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Monthly Archives: July 2007

I realized as I had breakfast this morning that my tent pole snapping made a decision for me about the route I was going to take to get into southern Ontario. I had been unsure if I would take highway 17 to Sudbury and then south or if I would head south from Espanola down Manitoulin Island and take the ferry across to Bruce Penninsula. The pole breaking has made me take the second option because it is shorter and will mean at least one fewer day of camping before I can get to MEC. Plus it is supposed to be quite a nice trip too.

I felt good riding for once this morning and rode to the Agawa Native Rest Area for lunch. I had some good fish & chips before wandering around the gift shops that contained lotrs of wood carving from canadian carvers and other native crafts.

It was a very hot day (34°C+) and I wasn’t able to refil my water fast enough to keep it cold for very long on the road. There was a very large hill about 20km outside of Sault Ste. Marie where I started to pour water on myself while going up it.

I checked into the Algonquin Hotel (listed as a hostel) for $46 for 2 nights. After having a shower I walked through downtown to the mall where I watched the Transformers movie ($4.20 on Tuesdays) and had subway for dinner. After dinner I walked up the river to the canal locks and took some pictures. There were people fishing all the way along the river.

Distance 109.98km
Time 4:33:51
Average Speed 24.09km/h
Max Speed 51.68km/h
Odometer 4554km

Today was overcast all day, but very humid and warm with more headwinds throughout the morning. I had to take a lot of breaks because my legs were very tired after the last few long days of big hills, heat, and headwinds. I’m starting to think that I’m not eating enough in the mornings because I often don’t have a lot of energy until after lunch.

Lunch today was at Katherine Cove where I had an extra large lunch and stayed for longer than usual. I rode on to the Agawa Bay Visitors Center where I took another break and wandered around the exhibits. From there, there were a number of other big hills in and out of Montreal River Harbour. Just before leaving that town I bought a half dozen eggs to have with breakfast tomorrow morning (and hard boil a couple for a snack).

I found access to the lake at Alona Bay on an abandoned road blocked by a fallen tree that I was able to push out of the way. I sat on the rocky beach for hours having dinner and reading before heading back up to the flat ground I set my tent on. As I put the fly on my tent, the front pole that holds up the doorway of the tent snapped. Luckilly that one isn’t too important and I can still make partial use of it until I get to another MEC to get it replaced.

Distance 95.22km
Time 4:43:45
Average Speed 20.13km/h
Max Speed 61.99km/h
Odometer 4444km

In the morning I could tell that it was going to be a warm day today. I filled all my water bottles from the river using my filter and headed south into a strong headwind. I had an early lunch next to a lake in Obatanga Provincial Park where I stayed for a while to read. Today was another day of long stretches with nothing between.

From the park there was nothing all the way to Wawa. I stopped at Tim Hortons in town (I’m surprised that I haven’t seen any of these since Thunder Bay). After a short break there and refilling with cold water again, I headed further south into Lake Superior Provincial Park to the Old Woman Bay beach and picnic area. After dinner I went for a swim in the lake and sundried on a bench.

Distance 112.12km
Time 5:17:03
Average Speed 21.21km/h
Max Speed 45.15km/h
Odometer 4348km

Before leaving Marathon, Shaun and I went to Extra Foods to stock up on more food. I mostly just needed snacks and fruit because I bought enough food in Thunder Bay to last me my main meals for almost a week. Just as important as these snack foods was the bug spray I bought. My small container had run out on me.

After the 4km hill out of Marathon and another 20km at a leisurely pace on much flatter roads, Shaun and I stopped to exchange e-mail and other information because he wanted to ride further than me today and had to go at a faster pace in order to get there. A while after that I stopped at the edge of the road and climbed a rock outcropping to have lunch in some shade without being directly on the road either. The hills aren’t as bad today as they have been for the last few days.

There wasn’t much else on the road until White River, the town where Winnie the Pooh began. It also happens to have the coldest recorded temperature in Canada, -58°C. I had a root beer milkshake at A&W before heading on further to a rest area about 10km outside of town. I had dinner and read at a picnic table until the sun started to set before setting up my tent. The weather has gotten warmer now that I am no longer on the shore of the lake and I didn’t want to have my tent heat up from the sun.

Distance 109.41km
Time 5:01:47
Average Speed 21.75km/h
Max Speed 55.40km/h
Odometer 4236km

This morning was a cool morning because it had rained during the night. We packed up quickly, not letting our tents dry because there wasn’t enough sun through the trees. I tried to fill up my water bottles from the tap on the cabins but the water seemed to be shut off.

On the way up one of the larger hills we caught up to another cyclist named James Noble, who runs, and was biking all the way around Lake Superior. He has biked around each of the 5 great lakes in 5 years now. When we stopped for lunch in Terrence Bay, he caught up with us and chatted for a while longer before we left him behind to have his lunch.

There were several more long steep hills on the way to Marathon and we took a fair number of breaks. We headed downhill into Marathon (a large hill we were going to have to come up in the morning unfortunatelly) and found the Penn Lake campground. It cost us $20, though we thought for a while we weren’t going to have to pay because nobody came around to collect it until 9:30.

Distance 119.10km
Time 5:17:17
Average Speed 22.52km/h
Max Speed 59.62km/h
Odometer 4127km

I felt in a better mood for riding today but unfortunatelly there were still plenty of headwinds to slow me down. I didn’t let them stop me more often than usual though and had a snack in Dorion then lunch in Red Rock. I met Shaun again while having lunch (the biker from yesterday) because he was eating inside the restaurant where I stopped to eat at a picnic table outside.

We rode to Nipigon together and stopped for a snack at a Robins Donuts before heading further into town for Shaun to get groceries since he thought he would ride and camp with me for a couple days. We set off at a good pace from Nipigon and took a break at the top of a large hill about 30km away.

Late in the afternoon we made it to Rossport, a very nice looking small town on a bay of Lake Superior. We found a place to camp near the far edge of town by some unoccupied cabins (we knocked to ask permission but nobody was there). Since nobody was there, we borrowed a couple of their deck chairs and had dinner on the beach. Other than the black flies (which bit my feet constantly because I forgot to put bug spray on them) this is probably one of the nicest places I’ve camped so far.

Distance 129.36km
Time 5:48:59
Average Speed 22.24km/h
Max Speed 65.22km/h
Odometer 4008km

I didn’t sleep particularly well last night and it reflected on my riding during the day. Before getting on the road however, I had to do laundry and buy groceries. It took longer to get out of town than I expected because the city stretched mostly to the north.

Just outside town I stopped for a break at the Terry Fox memorial lookout spot and took a few pictures. I took my next break around 1:00 and only had a snack because I was still quite full from breakfast (I ate one too many bowls of cereal I think). Just as I was about to leave I met another cyclist who was also heading to St. John’s and stayed a little longer to talk with him. He started from Edmonton and is going at a faster pace than me because he plans to be back in Edmonton by late August.

Because I wasn’t particularly in the mood for biking today (combined with headwinds) I stopped for the day at the next rest area where it started raining on me. I managed to get my tent up with it mostly dry inside still. I spend the afternoon having lunch, taking a nap, reading, and having dinner.

Distance 67.77km
Time 2:58:55
Average Speed 22.73km/h
Max Speed 47.22km/h
Odometer 3878km