Niagara Falls

Saturday, 4 August (I know, I had the date wrong Thursday)

(Friday night) It is so humid in Port Dover that the grass is already wet with dew before sunset. The laundry I hung six hours ago is still wet. Even the shorts I washed yesterday, hanging for their second day, are still wet. I have one dry pair left. My sleeping bag is still soggy from last night before I go to bed. My tent rain fly is wet inside and out.

We’re in a “Conservation Area” that looks like a campground to me, but seems to be more an enclave of summer homes. 

Many of the trailers are up on cinder blocks. Many have wooden front porches or decks. Some have gardens and fences. While they are travel trailers, not mobile homes, it appears that most have not moved in years.

We rode 5.5 miles before breakfast.

I read a play by Gary Soto the other night.  It was written in Spanglish. (I know him primarily for his picture books for children, also in Spanglish.) This got me thinking about Spanglish and about the Lone Ranger.

The hypothesis I am about to explicate is one I developed some time ago. I could find no evidence to support it. As those who have heard my explanation of the origin of the town of Kaukauna well know, this does not stop me from making stuff up.

The Lone Ranger calls his sidekick “Tonto”. Those with even a rudimentary understanding of Spanish know this means “stupid”.

Tonto, in return, calls the Ranger “Kemosabe”. This could be rendered as “(E´l) que no sabe”, or “he who doesn’t know” or, more simply, “know nothing”. [Imagine the accent is on the E; that was the best I could do.]

Are these affectionate nicknames among friends? Or is it a comment on the power relationship? The Lone Ranger, in his arrogance, calls his sidekick “stupid” and thinks he’s putting one over on him. Tonto, in return, calls the Ranger “know nothing” but says it in a respectful tone. The joke is then on the Lone Ranger and Tonto exercises his power in the only way available to the oppressed, slyly and (apparently) innocently. 

We rode past a huge estate, said to have 27 bathrooms. One of our staff asked if it were correct that the owners made their money from vegetables. The pastor of the church where we were eating smiled slyly and said, “or something green and leafy.” It was only after the snickers died down that I remembered that we are in tobacco country. In the photo, the mansion is barely visible through the morning fog. Ironically, it is on Radical Road (see photo below).

Ther are lots of wind farms in Ontario and solar panels frequently stand among the soybeans.

We rode through summer homes along Lake Erie and into the town of Dunville, where I stopped for espresso and a scone.BBCB4FCC-3928-4322-B38F-E3CD247AB805

We rode on to lunch, where we said goodbye to Ally and Ed, who set off to meet up with the rest of the family for their ride home to New Jersey. A few hundred yards later we passed a mailbox reading “Ed and Allie”.

Gelato in Fonthill after lunch, then a quick ferry ride in a pontoon boat (I was the only passenger) before the final stretch into Niagara Falls. Then it was “hurry up and wait” for the campground to be ready. I hadn’t stalled enough – but I have wet clothes to hang and I want them dry today.