Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Day 69: Wawa to Montreal River

It was a cool and cloudy start to the day with a warning of thunderstorms for later on. I got a little rain on me early on, not hard rain but enough to wet everything, and keep me cool. In fact, I wasn't warming up at all, not a good sign.

The road tipped upwards on more than one occasion, and all I could do was spin. Once again legs have no power in them, but will tick over for days. I'm getting hungry too, far earlier than expected.

A little alarm bell starts buzzing internally.

There were beautiful coves and bays all along Lake Superior today, some appearing as you're hurtling down a hill at 50+ km/h, others as you're cruising by at under 20 km/h.

Most of what I was riding through today was Provincial Park, so campsites were over $40 a site, and there were no stores of any kind to top up food supplies.
I went and mentally hid and let my legs do what they do best, tick over and over and over.

I knew Montreal River was close and I kept checking my Garmin map to see what the road was doing. Each climb was getting harder and harder, and as I rounded a corner on what I thought must be the final stretch, I saw the road keep going up!

My heart sank and I was suddenly quite grumpy. No, angry!
I stopped the bike on the road shoulder, grabbed my last bite of banana bread I had saved for emergencies (this was an emergency now) and had a little rant to nobody in particular.

Rant over, the journey continued, and not 50m later, a sign for Twilight Resort made itself visible through the trees, and guess what? It was 5km away! And they had food. Double bonus!
Suddenly re-energised, I worked through the last of the hills and smashed the final descent.

Dan, the owner, met me at camp reception and checked me in. I showered and took ages to setup my tent, my brain was fried. Today had been a taxing day, physically and mentally.
While I was deciding where to pitch, 3 more cyclists rolled in and shared my site. Matt, Amy and Stephen, from Winnipeg.

For dinner, Dan cooked us the works. Double portions of poutine, hamburgers, chips and, for dessert, deep fried peanut butter cups.

Stephen went fishing after dinner but didn't have much luck.

Deep fried s'more

Distance: 109 km
Time: 5:44:31
Height gained/lost: 1068m /-1142m

Calories: 3536

Monday, 7 August 2017

Day 68: White River to Wawa

As anticipated, this morning was cold, and everything was covered in dew. Mist shrouded the trees in a silent cloak, hiding the sun from, us, the shivering campers.
The RV's left at the break of dawn, scurrying off to wherever they had to be that day. I, on the other hand, only had to be in Wawa, 95 k's down the road.

Bags packed, I said goodbye to Winnie, rolled over the road to the bakery and bought a few slices of banana bread, strawberry and banana bread, and a butter tart.
Just in case.

Today would be tough, as a headwind was pencilled in on the cards. The hills started out OK, nothing too major, but soon the wind turned, and picked up, hampering my progress a little.

I knew there was a campsite at Wawa, and all I could focus on was getting to the site. My legs had no power, but they kept on spinning, ticking off each kilometre slowly but surely. There was a lodge halfway along the road where I could refill my water bottles, but when I arrived it was closed due to the public holiday in effect. I sat on the porch in the shade and had a chat with the Tin Man.

Lots of pretty perfect lakes reflected my progress as I cycled past them, Hammer Lake being an example.

Wawa has the largest goose statue in Canada, so I checked that out before heading to the campsite. Once I had arrived in camp, late in the afternoon, setup my tent in my allocated space, which seemed to be the darkest spot around, I headed up to the swimming pool for a dip. The water was 28C, crazy, so I wallowed for a bit before getting out. I caught a bit of sun on the deck chairs and dozed. What a relaxing end to an otherwise tough day.
Rodents keep me company

As usual, the rodents found my site and kept me company for most of the evening.

Due to data corruption I don't have any calories or altitude readings to give.

Distance: 95 km
Time: 4:54:00
Height gained/lost: ??m /-??m

Calories: ??

Hammer Lake

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Stats: Week 9

Rolling hills along Lake Superior are attacking me, much like the mosquitoes and horseflies.

Total Distance: 4291.53 km
Total Time: 202:49:53

Total Height gained/lost: 29900m /-30468m

Total Calories: 137255

Day 67: Marathon to White River

The clear skies last night resulted in a very cold start to the day today, to combat that I stayed in bed for a little longer, partly in the hope it would warm up, partly because I felt really lazy.
Once in the sun though, it was nice and warm.

The climb out of Marathon is 4km long, so spinning the lighter gears is a great way to get the legs pumping for the day.

As there is not much between the towns on the north shore of Lake Superior, my days are dictated by where the town are. Some of the past days have been quite short, distance-wise, which takes a little bit of pressure off.

I am riding through mining country today; gold, silver, lead and zinc was discovered here in the 1930's, and eventually mined in the mid-50's.

White River, my destination for today, is the official 'birth place' of Winnie the Pooh. Winnipeg the bear, was bought by a soldier on the railway platform in White River, and soon assumed the role of company mascot. When the soldiers were sent to the UK, Winnie went along with them and was kept at the London Zoo while the soldiers were fighting in Europe. Winnie was later donated to the Zoo.

White River has no campsite,  but the staff at the Info Centre said I can camp on the lawn outside, free of charge. Bonus!
Showers and a laundry service was provided at the gas station about 300m down the road. I was having a luxurious afternoon; clean clothes, a shower, a free campsite with power and wifi...wow!

The evening was a beaut, clear skies and a full moon rising. It may be another chilly evening in the tent. RV's and other campers were appearing out of the evening darkness and setting up camp like me, and soon there were a few of us hunkering down for the evening.

Distance: 96.8 km
Time: 4:57:58
Height gained/lost: 765m /-632m

Calories: 2971