Day 113: The Point to Terrace Bay

After a morning spent sharing stories and drinking coffee we all got ready to ride in the rain. It was a cold day with a lot of wind, rain, and fog stealing all the views. However having not ridden too far yesterday and being in the middle between towns we didn’t have much of a choice but to ride through the rain and fog.

Again the shoulders were on and off and we had many hills to climb. At the peak of each hill the fog became so thick we could hardly see ahead, and many cars had their 4-way flashers on to get through the fog. We often rode in the gravel as far to the side of the road as we could to try to get as far away from the traffic as possible.

Once we made it to Terrace Bay we found a motel and had a good dinner at Drifters, as recommended by Phil.

Day 112: Birchwood RV Park to The Point

We all met at Tim Hortons this morning and we were able to talk more with Josh and Derek and learn a bit more about their trips. Josh had just started in Winnipeg, and made a very last minute decision to bike so he was acquiring gear and knowledge as he went. Derek is a seasoned tourer who grew up doing trips with his parents, and has even already ridden across Canada. Needless to say we had a great time chatting and spent all morning at Tim Hortons.

Briefly splitting ways, Jesse and I started our ride. Not too long afterwards the other three caught up. We stopped to admire the view at the top of a hill when a woman came by and invited us all to her place to swim and use the sauna if we wanted. We all eagerly decided to go, and had a great afternoon chatting with Dawn and Phil, swimming and sauna-ing. As it was getting late and we were in a beautiful location with great company, we decided to stay for the night.

Unfortunately I had one of the worst headaches I’ve ever experienced so after dinner I couldn’t even wait for the sun the fully set (an indication of how bad it was) and retreated to the tent, missing the rest of what I heard was a fun evening of chatting while watching the sun set over the water.

Day 111: Thunder Bay to Birchwood RV Park

With Tara, Matteus and Bella
With Tara, Matteus and Bella
The day started with a great breakfast with Tara and the kids before we got ready to go. Jesse played soccer with Matteus and Bella a bit, then we head off down the pathway which started right out their backyard.

There was a side road we were able to take for quite a ways out of the city before we connected with the Trans Canada. The Trans Canada was very busy without much of a shoulder and not too pleasant to ride on.

At the campground we met up again with Jill who was also camping there. A little while later two guys came from across the street where they were wild camping to chat. We stood around a while swatting mosquitoes before we agreed to meet up the next morning at Tim Hortons where we could talk more comfortably.

Day 110: Timberland Motel to Thunder Bay

The clouds having parted we started our easy ride to Thunder Bay. On the way in we stopped at Kakabeka Falls. While there we ran into Jill again and then rode the rest of the way into the city with her. Tara’s place wasn’t too far in so we parted ways as we got close.

After spending some time at Tim Hortons we headed over to Tara’s. We spent the afternoon chatting and making paper airplanes with Matteus and Bella.

Day 109: Savanne River to Timberland Motel

We didn’t get as far as we intended today. Tricia, who we stayed with in Yorkton Saskatchewan, had told her friends and family we were riding through on her blog. So in Thunder Bay we had plans to stay with her sister Tara. Our intentions were to ride into Thunder Bay to stay with Tara and family, however not long after we started our ride today the rain began. It was a heavy rain that persisted all 60km to the first motel/gas station stop we saw. Here we decided instead to stay in the motel and arrive early tomorrow in Thunder Bay. We will be better able to visit and have a chance to set ourselves up for the next stretch to Sault Ste Marie.

A truck driver in the rest stop did say he passed about 10 cyclists in between Upsala and where we were, so there seems to be quite a few others we haven’t yet come across.

A bit later we returned to the shop for some snacks and we saw Jill inside drying off. We talked with her for a while and found out she’s friends with our neighbour in Montreal. Small world!

As the rain and storm continued the rest of the afternoon we felt our choice in stopping early was warranted.

Day 108: Ignace to Savanne River

Today we really started noticing the reduced shoulders on the road. We were down to about a 1 foot shoulder and at times it wasn’t too fun to ride.

Along the way we met two other independent tourers. Jill was riding across Canada on her own in the same direction we are, and Steve who started his trip in Montreal and was riding to Whitehorse, Yukon. Steve told us the road between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste Marie wasn’t too fun because of the shoulders, so we were second guessing our choice to stay in Canada instead of going through the US.

In Upsala we stopped for dinner at another gas station restaurant before continuing on to Savanne River campground. The campground is on a First Nations reserve, and we talked for a while with the hosts about the history of the Lac des mille lacs Reserve and its history. They were incredibly friendly and helpful. We even had live music since there was a guy playing his guitar and singing a couple sites down.