far. The thing about the bike path is that it does make it quite a bit slower. There were lots of people on the various trails through the parks.

Riding along the water

Waterfront Trail



The first bad signage place was in Oshawa in Lakeview Park. All was well to start with, then I found myself not seeing any signs. I came to a fork in the trail. There happened to be a park gal there--a very good bit of karma, because she told me I wasn't on the Waterfront Trail, and she told me how to get back. Sure enough, I ended up right back at the park. Just after I got going the correct way, a gal asked me where I was headed. Of course I stopped. We had a nice chat about Tilmann and my ride. Then, her friend came up, and I had the same conversation with him! It was a good break.


I continued riding, going by towns without really going into them. I was kind of wanting to go by a convenience store or something so I could get a Gatorade, but no.


Finally, I was heading toward a busier road. Could it be? Yep, a convenience store! That Gatorade was quite good, even though it was orange (I prefer the fruit punch).


Rehydrated, I continued on my way. I was definitely getting into more of a metropolitan area, the outskirts of Toronto for sure.


At a very busy street called Kingston St., there was no sign for which way to go. I went straight, but that seemed wrong. I turned on Garmin, and plugged in the address to the hostel. It did take me on Kingston for a bit, but then got me back to the waterfront and the Trail. I was riding along the beach when I saw an ice cream place with a restroom nearby. I stopped, mostly because I had to pee, but then I decided to get some ice cream. As I was sitting at a little table, three older women and a woman my age came over and asked if they could share my table. I said of course. The three older ladies were sisters, and the younger one was the daughter of Diana, one of the sisters. We had a good time chatting. The sisters were from various places (Ellie was from Florida, Diana lived a few hours north of Toronto near Algonquin, I can't remember where the third sister was from, and Roslyn, the daughter, was from Toronto). They were going to a Blue Jay's baseball game this evening. After them taking pictures of me, and me taking pictures of them, I shoved off for the rest of my ride into Toronto and the hostel.

Roslyn, Diana, and...can't remember her name

Ellie watching the purses



Similar to Montreal, there was a great bike path that took me right into the heart of downtown. There were a couple of little weird parts, but I figured it out, and arrived at the hostel safe and sound. They had a bed available in a coed 6-bed dorm room (funny, there is only one guy). This is a new experience for me--sharing a room. Except that they are all young enough to be my children, it's fine. There's a gal from Australia, one from England, two that I don't know, and the guy is also from England.


After I got settled and showered, I went in search of food. I had a turkey burger at a place a couple blocks away. After dinner, I trekked my way to the CN Tower. I wanted to go up in it. There were a ton of people around there, a lot of tourists, but also a lot going to the Blue Jays game at the stadium right next to the tower. 

CN Tower from the bottom



I went in to get a ticket. The gal told me it would be a two hour wait in line. When I grimaced, she said they had a premium ticket that I could buy for $100, and go right up. Well, I decided since I was only staying one night in Toronto (so not paying for a bed at the hostel for two nights), and it was really only $80 US, and I would get 15% off merchandise at the gift shop, I would do it. 


I felt like some VIP. With the premium pass I walked up to the ticket guy, flashed my pass, and he said right this way Ma'am. I was handed off to the elevator gal who let me board first and told me to stand by the window. At the top, I was let off at the "glass floor" level (the non-premium guests had to walk two floors down). 


I went out to the outdoor observation deck. Here's some photos.

Elevator ride up

Looking east--the direction I rode from today

West--the way I'll go tomorrow



Here's some photos from the glass floor. 

Looking down into the stadium

My feet



I took the elevator back down (again getting priority boarding). In the gift shop I got a postcard and a magnet and a hat for Grayson. It was worth the premium price. There's no way I would have stood in line for two hours!


Now I'm back at the hostel on my top bunk. Tilmann is up on the 5th floor patio. I need to think about how I'm going to get him and everything back down tomorrow. The elevator isn't big enough for Tilmann loaded. I'll probably take him down first (or the bags), then make another trip...or something.



Tomorrow is a long day--68 miles. I may not make it the whole way, especially since breakfast isn't until 7:30...we'll see...

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