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Back roads lead to

Now today my touring buddy is Brian, who is an

expert on touring the back roads by motorcycle. It promises to be a good tour. My lady is at church

and looking forward to some downtime on her own, and Brian’s lady is off to Vancouver, after being dropped off at the ungodly hour of about 6:30 a.m. on a Sunday. You know what this means, right? No time limits!

This is the best way to tour. All you have to do is pick up your touring buddy and a Timmy’s and you’re good to go. A word about the touring buddy: yes, it can be your

wife/spouse, etc, but if she doesn’t own a pair of jeans and only likes fine dining, you are better off picking a guy who believes the world is his urinal – it will be a much better experience. The main thing to remember is that there is no mission in particular. Pick a direction and go. In this case we take Eagleson Road off the Queensway

until it ends. We turn right (easier than left) and travel along the river road to Merrickville for a quick stop at Brewed Awakenings for our next coffee. Passing the shops on the main street, (another bonus

to a buddy – this is not a shopping expedition, here. It’s an adventure!) we turn right onto County Road 16, past the herringbone brick house at Eastons Corners to reach the old railway-stop community of Jasper. The Jasper Hotel is now closed, so we tour straight on

through, past the old war- surplus outlet of my youth. To disrupt the nasty pattern of always turning right, we turn left onto County Road 7 to downtown Rock Springs. The next stop is Greenbush, whose entire inner city

financial centre was wiped out in the last recession. Driving straight past the old church (converted to a beautiful home), we continue straight down County Road 29 to Addison. In Addison we pass Calamity Jane’s. This is actually an excellent fine-dining stop for a future trip with the wife/partner. (A bit of advice: if she starts complaining a bit about these tours, make a point of taking her there – she will encourage you to continue in search of the wonderful restaurants you can take her to later.) A sharp right turn from County Road 30 onto 42

brings us to the Quaker graveyard (1800 – 1879) and our next potential coffee fill-up in Athens (note the wall murals). We keep on Highway 42, enjoying the rolling country

side and marveling at the bicycle fence, until finally stopping for breakfast in the megatropolis of Delta (just beyond Soperton). The high (or low-) light of most road trips is the breakfast stop. Breakfast stops can be rated on friendly

service, how cute the waitress is, how dog-eared the furniture is (i.e. comfortable) the quality of the calendar picture or the stuff on the walls. One can also degrade to rating the price and the

quality of the food and never, ever, ask “Hey, how can ya screw up eggs, toast and sausage?” For today’s trip, it is the highlight. Gentlemen of the

back roads, ya gotta go to Bob’s Diner for breakfast. Bob’s diner, on the main drag of downtown Delta,

is a guy’s Mecca, an establishment of unique stuff. The store still has its original 19th century frontage/entrance, plank flooring, high tin ceilings and period shelving. Lisa, the waitress, is friendly; the cost is reasonable (if you are rating that point); seating is available and Debra, the chef, makes most acceptable eggs and sausage. The locals are friendly (you get the feeling the big table is reserved for those whose lineage includes at least one grandparent from Delta). The cold drinks are in the fridge (self serve). Watch for the breakfast special. The stuff on the walls and in another room are

awesome. Bob refers to this great stuff as collectibles. Now

to me, collectibles are tea cups and such that a wife or girlfriend shops for; but his stuff is guys’ collectibles (i.e. really good stuff). Coca-cola signs are prevalent. There are lots of toy trucks from a different age, an airplane hanging from the ceiling, even gas pumps and highway signs from our past. Just lots and lots of neat stuff with every shelf and cubbyhole screaming out at you to come see and pick it up to reawaken those memories of your own past. So, go visit Bob, and don’t forget to look for the

Italian food vessel. After breakfast we meander down County Road

42 to Forfar (for the cheese) then hit Highway 15. At this juncture you can turn right to wander back through Portland, Smiths Falls and home via a couple of okay- routes. This time we stay on Highway 42 at Crosby, motor on to Newboro with a stop at their great outdoor store, Norris’s Live Bait & Tackle (look for the huge fish). Then we amble to Westport with just a quick stop at Westport Bakery on Main St., then finally to Perth and home. This diversion makes the tour a little longer. But… ya might see something else. Right?

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