I had an epic ride today: 198kms and I hit the 4500kms mark. The wind, the roads and the cycling gods were in my favour. I also caught up with Matt outside of Little Current. We camped at Gordon’s Park in Tehkmmah which is just 14kms from the ferry.
More later. We packing up and we’re mighty hungry for breakfast.
There are a lot of things in common between British Columbia and Northern Ontario: the rugged landscape; beautiful lakes and rivers; fishing; mining; and, logging. The same goes for Manitoba and Southern Ontario but with acres of farms, Mennonite Communities and towns with tree-lined streets.
Northern Ontario Logging Memorial
At a rest area on Serpent River I met a group of youths from the area learning white water canoeing (Moving Water 1 certification). Ryan and I did our certification a few years ago and it was a blast. You have to learn how to handle a one-person canoe in white water which takes a lot of skill.
White water canoeing is a lot like mogul skiing. You basically learn how to safely maneuver through a set of hazards “downhill”, except you probably have less of a chance of drowning when you’re skiing.
By Massey the traffic was starting to get to me so I took an alternative route to Espanola: Lee Valley Rd. It was very scenic and traffic free but I don’t think I’ve ever ridden on a road with so many potholes. Even the potholes had potholes.
Lee Valley Road
Highway 6 from Espanola to Little Current and on Manitoulin Island is fantastic. There’s a wide paved shoulder and the drivers slow down to pass you.There are hills though, and lakes, lakes everywhere. This is where the Group of Seven painted many of the scenes of Northern Ontario.
At the, um, beer store in Little Current I met a couple on a Harley who said they just saw another cyclist with red hair head out for the ferry. That had to be Dave, the fellow I camped with at Adawa Bay. I planned to grab something to eat in Little Current but upon hearing that news I decided to try to catch up to Dave, which I did.
It’s nice to have someone to cycle with; someone to compare memories with, and someone who “gets” cycle touring. We continued on together to see how close we could get to South Baymouth where the Chi-Chimaun ferry leaves for Tobermorey. At this time of year there’s only two ferry trips per day and we both wanted to be on the first one.
About 12 kms before South Baymouth we spotted Gordon’s Camp and decided to stop. What a find! Gordon’s Camp has everything: a pool, nature walks, a section of property kept dark for star gazing, eco showers, a nature centre with just about every stuffed bird, fish and animal local to the area that you could imagine and a display of fossils from the area. The Gordon’s are super nice people too.
By-the-way am eco shower is a thick black plastic bag that you fill with hot water, raise up on a winch, and then open the nozzle. It uses about 5 gallons of water vs 18 gallons for a regular shower. I filled up the bag completely because I was afraid of running out before I was done, but I ended up have about 1/3 of the water left over, so I used the rest for tea (just kidding about that last part).
I was really happy to get one last night to camp. The ferry is not until 11:10am tomorrow so we have lots of time to pack up and have a nice breakfast somewhere.
I also happened to have beer to celebrate an amazing day (now you understand the Beer Store part, right?). I only imagined in my wildest dreams that I would get this far today. I didn’t stop for lunch or dinner and made good time. Now I have a good shot at making it to the GTA by Saturday.
Distance traveled today – 198 kms
Moving time – 9 hours and 46 minutes
Moving avg – 20.2 kms/hour
Elevation – 236kms
Don’t forget that I am raising money for the United Way of Toronto. I’ve raised $1200 so far which is awesome but I’m still pretty far from my goal of $1 for every kilometre cycled, or $4500.
The United Way is about helping others in our community to have a better life. I hope that my journey will serve as inspiration for others, that if you sent your goals big and overcome challenges you can do great things. The United Way gives people in our community the support they need to overcome their challenges.
Please consider making a donation here. FYI, all the donations are collected through an organization called CanadaHelps through a feature called GivingPages, which enables people to raise money online for the charities they support, such as the United Way of Toronto.
If you prefer to give to a United way in your community, that’s fine too, just let me know how much you contributed and I’ll add it to the total.