Day 49 – Sharbot Lake to Ottawa, ON – 131km

Gail and I were up early to meet people nearby in Sharbot
Lake at the Child Centre. Rather than packing up the whole site and leaving, we
decided to drive into town, and then come back afterwards to pack. We had a
nice informal gathering with people from the Kingston area who are involved
with augmentative and alternative communication in some way—whether they speak
with it, help others speak with it, or if they have a family member who
communicates with alternative forms.

Kerr had an awful night. Sometimes he has sleepless
nights due to extreme stiffness and seizures. Mia was also tired after staying
up with him. Understandably, they didn’t have the energy to come into town to
meet people after that night. This was unfortunate, because we met some
interesting people.

The crew at the Sharbot Lake Child Centre

In the small crowd that had gathered to meet with us, was
Connie. Connie was one of the first three people in Canada to receive a
computer to communicate with back in the 80s. It’s a small world: the lady who
supported Connie with her communication many years ago turned out to be the
same person who has helped Kerr. That was interesting, but probably not a huge
shock; I know Lynette Norris has helped a lot of people. It just so happens
that Gail and Kerr have been in the same room as Connie before, with Lynette,
without realizing it. I give a big thanks to Lynn Guindon for arranging this
gathering and for hauling a heavy suitcase full of pennies to the bank. The Kingston
ACS team had done a successful penny drive, raising over $200…in pennies. Dear
innocent bank teller, who counted those pennies, thank you.

Rocking the red T's in support of Km 4 C

After our gathering, it was back to the campground, and
then onto the road. The forecasts were threatening thunderstorms. I was fairly
lucky with the weather. I was cruising along with a tailwind. Other than a
downpour in Perth, I had great weather. I got soaked, but I kept biking and the
sun dried my drenched gear. By the time I arrived in the Ottawa area, there
wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Between Peterborough and Perth, the landscape is rock,
trees, and lakes. After Perth, there is a change from rock and tree to an
abundance of peaceful farmland. As I came into Ottawa, it became very apparent
that I was entering an active, bike-friendly city. There were tons of cyclists.
I actually went trolling for roadies as I came into the city. I would
eventually catch up to a group of 2 or 3 road bikers. I would ride their draft
until they turned off, stopped, or slowed down, and then it would be on to find
the next group. It was a sunny afternoon, so there were ample cycling groups to
sneak up on.

Kerr joined me for the final leg of the day in his Wike
trailer, on path that ran beside the Rideau Canal. We had a lovely cruise down
the scenic path.

Kerr and I finishing up the day near University of Ottawa

At some points the path was very narrow and crowded, so there
was some skilful navigation and braking involved. If you’re ever in Ottawa, and
you have a bike, ride the path next to the Rideau—even if you’re a hard core
mountain biker who finds road biking mind-numbingly boring. Kerr and I finished
our ride by cycling through the University of Ottawa campus, which is quite a
beautiful campus. I wish I had the helmet cam set up…but it wasn’t charged.

We weren’t staying in downtown Ottawa, so met up with the
support vehicle and drove out of town to the Ottawa Municipal Campground on the
western outskirt, where we set up camp. I was exhausted and didn’t have much
energy left to do anything once my tent was pitched and my body fed.