Seems that when you go out and buy a couple of kayaks, you need to have two motorcycles to go along with them. Why you ask??? Easy. As Judy and I are not totally familiar with south western Ontario, having lived mainly in the north, we have to scout out locations to be able to use our kayaks. This part of Ontario is not rife with lakes and rivers like in the northern areas. Because of that, access to the rivers in this area is restricted.
Take Lake Pittock for example. It is a totally controlled Conservation area, so if you want boat access to the Lake, you have to pay a fee, which in this case is $12.00 for a day pass per car.
Today, our mission was to scout out the Town of Paris, Ontario, which is only about a 25 minute drive east for us. As it was the nicest day of the summer, it was not hard to take a nice bike ride today!
Paris, just like our tour to the Town of St. Marys this week, was built around a Grist Mill. Seems to be a theme here... Back in 1839, the Town was first settled when Hiram Capron bought land to build a Mill. The Town of Paris was registered a little later in 1850.
I think old Hiram looked a little like a tough guy, if you ask me. I always kind of thought that Paris, Ontario, might have been named after Paris, France. Humph.... not even close. It seems that there are very large deposits of Gypsum in this area. All that Gypsum led to the discovery of Plaster of Paris.... yup, you guessed it, that is where the name of the Town comes from... go figure.
Once we got there, it did not take us long to find a public launching site on the Grand River. This River runs right through downtown.
Once again, I have to remember to launch below the falls! Very important! That trestle you see in the background, is used by the trains, and is very active. Seems a little precarious when the trains go over the very top of it though...
We were actually able to get a picture of this bill board at the water access point that showed us numerous areas along the Grand, right from Cambridge, down to Brantford where we can access the river. Good info to have!
We went to check out downtown Paris and were glad we did, as a festival was going on...
One of the festival highlights, was a free bucket ride in the Hydro Truck you see in the background...( Electrical Company Truck for our American Readers... yes, I am the guy that walks up to the front desk at our RV Park in Florida, and asks for the "Hydro Bill". They look at me like I am from Mars!) It extended pretty high up in the sky for a great view of the downtown. No, we did not wait in line. Had lunch at a restaurant called the Brown Dog. It was real good, and we got to sit out on the river.
This is the view from our lunch table... we ran into Chris' Mom and Dad, David and Diane, who were sitting at the table beside us... yup, a small world. They were out on a bicycle adventure.
We got back on the motorcycles, and drove the 20 minutes down to Brantford, the home of Wayne Gretzky. It did not take us long to find a park right along the Grand River where we will be able to pull in with the kayak. It is about a 3 hour kayak tour from Paris to Bratford, with the river moving pretty good. You cannot paddle up stream in this river... too fast for that, so it is a one way trip! Might plan this for Monday, we will see. It will take some fancy planning as we will need two vehicles to pull this one off.
Gotta get this posted, so I can make it down to the Hotdog Roast in our Park tonight provided by the owners!