Sunday, June 15, 2008

June 12-15: Mark and Charlie push on to Thunder Bay

Here is a brief little post to recount my adventures with Charlie before I met up with Mike and Mary again. Charlie had to push on to Thunder Bay to arrive early Sunday in order to spend time with an old friend, Sarah, who very kindly hosted all four of us at her house - so many thanks Sarah! - so I carried on with him so that he'd have company through the empty spaces of Northern Ontario. It was a great ride and we had an excellent time together.

So on June 12 (Mike's b-day) Charlie and I left Fort Frances at 9:30 and pushed on to Atikokan, 155km for the day, and arrived at 6:45. During the day we both saw what we believe to be a golden eagle - rare in this area, but almost certainly that was what it was.

It was a very buggy camp and thunderstorms rolled over that night, and then leaving town the next morning (June 13) we were stopped by a guy in a pickup who said that the radio had just said there was a "severe thunderstorm and hail warning" for the area - yikes! So June 13 was cloudy and pressing weather, and we got to Quetico fairly fast and had a late second breakfast while the clouds gathered. Then the rain started, but we only got about 10 minutes of it overall. I saw a mother and baby moose, then a bear just down the road, and we both saw an adult male and then later an adult female moose that day. We did 125km that day and camped at Shebandowan Lake at Burstrom's Resort, and during the day we crossed into the Atlantic watershed - yay! The camp was very buggy again and we had dinner on the dock on the lake because the breeze off the lake kept the bugs off.

June 14 we did a short 60km and came into Kakabeka Falls after sleeping in. We crossed into the new time zone on our way into town! We arrived and set up camp and then spent the afternoon exploring the falls area - Kakabeka is called "Niagara of the North" and the flow over the falls was spectacular as there was something like 8 times the normal flow volume going over it.

June 15, Father's Day, we came into town via Oliver Rd, a back road, got into town at 10 to meet Sarah, and I visited the Terry Fox monument. That marks my "half-way point" across Canada - very cool to visit there. Sarah lives 20km north of town so we cycled out there and hung out, and visited the Silver Harbour Conservation Area which is right down the road from her, and visited with her neighbour Amy. Later in the afternoon we drove back into town for an awesome potluck and so I got to see a little bit of Thunder Bay before we leave tomorrow.

Mike and Mary made great time and arrived in town this afternoon, so it looks like we will be leaving Charlie behind (he is taking a rest day tomorrow) and we will be pressing on to Nipigon tomorrow. Hopefully he will catch us up soon!


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