Sara, Logan, Alison (our niece) and I got up to Port Sydney late Thursday night. Friday we woke up to Muskoka morning magnificance (yes that's a triple alliteration score!). Above is our accomodation at Clyffe House on Mary Lake. We had breakfast out back and we were excited to get going.
Here's the view of the lake from the front porch of the Annex building where we were staying. The Clyffe House is made up of several old homes divided into cottage units. The first building was built in 1885 and it is run by Dave Scott whose relatives came here from Britain. They apparently were given 200 acres free in this area for farming. As most people know this area is not ideal for farming. They gutted it out and made quite the homestead. I can't imagine what this land is worth today!
Just beautiful! While the crew relaxed I went for a run. I headed out the back way to the road leading to the rapids.
At the rapids is a steel bridge that hooks up to the main part of the village (a couple of shops and the Uncle Larry's General Store). I traveled past the public beach and continued on Muskoka 10.
Muskoka 10 has a nice hard-packed trail next to it. It is a stair-step climb out of Port Sydney. I climbed this series of hills and made the turnaround at 4km. From there it's mostly downhill so you feel fast! After the run I went immediately to the pool and knocked off 2300m and was done training by 1pm.
By the end of day, John (Beast) and Sheila, Peter and Susan arrived. We had a couple of beverages and discussed our planned long ride for Saturday.
Saturday was awesome weather wise and slightly warmer. We decided to mix up some traditional routes with areas that had yet to be explored. We headed out of Port Sydney through Utterson. Utterson is nice because it has the only real flat stretch of road in the area. Leaving Utterson, we went right towards Port Carling and did an out-and-back on Three Mile Lake road. We had fun there with the short steep hills and the dog that chased us - I'm pretty sure the dog has never seen a cyclist before as it tried to chase us and ended up tumbling into the ditch.
After the group ride Peter and I continued on as a 100 miler was on the menu. We did the Brittania Loop which is insanely hilly! Post Brittania we headed back out the Muskoka 10 through Utterson to Windermere Road (another unexplored route) and back to make it 100.6 miles in total. Post ride it was dock time with the gang and icing the legs in the lake - great for recovery. We had an awesome dinner together where we discussed the day and reminisced about Don, especially the fact he completed Ironman Florida just this past November (still amazes me). The next morning was overcast with some occasional light rain but decent weather for my long run. I did a short run initially solo then went out with the group for a while. It was great to have the company. John accompanied me for 1.5 hours (his longest run in a while). Sara got an hour in - her longest run since recovering from being sick then Sara and Logan came out on the bikes for the last part with me. Sheila, once again, put some time in on the mountain bike while we ran and got her hour in. Not surprisingly she was well-coordinated from head to toe. Her advice regarding rich guys vs poor guys is always cutting edge stuff! Peter and Susan ran ahead as they werem't going as long but we did see them on the out and back section. It always surprises me how a long run goes by when you're with a group. In total I ran for 2:32. Overall, I was pretty please with the 2 days of training.
Mission accomplished! Long bike (100 miles) - check! Long run (2:32) - check! Beverages - check! Great times, great people - check! A great time was had by all.
Finally, although Don is no longer with us, he is here in spirit. Linda, understandably so, did not make it up this year. I put out these chairs as a sign that they are in our thoughts.