Day 39 – Agawa Bay to Sault Ste. Marie – Total distance travelled 4152kms

I’ve met quite a few other cyclists lately: Hiro day before yesterday, Brian and Matt yesterday (Matt and I camped together last night). I stopped to greet a cyclist going the other way but he just kept going! I guess he was late for an important meeting or something.

I met Ingrid this morning at Montreal River at the only store in the last 100kms. Ingrid lives in Spain and has put over 10,000 kms on her bike. She had nothing but great things to say about Canada.

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Me and Ingrid – Cold and having a bad hair day

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Montreal River

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Brakes, don’t fail me now!

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There are views like this at every bend in the road

I stopped for lunch at Batchewana Bay at a great place called Voyageur Lodge. It was like a switch turned on: civilization! That meant lots of traffic for the next 65 kms and some pretty poor roads. Around a bend, past the last of Lake Superior, one last “climb worthy” hill and I was in Sault Ste. Marie.

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Goodbye Lake Superior

In one way it feels great to be back in “civilization” again. By that I mean a hearty selection of nice hotels and restaurants. At the same time, the server in the restaurant seemed a little too programmed, contrasted with the folks I met along Superior who always seemed surprised and happy to have someone enter their store. One owner I spoke to at Montreal River told me they used to have a restaurant but now she can’t find anyone to work there.

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Hello Sault Ste. Marie!

Lots of things “interfere” with the best laid plans. Like today when I unloaded my bike and realized I have another broken spoke so tomorrow morning it’s back to the bike shop for repairs. But than again, how lucky is it that I’m in a city large enough to have a bike shop?

I planned to hit the road early this morning but the bike shop doesn’t open until 10am. I think this latest mechanical problem is fate telling me to slow down a little. Now I can sleep in, have a nice breakfast, get organized…

I desperately want to be home to spend the day with my family on Father’s Day. Vicki and the kids are coming to Toronto to bring me back to Ottawa. I did some quick calculations and there’s no way I’ll be able to make it to Toronto by Saturday. But spending Sunday with Vicki and the kids and Vicki’s mom is what’s keeping me going right now. My plan is to go as far as I can and meet Vicki somewhere along the way Saturday afternoon, somewhere between Tobermorey and Mississauga.

I can’t help but feel a little disappointed, which is really stupid, and I know it. I’ll have cycled well over 4500kms by Saturday, seen and experienced so much of Canada and its people, and my little Norco has proved to be one tough bike.

Stats
Distance traveled today – 136 kms
Moving time – 7 hours and 17 minutes
Moving avg – 18.7 kms/hour
Elevation – 242m

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Day 38 – Wawa to Agawa Bay, Lake Superior Provincial Park – Total distance traveled 4016kms

I’m listening to the sound of the surf pushing a million round pebbles up the beach, only to have them roll back down again as the water retreats. I’m walking down a beach that never seems to end. A cool wind coming off of Lake Superior alternates with a warm breeze from the south. Now I’m watching a sunset with ever changing skies that’s lasted nearly two hours.

This is Agawa Bay on Lake Superior.

My post today was going to start with the usual: I battled against a 25km headwind blah, blah, blah. The heat was exhausting blah, blah, blah. The hills were long and never ended, and so on.

All of that was washed away with a walk along the beach, letting the cool water swirl around my toes, and watching the sun go down.

Now I’m laying in my tent listening to the surf. It’s so peaceful that I’m struggling to stay awake.

And I got here on my own power. No car, no gas, and no smelly exhaust fumes.

This is cycle touring at it’s finest.

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Camping on the beach

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Pebbles in the sand

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Sunset

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Never ending sunset…

Stats
Distance traveled today – 94.2 kms
Moving time -5 hours and 53 minutes
Moving avg – 16.0 kms/hour
Elevation – 184m

Giving

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 amazing 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.