Another beautiful day, warm but not too warm, humid but too bad. Only 68 miles today to Port Dover and hopefully 80 tomorrow to Fort Erie, which is across the Niagara River from Buffalo.

Several common themes emerge while cycling on the north shore of Lake Erie; windmills, sunshine, lake breezes, beautiful beaches, silty water, towns that begin with the word “port” that used to be really busy ports but aren’t anymore, lighthouses, and a lot of tourists.

I guess if you live in this part of Ontario, these towns are your only beach choice. Prices go up, ages go down, music gets louder, and rooms get scarcer. The hotels are small affairs, and there are always a few B & B’s and you better have a reservation. A hotel manager told me he could have sold out all his rooms five times over last night, and that was at $140/night!
The beach scenes above are in one of the less “crazy” towns, (and thus I liked it the most), Port Burwell. The town once boasted three ship yards turning out wooden schooners, more than any other town on the north shore. Coal and steel and the railroad made the schooners obsolete. Coal would be shipped daily from Ohio on the Ashtabula until it sank in 1958. After that the government stopped dredging the harbor and the Big Otter Creek slowly filled in the channel with silt.

20120722-204128.jpgThis anchor is on display in Port Burwell. It is from a 172′ schooner built in 1873 and wrecked off Port Stanley a year later.
Bonus photos:

20120722-204502.jpgA store display on the main street to the beach.

20120722-204603.jpgTank art in Port Stanley.