We spent part of the day in our tent, Sunday, June 28. It had rained hard, at times, during the night and was windy. Our Hilleberg tent and tarp assured us a comfortable stay during the storm, everything remained dry and we were warm. At breakfast, we received a visit from Joe, Marnie and their son Joe. We were glad to see them. Then in the afternoon, Jim came to visit and we had dinner together. Thank you again Jim for the dinner and lovely evening.
The next day, Monday, June 29, we finally left the beautiful city of Lockport and were back on the water. While going through the last two locks on the Erie Canal (located in downtown Lockport), we saw Joe and Jim. Both had come to say goodbye. It's amazing that we have met so many extraordinary people who have positively marked our path and our adventure.
June 29 was a special day. We had 54 km to do, against the current, to make it to the other side of the Niagara River at Fort Erie. June 29 marked our last day in the United States and the beginning of a new stage in Canada. During the day, we remembered all the beautiful landscape we saw, our adventures and above all, all of the great encounters we had and the people with whom we have established deep friendships.
When we left the Erie Canal and its brown waters, we crossed through a turquoise line. We had just entered the Niagara River. The water of the Niagara River is beautiful and reminds us of the water of Georgian Bay (without current though). First we paddled south to go around an island named Grand Island (owned by the US). Then we continued northwest to reach Miller's Creek Marina. This is where we went through Customs, by phone. I admit I was a little emotional when we arrived in Canada. It has been 13 months since we left and we are now back in our country. Once the formalities with customs were done, we paddled towards the campground, located 6 km away.
Tuesday morning, June 30th, with great joy we were met at the campground by our good friend Michael Schwenger. He came to pick us up with his car and trailer to bring us to his home. On the way, we noticed how beautiful and unique the Niagara region is. It is not surprising that so many tourists visit here every year. We came back with Michael on July 16th to see Niagara Falls, the Whirlpool rapids, the village of Niagara on the Lake and the Welland Canal. Niagara Falls is composed of three sections (Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls). The combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world. They are 165 feet high (50 m).
From July 1 to July 5, we stayed at Michael and Jane’s place in Stoney Creek, located on Lake Ontario. We took time to recover and rest. On 4 July, there was a big party here to celebrate Canada Day and the Independence Day. We were happy to see many people and friends that we had not seen for a long time. Our stay here was wonderful and as always, we were wonderfully received. A big thank you to Michael, Jane, Leah and Nancy for everything!
On July 6, we went to Quebec City, but by road. We rented a car and surprised family and friends. A big thank you to David and Karine who hosted us all week and with whom we shared a great time. We really missed you guys! A big thank you to Danielle and Denis who have been our support throughout our adventure. They are undeniable allies of our success. Thank you to all you who came to see and welcome us. It was a great week of reunions. Unfortunately, we have not had time to see everybody, but do not worry, we will have the opportunity to see you again soon.
On the way back to Ontario, we saw Manuel, a great friend with whom we spent a pleasant evening (thank you Manu!). We left the next day to visit with King and Sharon (Blue Moon). They are now in Kingston (ON), and we should cross paths again in August. We also met Cindy and Grant (As the Crow Flies) with whom we had dinner on Tuesday evening. We were happy to see them all again. All of these people were very important to us and helped us many times along the way.
On the evening of July 14th, we were back in Stoney Creek (ON). We continued to rest during the week, and as said before, we went to Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake with Michael on July 16th (thank you Leah and Nancy for watching over Jasmine during our getaway).
Now we are preparing to resume paddling. On the morning of July 20, we will start paddling with Michael, Jane, Jim & Lisa and four other people in Georgian Bay. We will spend a beautiful week with all of them, taking the time to admire the scenery and enjoy the moments in good company at one of our favourite places. We will miss Leah and Nancy on that trip.